STOMPER…is Rory all the way. It’s got his warmth and vitality.  The guy was so easy to like…and this tune seems to suit him with its open, loping swagger.

ZEEDIJK LULLABY/A winding street in Amsterdam’s old town, “the Zeedijk” ends near the Prinz Hendrik where I stayed…and where Chet Baker died.  The area’s a bit dark and winding.

MIND THE GAP is (was) the automated caution offered by an engaging woman’s voice at London TUBE stops with the opening of subway doors.  Literally mind the space separating the train from the platform when getting off. Listeners should “mind the gap” between the head and the solo in this tune because it stays in time.  The ”gap” may be this selection’s core element.

FOR YOU/ Flip Nuñez is a friend who lived and died in California, but his ashes are spread off the north coast of Oahu.  His handful of years in Hawaii during the 80s was the time we got acquainted as fellow pianists.  “For You” is his latest addition to my collection of Flip tunes, thanks to his daughter Dana.  Flip’s harmonic approach uses modal-block chords with subtle harmonic shifts using suspended (4th) voicings.  Another early mentor of this approach for me was Michigan pianist Eddie Russ.

(…the album starts its own shift here.)

THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU (VOCAL) introduces Angela, then high school senior, to recording again.  Maybe too much a “love” song for father’s taste, she first delivers the lyric rubato-style before swinging it up tempo and adding a bebop-crafted scat.  Angie included a version of this track in her college applications.

SONG FOR PATRICIA was written while I stayed on Sabang Beach in Puerto Galera just south of Manila in the Philippines during the early 80s.  Life stands still there…at least it did for me then.  I couldn’t handle the timelessness.  Young Patricia was already working 14 hour days at the restaurant of her family’s small lodge.  A few years later, she was married and raising a child.  Now I presume her kid’s older than mine.

THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE first came out my senior year in college at Lawrence in Wisconsin.  A lovely melody with rich harmonies underneath.  “Johnny (Mandel)…”, I never tire of this one.  Rory’ssympatico here is great.  Hear how he catches that two-beat accent near the end of the extended piano bossa solo.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE is one the trio played for a full house at Studio 6 one March night in ‘03 soon after US forces entered Iraq.  The prospects of war cast a grim pall that evening…again and as always as they should.

TRAVELS WITH MR. CHARLEY is for an guy I met in Kamloops, B.C. in the early 70s at a public campground while driving across Western Canada.  Charley didn’t hitchhike like the college kids but hopped trains to get around the country.  Claimed he could make a “coffee” drink out of dandelion roots.

MOON IN THE DAYTIME (VOCAL) is like a code for Angela and me.  We still sing this together (or apart) like when she was a kid seeing a midday moon.  Bonnie Gearheart added lyrics to this cheerful song.

        Serious listeners/musicians are invited to read special musicological comments in “liner notes.”

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