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Roy McGrath Jazz Quartet | Martha

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United States - Illinois

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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by Roy McGrath Jazz Quartet

“Martha” by the Roy McGrath Quartet is a series of eight compositions that encompass a homage to family, friends, and the human connection.
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Night and Day
8:41 album only
2. Maybe, Please Don't Lie?
8:35 $0.99
3. Spirit of the Living God
8:08 $0.99
4. Martha
7:49 album only
5. Patty Cakes
9:31 $0.99
6. Sileray
7:51 $0.99
7. Rue Nov. 17
7:04 $0.99
8. Kintsugi
7:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Night and Day:

Written in 1932 by American composer Cole Porter, Night and Day is the only jazz standard on the album. I arranged it to include sections that portrayed the different emotions that the ideas of night (darkness, rest, sadness, solitude) and day (brightness, happiness, love) could convey. Originally, due to the lyrics, a love song, I conceptually think of this piece as all of the types of “night and day” that we have in our lives.

Maybe, Please Don’t Lie?:

As the title suggests, this ballad is a plea for honesty. A supplication for communal awareness and integrity. People conceal truth for a variety of reasons. Whatever those reasons may be, once in a while we must ask our peers to politely to refrain from dishonesty and uplift themselves through honor and candor.

Spirit of the Living God:

Hymn written by Daniel Iverson in 1926. Along with Horation Spafford’s “It is Well With My Soul” I have always loved singing this praise song and was suddenly inspired to arrange it for jazz quartet.


My grandmother, the rock of my family, passed away from cancer in 2009. She led a beautiful life helping others through sports and education. This ballad is a homage towards her person and encompasses many different emotions: a musical portrait of her character, the strengths and positivity that defined her as a person, the perceived suffering through her condition, the relief and happiness felt knowing that, with her passing, she would suffer no more. I attempted to convey a bittersweet feeling that coupled her incredible life with the effect of her passing on my family and many other individuals.

Patty Cakes:

I adapted this 17th century English nursery rhyme at a time in my life were I was working on being a man of my word. While I was at Northwestern University getting my Graduate degree I came across a lady that would always attend our jazz concerts. Some of performances landed on birthdays by some of our students. Patti always came with home-made baked sweets for us on those oh so awaited for days. I jokingly told her I would write a song for her in gratitude for her support and awesome pastry talent, and thus was born this arrangement of Patty Cakes.


This waltz is dedicated to a loved one that touched my life deeply. Our time together was beautiful. Unfortunately life separated us in a very acrimonious way. The melody to Sileray is a representation of our relationship, the catchy phrase is playful and loving. During the song, there are instances were the rhythm section plays different time signatures that break up the waltz in a jagged way. These rhythmic “jabs” felt by the abandonment of the waltz portray the bumps in the path of our relationship.

Rue Nov. 7:

The oldest song on the album. This song was written four years ago while sipping on a Chickory coffee at Rue De La Course in New Orleans, Louisiana. I lived in New Orleans for six years and have fond memories of this beautiful city. I spend much of my time in this coffee shop on the corner of S. Carrolton Ave. and Oak St. in conversation with friends and (or) alone writing and musing.


Kintsugi is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacker resin dusted with powdered gold. As a philosophy, it signifies an embracing of the flawed or imperfect. In Kintsugi pottery, the gold resin highlights the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its breakage. I applied this philosophy to relationships. All enduring relationships come with trials that test the strength of bond between people. These trials often create emotional/psychological rifts within relationships. Some might call these rifts “scars”. I believe there is beauty in the “scars” of enduring relationships. In a world where everything can be thrown away and replaced, there is beauty in healing brought forth by forgiveness.



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