Song of the Day: October 12

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Steven Blier is back DJing Song of the Day this week! Catch him in person TONIGHT at NYFOS After Hours, 10pm, at HENRY’s Restaurant. Make your reservations at 212-866-0600 or walk in to sit at the bar!  

from Steven Blier:

It’s typical for this time of year. I am gearing up for a lot of projects at once, so that a day might start with translating Russian poems for the Rachmaninoff concert, then proceed to the piano: getting a rare Sondheim song into good shape for tonight’s show at Henry’s (be there, 10 PM); playing a few Beatles tunes to decide if I want to recreate the Fab Four’s performance (impossible task) or do something completely different (my true goal); mustering the pristine discipline for Schubert; or ragging out on the musky Jewish blues of Harold Arlen. Every composer seems to need something different from my hands, but the beauty is that slouchy Arlen seems to free my Rachmaninoff and neatnik Schubert seems to lend precision to my Beatles. On the Rachmaninoff concert, Michael and I are playing a Zez Confrey arrangement of a popular song that the Russian master loved. So for today, two spiffy confections from Zez, “Kitten on the Keys” and “Dizzy Fingers,” via an old-fashioned piano roll. When I see this Ampico contraption play all by itself with no hands touching it, completely steady tempo, and no wrong notes, I wonder: “Where can I buy one?” (I’d give it 10% of my fee.)

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