Le Ballon Rouge by The Musical Millennial, for Your Listening Pleasure

Song Cover for Le Ballon Rouge by Thomas Wenglinski

The Musical Millennial has written, recorded and released a new single, a tune that was inspired by the 1956 film, Le Ballon Rouge, or The Red Balloon. The film was written, directed and produced by French cinematographer Albert Lamorisse.

It All Started in About 2002, Thanks to Aunt Julie

While the Musical Millennial is now a junior in college studying jazz composition at The University of Texas, we watched the film together when he was a small child, and he was transfixed. Which means, of course, we watched it many times. (If you’ve ever had a small child, you understand.) Luckily, this 35-minute film is worth watching multiple times, so I renew my thanks to his Aunt Julie for sending it as a Christmas gift.

Song Cover for Le Ballon Rouge by Thomas Wenglinski
Song cover art for Le Ballon Rouge

Le Ballon Rouge has the Approval of Mom the Critic – I Love It

I really love this tune! Big surprise, I know: he’s my kid, of course I do. I like everything he does (mostly; I was actually too honest when he was tiny and “wrote” tunes by assembling pre-recorded tracks from Garage Band that I didn’t care for…there may have been tears). Le Ballon Rouge is avant-garde and thoughtful, and it may be the first song he’s ever created with lyrics. It’s definitely the first time I’ve heard him sing since choir in 4th grade. (I couldn’t really hear him then, actually. He was ‘in the chorus’. You know what that means.)

Announcing Le Ballon Rouge

Here’s what the Musical Millennial said on Instragram to announce the release of Le Ballon Rouge:

happy new year everybody!! we made it to 2019!!
my new single “le ballon rouge” is now available everywhere online!!
.
this single was inspired by 1) the need to get over a ripping stress headache i was battling at the time the original groove/theme came into my head and 2) my recent rediscovery of albert lamorisse’s 1956 film of the same name. i’m honored to share it with you, and i hope you enjoy it as much as i enjoyed recording it!!
.
(again, special thanks to @_justinebel for the seriously killing cover art!!)
#newmusic2019 #pickupjazz

From the Musical Millennial’s Instagram (thomascwenglinski

The Lyrics

Aunt Julie, the giver of Le Ballon Rouge, is the poet Julie Wenglinski; it is so fitting that her gift inspired the Musical Millennial to write a song with lyrics 15+ years later. I think it reads like a poem, and you can hear the childhood memories combined with the contemporaneous experience (the headache) he described in Instagram in the lyrics (below).

I’ve got my own 
One red balloon
Thanks Lamorisse
You gave me peace
I was so lost
Broken and crossed (but now)
I’ve got my own
One red balloon

I’ve got my own
One red balloon
Far in the past 
Memories amassed
It’s mine to stay
If just today
I’ve got my own
One red balloon

Listen to Le Ballon Rouge Now

How can you hear it Le Ballon Rouge? (You want to, I know you do.)

Stream on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0xapOUO2B2nfhkDxAptXlY?nd=1
Buy on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/le-ballon-rouge-single/1448048942
Stream on Amazon Music:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MKSCSST
Stream on Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/le-ballon-rouge-single/1448048942?uo=4&app=apple+music
Buy/Stream on Google Play:https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Thomas_Wenglinski_Le_Ballon_Rouge?id=B3bqifemo4wyf3xnmzul5nk2uiy

The Movie that Inspired It

And what about the film? Like my son, the New York Times still loves this children’s film that won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay; check out this review from YouTube. Warning: it will make you want to watch! Amazon has it here.


© 2019 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)

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 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.

A Little More Music for a Sunday Evening: Freedom of Expression by Thomas Wenglinski

This is becoming a thing, posting my son’s music.  I’ll probably need a better title  for the series than “A Little More Music…” since the kid will be composing and performing jazz to share with the world for years to come.

Here’s his latest, Freedom of Expression.  It is written in “a variety of key centers to illustrate the same theme in different, fluid ways”, he says.  (I think that’s musician-speak for “I got creative”.)

Performed by the University of Texas Spring 2017 Jazz Ensemble on March 2, with the (shaky) video captured by yours truly, here is Freedom of Expression, for your Sunday evening listening pleasure.

Other Music from Our Prolific Millennial

 

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook (except the music, of course, which belongs entirely to Thomas Wenglinski)

My Funny Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day! My “gift” to you is a reminder and a few versions of the wonderful classic from the American jazz songbook, My Funny Valentine. I just love this song by Rodgers and Hart, and it has been recorded beautifully by so many marvelous singers.

One of my favorites is the Frank Sinatra version from his first album with Nelson Riddle.

Another of my favorites is Chet Baker’s haunting rendition.  This one is in the Library of Congress National Registry of Recordings for its cultural heritage and historical significance.

And let’s wrap it up with another classic version by Ella Fitzgerald, with an intro not included in the others.

In talking with my son who is majoring in Jazz Composition and plays a mean piano, he suggested that any post such as this should definitely include the performance by Bill Evans and Ray Hall.  It’s a lovely instrumental that really does the tune justice.

Lyrics

My funny Valentine, sweet comic Valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable, un-photographable
Yet, you’re my favourite work of art

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?

But don’t change your hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay
Each day is Valentines day

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?

But don’t change your hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay
Each day is Valentines day

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Happy Valentine’s Day, to my own special valentine, and everyone out there.  Love of all kinds is a beautiful thing to celebrate.

Still More Music for a Sunday Evening: “Like Poppies”

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It’s that time again!  I’ve got some new music to share with you.

My son is a jazz composition major on scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music and is writing new songs almost daily.  Really.  What a great program they have!  If your kid is planning to major in music, put the University of Texas on your list of schools to check out.  The experience my son is having is challenging, diverse, culturally rich, creative, and of course, educational.

“Like Poppies”

And so, f at Bates Recital Hall on December 1st, 2016, under the direction of Ross Margitza.

There’s More

Watch this space!  I’ll be sharing lots more original jazz.  (I’m not proud or anything…)

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook