More on Mayerl

6th February 2012 | Daily Life, Inspirations | 0 comments

Thanks, everyone, for your feedback about Billy Mayerl. Thank you also to those who opened my eyes to ‘wave forms’ and YouTube channels and  iTunes issues, and to options for self-publishing one’s recordings that I hadn’t known about. Food for thought! I’ll definitely get going with my recording project next month when I have a bit more time.

In the meantime I’ve been looking through my slightly chaotic archive of pieces by Billy Mayerl, to see if there were any I’d forgotten about. Many of the pieces were posted to me years ago by people who thought I might be interested in learning a particular piece long out of print. Mayerl’s later pieces are intriguing. There seems to come a point when, for better or worse, he abandons the cheery ‘syncopated style’ which was his trademark and takes to writing in a kind of early-Debussy style of smoothly flowing quavers and semiquavers. These later pieces have their own charm, but they lack the bite and crunch of his earlier, jazzier numbers. As a pianist, though, I can certainly understand that one might get fed up with writing the kind of ‘Oom-CHAH, oom-CHAH’ jumping bass lines which characterise those pieces and give the pianist’s left wrist such a brutal workout. Oh boy, do I still remember what that felt like when I made the ‘Loose Elbows’ disc!


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