NEW SONG - CLUELESS!For a while I wasn't sure I was ever going to achieve enough competence in enough areas to complete this tune. Hundreds of hours of listening to vintage jazz and an equal amount of time studying horn voicings, midi controllers and automation, counterpoint, and mostly just "How do you do this?" Even if you have great software and good virtual instruments, you still have to create your own procedures, and solve your own problems.
Some of the harmonies in this song may seem familiar, for good reason, because I stole the descender partly from "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and also from Armstrong's "Sleepy Time Down South." Steal from the best. But i did do something new with it.
Things are a lot easier with a keyboard. All the old Nellie music was 100 percent hand-drawn on piano roll. Whew! But it was time consuming, and the only way to be sure to get exactly the right rhythm in something, is to play it and record it.
I'm not sure where this song goes in the love story of Nellie and Danny, but most relationships have their rocky points, mostly because most relationships contain a man.
THIS IS IT!... Nellie's first new song in over 10 years! It took me months to collect all the tools I'd need to continue the project I started all these years ago. And then it took months for me to learn them. I still am learning them. But here's one new song added to the project "Backstage Musical" which I began in 2004 when I wrote and orchestrated "If I Never See You Again."
I certainly hope you enjoy this. It's a pretty silly song, but that's the point. I did everything I could to reproduce the late-30s Movietone Musical sound, and the band is styled after the pit orchestras that played for Fred Astaire and Dick Powell.
I still have a lot to learn, and the horns aren't really good yet, but here's a first draft so you can see where I'm going with this. This isn't raw MIDI like I used to do; it's all hand-tweaked just like the voices.
But the idea is still the same: Use the most modern digital equipment to synthesize the very organic music of days gone by. There's both irony and great fun in this.
THE STORY: (Stop me if you'v heard this one!) Nellie is starting out in show business, and Danny, a 3rd-rate song and dance man and would-be producer (but really a wealthy scion) has spotted her singing and (sort of) dancing in a little cabaret in the middle of Nowhere, NJ ("Sign Up for Love"), and decides she would be a great discovery. And perhaps more. Lots of music ensues. I hope.