Coming Along, Another New Jazz Composition for Your Saturday Listening Pleasure

Another new jazz composition from the Musical Millennial! It’s a hopeful, lilting, happy tune that still has depth and complexity. I love how the thin, reedy sound of the melodica is balanced by the warmth of the guitars. Or maybe I should just say, I love it!, and stop posing as a music critic.

I also love the specificity of the credits (shown below, or you can see them if you click all the way through using this link):

  • Released July 25, 2018
  • Composed by Thomas Wenglinski 
  • Joel White: Acoustic/Electric Guitar, Bass, Handclaps
  •  Thomas Wenglinski: Melodica, Keyboards/Synthesizers, Percussion, Handclaps, Whistling

Good to know who’s doing the handclaps! 🙂

What’s the full story? Well, you’ve heard all about our Musical Millennial if you’re a Glover Gardens blog follower. And his very talented friends who are also jazz studies / jazz composition / jazz performance majors in college. And the music they produce so prolifically.

But if you haven’t, you might check out this recent post, The Jazzy Sounds of Summer at Glover Gardens to find some enlightenment, or just scroll through the musical content in the blog using the Music tab in the menu bar above or this link.

Thomas Wenglinski and Joel White
Thomas Wenglinski, AKA the Musical Millennial, on the left, with his frequent collaboration partner Joel White; photo creds to Mallory Frenza

Whether you stream for free to listen, or buy to download and keep (he’d prefer the latter!), I hope Coming Along enhances an already-lovely Saturday for you.

As it has for me. Saturday is Coming Along nicely.

© 2018, Glover Gardens

 

The Jazzy Sounds of Summer at Glover Gardens

The summer months bring a welcome flurry of sound to Glover Gardens. Our Musical Millennial is home from the University of Texas where he’s studying Jazz Composition, and is busy writing, playing, recording and mixing new tunes. Other young musicians who are home for the summer drop in late at night and carry their instruments upstairs to the cluttered lair where the keyboards, amps and computers wait to come alive.

I love it.

Music, laughter and earnest debate about how to ramp up and tweak their collaborative creations drift downstairs to the Grill-Meister and me, and I know that all is right with the world.

Here’s the newest offering, Familiar Territory.  It was written by another musical millennial, one of my son’s frequent recording and playing partners. It’s posted in my son’s Bandcamp site where you can download it for just $1 or stream it for free. (I have a bet with him about how many purchases this post might stimulate from loyal Glover Gardens followers, but hey, no pressure!)

It’s a fun tune to listen to, and was obviously fun to record.

Thomas Wenglinski and Joel White 2
Thomas Wenglinski and Joel White

Watch this space! These two are planning to write and record enough new material for an album before heading back to their respective colleges. And there’s an upcoming gig at Cezanne in Houston on July 14, for any of you locals that want to hear them live.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

(cover photo © Mallory Frenza)

A Brand-New Jazz Composition for Your Sunday Listening Pleasure

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My son performing a solo on the melodica (in the blue suit)

I’ve posted several jazz originals from our Musical Millennial (my son, a college sophomore majoring in Jazz Composition). Tonight, I am thrilled to share his latest (and my favorite), a 12-minute suite with multiple movements that (in my humble opinion) is heartbreakingly beautiful. It was performed by the University of Texas at Austin’s Jazz Orchestra at their winter concert a couple of weeks ago and I was blessed to be in the audience.

Live Recording of “Repurification (Laura, Ryan, and the Thunderstorm)”

The piece is titled “Repurification (Laura, Ryan, and the Thunderstorm)”, and was written for a special performance at the opening of an art exhibit at the Blanton Museum Museum of Art in Austin. The video is below; if you play it, I encourage you to listen to the whole thing – it is like several different but complementary tunes, or perhaps several stops along a journey. My son is on piano and melodica, and every one of the musicians brings their A-game in this performance, directed by Professor Jeffrey Helmer.

In the Composer’s Words

If you’ve gotten this far, you might be interested in the program notes.  These are my son’s words about his composition.

From the time I started composing, I have always attempted to channel at least a portion of the music I grew up with – Pat Metheny, Weather Report, Stevie Wonder, Jobim/Regina, etc. However, in more recent days, I’ve been reevaluating just why it is that I’m consistently called back to the earliest memorable parts of my life for artistic inspiration, and I’ve reached a conclusion: we view the world differently as children. Some adults describe this phenomenon in a glass-half-empty way, saying, “A child’s world is so much smaller,” but I tend to see the exact opposite.  We experience small, routine things (such as the raw atmosphere of our front yard on a cold cloudy night or a bike ride through the neighborhood on a sunny Saturday morning in June) through a magnified lens when we’re young, innocent, and unencumbered by any kind o cynicism brought about by the burdens of adulthood.

It was this part of my thought process that was completely electrified this past fall, when the Blanton Museum of Art’s photography exhibit The Open Road brought with it a selection of works by Ryan McGinley, almost all of which exclusively aim to capture millennials throwing their troubles away out in the open country, particularly one entitled Laura (Thunderstorm). McGinley’s ability to capture this same youthful, pure human warmth in sometimes cold, bleak environments not only intrigues me to this day – it inspired, and almost demanded, that I take aim at the same goal musically, culminating tonight in this piece, entitled Repurification (Laura, Ryan, and the Thunderstorm). — Thomas Wenglinski

At a Loss for Words / My Heart Grew Too Big for My Body

Well.

I’m not often at a loss for words, Dear Readers, but is hard to explain how I felt, reading those notes before the concert, and then hearing my son’s composition played so beautifully.

My heart grew too big for my body.

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The kid and me at the piano

Coincidentally, or perhaps not, I had just posted in the blog about how my own world changed when I became a parent all those years ago, because it gave me another lens to look through: his. (See Haiku: Little Ones).

 

Hmmm. Perhaps all parents of musicians and artists feel this way when they experience their child’s art; it is both surprising and not, like getting a long-awaited response to a question that you already knew the answer to. As in, “Wow, I can’t believe he created something so beautiful / Gee, I always knew he would create beautiful things.”

References:

For Your Friday Night Listening Pleasure

Butler School of MusicTonight at 7:30 p.m. CST the University of Texas Jazz Orchestra will be live-streaming from the Bates Recital Hall in Austin, Texas.

The music will mostly be original compositions written by the students, including a piece by our own Musical Millennial, who is a sophomore majoring in Jazz Composition at UT. That’s him below at the piano, enjoying a laugh with the guitarist.

We’ll be there in person, and you can join us from anywhere in the world via the live stream. Click here and then follow the link, if you’re interested. The performances should be excellent, and you can’t beat the price (free). 😍

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Prof Hellmer Introduces
Professor Hellmer (at the microphone) is the best.

I’ll post the recording later when it is available. If you listen to the stream tonight, let us know!

© 2018, Glover Gardens

New Jazz Composition: “New Flame” (Awesome!)

Our musical millennial is at it again. Click below for his latest composition, New Flame, recorded at the November 17 performance of the University of Texas at Austin Jazz Orchestra, under the director of Department Head and Professor Jeffrey Hellmer.

Enjoy. (I think it is awesome.)

Composition copyright Thomas Wenglinski, 2017

 

Sunday Jazz Mass with Diane Schuur – Today in Austin

jazz-at-stjames-logo-1Glover Gardens readers and friends have heard about our musician in college studying jazz composition. More than once.  He’s a sophomore at the University of Texas in Austin’s Butler School of Music and is having a wonderful experience in a town that’s well-known for its vibrant music scene.  This weekend, he’s in one of the groups playing at the 23rd annual Jazz at St. James festival; the headliner is Diane Schuur. He’s a “side man” (on piano) in the John Mills Quintet (see Meet the Artists). This morning at 11:00, there’s a free Jazz Mass:

The Jazz Mass is a divine celebration of music and the spirit. Two-time Grammy award winner Diane Schuur will be singing and playing piano, joined by the St. James’ Episcopal Church Choir, John Mills, Joe Morales and others. It’s a church service with soul. Don’t miss it!”

Doesn’t that sound GREAT!? I wish I could be there. This is an amazing experience for my son, who will play again this morning at the mass. He was surprised to see his biography in the program when he arrived for the Friday night set.

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If you’re in Austin today, this might be a great way to start your Sunday.

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Poster and cover art from Jazz at St. James

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Jazz at St. James is sponsored by the Austin Jazz Society.  This sounds like a group I should join, post-haste!

 

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

New Appreciation for “Alternative Music”: Sleepyheart’s “Just Friends”

Dear readers, y’all know I love music -all kinds of music – but I’m the most partial to jazz that is composed or played by my son, our Musical Millennial. I’ve shared his stuff here fairly often, and there’s a ton more to come as he makes his way through the rest of his college career studying Jazz Composition at the University of Texas at Austin and gets out into the big world. Watch this space – he’s going places! (I’m his mom and I can say that, right?)

But my son’s is not the only millennial-made music we’re watching. Here’s another for you: Sleepyheart, the creation of Nathaniel James Goldblatt. We bought a copy of the CD a few weeks ago and I finally had a quiet moment to listen to it (see photo below with the cat).  I really like it! The music genre is “alternative,” which I’ve never really embraced as a category because it is so broad and vague, and I’ll admit, there’s just too much going on in the songs for me to feel anything but edgy. But wow, I must have that genre all wrong, because this music is very listenable and accessible, with meaningful lyrics and well-crafted melodies that are lilting in some places and contemplative in others. There is a balance of energetic layers of sound and quiet spaces with just guitar rhythms that give you time to let the meaning sink in. In other words: I like it! I have a new appreciation for alternative music.

Nathaniel Autographing CD
Nathaniel of Sleepyheart autographing our copy of the CD “Just Friends”

Check out a video of the song “Sorry” from Sleepyheart’s Facebook page and let me know what you think. (I think it’s lovely.)

 

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Photo from a recent gig at the hip and cool Root Cellar Bakery in San Marcos by Christian Hume Photography 

I listened to Just Friends again while writing this post, and realized that I should always listen to music when blogging. It really sets the mood. The CD was also very complementary to the mood the first time I listened to it, by the pool, in beautiful fall weather, with a glass of wine and a good book. And my cat Fiona.

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Check out Sleepyheart’s Just Friends EP online at:

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Our signed copy

Just a reminder – recommendations are my opinion only…the Glover Gardens Cookbook is a non-commercial enterprise and doesn’t do paid promotions.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Cover photo credits to Christian Hume Photography 

 

 

Coldplay: “Houston, you got to keep on keepin’ on”

Awesome, Coldplay. Just awesome.

In yesterdays post, How You Can Help Texas Right Now, I said:

Sometimes even the simplest expression of encouragement resonates and becomes a rallying cry.

Coldplay gave us a rallying cry, indeed! The band had to postpone last Friday night’s concert here in Houston because of Hurricane Harvey, and used their spare time to write a song for us, playing it last night in Miami.  The refrain ends with:

Houston, you got to keep on keeping’ on.

Watch it here:

The Lyrics

I’m dreamin’ of when I get back to Houston
I’m dreamin’ of that very special place.
I’m dreamin’ of when Houston has no problems
In that city where they send you into space.
I’m dreamin’ of when I get back to Texas
Corpus Christi, Harris County, Galveston.
There’s a harmony that bonds down there in Houston
Oh, Houston, you got to keep on keepin’ on.
From Miami, we are sending love to Houston
We’re praying that you make it through the rain.
I know nothing’s gonna break the will of Houston
Oh, how we can’t wait to go down there again.
I am dreamin’ of when I get back to Texas
Corpus Christi, Harris County, Galveston.
There’s a harmony that bonds down there in Houston
Oh, Houston you got to keep on keepin’ on.
Oh, Houston you got to keep on keepin’ on.
Yea, Houston got to keep on keepin’ on.

 

Awesome, just awesome.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

 ~ except for the Coldplay stuff and cover photo by Brent N. Clarke, Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP

New Jazz Composition, “A Modern Requiem” – a Tribute to a Wonderful Grandfather

Followers of this blog will have read about our last millennial in college, the young musician majoring in Jazz Composition at the University of Texas. I’d like to call Thomas the Glover Gardens resident composer, except that he won’t be in residence much longer because he heads to Austin for his sophomore year in just a couple of days. A prolific composer, Thomas has just completed another original and posted the recording on the streaming service Bandcamp.

This one is really lovely – evocative, thoughtful, pensive – and extra-special to me because he dedicated it to his late grandfather (my Dad). They were close, and my Dad was so very proud of my son’s musical talent.

I hope you’ll click and give it a listen.

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Thomas Frank Harvell and Thomas Wenglinski at Glover Gardens in the summer of 2016

There will be a lot more original jazz to come, and the posts below provide some of his previous compositions, if you just can’t wait.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

cover photo credit to Mallory Frenza

Jazz and Conversation for Your Listening Pleasure

Glover Gardens followers have by now realized that we have a millennial studying jazz composition in college.  Here’s another one of his originals, AustiNite, performed by the University of Texas at Austin’s extremely talented Spring 2017 Jazz Orchestra. It’s preceded by a cool interview about the tune and the creation process, all of which was used as part of a jazz appreciation course this semester.

Other Music from Our Prolific Millennial

Below is his newest digital album, And Then I Have Thoughts.

 

There’s more jazz and conversation in the posts below.  Stick around, there will be a lot more coming over the next few years.