Mark Achuff | Simple, Smooth & Sweet

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United States - California - LA

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz Easy Listening: Easy Pop Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Simple, Smooth & Sweet

by Mark Achuff

Nothing sounds nicer than vintage pop songs played smooth and sweet on the solo classical guitar.
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Nuages
3:33 $0.99
2. Our Love Is Here to Stay
2:52 album only
3. When You're Smiling
1:42 album only
4. Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans
3:00 $0.99
5. Pennies from Heaven
1:56 $0.99
6. Michelle
3:05 album only
7. Stairway to the Stars
3:01 album only
8. Manha De Carnival
3:17 album only
9. Desafinado
2:47 album only
10. Autumn Leaves
3:23 album only
11. As Time Goes By
2:28 album only
12. Estrellita
3:40 $0.99
13. I Love Lucy
1:43 album only
14. There Will Never Be Another You
1:39 album only
15. I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face
3:05 album only
16. On the Street Where You Live
2:41 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

I have always appreciated the popular music of the vintage years when the Great American Songbook was born. A great melody backed with rich, moving chromatic harmony will never grow old and will always attract new listeners. So it is with the Bossa Nova era and the Beatles era. These eras gave us many more “great ones” to enjoy. All of the pieces on this CD have a personal story and sweet memories intertwined in them. I love to play these pieces and let these songs just “remember when.”

Nuages (1940, Django Reinhardt) I had the good fortune to associate with Don Willeford, the sweetest jazz viola player the world has ever known. Don taught me this great song and I have cherished it ever since.

Our Love Is Here To Stay (1938, George Gershwin) I saw Steve & Eydie Gorme in concert with my folks. Their version of this Gershwin classic touched everyone in the house. I immediately got the music and now it’s one of my favorite piece to play… especially for my folks who love to sing along!

Stairway To The Stars (1939 –Matty Malneck and Frank Signorelli) On the day we graduated H.S, Rob and I scored tickets to the Chicago NAMM show. We found our way to the Gretch guitar area where a concert was about to begin featuring George Van Eps and his 7 string. GVE played this classic tune as his opening number and it now lives in the forefront of my best memories.

Michelle (Lennon & McCartney, 1966) This song uses nice chromatic jazz chords as a classy foundation to float one of the finest melodies of all time. Music of the Beatles made my high school days bearable and even fun!

Pennies From Heaven (1936, Arthur Johnston and Johnny Burke) When I heard my friend Bud Hedrick play this song on his ukulele, I stopped everything and set out to learn this nice tune. Thank you Bud!

Manha de Carnival (1959, Luis Bonfa) This beautiful samba melody from the
classic movie Orfeu Negro, launched the Bossa Nova era into the mainstream.
My father was the first in our community to have this LP sound track.
I still have Dad’s LP but most of the grooves are long gone. Thanks Dad!

Desafinado (1962, Antonio Carlos Jobim) So many Jobim classics to choose
from… but this is one of my all time favorites. Thanks Dad for introducing me
to the great Jobim at an early age in my formative years.

Autumn Leaves – (1945, Joseph Kosma) The original lyrics are in French and
Edith Piaf sang this as no else could. It quickly became a jazz and pop standard
that everyone has recorded. This arrangement is by Howard Heitmeyer.

There Will Never Be Another You – (1942, Harry Warren) My wife and I visited
New York city and went to a small club by Rockefeller Center. The entertainer
was a trumpet player and we had a nice booth. After a few number the trumpet
player said that last week Paul McCartney came in. He pointed to the very booth
that we were in. He said Paul got up and asked to play a song on the trumpet!
(Little known fact – Paul’s first instrument in school was the trumpet.) The song
Paul played that night was this one… perhaps he was thinking of the one and
only John Lennon. This song means even more to me since hearing this story.

When You’re Smiling (1929, Shay, Fisher, Goodwin) I have had to good fortune
to have known and played with some great pop vintage era musicians. All of
them said they love playing this tune! Thank you Verne Fiedler, Don Willeford
and Uncle Ross for helping spread the good news lesson in this song.

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans (1947, DeLange & Alter)
My #1 friend Rob Shoemaker and I visited N.O in our late teenage years and
yes – the good times rolled! Everyone who leaves misses New Orleans.

Estrellita (1912, Manual Ponce) Ponce was a classically trained composer from
Mexico and is one of the greatest of the 20th century. This beautiful melody
was conceived as a pop song for the romantic Spanish Bolero era. Ponce was
the first Mexican composer to project popular music onto the world stage.
"Estrellita" is now part of the repertoire of the main orchestras of the world.
This piece works nicely on the guitar and is a favorite of the classical guitar
repertoire. I was introduced to this piece by my teacher, Robert Vaught.

I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face & On The Street Where You Live (1956, Lerner & Loewe) My Grandma Louise took me to see a nice production of “My Fair Lady” in a great Chicago theatre. Ever since, these lovely melodies have been singing in my heart. Yes, you hear 2 guitars on the last piece… I play both parts. I love to imagine that I am playing the rhythm guitar part in the orchestra pit for the this beautiful Broadway musical.

I Love Lucy (1952, Daniel Elliot) This may be the most recognizable melody
on our planet earth. But I chose to do this cut as a ballad because that is the way that Lucy first heard this song when the lyrics were added. The TV show had Lucy thinking that everyone had forgotten and snuffed her birthday. But then the loving Ricky called Lucy up to the stage. He sang her this very personal and beautiful love song entitled “I Love Lucy.” I like to sing this one to my wife with the lyrics “I Love Donna.”




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