Aug 12

Pennies from Heaven (part of Happy Jazz Medley)

“Pennies from Heaven” is a 1936 popular song with music by Arthur Johnston and lyrics by Johnny Burke. It was recorded by Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Doris Day, Jimmy Dorsey & his Orchestra, Tony Bennett, Dinah Washington, and many others. Interesting story: I once found myself in Stevie Wonder’s studio (that’s another story) and he asked me to play something on the piano.  Well, the first thing that happened to come to mind was this song, so I somewhat nervously sat down and started playing.  Suddenly, Stevie nudged me over a little on the bench and sat down on my right.  I continued to comp chords on the left, and he started doing a jazz improvisation on the melody. What really blew me away (besides playing with Stevie!) was that he was doing a complex and intricate jazz improvisation with his left hand!! That’s probably why he sticks to music and I stick to surgery!

Bosendorfer piano sound – For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I’ve ever owned!!