I sat in on Gary Brumburgh's "Moonlight" CD release at Vitellos in Studio City a couple weeks back. This was his last LA show. Gary and his partner are moving to Nashville June 13.
I've posted things in the past here with him -- the Jazz vs Cancer benefit and other gigs at Vitellos and the Gardenia. I've worked with Gary almost 15 years and he has come a long way. He comes from a Musical Theater background as opposed to Jazz, or RnB, or Pop.
Jamieson Trotter was the MD and did all the arrangements on the CD. They're all very inventive, top notch and highly enhance Gary's voice. Jamieson played most of the night with a Quartet. His father, the great Terry Trotter (Natalie Cole, Larry Carlton, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra to name a few), who was also featured on the CD, played a few tunes as well. The apple certainly doesn't fall far from the tree in this case. Jamieson is extremely talented and highly creative.
I've written here often how Terry Trotter was my teacher and mentor when I came to LA in '79. Without his tutelage and influence, I would be nowhere near where I am today.
We had a full band rehearsal at my studio on the Thursday before the Sunday gig. I hadn't seen Terry in at least 15 years , if not longer. It was a blast seeing him play my piano , which he highly dug. A couple FB shots with Terry:
But on to DTD. This is an arrangement/reharm that I originally posted here in the Reharm Room years ago. Gary heard it on my Sound Cloud page and insisted we do it. I said ok on one condition - you sing it that key, I ain't transposing all those voicing down a step and then have to relearn all that. ! Luckily G worked for him.
I was hesitant to post this because I felt my performance was sub-par. I hate to blame the tool but I felt extremely handcuffed by this particular Yamaha piano. I think it was a C2 or G2...it was under 6' for sure. Size and brand are irrelevant, it has obviously been neglected most of its life, and thus is in very poor condition.
In a past video years ago I posted, Vitellos had an older Steinway L that Bill Cunliffe had picked out for the club. It was a terrific piano ! But after the club was sold, the original owner took the piano with her and the new owners, obviously trying to cut corners, got this pos.
My friend, Jim Wilson of LA Piano Services, had been trying his best to maintain the piano but he told me before the gig - "Dave, you, Terry and Jamieson are all going to be highly disappointed with that piano. It's really bad". Well he was right. It's brutal enough where I would not accept a gig there if I had to play that piano all night. I would insist on using my CP4 and would gladly hump it up those stairs as opposed to try and make music on that boat anchor.
So enough background and drama, here's Darn That Dream on Darn that piano
Gary sent me the other tune I sat in on -- "All Blues" in Eb.
I spent some time writing an arrangement for this. It didn't start out to be like how it ended up but it generally evolved into this sort of Sondheim meets Vince Mendoza meets McCoy Tyner.
But at the rehearsal I decided-- man these guys are reading SO MUCH on this gig already, plus this is the first time they've seen all of Jamieson's arrangements since the recording date a few months back -- I don't wanna throw yet another piece of paper at them that's fairly involved, let's just do the tune stock and let everyone just relax and play.
Although on the head/vocal, I somewhat kept the triad pedal tones from my arrangement when it goes to the IV chord. And keeping in my generally dark nature, I ended on a C/Eb for the final chord that was from the arrangement - for those of you keeping score.
A nice solo from Tom Luer on tenor first and then I play a couple of choruses after that. Playing this in Eb rather then G, the tune takes on a different character.
All the very fine players are listed at the top of the video.
We had our monthly swan song vocal workshop session with Gary yesterday at my studio.
In 15 years there have been many singers come and go but Gary has been a constant. In addition he always is putting out the word and rustling up new people when one or two leave. For that I can't thank him enough. God knows I'm the furthest thing from a hustler these days.
Finally had a chance to listen to this. What a reharm dude!! Great job keeping the small Yamaha under your control. Very musical. I'm always amazed when guys make great music on small crappy pianos. And you followed him so well.
Your solo! The way you set up the bridge had me hooting and hollering. Some dork in audience wanted to clap at the end of every section.
Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37