Blues For Jim
(Solo Piano) - Programme Notes
(2010; 5' 30")
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Blues For Jim was begun after watching several YouTube video performances by Jim Croce, a wonderful songwriter who died in an airplane crash in 1973, about two months after his biggest single, "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown", hit #1 on the American popular music charts. Other big hits of his were "Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)," "Time in a Bottle," and"I Got a Name."
I was sixteen when he died, and I used to play and sing lots of his songs, so his death hit me pretty hard. Fast forward thirty-seven years, and I happened to be watching some video performances of Croce and his musical collaborator Maury Muehleisen (who also died in the same plane crash) one day, amazed all over again at what great musicians they were, and lamenting their premature demise, and so I decided to try to express some of that in a tune.
What I wrote has no relationship to any of Croce's songs; I was just trying to express feelings about his music and life using my musical language. It doesn't use blues scales or chord progressions either... "Blues" in my title just refers to a mood.
I wrote this using Finale notation software, and the audio file above is a recording of Finale playing that file. It was not commissioned, and has not been performed yet (spring, 2012).
Visit MacJams.com to read a variety of comments from listeners on this composition.
©Clark Winslow Ross
Other works for piano by Clark Ross you might enjoy:
Dream Dance (A wild, virtuosic, perpetual motion joyride; 2007)
Domenico 1° & 2° (Two sonatas inspired by Scarlatti; 2009)
Last Dance (Juno nominated slow tango, called "haunting and beautiful" by Jon Kimura Parker; 1999)
Jennifer's Tune (A pretty tune (for piano and bass) for my wife; 2005)
Julia's Prelude (A pretty tune for my daughter, in the style of Schumann; 1996)
iPad Riff Recontextualized (Inspired by the music of an iPad commercial; 2010)
Keep on Truckin' (Boogie-woogie blues with a dash of Musorgsky in the middle; 2010)
Late Night Music (Jazz-inspired work for trumpet, piano, drum kit, and bass)