Is for Airplanes B Is for Baseball C Is for Cats
In order to promote my newest album A is for Airplanes, B is for Baseball, C is for Cats..., I have decided to write about the music that influenced it's creation. ABC is an attempt to write songs from my perspective in the tradition of such great songwriters as Paul Simon and Randy Newman. I admire Simon's inquisitve searching in every project. His willingness to take risk. I admire Newman's exquisite and often deceptive craftsmanship. Behind his laid-back, rambling vocals and sharp wit is a musicianship of the first caliber from his compositional arrangements to the perfect vignettes of his character-driven songs. I also admire the great writers of the golden age of song like Hoagy Carmichael and George Gershwin, the wonderful bossa nova tunes of Antonio Carlos Jobim and even the extended, multi-measured melodies of Belle and Sebastian. I have listened a ton to the jazzy snark and studio perfection of Steely Dan, and of course to the ever-pervasive pop mastery of The Beatles and The Beach Boys. Then there is the Western classical tradition, which is the foundation of my concept of music. But this is an album of songs, not compositions. Still, Bach and his perfect musical architecture are always close - functional harmonic progression and solid part-writing are always relevant. And the extended harmonies and swing of jazz! -the solid foundation of song as a vehicle for spontaneous composition, breaking apart the bars of the musical staff (I love those lines, but hey, everything needs to be challenged). Charlie Parker and Scott Joplin made sweet, sweet music. I hope that this gives you a perspective on the record, and I really hope that you will be interested enough to listen. There are many different types of tunes, so if you have a minute, please check out two or three. Thank you! Steven Stark 08-2008.