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The Kim Portnoy Jazz Orchestra | Wash Away the Dust of Everyday Life

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Wash Away the Dust of Everyday Life

by The Kim Portnoy Jazz Orchestra

Energetic, witty, and imaginative compositions for jazz orchestra - played by the finest of St. Louis' jazz musicians.
Genre: Jazz: Big Band
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  Song Share Time Download
1. King Portnoy Stomp
7:36 album only
2. Take My Waltz Please
5:11 album only
3. We Fell Up
7:03 album only
4. Haunts Me
5:41 album only
5. Blues For Anton
4:19 album only
6. Wash Away the Dust of Everyday Life
6:42 album only
7. Open Up Your Heart
7:39 album only
8. Watch and Wait
11:55 album only
9. Peek-a-Boo
9:21 album only
10. Scattered
5:37 album only


Album Notes
Wash Away the Dust of Everyday Life
The music on this CD was recorded on June 11 and 12, 1997 at the Center of Contemporary Arts, St. Louis in front of a live audience. There has been no overdubbing or editing.

The Kim Portnoy Jazz Orchestra:

Kim Portnoy
composer, arranger, pianist
Mike Karpowicz
soprano and alto saxes, piccolo, flute, clarinet
Paul DeMarinis
soprano, alto and tenor saxes, flute, clarinet
Robert Hughes
soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet
Linda Presgrave
Paul Hecht
trumpet, flugelhorn
Randall Holmes
trumpet, flugelhorn
Brett Stamps
Jim Martin
bass trombone
Tom Byrne
Ric Vice
electric and acoustic bass
Kevin Gianino


The first selection, King Portnoy Stomp, is my tribute to the great gambler, poolshark and man about town, Jelly Roll Morton. He also happened to be a great jazz pianist, composer, and the father of jazz arranging. Hopefully he would have appreciated this amalgam of rock, dixieland and New Orleans street beat.
Soloists: Brett Stamps, trombone
Kim Portnoy, piano
Paul DeMarinis, soprano saxophone
Take My Waltz...Please was inspired by the late comedian Henny Youngman who once
insulted me with a one-liner while I was accompanying his show. (Actually, I thought of it as more of an anointment.) "My pianist" Youngman quipped, "had a charisma transplant...it didn't take". This piece is my rejoinder, a jazz waltz with a bit of a limp.
Soloists: Paul DeMarinis, soprano saxophone
Brett Stamps, trombone
According to family lore my late Grandfather Portnoy had a gift for telling a tale and turning a phrase. We Fell Up was inspired by his version of the Exodus story. The Portnoy Exodus story: It seems that during their escape from Czarist Russia, the Portnoys had to make their way through Belgium where they encountered something they had not previously experienced in their home town ...sidewalks! As my grandfather told it "when the side walk ended at the street we fell down, and when we got to the sidewalk on the opposite side. . . we fell up. !"
Soloists: Paul DeMarinis, tenor saxophone
Kim Portnoy, piano

Haunts Me, a ballad, is a fluglehorn feature scored for a smaller "chamber jazz" ensemble.
Soloists: Randall Holmes, flugelhorn
Kim Portnoy, piano

In the 1920's the composer Arnold Schoenberg developed his 12 tone system of musical composition. This system did away with melody and harmony as we know it and often resulted in dissonant, angst-ridden music. Anton Webern, Schoenberg's brilliant student, rather liked that sort of thing and so began to compose his own 12 tone music. As you might expect this music has never become wildly popular. I attribute that to the fact that Webern never heard Chuck Berry and did not play the electric guitar. Had he done so, his music would probably have sounded like Blues for Anton.
Soloists: Tom Byrne, guitar
KIm Portnoy, piano

Art Blakey's oft-quoted creed that music should "Wash Away the Dust of Everyday Life" was made deed in the ebulliant, life-affirming music of his Jazz Messengers. I hope that this tribute to Blakey, employing his characteristic "shuffle" rhythm, will help the listener clear a few of the cobwebs, dust mites and other accretions that accumulate in the course of "everyday life".
Soloists: Brett Stamps, trombone
Randall Holmes, trumpet
Paul DeMarinis, tenor saxophone
Open Up Your Heart is a contemporary pop/jazz ballad that takes its time getting to the " hook". It is my first and unintentional contribution to that dubious catagory -"soft jazz".
Soloist: Tom Byrne, guitar

Watch and Wait is a multi-sectional work that journeys into some darker emotional realms. It reflects my long standing interest in composing extended works in a jazz idiom and my desire to use the phrase "extended works in a jazz idiom" in these liner notes.
Soloists: Kim Portnoy, piano
Paul DeMarinis, clarinet
Michael Karpowicz, alto saxophone
Composers of 20th century "classical" music are often chasing the next "new thing".
One favorite trend in the 60's was minimalism, in which pieces of great length were created by repeating short musical "motifs" over and over again with slight, gradual changes. The effect of listening to this music was likened by some to listening to the hum of one's refrigerator. Since I happen to like listening to my refrigerator (and following already out of date trends) I composed my first minimalist work: Peek-a-Boo. I hope this will inspire people everywhere to listen for the music in their household appliances.
Soloists: Paul DeMarinis, tenor saxophone
Randall Holmes, trumpet
Scattered is an orignal melody composed to fit the harmonies of George Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm". Since 1930 these harmonies have provided a creative vehicle for just about every jazz musician/composer who ever owned an instrument (or a pencil). Since I own both I decided to try my hand at it. Note: Often "rhythm changes" tend to be played fast and loud. The tradition continues!
Soloists: Mike Karpowicz, alto saxophone
Randall Holmes, trumpet
Kevin Gianino, drums

All music composed and arranged by Kim Portnoy and published by WE FELL UP MUSIC/BMI

Review -Kim Portnoy Jazz Orchestra | We Fell Up Music
By Jack Bowers (www.allaboutjazz.com)

St. Louis–based pianist Kim Portnoy’s picturesque big–band date is much more fun than its meditative title implies. It was drummer Art Blakey who said music should “wash away the dust of everyday life,” and Portnoy’s shuffling title selection, which swings merrily along in the finest Jazz Messengers tradition, is dedicated to Blakey. Other dedicatees include Jelly Roll Morton (the playful “King Portnoy Stomp”), comedian Henny Youngman (“Take My Waltz. . .Please”), composer Anton Webern (“Blues for Anton,” based on the Webern/Schoenberg 12–tone model), George Gershwin (“Scattered,” which employs the harmonies of “I Got Rhythm”) and Kim’s late Grandfather Portnoy, a legendary story–teller who said that when the Portnoy family escaped from Czarist Russia to Belgium and encountered sidewalks for the first time, they fell down, and on reaching the other side of the street, “We Fell Up” (their misfortune, but a wonderful song title). Portnoy composed and arranged these and everythin g else on the disc including “Haunts Me,” a ballad for chamber Jazz orchestra and flugelhornist Randall Holmes; the dark–textured and multi–sectional “Watch and Wait,” the pop/Jazz ballad “Open Up Your Heart” (think “Jazz lite” radio) and a much–brighter–than–anticipated flirtation with orchestral minimalism, “Peek–a–Boo.” Besides Holmes and Portnoy, the enterprising soloists include trombonist Stamps, saxophonist/clarinetist Demarinis (who plays alto, not tenor as listed, on “Peek–a–Boo”), alto Karpowicz and guitarist Byrne. While much of the music is serious in its intent, it is always leavened with humor; as Portnoy writes of “Watch and Wait” — “It reflects my long–standing interest in composing extended works in a Jazz idiom and my desire to use the phrase ‘extended works in a Jazz idiom’ in these liner notes.” Wish I’d written that. But good as he is with words, Portnoy is even better with music, writing colorful and persuasive charts (several of which were recorded in co! ncert) that are consistently engaging and help make his radiant debut album well worth one’s consideration.
Track listing: King Portnoy Stomp; Take My Waltz Please; We Fell Up; Haunts Me; Blues for Anton; Wash Away the Dust of Everyday Life; Open Up Your Hearts; Watch and Wait; Peek–a–Boo; Scattered (71:04).


Kim Portnoy, composer, arranger, pianist; Mike Karpowicz, soprano, alto saxes, piccolo, flute, clarinet; Paul Demarinis, soprano, alto, tenor saxes, flute, clarinet; Robert Hughes, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone saxes, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet; Linda Presgrave, horn; Paul Hecht, Randall Holmes, trumpet, flugelhorn; Brett Stamps, trombone; Jim Martin, bass trombone; Tom Byrne, guitars; Ric Vice, electric and acoustic bass; Kevin Gianino, drums.



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