Bye Bye Blackbird 4:20 Wednesday Night Big Band Bye Bye Blackbird
When Sean and I were in high school our band director was Brian Thorlacius. He taught us a lot about music, including proper behaviour of serious musicians. He had a "pep band" that we played in, covering pop songs like ones by Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow. We didn’t like the "pep band", but now I can’t figure out why: we were playing brass covers of rock songs outdoors already more than 30 years ago. Perhaps the arrangements were a little lame, or maybe we didn’t respect old music when we were young.
Brian started the Wednesday Night Big Band, and I started subbing in it, eventually joining it. I’ve played in the WNBB for more than 20 years, so it was a natural recruiting ground. Kevin, Dana and I play in it, as did Marco and one of our previous drummers. We used to have Deanne Matley singing with the WNBB, and Deanne is one of my mentors on stage and show, and a great friend. She works hard at her music and always takes it seriously and understands how to put on an amazing show. We created a little spin-off group called “The Matley Crew” and did a few successful party shows at the Canmore Hotel, the Blind Beggar where she wore a little short Santa costume number and killed it, and the Rosedale Community Association. It was a blast, we all loved it so much. It made me realize I want to play music that people dance to and really communicate with the audience, like Deanne does, not just sing or play in front of them. It also sparked an interest in band leading, and arranging (Craig Johnson’s arrangements were critical in making The Matley Crew so awesome.) Deanne is a serious jazz singer now, but I’m 100% sure she could still kill it on the rock/pop songs if she wanted to. She won’t let me play the power pop live recordings I have of her because it interferes with her professional image as a polished jazz singer, but I can play this jazz song of her with the WNBB.
Craig Johnson arranged this song. We’ve recently collaborated him with our dPlus project
. Dave Prentice recorded this, he taught me much about recording and arranging. Not available on Apple Music or Spotify, listen on Soundcloud using the player to the left