Monthly Archives: September 2013

Schloss Elmau

Some years back I found myself, for reasons too complicated to explain here, on the banks of the Danube in the lovely town of Ulm, Germany.  I stepped off the train lost, exhausted and sick, but within hours I had met so many kind and generous people that my headache and my worries melted away.  I thought I would just be passing through but ended up spending 9 days there, playing music and making many wonderful friends.

One man I met was even nice enough to give me a free day at his spa if I agreed to play jazz at his sister’s birthday party.  He said he had formerly worked as a masseuse at Schloss Elmau near the Austrian border.  When I heard Brad Mehldau’s song of the same name yesterday, I was overwhelmed by warm memories of Ulm.  Here is the tune:

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Ginga Carioca

Many people say the mark of a great song is that it can be played in any style or instrumentation and still be captivating.  By this standard, Hermeto Pascoal is one of the best songwriters alive.  I learned a number of his pieces for a recent gig, and since then I haven’t gone a day without listening to his work.  Hermeto is a multi-instrumentalist and  prolific composer whose influence I hear in the writing of many modern musicians, and now I add myself to that list.

This is one of the tunes I learned for that gig, one I’m sure I will play again in the near future.

 

Ginga Carioca