Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown | Lessons Lyrical

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Lessons Lyrical

by Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown

"In their own sweet way, Petra and Andy create intimate, compelling stories, each with a gently swinging heartbeat." -Jazz Lives
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Speak Low
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
5:06 $0.99
2. Save Your Sorrow for Tomorrow
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
2:08 $0.99
3. Cest la vie
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
3:08 $0.99
4. Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
4:08 $0.99
5. Bali Hai
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
4:46 $0.99
6. Slow Poke
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
2:34 $0.99
7. When the World Was Young
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
4:20 $0.99
8. Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
4:20 $0.99
9. A Time for Love
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
5:22 $0.99
10. Doctor Jazz
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
3:03 $0.99
11. You're Blase
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
4:19 $0.99
12. Who Cares
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
3:39 $0.99
13. Try to Remember
Petra van Nuis
3:49 $0.99
14. Simple Isn't Easy
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
1:56 $0.99
15. Peter Had a Wolf
Petra Van Nuis & Andy Brown
2:06 $0.99
16. I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
2:15 $0.99
17. You Must Believe in Spring
Petra van Nuis & Andy Brown
5:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

There's a line in the Gus Kahn biopic “I'll See You in My Dreams” that sums up the effective formula for writing romantic Tin Pan Alley tunes. Doris Day, portraying the lovely lady friend of the young struggling lyricist Kahn, gives him this sensible advice: All you've got to do is learn to say “I love you” in 32 bars.

The bulk of our most beloved Great American Songbook material fits this classic mold. At first glance many of the songs we chose for this recording do as well, yet their subtext seems to have a deeper meaning and lessons lyrical abound!

Because Andy and I are married self-employed musicians, uncertainties are plentiful. Balancing practicality and creativity is an ongoing challenge. We strive both to keep the gig/make a living and also to improve musically while connecting with ourselves, other musicians, and listeners. Playing jazz music requires blocking out distractions and embracing the moment with openness and acceptance of whatever presents itself. It also requires a sense of humor (this explains why many jazz musicians are such cut ups).

These and other principles of surrender, humility, intuition, mindfulness, simplicity, positivity, and holding onto our childlike innocence were taught to us by our musical elders both directly and indirectly.

We hope you enjoy this collection of songs selected to represent these ideals through the extraction of meaningful lyrical interpretations:

SPEAK LOW composed by Kurt Weill features poignant lyrics by poet Ogden Nash about enjoying the moment during our brief time on earth.

SAVE YOUR SORROW FOR TOMORROW is a tune from the 1920s about the virtue of keeping an optimistic attitude. It is the best procrastination song ever!

C'EST LA VIE is a novelty number involving a love triangle. Instead of becoming upset, the protagonist makes a conscious decision to go with the flow - “though she stole his love from me, c'est la vie c'est la vie.”

OH, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNIN' from Rogers and Hammerstein's “Oklahoma” captures the spirit of nature and the beautiful bounty all around us!

BALI HAI, another Rogers and Hammerstein chestnut, is a meditation of sorts. It reminds us that our “happy place” is always accessible within our own mind.

SLOW POKE is an old country tune by Louisville native Chilton Price about the benefits of surrender - “why should I keep trying to change you, that's not the thing to do...I guess I'll have to learn to be a slowpoke too.”

WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG is a French chanson in two parts with English lyrics by Johnny Mercer about a woman who has achieved everything in the material world. In the first half, the woman nonchalantly lists her accomplishments and acquisitions. The second section reveals her sentimental side as she recalls an earlier time when she was happier with less.

ANY PLACE I HANG MY HAT IS HOME reminds us of the saying “wherever you go, there you are.” According to that logic, we are always home. So, hang your hat, put your feet up and get comfy!

A TIME FOR LOVE is one of Johnny Mandel's masterpieces. Lyricist Paul Francis Webster calms our restless minds with the wisdom that everything happens in its own time and that every right action comes from a place of love.

DOCTOR JAZZ is King Oliver's joyful confirmation that music can be the best medicine for the mind and body. Try works!

YOU'RE BLASE' by Ord Hamilton is a warning that a lack of gratitude will result in a feeling of
separateness -“while reaching for the moon and the stars up in the sky the simple things of normal life are slowly passing by.” I admit that I sometimes sing this song to myself when I am guilty of forgetting to appreciate the seemingly small things.

WHO CARES is a topical Gershwin song penned one year after the 1929 stock market crash. This song of defiant romance proves that love is all that's needed to survive a crisis - “who cares what banks fail in Yonkers, as long as you've got a kiss that conquers.”

TRY TO REMEMBER from the longest running off Broadway musical “The Fantasticks” invites us to recall and recapture our innocence in the face of trying experiences -“deep in December it's nice to remember without a hurt the heart is hollow.”

SIMPLE ISN'T EASY with music and lyrics by bassist Red Mitchell, informs us that the virtue of simplicity requires choice, effort and determination (especially when feeling overwhelmed in fast paced times).

PETER HAD A WOLF is a song “given” to me by one of my mentors, singer/pianist Judy Roberts. At the start of her career, Judy played piano in an off-off-so-far-off Broadway show that it was stationed in Chicago. Her favorite song in the review was this one. Although she has no idea who wrote the song (we've done numerous internet searches), she carried it in her mind for fifty some years. Apparently she was waiting for the right person to deliver it and when she played it for me, I agreed whole-heartedly that this song and I were meant for each other. The message is so sweet and simple...a nursery rhyme of sorts about the need for connection with others.

I'VE GOT A POCKETFUL OF DREAMS, a cheerful ditty made famous by Bing Crosby, illustrates how true wealth comes from what's inside, not what's in your pockets or pocketbook.

YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING is a gorgeous melody by French composer Michel Legrand. Husband/wife lyricist team Alan and Marilyn Bergman encourage us to keep the faith. The last line sums up their important message “you must believe in Spring and love.”

This recording is dedicated to our friend and mentor Ann Chamberlain, an exceptional singer whose unflinchingly honest delivery taught us many lessons lyrical.

-Petra van Nuis



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