May 2, 2011
I added some new pictures, I found some shots of me "prenavy", when I was playing with Ken Navarro. Those are some great memories for me!
New mp3 uploads!
June 2, 2009
I finally got around to adding a few tunes. I added two big band recordings ( The Escapist, and Our Love Rolls On ), as well as two tracks of the recent Tory Ritter CD I did in Dec 08.
I have also updated the gigs page, so come out and say hi if you are around!
April 14, 2009
Check the gigs section for information on some places I will performing at around town soon.
There is a lot of variety there, between jazz piano with a big band, DJ parties, and acoustic guitar/vocal.
See you around town!
New Commodores CD!
February 28, 2009
Thanks for visiting my website! The new Navy Band CD is out, and while it is officially "not for sale", you can hear the original tunes from the recording at the Navy Band website, there is a link from my "links" page.
It is very likely that it will show up soon on Itunes, where you can download all of the songs, but in the meantime, the originals on the web will give you an idea of how the band is sounding these days.
Two of my arrangements were recorded; "The Escapist", an original composition, and "Our Love Rolls On", a classic ballad by jazz pianist/singer David Frishberg.
The rest of the album features great arrangements by Rob Holmes, Phil Burlin, and Steve Williams.
Also, I am planning on attending this year's Winter Music Conference in Miami, the last week of March. Send me an email if you will be going too, it would be nice to meet some new folks while I am there checking out all the new developments in the DJ/Remix world.
'til next time!
Happy New Year!
January 1, 2009
Hello and Happy New Year to everyone.
I am looking forward to a great 2009, hoping for some turnarounds in our economy, and generally looking to stay upbeat about things.
Over December 2008, I produced a 8 song CD for Tory Ritter, a young vocalist with tremendous potential. We ended up with some neat versions of classic songs, and I will post a few in my MP3 section soon for your perusal.
In other news, I have been asked to arrange some new charts for pianist Eric Byrd's Ray Charles project, and I am looking forward to that as something different from my recent projects. The music of Ray Charles resonates with me and hits all the marks I look for in great music. It will be fun to put a slightly new spin on some of his songs for Eric's band.
I am also planning on recording a solo piano disc soon. I am not sure what I will play, but I want to reach for something that speaks to everyone that loves music, not just jazz fans, so the material may be an interesting departure of sorts for me.
Aiming for end of '09 for that one.
Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and please check back soon for more content!
More to come!
September 2, 2008
Geoff Robson's new CD, "Days of the Last Crusade", is finally out, and it was great to hear the finished product, with great mastering work by Billy Wolf.
I spent over a year working on this record for Geoff, and feel I really expanded my scope of producing skills during that process...great songs, Geoff!
Thanks for letting me produce your music, and congratulations!
Samples can be heard at his website, www.geoffrob.com
and CD's can be ordered there as well.
More to come!
April 24, 2008
I had the opportunityto create a short musical score for a neat documentary about "Frontline", a great organization which works with local organizations to provide
cooking and nutrition classes to the economically disadvantaged. I only had a week to put it together, and I think the director and editing team did a great job of putting together a compelling message.
here is the link:
Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by!
Studio news, and more MP3's
March 12, 2008
I have been finishing a CD for Geoff Robson, should be mastered and sent to press in April. The songs are very sincere and heartfelt, with a strong political message, as well as strong musical hooks. I posted one of my favorites in the MP3 section.
Also, the Commodores just finished recording a new cd, and it is being mixed now. They recorded two of my arrangements. An original, "The Escapist", and a David Frishberg song I arranged for our vocalist, " Our Love Rolls On".
I think the CD will sound great, and will post some MP3's when it comes out.
'til next time!
December 30, 2007
It has been a few days since I heard about the death of Oscar Peterson. Oscar Peterson remains one of my biggest musical influences. His penchant for combining style, showmanship, technique, ideas, and a wonderful sense of rhythm in every performance was remarkable, even more so because of how many decades he consistently offered himself to the world, in top form.
I find it challenging to engage a "non-jazz" audience with just instrumental jazz music, and whenever I come up with ideas on how to do it better, I always think of Oscar, his big smile, warm attitude, and exquisite delivery, EVERY time. I am going back and re-visiting some of his recordings now, and reflecting on the music and life of one of the greatest pianists to ever play the instrument.
'til next time,
November 6, 2007
Thanks for spending your valuable surf time at my site! I have been on tour now for almost two weeks, and it has been really fun meeting all the nice people that have come out and said hello. I just got an email from one those people, and thought it would be a good idea to post the reply in my "bio" section, since it seems that others might be interested in the whole "influence" thing.
Just click on the bio/gear/CD's/Misc link on the navigation bar.
'til next time!
Going on tour....
October 24, 2007
The Navy Commodores are going on tour from Oct 27th to Nov 16th. For dates and venues , check the links page.
The band sounds very tight, and it looks like there will be grand piano's at 95% of the venues! I always look forward to playing "the real thing" whenever I can.
In other news, I have been hard at work on several projects, and hope to get back to some transcription work I started doing for guitarist Chieli Minucci several months ago. At the same time, I am still finishing Geoff Robson's CD. It is hard producing an album when so many parts on each song need to be just right, and I am playng most of them. I find that I need to spend a few days away from a song after trackings parts, so that I can come back to it with fresh ears for mixing.
If you live in any of the cities we are visiting, please come by and say hello at the show.
It is a highlight for me on tours to meet people at our gigs that support and enjoy jazz.
More to come,
Back from the Cave
September 19, 2007
Summer is over, and so is Angela's CD! I finished this gargantuan project a few weeks ago, and it is now being made into many copies of a finished product. This was a very interesting and creative process, as many of these arrangements took much time to bring to life.
I posted 2 examples of unmastered mixes in my music section. I will repost them when I have the finals, but for now these will give you an idea of what we have been up to.
CD comes out first week of October.
In other news, Geoff Robson's CD is almost done. He is another client of mine, and we have had fun creating all of the arrangements of his original songs. You can listen to examples of these songs at his website, www.geoffrob.com
Time to get back to it, see you soon!
here comes summer!
May 25, 2007
Wow, where did 2007 go so far, anyway?
I have posted a few gigs, but for the most part I am working tons of Navy concerts, mixed with private affairs throughout the DC area.
I just finished Artist Goeff Robson's EP release, "Lest We Forget". It features two remarkable original songs, produced in my studio recently. Check it out at www.geoffrob.com
His full length album should be done before November.
Still working on Opera singer Angela Knight's new CD. There is some really cool stuff on this project, we are all excited to finish it and put it out....more on that soon.
Also, check out my Beachcomers band link. I am having a blast with this little side project. We have a few things in the summer, come out and listen if you can make it!
'til next time,
Blues Alley dates, and ruminations on the jazz big band
March 29, 2007
For the first time ever, I am playing at blues alley twice in the same month with two different big bands! Super fun, and super unique!
The jazz big band is the type of musical entity that is hard to sustain economically due to factors like:
large number of players to pay,
inconsistent paying jobs,
lack of plentiful venues,
and most importantly,
small audiences to support it all.
This is why it is very rare to work with great big bands, whether it be at free monday night gig, in a rehearsal, a wedding, or (shock!!) a concert!
I am lucky in that my job as pianist with the Navy Commodores gives me a chance to play in a big band with superb players regularly,
and I never take it for granted.
On Tuesday April 3rd, I will be playing piano with the Alan Baylock jazz orchestra(check my "gigs" link).
Alan is the Chief Arranger for the Air Force Band here in Washington DC., and a very skilled and creative writer at that!
And on April 24th, the Navy Commodores will play the same venue, featuring charts by members of the band, and I am sure some great improvising as well!
Hope to see you there!
On gigs, and current happenings....
February 11, 2007
I thought for those of you wanting to come to a gig, I would post this.
I am presently playing a bunch of private functions, mixed with Navy Commodores concerts over the next 2 months.
We will be playing with the famed jazz clarinetist Eddie Daniels at the Kennedy Center on March 6th....check the Links page for the Navy Band link to the Commodores calendar.
Also, I am hard at work producing two albums for two talented local writer/singers.
One has a country/rock vibe, and the other is a judicious mixture of opera, trance, classical, and orchestral textures. I am very much enjoying the different styles.
More on these two artists later....
Videos of Dan Online!
January 9, 2007
You can find streaming video of the Navy Commodores recent appearance at the 2006 Chicago Midwest Clinic now online.
It features three selections, two of which I play a solo on:
- My tune, "The Escapist", something I composed and arranged a year ago, and plan on recording for a CD soon.
- "Simm Sayin'", a tune written by tenor saxophonist Phil Burlin, featuring organ. Usually I play a Hammond XK3 for this song for a much more authentic sound, but the reality of travel and backline gear meant that for this show I would use the Korg Triton. I still had fun, and the audience enjoyed it!
For the link, navigate to my
Happy New Year, and some thoughts on Chris Potter.
January 7, 2007
The Commodores played a concert on Saturday night with special guest artist Chris Potter on Tenor Saxophone, and I must say, it was a unique experience....not just the show itself, but also the rehearsing leading up to it.
As a player, he is an amazing musical force, incredibly specific about every detail in his phrases, and possessing a technique that allows a maximum freedom for the realization of new ideas in an improvisation. I wonder if the average joe public music lover recognizes some of these qualities when they hear this kind of mastery?
Mr Potter has also composed and arranged some very unique sounding, but not "in-accessible" music, that requires quite a bit of preparation for a modern big-band to begin to get it right.
The last time I played stuff like this, I was playing modern argentine tango! Wow, what a ride.
The music toys with convention, almost as if reeling the listener in with some familiar material, but then turning it on it's head to give you something unexpected. I think everyone in the band took something away from this concert....thanks, Chris, for playing with us, it was truly memorable!
I may be able to post some MP3's of of this show at a later date, stay tuned!
Here comes December!
November 30, 2006
December will be a very busy month for me and many musicians I know. I am playing a lot of dates, many of which are private functions. The few public things I am doing are on the gigs part of this site. The Navy Band is in Chicago on Dec 21. If you are in Chicago during that time, stop by if you can and say hello!
In other news, I have been busy in my studio working with opera vocalist Angela Knight on a new project that is sure to be a great CD when it is done. More on that later...
Thanks for "stopping by",
On Tour W/ Navy Band
November 3, 2006
Tonight, in San Mateo, was our first of 11 concerts on tour this year. We are in California, and the first show, despite a difficult stage sound, went off very well.
The band is playing some of my arrangements in heavy rotation, in preparation for the December Midwest Band Director's convention in Chicago, which we play at every 4 years.
On the list are "I Loves You Porgy", and "The Escapist". You can here live versions of these on my mp3's page on this site. On the "Porgy" chart, check out Bill Mulligan on alto sax....truly one of a kind. I actually wrote the arrangement specifically for that style of sax playing, with the subtle bends and languid phrasing, which is characteristic of some of the most influential sax players in jazz history, like Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges, and Stan Getz.
Also, in other "Navy" news, Peter Revell, a regular in my "civilian" bands for years, has moved into the Commodores full-time. We are having a great time, and the rhythm section is moving into a whole new territory musically.
Check out the gigs page for info on our tour, and how to get tickets. Just follow the link provided. If you are going to be in the area of one of our shows, come by and say hello.
'til next time....
In The Studio
September 13, 2006
I am now in my studio working on music for a new jazz big band project. I hope to be recording the music sometime in Spring '07. I am excited to finally take some of the arrangements I have been doing and represent them on a CD. It will feature mostly original tunes, with a few standards I have arranged in the last few years. You can listen to some examples of my big band stuff on my MP3 page.
Also, for those that have gone the digital route, my CD "Just A Thought" is now available for download on Apple's Itunes website.
On with the show!
new pictures added!
July 13, 2006
Just posted some cool shots taken by Alec Berry of the recent cd release event. check them out in my photos page. He really captured the light and the mood. Enjoy!
CD release, and rare "One Step Up" appearance
July 6, 2006
The CD Release event was a great time, thanks to all who were there. Jon Carroll sat in for several tunes, and it was a fantastic experience to showcase all of the new material to an appreciative crowd.
I have had a grand time playing with Sarah and Ray these last few years, and wish them all the best as they travel across the pond to Europe to continue their musical adventure.
In other news, my jazz group, "One Step Up" will be the backing band for west coast jazz vocalist Natasha Miller for her Blues Alley Debut on July 26th. She has some great original material and has produced some truly first rate sounding jazz cd's. We are looking forward to a night of some inspired music-making. Check out my links page for info on her, and the gigs page for info on the show.
'til next time,
Sarah's CD Done!
June 3, 2006
Well, it is finally complete.
The title of the disc is "Meet the Day", and there are 12 tunes on there, ranging from lush ballads to alternative pop originals, and some choice cover songs.
But, without the amazing engineering virtuosity of Sean Russell to mix these songs, I don't know where we would be! Sean is truly a master of Pro tools, and has a very good ear for this kind of music, great job, Sean!
I have spent the last week getting very little sleep, but it has been worth it.
I tracked virtually all of the guitars, keyboards and organ, and some bass, percussion, and vocals as well in my studio.....
I don't recall the last time I bounced from one tune to another, from one instrument to another, so fast in order to get a production done. Amazingly, all the parts really work well, and it does not have a "rushed" sound.
A highlight for me is the piano'vocal duet "(He's from a) Different World". This is a song written by a close friend, Tony Taylor. I have know Tony since I was a freshman in high school, and I credit him with insping me to write my own music. I am glad we could include this gorgeous song on this album. Thanks, Tony!
We are now in rehearsal mode for the release date on June 29th, which promises to be a highlight for all of the Sarah Croker fans out there.
Between now and then we have some other dates coming up, check my gigs page for more info.
Also, this just in....there is a very favorable review of the latest Navy Commodore's CD in the most recent Jazztimes. i will post it in my reviews section as soon as I get my hands on a copy.
'til next time,
New CD and Shows!
May 26, 2006
We are just putting the finishing touches on Sarah and company's new CD, still untitled as of today. It has been quite an adventure, and several very strong new songs have emerged from the band's efforts. A recent highlight: Keyboardist Jon Carroll, from the Mary Chapin Carpenter band(among his many credits), stopped by the studio to record gorgeous accordion parts on the original song "Rainbow". What a treat to sit in the control room and listen to the song take on a whole new life as Jon put his spin on it, adding very evocative lines and chordal parts. Outstanding work, Jon! We can't wait to mix that one...
Everything is still on track for our June 29 release, and we have also added a few more dates in June and July for Sarah and the Band. Check out my "gigs" section for details, and I look forward to meeting some of you "on the gig"!
'til next time,
Next Page >>
CD release date is set!
May 10, 2006
The official Release date for the band's new CD is June 29th, a thursday, just a few days before Independence Day. It will be at the Jammin Java in Vienna, VA, a very popular hot spot for independent music in the Northern Virginia area.
Go to my "gigs" section for more specific info on the venue amd how to get tickets.
We are in the production stages of the record right now, adding piano and guitar parts, tightening up rhythm section parts, and in general getting as specific as we can about the overall "sound" of the record.
It is for sure going in the direction of mainly an acoustic record, with electric guitar, synths, and "Mutt Lange" style chorus parts taking a backseat to roots style traditional sounds, like Hammond B3, Rhodes, Piano, Steel - string rhythm guitar parts, and plenty of space for Sarah's beautiful Soprano to be showcased on each and every track.
We even have a version of U2's hit song "One", featuring a violin/cello arrangement I had a lot of fun writing.
For sure, this record is quite a departure for me from the mainstream jazz I have been playing all these years, and I am having a blast!
More news as it develops....