Ain’t Got Nothin’ But the Blues (ok, my face is red..)

Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit the details behind this recording. Here’s the story:
    I worked for a year or so with a nice local band in Central PA just before I moved for good to Israel. Think we might’ve made all of $1000/man in the whole career. Anyway, this song was brought in by the singer/lead guitarist. He might have mentioned that it was ‘by Robin Ford’, I don’t know, I was too busy packing to ask. He played it once through on guitar, I grabbed the chords by ear and that was it. I was on Hammond B-3 and various other keyboards, and we put it on a demo-tape I recorded for our ‘orchestra’. The demo might’ve been what got us a gig at the Dew-Drop Inn in Hellam, I never asked.
I loved the chords to the point where I took home the master and added five(5) horn parts. Never told anybody about it. So I just recently found the cassette in a box of letters from my Mom.
In those days there was no Internet, and so only today do I discover the real deal: that it was written by Duke Ellington, recorded by Rosemary Clooney, Sarah Vaugh, Ella Fitzgerald, and who know who else.
Duh, this is the stuff a grown man is supposed to know. *blushes in 12 keys*
I might have mentioned here spending an hour or so once at the piano with Duke Ellington. We had time to kill before a show and he was writing a new song. I remember his pony-tail, but more, the exquisite humility and concentration in the ‘now’. He asked me to play the theme he was working on, after he ran it through once. I used my own chords, and watched him smile, smirk, then smile at every change. Still not sure what he thought, but I certainly knew I was in the presence of an evolved soul, fame being well beside the point.
Enough text. Listen to the song, it’s short and sweet. And rest in peace, Mr Ellington. I didn’t know it was one of yours.


9 thoughts on “Ain’t Got Nothin’ But the Blues (ok, my face is red..)

  1. AOK4WAY

    Oh my gosh J, talk about bragging rights! I’m putting you on a write-in ballot for prez, please be back in time for the next election! Loved the tune, solid all the way around. The arrangement is brilliant, and the orchestration is perfect. I can’t imaginer it without the horn section. Major major kudos, friend. Peace

  2. jsolberg

    @AOK4WAY – Thanks so much for listening and the effusive compliments. I always felt, when we performed it (as a quintet) that it lacked *something* which is why I did the quick horn charts. /Lots of similar/different (original)songs here on ‘Audio. Enjoy. As to presidential aspirations, I do have an official US residence and passport, but I really only ever visit the place. And I’d be a perfect target for charges of dual-loyalty, to the point of ‘no-brain’ unelectability.

  3. AOK4WAY

    @jsolberg – Frankly, I think dual loyalty would be seen as being far superior to what is available to us here today. 1/2 is better than nuthin’. I’ll be sure to explore your audio uploads! Peace, friend.

  4. jsolberg

    @dirtbubble –  Thanks, also for the Rec. Posting audio here is often disheartening; just as with your stellar music-crit writing. Maybe folks feel un-prepared to comment. Still, as I may have mentioned, neither is on-stage performing a total win for the ego. Groupies assist, but it’s just not the same, ha.


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