It’s amazing what can be made from the most humble materials. In the beginning, there was clay. For after dinner, there’s flour, eggs, butter, and sugar. And, maybe, some chocolate chips. For jingles and TV themes, there’s Aaron Neville. M-i-c. See you real soon. K-e-y. Why? You know why! Or, there are big band arrangements of Meet the Flintstones that really swing. In addition, there are any number of re-workings of a familiar theme. That’s what interpretation and improvisation are all about.
This is one of my favorites. It becomes something so distant and distinct from the original (an overwhelmingly insipid-seeming tune) and demonstrates that imagination and feeling can make anything compelling and beautiful. It brings to mind the accompanying lyric that zeroes in on childhood insecurity and a surreal understanding of the world. The effect of all this is nostalgic and beautiful.
Bill Carrothers is a piano player from the Midwest, who spent some years in Minneapolis adding to that city’s rich musical tradition. He has said that he and his trio “try to play like it’s our last night on earth.” That’s the kind of attitude that brings about surprise, meaning, and fun. When he’s not on the road, he lives in the middle of nowhere in Michigan’s Upper Penisula with his family. He also says “Music is a very important part of my life, but it’s just a piece of the pie, not the whole pie.” This is a guy who has played well with a lot of others and, from looking at his website (http://www.carrothers.com), it seems that he, sensibly, has always been and always will be playing.
Wiener Mood is from his 2008 album, Playday. Oscar clearly never imagined anything like this.