Back to Part-Trackin'!

I'm back on the path toward having all of my catalog ready with Part Tracks by the start of the next school year (for my purposes, that's August 10th, when I do my big new charts promotion).  I got three more sets done last night:  Home, So Nice and Singing in the Rain/Umbrella.  I've got some time today to knock out a few more, so we'll see how many I can get done.  The current list of Part-Tracks-having tunes is:

April in Paris
Don't Be On the Outside
Don't you Worry Bout
Fly Me to the Moon
Hide and Seek
I Like the Sunrise
I Love You
In the Winelight
It Don't Mean a Thing
It's You
Just For Now
King of Pop
Little Sunflower
Mind Trick
More Than Words
Ordinary World
Scarborough Fair
Selfless, Cold and Composed
Sing a Song of Song
Slow Me Down
Someday My Prince
Star Spangled Banner
Virtual Insanity
Walk With Me, Lord
So Nice
Singing in the Rain Umbrella

New charts revealed on August 10th, 2010

Over twenty new vocal jazz arrangements and a few jazz ensemble charts will be added to the Kerry Marsh Vocal Jazz Catalog on Thursday, August 5th, just in time for back-to-school for the fall semester (tough to imagine right now, I know!).  I've hinted at a May new charts promotion, and then, more recently, a June 1st promotion, but I've decided to prioritize getting every element in line for the new school year before revealing all the exciting new stuff for the first time.  I'm aiming to have Part Tracks made for every chart in the catalog, brand new demos and some long-needed rewrites done on selected older charts and a new vocal jazz resources and materials section, all to be unveiled at once.  I don't want my loyal customers to grow weary of the mass emails I send each year, so I want to keep them to a minimum, and this plan is a step in that direction.

Back to our roots

Julia and I attended Pat Metheny's "Orchestrion" tour performance in Santa Cruz last night, and it was a hugely moving and significant experience for both of us.  The performance itself was emotional, well-paced, interesting and deeply, deeply musical.  Such an assessment would never really be surprising for a Metheny performance except that, on this tour, he's performing with an orchestra of robots.  The concept of what he's doing has been explained throughly elsewhere, so I won't go on about it here, but suffice to say that the performance was engaging from the first moments (during which he played a few beautiful solo guitar pieces) to the last (incorporating the highly technically complicated Orchestrion, which he could trigger live to sync with MIDI instructions from his guitar or cue preset passages and "scenes" using an array of pedals). 

It's hard to say that the highlight of the evening wasn't the music, but the opportunity for Julia and me to speak backstage with Pat after the concert (for about 30 minutes!) was a life experience neither my wife nor I will ever forget.  Here's the obligatory shot with the jazz superstar...

There will be much to say about this encounter later, I think, but we'll leave it this much for now.  Pat is a great guy, and he's generously complimentary of the two of us, which is one of those "I could die now" things, honestly.  His music has been such a huge influence over my writing and singing for the last 20 years, it's just hard to imagine where I'd be or what I'd be doing without that influence.  Julia, I know, would say as much for herself, too.

Critical Update

Here's a recap of what critics are saying about Dollison and Marsh, "Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider" (ArtistShare)

"Flawless and beautiful. Dollison's voice beautifully becomes the trumpets. Their sound completely captures Schneider's arrangements. A vocal tour de force."
ALL ABOUT JAZZ.COM, Larry Taylor (April 17, 2010)
"Fresh and distinctive, absolutely haunting." 4 out of 4 stars.
BUFFALO NEWS, Jeff Simon (April 11, 2010)
"With Vertical Voices, the talented contemporary singers demonstrate the implementation of jazz voice better than in any other form."
JAZZ O! NEWS, JLD (April 10, 2010)
"The result is pure heaven. Excellent for those midnight to first sunlight conversations."
ST. JOE NEWS-PRESS, Alonzo Weston (April 8, 2010)
"Successful beyond imagining, Vertical Voices is simply the strongest affirmation of the power of jazz singing that I've heard in a long, long time."
OTTAWA CITIZEN, Peter Hum (April 6, 2010)
"Simply astounding, absolutely stellar. Their work should garner a legion of new fans. The duo does Schneider’s work complete poetic justice."
SOUNDSOFTIMELESSJAZZ.COM, Paula Edelstein (March 31, 2010)
"As a fan of both wordless vocalese and Brazilian-flavored jazz, how could I not be swept up in Julia Dollison and Kerry Marsh's lush trills on "Vertical Voices, The Music of Maria Schneider?'"
PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, Jonathan Takiff (March 30, 2010)
"More than just a technical tour de force, this CD is a miracle of kaleidoscopically varied vocal color that provides an arresting new perspective on Schneider's musical genius."
ARTSJOURNAL.COM - TOP FIVE, Terry Teachout (March 28, 2010)
"Dollison and Marsh have accomplished the remarkable task of creating vocal renderings of Maria Schneider’s mesmerizing instrumental music." 
"A two-voice orchestra, an ambitious project, a novel new CD."
CAPITAL PUBLIC RADIO, Feature Arts Story, Paul Conley (March 15, 2010)
"Should you wonder whether Maria Schneider's compositions are singable, the answer is a resounding yes. Such a good idea!"
ALL ABOUT JAZZ, Suzanne Lorge (August 26, 2009)
"I'm with Schneider on this one. You have to give Dollison and Marsh full marks for their ambition, execution, commitment and musical taste."
OTTAWA CITIZEN, Peter Hum (August 26, 2009)
"Here's an opportunity to hear their remarkable vocal transformations." 
THE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF MUSIC, Don Heckman (August 26, 2009)


Generation Next

Julia and I have had a great week spending time in the L.A. area leading up to our current hang at the Monterey Next Generation Festival.  We're in the Portola Plaza Hotel, which hosts the festival. Junior High, High School and College instrumental and vocal jazz groups from all around the country submit audition recordings to be selected as finalists for this weekend's competition.  Sac State has both of our vocal jazz ensembles in the running for the college vocal jazz prize, which is a bit of money and a performance slot at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September.  The other college groups are killing...Mt. San Antonio College, Contra Costa College, Cuesta College and American River College, so it'll be a hip day tomorrow when we all perform. 

Today we'll be watching high school vocal jazz groups, for the most part, including Folsom's "A" choir, Orange Lutheran, L.A. County Performing Arts, Downey, and more great groups that have slipped my mind at the moment.  Also performing for the first time will be my Monterey County High School Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble; the same group that we'll be touring with in Japan this July. 

I'm going to be tweeting the events of the day as much as possible.  Find my on Twitter at "kerrymarsh."

A refreshing video-of-the-day...Pat Metheny's "First Circle."