Monthly Archives: February 2018

Ginseng Woman

This winter I’ve been going through hundreds of old transcriptions I did with pen and paper when I was first training my ear to recognize melodies and chord changes.  Some of them have egregious mistakes, but it brings back good memories to revisit my old files.

Ginseng Woman is an album by guitarist Eric Gale.  It’s full of solid performances by great players, and it’s also a testament to Eric’s versatility and artistry as a “session” musician; even on his own record he doesn’t flaunt his considerable skills, but tailors his playing to serve the music.  Chances are you’ve already heard Eric’s understated playing on some of your favorite jazz, funk and pop songs… I’m still discovering records in my collection that I didn’t even know he was on, from Paul Simon to Ashford and Simpson to Billy Joel and more.

Ginseng WomanGinseng Woman


From his first recording sessions in the 1950s to his last in 2014, Charlie Haden made deep, beautiful music.  He played bass with confidence and style, and pretty much every album he graced as a sideman counts among the leader’s best work.  Over the years his music got quieter and simpler without losing any of its profundity.

Charlie recorded this song many times, but my favorite version is on his 1995 duo album with Hank Jones, Steal Away.