My Way

December 30, 1968: Frank Sinatra was recording My Way!

day 267

My Way is the power ballad of standards and this is one of my top 5 Sinatra favs. It seems to me that Sinatra did everything his way.

Well we are back home after 3 days in the Poconos. The city snow isn’t as pretty as the country snow,  but the country doesn’t have the 24 hour deli on the corner. It’s good to have both!

Last day of regular football. It’s a shame no NY teams made it but I’m enjoying rooting for the Redskins right now. Wish i could just stay on the couch but Dylan wants a ride down to the village and since I don’t have a good parking spot, why not?

anyway, here’s My Way (if it ever finishes uploading!)


I’ve Got A Crush On You

October 24, 1960 Frank Sinatra’s album Nice ‘N’ Easy hits #1!

i'm so tired i can't see

Spent the day working with some of the best and fiercest singers and musicians in the city.  Great day, great work, lots of it and I got nothing left!

I’m pretty ragged voiced in today’s video.  I looked through the songs on the Nice ‘n’ Easy album that hit #1 today and picked I’ve Got a Crush on You to do, but pretty much every song on that album is a winner!

Got a little more work to do right now and then it’s collapse time.

more tomorrow!



Mean to Me

October 7, 1950: CBS debuts The Frank Sinatra Show, a variety program!  (via

john malino

I had fun going out tonight with Claudia, Dylan and my niece Heather.  We went to a little jazz club, The Turning Point, in Piermont NY for my buddy John Malino‘s CD release party and performance.  I had played a song on the record so I played that song tonight with the band, sitting in on Mean to Me, a good old standard that Frank Sinatra sang and recorded. I also like Ella Fitzgerald’s version.

So tonight my video was live, sitting in with the John Malino Band. Lots of fun!

I was a little worried I would miss the playoff game between the Yankees and the Orioles but it was rain delayed so got home just in time for first pitch. GO YANKEES!

Tomorrow we will record Elle Winter and Sam Tsui doing a mashup for a new YouTube video!  So keep a lookout for that.

Here’s Mean to Me!

Fly Me to the Moon

October 6, 1985 Nelson Riddle died.

day 183

Orchestrator, arranger, composer, bandleader Nelson Riddle conducted the Inaugural Presidential Gala that Frank Sinatra hosted in 1985.  Guess what one of the tunes Sinatra sang was?

Fly Me to the Moon!

Well, it’s Saturday night and for lots of normal people that means date night or going out to a show with wife all dressed up night…

Well I’M sort of dressed up in my tux but I’m at a gig and Claudia’s home.  She knew when she married me more than 28 years ago that I would be out working on Saturday nights.  She says, “Have fun and drive safely,” and she packs up sandwiches and snacks for the drive.  So all’s good!

Except for the fact that I forgot my belt and my tux pants keep falling down.  Oh, hey…look at that shrimp!  THAT’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

I learned jazz arranging from Manny Albam and we would always refer back to Nelson Riddle’s arrangements. I love his treatments of all the jazz standards.

Here’s my version of Fly Me to the Moon!

Strangers in the Night

July 2, 1966 Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night hits #1!

day 87

This song is such a club date song from my past. Now club dates are the weddings and parties on the weekends that all musicians are hired to play. On the west coast they call them socials.  In the new lingo, artists who sing these kind of  songs  — like Strangers in the Night — call them The Great American Songbook.  In the old days we just called them standards.

One of the first teachers to teach me jazz was John Solo.  His real last name was a long Italian name I can’t remember, but he was the hot club date guy who knew every tune in every key and taught his students how to play left hand bass which was common in those days. Save the money not getting a bass player and add another horn player instead.

On club dates nowadays you might play a couple of standards at the cocktail hour but you better know the new hit song, for example “Call Me Maybe.” Funny thing is this new hip song has the same chords as old standards like In the Still of the Night and You Send Me.  It’s just a different beat. Music is music. It keeps changing but when you strip it down it’s always going to be melody  and chords.

I remember playing with Jaco Pastorious in Sweetwaters and someone came up to talk to him while we were playing and he screamed at them, “Hey mother fu—er, this aint no SOCIAL!”

strangers in the night