Live in the Palm Lounge, Released May, 2012

Live in the Palm Lounge Track Listing

  1. Cute

  2. Cast Your Fate to the Wind

  3. Well You Needn't

  4. Girl Talk

  5. Blue Bossa

  6. Birks Works

  7. Fly Me to the Moon

  8. If I Only Had a Brain

  9. Wave

  10. Lullaby of the Leaves

  11. Pent Up House

  12. Tangerine

  13. Scotch and Soda

  14. The Girl from Ipanema

In and Out, Released December, 2006

In and Out Track Listing

  1. Yearsmiles (Bill Andrews)

  2. All God's Chillun Got Rhythm (Kahn-Kaper)

  3. K-Hummer (Al Macy)

  4. 24/7 Hop (Al Macy)

  5. Blue Fog (Al Macy)

  6. Careless Love (Uncredited)

  7. Brother Mo’ (Susie Laraine)

  8. First Time It Blues (Bill Andrews)

  9. Havana Cabana (Al Macy)

  10. Net Worth (Al Macy)

  11. Loveless Love (Uncredited)

In and Out Liner Notes

The title of our debut CD, In and Out, refers not to a chain of burger restaurants, but to the two types of jazz on the album, and the way we play them.  Jazz musicians refer to tunes (or playing) that uses radical tonalities as being "out."  Songs with more traditional note choices are "in."  This album includes both songs that are quite in (like "24/7 Hop" and "All God's Chillun") and those that are pretty out ("First Time It Blues," "Loveless Love").  We hope that our more "in" listeners will come to appreciate and enjoy the more "out" playing and vice versa. 

Yearsmiles (Bill Andrews) The title Bill's given this tune, a combination of "Your Smiles, "Years," and "Miles," matches the song's  nostalgic feel.  For me it evokes someone sitting in front of a fire, thinking about a long relationship in his or her life.  I put this number first since it shows off Russ's wonderful tone and Bill's unique song writing.  "Yearsmiles" is different from most of the songs on our CD, with parts of the solos having an "environmental jazz" feel.

All God's Chillun Got Rhythm (Kahn-Kaper) This tune, featured in the Marx Brother's film A Day at the Races (performed by members of Duke Ellington's orchestra) has been recorded by many jazz legends (for example, Sonny Stitt, Clifford Brown, Stan Getz, Kenny Barron, and Harry Allen).  Russ's lick at 0:29 is one of my favorite parts of the whole CD.  As you listen to his solo, note how he develops some motives then repeats and embellishes them later on.  You may be able to hear a bit of a Christmas theme in my solo, with quotes from "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" coming in quick succession. 

K-Hummer (Al Macy)  I wrote this number for a live performance by the quartet at a local radio station, KHUM in Ferndale, California.  The chord progression is closely modeled after Thelonius Monk's 'Well You Needn't," but with a bridge that goes down and back up by half steps instead of up and back down.  Pay attention to how Russ plays the head (the melody) behind the beat, greatly increasing the coolness of the sound.  Both Russ and I put in a few chromatic sequences, inspired, I guess, by the chromatic chord sequences in the song.  And hardcore jazz fans will note a quote from John Coltrane's "Syeeda's Song Flute" in my solo, a riff I can't help hearing when I play this tune.  Bill has a particularly nice solo, with rich tone and nice effects such as glissandos, vibrato, and harmonics.

24/7 Hop (Al Macy) This number is aimed at, and developed for, our swing dancing audience, being a bouncy number reminiscent of a slightly pre-rock and roll college swing dance.  Note our transition back to a more sophisticated "two" feel during the bridge in this recording.

Blue Fog (Al Macy) Although not obvious, the chord progression from this ballad is derived from Duke Ellington's "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me."  A nice feature is Russ's cadenza backgrounded by Larry's masterful chimes solo at the end of the piece.

Careless Love (Uncredited) No one seems to know where this traditional tune came from originally.  We play it in a light, bouncy way, not what you'd expect from song's original words:

Love, oh love, oh careless love,
You fly to my head like wine,
You've ruined the life of many a poor boy,
and you nearly wrecked this life of mine
You worried my mother until she died
You caused my father to lose his mind
Now damn you, gonna shoot you, shoot you four five times
And stand over you until you finish dying.

Brother Mo’ (Susie Laraine) Susie Laraine, when married to legendary drummer Donald "Duck" Bailey, had a song written for her by Duck's brother, the composer, producer and saxophonist Morris Bailey, Jr.  The tune was based on the changes for "Bluesette," and was called "Suzy Blue."  Susie responded with a tune for him: "Brother Mo'" based on the changes for "Minority." Many thanks to Susie for letting us include this wonderful song on our CD.  Russ and Larry start the tune off by themselves, playing half-time, then Russ kicks it up to normal speed and Bill and I join in.  Check out the motif that Russ states at 1:58 and then restates at 2:12 and a few more times in the rest of his solo.

First Time It Blues (Bill Andrews) The title of this composition refers to the way someone might approach a number that he or she has never played before.  That is, if someone says "Hey, I've never played this piece before," the response might be "Well, then just first time it."  My favorite parts in this number are the bass-heavy introduction, and the diminished chords in measure eight (at 0:30) and elsewhere.  Our more "in" listeners may have trouble appreciating this piece at first, but should find that it will grow on them with repeated listening.

Havana Cabana (Al Macy) I was inspired to write this song when watching a PBS special about the old cars in Cuba.  The show featured some great Cuban music, and made me realize we didn't have any Latin numbers planned for our CD.  "Havana Cabana" is a mix of Carmen Miranda, Calypso, "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White," and "Paper Moon."  Larry's relaxed Latin style drumming sets just the right tone for the number.  Mix-wise, this is our most complex piece; the wonders of modern recording and free music software (Audacity) let me play both piano and trombone for this song.  We also added "scratcher" and "shaker" tracks, further increasing the Cuban feel.

Net Worth (Al Macy) This simple minor blues composition was inspired by John Coltrane's "Equinox."  Russ's stylings and resonant tone elevate it to the level of "cool."   In his solo, be sure to notice how he varies the dynamics to make the solo more interesting. 

Loveless Love (Uncredited) Bill had the idea of arranging the traditional tune "Careless Love" into a minor key to produce this number.  After releasing this CD I found that we weren't the first ones to modify "Careless Love" and give the result the name "Loveless Love."  W.C. Handy did the same thing towards the start of the 20th century.  Russ uses his solo in this song as an opportunity to display his "out" chops.

I hope you'll enjoy this CD as much as we've enjoyed putting it together! 

 - Al Macy

   December, 2006