My preferred tool for writing and arranging, the piano has some distinct advantages over my first instrument the clarinet when it comes arranging for a 16 piece orchestra.
Now happily ensconced in the keyboards chair as a founding member of Boss Knob, enthusiastic purveyors of vintage lounge cinema music, I still visit my clarinet occasionally.
Welcome To This Far Outfit
A long time ago in a far, far out galaxy, a welcome message was broadcast to any life form that would listen. Welcome To This Far Outfit is that welcome message.
Filmed at Far Outfit in Long Beach, CA, the video features my niece Bridget as the space alien. That celestial female voice you hear belongs to the lovely and talented proprietress of Far Outfit, Johanna Moynahan.
Farewell To Cheyenne
Question: What's the greatest western of all time?
Answer: Once Upon A Time In The West.
This movie has it all, including great music. (Give the choir some!) Ennio Morricone's Farewell to Cheyenne has been recorded by many artists, including the Guy Fluffner Memorial and Boss Knob.
In this video, Boss Knob imagines the wild west (and indeed modern society) without the specter of gun violence.
Game Called Life
I've always loved their music, so when the Leftover Cuties asked me for some piano parts from my out of tune 64 key Melodigrand piano for Game Called Life, their very catchy and high vibe theme song for Showtime's The Big C, I was more than happy to oblige.
And it really works. Despite multiple tunings, that piano hasn't lost it's charm. (It's still way out of whack!)
Music To Watch Girls By
Boss Knob's second foray into the videographic realm takes them on a daring rhythmo-erotic journey to the epicenter of acid lounge music.
Will they find the source? Will they make it back alive? And if they do, what effect will it have on their ability to count to four?
Boss Knob is my main outlet for playing organ, rhodes, and synths in a live setting.
The video features the amazing Sonny Ocho. He was very easy to work with and didn't have too many demands.
Saxophones, Flutes, Clarinets
Thirty-five years of solo and section work on saxophones, flutes, and clarinets in the studio and on stage on four continents (three to go!).
Film recording credits include Jean-Michel Basquiat-The Radiant Child, Some Other Woman, The Vicious Kind, A Perfect Man, Monkey Man, Meet the Fockers, The Asian Americans (television), Tom and Jerry (television), and Party of Five (television).
A tenor solo for Michael C. Ford, accompanied here by John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, and Robby Krieger of the Doors. This song features Tommy Jordan (vocals) and was produced by Harlan Steinberger at Hen House Studios.
I love Michael C. Ford's poetry and I was extremely honored to be a part of this project. The combination of his rich baritone voice and his phrasing when reciting his own poetry is pure butter.
I'll Take You There
General Public's recording of the Staples Singers' I'll Take You There, with the Unity Horns. Timothy Moynahan on trombone and Michael Moynahan on trumpet. The music video was shot at Luna Park in West Hollywood, a second home for the Unity Horns in the mid 90s.
The song was featured in the movie Threesome (lost best picture to Schindler's List that year) and still receives radio airplay today.
We were invited to play on the Arsenio Hall show. That's how I met and shook hands with Dr. J, my favorite part of this story.
How To Wreck
Tenor solo for a little ditty I composed for a contemporary dance theater piece called Wrecktangle,
This song presages my journey of discovery back in time to the music of Ray Conniff, Bert Kampfert, and Esquivel. Three cheers for these guys. Give the men's choir some!
Much like the song of the Sirens in Greek mythology, the sound of the saw touches something deep in the soul and reminds us there is so much more going on here than what meets the eye. There's the tip of the iceberg and then there's everything else.
Film recording credits include The Vicious Kind and A Perfect Man.
Winter In My Heart
My brother Kevin turned me on to the Avett Brothers many years ago. I quickly realized what attracted him and so many others to their music.
Winter In My Heart is a beautifully crafted song and I'm very happy to have been asked to record my saw on it. Producer Ryan Hewitt very skillfully captures the warmth of the saw on this track.
Any points I scored with Kevin for being on an Avett Brothers album were soon lost when I had to tell him I couldn't get him tickets to any of their concerts.
The Vicious Kind
Film composer Jeff Cardoni uses the saw with great effect in the 2009 film The Vicious Kind.
Jeff wanted something moody and not too busy. He gave me a key to work within and let me improvise. Jeff creates a mixed mood of intense introspection, internal struggle, and potential catastrophe for which the saw is an important component.
Monster Saw Player
This video is posted here not to highlight the sound of the saw but as a public service announcement:
If you see this monster saw player, run. If unable to run, request that he play a nice standard like Everything Happens To Me. It might slow him down and it might save your life.
DO NOT look him in the eye.
Go Away tells the story of opposing energy systems vying for same job: captain of the ship. Now the head is steering, now the heart. It's not clear who will ultimately win, but the tug and pull will go on for a long time.
The head gains the upper hand with a compelling argument, beckoning the arms and legs to its cause with a full throated "Follow me, boys!."
The heart regains the upper hand with a compelling argument of its own and a "Who's with me?!"
And so on...
ProSeed Books asked ten photographers to submit a series of photographs that loosely conveyed a sense of story. These photos were then handed to ten singer/songwriters who were asked to compose an original song based on inspiration gleaned from the photos they received.
The result was A Picture Is Worth, a hard cover book that digitally linked the photography and the music.
The photographs of Tom Gianakopoulos were the inspiration for Let Me Be Water.
Crazy World from the television show House. I was asked to sing on this song by the show's very talented composer, Jon Erlich.
This bouncy song was written by Wayne Johnson.
The twenty-two meditations from the book First Empty Your Cup by Neil Bezaire were read by myself and 21 of my closest friends.
For each of the meditations, the reader first recorded the text, then collaborated with me in creating the musical accompaniment. We the composers tried to restrain ourselves for the sake of the text.
Here is Chapter 0, with narration and musical accompaniment by myself. Published with the author's permission.