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#2950207 - 09/26/18 04:01 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: Music Bird]
hurricane hugo Offline
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Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 2832
Dear Keyboard Corner,

I never thought this would happen to me...
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#2950218 - 09/26/18 05:35 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: hurricane hugo]
area51recording Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 1972
Loc: Newburgh,IN
Originally Posted By: hurricane hugo
Dear Keyboard Corner,

I never thought this would happen to me...


Ahhhhh........sweet memories..... smile

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#2950219 - 09/26/18 05:39 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: area51recording]
Dave Ferris Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 5960
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: marczellm
Originally Posted By: El Lobo
Nice work if you can get it.
Slightly even more off topic but as a non-native English speaker I've just realized what this phrase means. I knew the Monk tune but never understood the title.


Actually it was written by George & Ira Gershwin. Just a couple of nobodys that wrote a few cheese-ball and middle of the road songs. Oh yeah, George happened to write a few symphonic works as well. Nevertheless, they still fall short of the genius level of Brown eyed girl and other rock classics. wink

Originally Posted By: Strays Dave
Billy Holiday 1955 (I think) - Nice Work If You Can Get It
Lester Young on sax. On piano ? (Anyone know?) I like the piano solo.




I took an educated guess and did minimal digging and I was correct -- that's my former, very informal teacher, the great Jimmy Rowles on piano. He's legendary not only for his accompanying but for knowing more of these cheese-ball songs then anyone. wink
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#2950221 - 09/26/18 06:02 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: area51recording]
CowboyNQ Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 947
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Originally Posted By: area51recording
Originally Posted By: hurricane hugo
Dear Keyboard Corner,

I never thought this would happen to me...


Ahhhhh........sweet memories..... smile

I never really believed the posts in keyboard corner until...

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#2950223 - 09/26/18 07:00 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: Dave Ferris]
SK Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 4159
Loc: North America
Always liked Jimmy Rowles - even his singing.

About playing cheesy old songs (to me the term "cocktail piano" or "cocktail jazz" is cornball), you know, it's how you play them. There's no cheese if you play each song the best you can, and make each moment musical. It's a good discipline. You have to grow with it and into it, because when you don't play your best, the people halfway listening can get bored. smile
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#2950224 - 09/26/18 07:12 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: SK]
MathOfInsects Online   content
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/04/15
Posts: 3576
Loc: California
To me the true pejorative is what I call "brunch jazz." "Autumn Leaves" and "Fly Me To the Moon" played with not a single surprising note or moment, but a lot of self-impressed vibing for no obvious reason.

Those cocktail gigs are a whole different story, lots of great juicy harmony to dig into and basically no limit to what you can play, plus everyone either ignores you or thinks you're great.
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#2950225 - 09/26/18 07:30 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: CowboyNQ]
nursers Offline
10k Club

Registered: 03/31/01
Posts: 10351
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ
Originally Posted By: area51recording
Originally Posted By: hurricane hugo
Dear Keyboard Corner,

I never thought this would happen to me...


Ahhhhh........sweet memories..... smile

I never really believed the posts in keyboard corner until...


Best laugh I've had all week! grin
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#2950233 - 09/26/18 08:49 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: Jazz+]
allan_evett Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 3835
Loc: Westville, IN
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
Cocktail piano rules. You can do whatever you want.


When I've been the'wallpaper', that's quite true. But last night was the first time in decades that I played that type of music for a listening audience, in this case a benefit gig. It was a single, shared set with a clarinet player. As well as individual solo numbers, we also played together on a 'tease' rendition of Free Bird, and concluded the set with the Eddie Daniels version My Little Suede Shoes. It was almost unsettling, sensing eyes and ears focused on pieces I toss off without much concern when in the background. Definitely a different ballgame, so to speak.
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#2956870 - 11/07/18 08:03 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: allan_evett]
cphollis Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 2576
Loc: Massachussets, Florida
Well, this has been a great thread, so might I update this?

The trio has turned out to be Hot Stuff. The two vocalists have brought serious game. The male vocalist who plays guitar has decided he doesn't want to play anymore as I'm now covering all the parts and he can focus on singing.

We decided to make a serious shift in material, and it's paying off bigtime. Too many gigs, so we're getting choosy.

Instead of cocktail music classics, a thoughtful decision was made to dive into the music of the 60s and early 70s. Damn, it's worked out great.

Vincent, American Pie. Alone Again, Naturally. Tiny Dancer, Daniel, Candle In The Wind. House On Pooh Corner. Piano Man. Killing Me Softly. Carole King stuff. Time In A Bottle. Lots of Beatles stuff, plus some other 60s. The Letter, Bus Stop, etc.

We've worked up 3 hours of great material without a sweat. I'm impressed, they're impressed.

Big fun?

Yes, they've decided it's all about piano-centric music from that era. The good news? They're even suggesting piano-centric songs I should learn, like Masquerade et. al.

Totally my thing, and I'm having a ball!

My advice? Find a vocal duo, and hijack them to piano-centric material. In my market, it's working surprisingly well. I am super happy about any gig with this material, and the crowd is totally into piano dude with two vocalists.

Works for me smile
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#2956885 - 11/07/18 10:34 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: cphollis]
Quai34 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/17
Posts: 200
Loc: Canada, MB
Great, I'm happy for you....But aside from Piano Man and the Beatles, I don't know a single song/artist you listed....Well, any time I did cocktail gigs it was with a trio, drums, plus keys plus Sax, so, real book all the time...
But that should be fun...Any recording? Or even a little video made with an IPhone?


Edited by Quai34 (11/07/18 10:34 PM)
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#2956888 - 11/08/18 12:05 AM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: Quai34]
CowboyNQ Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 947
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Originally Posted By: Quai34
Great, I'm happy for you....But aside from Piano Man and the Beatles, I don't know a single song/artist you listed....

I imagine you've not heard "American Pie" due to some kind of import tariff preventing it from being freely available across the border?

I think I can help you with one or two of the others:

- "Daniel" is about a bloke who got along well with lions.
- "Candle in the Wind" describes my football team's chance of ever winning a competition
- "Tiny Dancer" is based on the star of a popular 80's US TV sitcom, called "Who's the Boss"
- "The Letter" was originally called "The French Letter" and was therefore banned in most countries around the world.

On a less silly note: Chuck I'm so pleased you're enjoying your project. Sounds like a lot of fun.

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#2956899 - 11/08/18 03:25 AM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: CowboyNQ]
samuelblupowitz Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/09/17
Posts: 86
Loc: Ithaca, NY
Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ

- "Tiny Dancer" is based on the star of a popular 80's US TV sitcom, called "Who's the Boss".

That joke was really just for you, wasn’t it? I see you.;-)
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#2956906 - 11/08/18 04:52 AM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: cphollis]
Synthoid Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 10503
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA

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#2956907 - 11/08/18 04:54 AM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: Jazz+]
Legatoboy Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 3924
Loc: Huntington Sta., New York (LI)
I love it too when I get the work...your really your own boss! Freeing experience for sure and usually pays well!
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#2956950 - 11/08/18 09:32 AM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: Music Bird]
Rustar Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/22/07
Posts: 277
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia


Two masters at work


Edited by Rustar (11/08/18 02:56 PM)
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#2956986 - 11/08/18 03:12 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: samuelblupowitz]
CowboyNQ Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 947
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Originally Posted By: samuelblupowitz
Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ

- "Tiny Dancer" is based on the star of a popular 80's US TV sitcom, called "Who's the Boss".

That joke was really just for you, wasn’t it? I see you.;-)

Lots of good 'uns here. Including the above.
Misheard Lyrics

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#2956995 - 11/08/18 05:43 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: CowboyNQ]
cphollis Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 2576
Loc: Massachussets, Florida
The Tony Danza clip made me lose it for a while. Couldn't stop laughing. Now it's an ear worm ...

Makes me think it'd be fun to do a whole set of "misheard lyrics" songs, and see if anyone picks up on it.
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Keys: NP2, NS3C
Home: Bosie 200, Yam AG N3
Amps: FA 12acs, RCF TT08as, QSC K.2s, EVOX J8, SSv3
Stuff: Stay stands, Key Largo, Vent II, X-Air 18

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#2957001 - 11/08/18 06:04 PM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: Rustar]
cphollis Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 2576
Loc: Massachussets, Florida
Originally Posted By: Rustar


Two masters at work


Thanks for sharing this. I had this on repeat all day long through headphones. Nourishing stuff. Feeds the brain.
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Life is too short to be playing bad music.

Keys: NP2, NS3C
Home: Bosie 200, Yam AG N3
Amps: FA 12acs, RCF TT08as, QSC K.2s, EVOX J8, SSv3
Stuff: Stay stands, Key Largo, Vent II, X-Air 18

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#2957029 - 11/09/18 04:41 AM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: cphollis]
Synthoid Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 10503
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Originally Posted By: cphollis
The Tony Danza clip made me lose it for a while. Couldn't stop laughing. Now it's an ear worm ...


One of my favorite Phoebe moments for sure. laugh
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#2957045 - 11/09/18 06:11 AM Re: I never thought I'd be playing cocktail music ... [Re: cphollis]
MAJUSCULE Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/10/09
Posts: 5168
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
Originally Posted By: cphollis
The Tony Danza clip made me lose it for a while. Couldn't stop laughing. Now it's an ear worm ...

Makes me think it'd be fun to do a whole set of "misheard lyrics" songs, and see if anyone picks up on it.


Another avenue for you... There's a duo here that does a music/comedy routine, absolutely shreds at corporate conferences and such. Lots of misheard lyrics and rearranged "toe-the-line" tunes. Maybe you could sell a show to your Oracle buds. wink
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