In My Mind's Zen Garden
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My Piano Music Playlist

This post is dedicated to the memory of my mother-in-law, who died of breast cancer in 1989. Today is her birthday. May she rest in peace, in the presence of her heavenly father. The photo below shows the painting of her that remains in our home. We lit seven candles in her name.

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Inspired by Manny’s Music Playlists, I thought I’d share a list of the current music I’m playing on the piano.

My Current Piano Music Playlist

  • My Song by Keith Jarrett
    Originally in the key of C major (surprisingly), one of my all-time favorite songs from the album, “My Song”, featuring Keith Jarrett’s European quartet.

    It’s in C but the chord progressions are pretty complex, and a bit challenging to improvise over. But there is an introduction that pedals between C major and Db major. To me, a very soothing piece to play, with a sophistication and quiet elegance about it. I never get tired of playing this one.

  • It Might As Well Be Spring by Rogers and Hammerstein
    Another key originally in C (according to one site). I’ve seen it in one of my “fakebooks” in G, but I like to play this one in F major.

    This song is originally from the 1945 film “State Fair” and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It’s usually performed as a romantic ballad. I like to start this song off as a ballad in rubato, then transition into a samba or latin groove. Another fairly challenging song to improvise over the chord progressions, when played at a faster tempo.

  • It Could Happen To You by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen
    Another big favorite of mine to play on piano. And incidentally… original key in Eb, but I like to do it in F major. A beautiful ballad that I just play as a ballad. From the 1944 film, “It Could Happen To You”. I like the way it starts in F and continues to modulate in half steps to Bb. And like many songs, patterns into 2-5-1 progressions.
  • Autumn Leaves (Les feuilles mortes) by Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prévert
    Originally written in 1945, this song is probably my favorite song to play on piano. This classic song follows the cycle of fifths, and goes back and forth between major and minor keys. It’s a great song for beginning jazz pianists to learn, so I somehow always come back to playing this one as if it were home base!

    Originally written in G major resolving to E minor, I like to play Autumn Leaves in F major resolving to D minor. And, depending on my mood, I like to play this as a ballad, latin, bossanova or samba.

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About the author:
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Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

5 COMMENTS
  1. tokyorose

    i’d love to hear you play ‘autumn leaves’, as it’s one of my all-time jazz faves. do you have any recordings floating around the web, by any chance? ^ –

  2. tokyorose

    i’d love to hear you play ‘autumn leaves’, as it’s one of my all-time jazz faves. do you have any recordings floating around the web, by any chance? ^ –

  3. Randomguru

    tokyorose: after practicing pretty extensively for a year in 2008 (after getting the grand piano in December 2007) i’ve started to do piano gigs around town. i’ve always been more noted locally for my drumming.

    but i do intend to record a lot of solo piano stuff from home. as soon as i purchase the mics and equipment needed to record, i should be able to record extensively in 2009. that would be my goal for the new year.

    i also have to make some serious demos.

    the piano’s pretty much in tune right now. i would have to tune it before doing any serious recording.

    there’s a few MP3s floating around but i wouldn’t recommend them. they weren’t recorded well and they were from my ancient keyboard. so the sound isn’t ideal.

    once i get some really good recordings i am satisfied with. i’ll be sure to post them. especially for demo’ing and getting more work.

  4. Randomguru

    tokyorose: after practicing pretty extensively for a year in 2008 (after getting the grand piano in December 2007) i’ve started to do piano gigs around town. i’ve always been more noted locally for my drumming.

    but i do intend to record a lot of solo piano stuff from home. as soon as i purchase the mics and equipment needed to record, i should be able to record extensively in 2009. that would be my goal for the new year.

    i also have to make some serious demos.

    the piano’s pretty much in tune right now. i would have to tune it before doing any serious recording.

    there’s a few MP3s floating around but i wouldn’t recommend them. they weren’t recorded well and they were from my ancient keyboard. so the sound isn’t ideal.

    once i get some really good recordings i am satisfied with. i’ll be sure to post them. especially for demo’ing and getting more work.

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