Jazz for Your Sunday Listening Pleasure: The Fool of October

February 9, 2020

Jazz for Your Sunday Listening Pleasure: The Fool of October


Hello Glover Gardens peeps, here’s another new jazz composition from my son, Thomas Wenglinski (AKA the Musical Millennial). It’s a slow, emotive beauty that’s a little different from some his previous compositions that I’ve shared with you here.

The Fool of October

Click to check out the recording.

I’m his mom, so of course I’m biased, but I still feel compelled to say that I really, really love this tune. It feels like turning the pages of an old scrapbook you haven’t seen for years, conjuring the haunting, poignant melancholy of memories.

What the Composer Had to Say About It

The notes Thomas provided in YouTube about the piece give a little insight into the inspiration for the style of The Fool of October:

Over the past several years, I've become increasingly fascinated with the soul music of the early/mid 1970s, most notably songwriters and arrangers/producers of the era such as Gamble & Huff, Thom Bell, and McFadden & Whitehead. While their influence has no doubt bled into both my playing and writing subconsciously over this time, "The Fool of October" is, in many respects, a direct homage to the style.

As always, I owe a great deal of thanks to the UT Jazz Orchestra for making it sound like music - especially my director and professor Jeff Hellmer, and fellow soloist Ethan Lord, who tore these chord changes apart!

You can also hear/watch this video (as well as previous original works for and with the UTJO) on my YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/kMa8otl6hvg !

Top-Notch Performance

The performance of The Fool of October is fabulous. What a great ride Thomas has had at the University of Texas in the Jazz Orchestra, playing alongside such talented musicians, many of whom have been graduate students.

A highly talented Jazz Orchestra led by Professor Jeff Helmer
The rest of the rhythm section are grad students

The faculty is also top notch – they are very accomplished musicians. The head of the jazz department and piano professor is Jeff Hellmer, and the jazz composition professor is Dr. John Mills. These men have guided Thomas through a wonderful and challenging jazz and compositional growth experience.

Perfectly Occurring

At UT in 2016 during the whirlwind time of applications, auditions and evaluating scholarship offers

We didn’t know back in late 2015 when Thomas was applying to study jazz at ten universities across the country that the right one – and the one with the best scholarship 😊 – would be right here in Texas. I have a friend at work who says, “Life is perfectly occurring,” and I have to agree with her.

Exciting Decisions in the Near Future

I appreciate all of you who have accompanied me in this parent-of-an-undergrad-jazz-musician journey – both here in the blog and in my personal life. He’s a senior now, and the next step for him is grad school, to study jazz piano performance or jazz composition. Auditions are happening now, with eight schools across the country in the running for his decision (and theirs). It’s exciting but I also just want to know…where will he be come August 2020? Wherever it is, you’ll see it here in the pages of Glover Gardens, and I’ll share the music, too.

© 2020, Glover Gardens

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