Category Archives: Performance

Shawn Maxwell’s Expectation and Experience album

Shawn Maxwell is an amazing saxophonist and composer based in Chicago and his new record comes out on FRIDAY! We met back in 2000 on a cruise ship and have kept in touch over the years. He wrote 17 pieces and sent them to 30 musicians to record at home. I played on “Breathe”, a piece he wrote in memory of George Floyd. he sent me a lead sheet and the saxophone part and encouraged me to play whatever I felt. I am really happy with how it turned out and the record is really wonderful. Nick Eipers did a phenomenal job mixing this project. Check it out Shawn’s Bandcamp page!

Random Songs I Like #15 – Ladies in Mercedes

Random Songs I Like Week #15.  This is a brilliant composition by jazz bassist and composer Steve Swallow, with hysterical lyrics by British jazz vocalist Norma Winstone.  This song has always resonated with me, since I moved to the Uber-fancy Upper East Side of Manhattan.  This is the performance that I captured on my 2019 album Solo Sessions Volume 1.  Buy the album here:  https://brendaearlestokes.bandcamp.com

Random Songs I Like #14 – Ooh Baby Baby

Random Songs I Like Week #14!  (For this series I will be posting a new song every week from every imaginable style and genre.  The only criteria is that I need to like it!)This is a sexy classic by the exquisite Smokey Robinson.  He first recorded this in 1965 with his group The Miracles and it has been a huge hit ever since.

Random Songs I Like #13 – Shower the People by James Taylor

Random Songs I Like Week #13! (For this series, I will be posting a new song every week from every imaginable style and genre.  The only criteria is that I need to like it!)

This is a perfectly wonderful, cozy song written by James Taylor. How could you not love this amazing piece!?!?

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Random Songs I Like #12 – The Glory of Love

For this series, I will be posting a new song every week from every imaginable style and genre.  The online criteria is that I need to like it. 

Random Songs I Like Week #12!  This song, sung by Bette Midler in the movie Beaches was written in 1936 and originally recorded by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra.  This song has always had a special place in my heart from the ugly-crying part of Beaches, where Bette has to bury her best friend (played by Barbara Hershey.). Excuse me while I sob into my pillow…

 

Random Songs I Like #11 – Lucky Now

For this series, I will be posting a new song every week from every imaginable style and genre.  The only criteria is that I need to like it. 

I have been a longtime Ryan Adams fan, since his days as the frontman of Alt-Country band Whiskeytown.  This song, like many of his, captures the feeling of longing and the bittersweet feelings of being in love.

 

Random Songs I Like #10 – Photograph

For this series, I will be posting a new song every week from every imaginable style and genre.  The only criteria is that I need to like it!

Random Songs I Like Week #10 is a gorgeous Bossa Nova by Brazilian master Antonio Carlos Jobim with English lyrics by Ray Gilbert.

Want to learn how to play a Bossa Nova?  Check out my online course Jazz Piano Accompaniment, where I will teach you how to play authentic jazz piano!

Sight Read Better…FAST!

Sight reading is a thorn in everyone’s side and something that nearly every student I have come across has needed more help with.  In this video I tackle the #1 problem that keeps people from being able to sight read effectively.  Hint:  it’s all about intervals.

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Random Songs I Like #9 – The Endless Wait

For this series, I will be posting a new song every week from every imaginable style and genre.  The only criteria is that I need to like it!

“How could someone that has not even been born assemble generations of people with his tiny heartbeat?” The Endless Wait is an original song I wrote  as part of a The Motherhood Project song cycle called, which documents her experience mothering in the 21st Century.  This song was written about my pregnancy and the myriad of thoughts and visions that consumed her while she was carrying her son.

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Random Songs I Like #8 – Midnight Sky

For this series, I will be posting a new song every week from every imaginable style and genre.  The only criteria is that I need to like it!

Another song in my #RandomSongsILike series, this is such an addictive song to listen to.  Miley was heavily inspired by the Stevie Nicks song “Edge of Seventeen”, which is another awesomely addictive song.  I wanted to try some piano fireworks on this one to match the crazy intensity of the song and all the vocal belting.  Let me know if you dig it!

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