Thursday, October 26, 2017

14.) Peg O' My Heart

Hello.  Long time no post.  I had a lovely summer, which consisted of a lot of farming, gardening, swimming, chicken observing, and not so much standards and piano.  I needed a break.  I had begun working on this one right after Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most was posted in June, but I only worked on it very sparsely throughout the summer.  I returned to more serious work on the project in October, and now I'm pleased to present Peg O' My Heart by Fred Fisher and Alfred Bryan.

Jazzers don't seem to know this tune.  The only real jazz recording of it is by the Lester Young Trio, and there is a composed phrase in it that really sounds like it was improvised by Lester.  It seems like a natural tune for him, and it's surprising that other jazz players didn't follow his lead and record their own versions.  I found out about the tune from Dan, a student of mine in Beacon.  He had an arrangement in one of his books, and he told me all about the tune and recordings of it by the Harmonicats among others. I liked the tune, and it's short form, which I welcomed especially after the long-ass Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most.  Even the title of that one is soooo long.

I attempted a lot of walking 10ths in both the arrangement and the improvised solo.  I love the sound of them.  I had worked on them a bit with Garry Dial at the Manhattan School of Music.  However, they are damn challenging to play.  For those unfamiliar with walking 10ths, they are a series of large spanning stretches in the left hand.  Listen to Teddy Wilson for some amazing walking 10ths.   I can barely reach many of them.  And some I have to roll (playing one note just before the other).   I found that they took a lot of concentration to pull off.  So as I began doing takes and listening back, it was clear that my right hand improvisation suffered when I was playing the 10ths because they required too much focus.  It got a little better, but I ended up doing a lot less of them in the end, just so I could pay more attention to the melodic line.  You can hear me fumble around with them at times.  Damn walking 10ths.

Anyway.  This is Peg O' My Heart.  Enjoy.