home | contact | sound samples | discography | calendar | reviews and testimonials | photos and press materials | site map | mailing list sign-up

classical: biography | performance programs | repertoire lists | educational talks | film: “Beyond 88 Keys”
jazz: biography | performance programs | tune lists | originals jazz charts | educational talks
off-stage: writings on music | blog | teaching | wedding music | non-music interests

 

Sound Samples - Michael Arnowitt

Here are some sound samples from recordings, in mp3 format. For the most part, I have tried to not “process” or alter the recordings, so you may need to adjust the volume level on your computer up or down as you listen to the different samples. Mp3 files on the internet are by necessity shorter in length and of lower general tone quality, but otherwise are a reasonable way to get a general sense as to what the music may sound like when you do not have the original CD.

The various recordings on this page are copyrighted and these samples are used by permission. In many cases, the original CD or DVD recordings are available for purchase.

Each sample on this page has two versions - the first link is for downloading the file to a media player on your computer that can play mp3 files. The second link of each pair is to stream the sample; I think these streaming versions will probably only work if you have a high-speed internet connection.

Enjoy the music!


mp3 samples of Michael Arnowitt’s classical piano

J.S. Bach - Fugue in E-flat major, from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II
Streaming version of J.S. Bach - Fugue in E-flat major
The opening selection from the CD “Constellation” (click here for a review of this recording in the London-based Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo in A major, op. 118 no. 2
Streaming version of Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo
A performance from the final scene of the documentary film “Beyond 88 Keys”.

Darius Milhaud - excerpt from La Création du Monde (The Creation of the World)
Streaming version of Darius Milhaud - La Création
A lively dance section from a ballet by Milhaud based on an African creation story. The original score was one of the first pieces in the 20th century to include in the orchestra the then-new instrument of the saxophone. In addition to the jazz effect created by the sax, Milhaud also in this piece gave leading roles to the trombone, the double bass, and the clarinet, all instruments in common to both the classical orchestra and the jazz band. In this excerpt, the animals are created on earth in a joyful dance. The form of this section is a Bach-like fugue but with a bluesy theme straight out of the world of jazz. Although the music reminds many concertgoers of Gershwin, Milhauds piece actually predates the famous Rhapsody in Blue by one year.

Olivier Messiaen - excerpt from Par Lui tout a été fait, from Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus
Streaming version of Olivier Messiaen - Par Lui
Example of Michael Arnowitt playing 20th-century music: Olivier Messiaen’s extraordinary fugue depicting the creation of the universe.


mp3 samples of Michael Arnowitt’s jazz piano

Mainstream jazz

Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise (Sigmund Romberg) excerpt 2:36
Streaming version of excerpt from Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
A jazz trio performance, recorded live at an outdoor concert. The piano solo in this excerpt starts simply and then builds in intensity and excitement: the bass and drums follow Michael’s lead beautifully, helping to build the music.

Migratory Mood (Michael Arnowitt) 6:53
Streaming version of Migratory Mood
There is an element of bird flight here; the melody aims to have a soaring, weightless feeling and the gentle syncopated bass riff becomes at the end of the tune a likeness of the birds settling down back on the earth. Naturally, the title can also be thought of figuratively, that is, of an urge to migrate or make a change in your life.

Solar (Miles Davis) excerpt 4:51
Streaming version of Solar excerpt
A live performance from the most recent European tour of Michael Arnowitt’s ImproVisions Jazz Quartet (tenor saxophone, piano, upright bass, and drums). Michael’s arrangement of Miles’ Solar tweaks it ever so slightly, giving every other chorus two extra measures and some new harmonies. This excerpt has a lot of fun interplay between the sax and the piano and some of Michael’s creative improv ideas, including a Modern Jazz Quartet-like neo-Baroque episode.

Lullaby of Birdland (George Shearing) 3:54
Streaming version of Lullaby of Birdland
A live radio piano solo performance of Michael Arnowitt’s beautiful conception to play Lullaby of Birdland as a lullaby instead of the usual medium-swing approach.

Originals – tunes composed by Michael Arnowitt

For more information on these and other tunes by Michael Arnowitt, click here.

Clear Sailing (Michael Arnowitt) excerpt 1:29
Streaming version of Clear Sailing excerpt
Excerpt featuring a quartet of trombone, piano, upright bass, and drums.

Clear Sailing (Michael Arnowitt) full take version 5:04
Streaming version of Clear Sailing
Clear Sailing evokes a confident forward motion, blue skies on an open sea. It’s a strong, hard-swinging tune with a call-and-response opening featuring the piano, bass, and drums playing ascending chords answering sturdy fragments in the melody instrument that neither rise nor fall. The ending has the melody instrument finally playing a line with more direction, rising in a long phrase starting from the lowest region of the instrument to its topmost notes.

Medium Message (Michael Arnowitt) excerpt 5:07
Streaming version of Medium Message excerpt
Medium Message begins with a relaxed, contemporary jazz sound featuring a loping bass line and a cyclic pattern that adds up to 11 beats. The second section of the excerpt picks up the tempo slightly, its gentle flow contrasts with the suspended feel of the opening. The word “medium” in the title was intended to convey both the meaning of a mystical séance event as well as a neutrality that is beyond good or bad.

Migratory Mood (Michael Arnowitt) 6:53
Streaming version of Migratory Mood
There is an element of bird flight here; the melody aims to have a soaring, weightless feeling and the gentle syncopated bass riff becomes at the end of the tune a likeness of the birds settling down back on the earth. Naturally, the title can also be thought of figuratively, that is, of an urge to migrate or make a change in your life.

Rogue Cloud (Michael Arnowitt) excerpt 3:48
Streaming version of Rogue Cloud excerpt
The excerpt here is from the beginning through to where the improv solos would begin. This piano solo recording is just to give you a sense of some of the colors and textures of Rogue Cloud, which in its entirety is a large canvas, some 20 minutes long, with many sections chronicling changing weather moods. Michael plans to record this tune with a large combo, incorporating some unusual sounds such as Indonesian gongs and gamelan instruments.

Jazz standards

Night And Day (Cole Porter) 5:26
Streaming version of Night And Day
A mellow duo cut with a nice blend of piano and upright bass colors.

I’ve Never Been In Love Before (Frank Loesser) 2:46
Streaming version of I’ve Never Been In Love Before excerpt
A swinging version of this great melody, recorded live with a quartet in Budapest at the Fészek Art Club concert hall (you can hear the emcee introducing the group in Hungarian).

Whisper Not (Benny Golson) 5:02
Streaming version of Whisper Not
Despite the title, this tune is actually a lot closer to whispering than shouting. This duo performance with the acoustic sounds of piano and upright bass captures nicely the soft stylishness of Benny Golson’s memorable tune.

excerpt from Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise (Sigmund Romberg)
Streaming version of excerpt from Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
A jazz trio performance, recorded live at an outdoor concert. The piano solo in this excerpt starts simply and then builds in intensity and excitement: the bass and drums follow Michael’s lead beautifully, helping to build the music.


mp3 samples of John McKenna, a tenor saxophonist who often performs in Michael Arnowitt’s ImproVisions Jazz Quartet concerts

excerpt from The Solar Side (John McKenna)
Streaming version of excerpt from The Solar Side
A propulsive, energetic tune composed by John McKenna, with an imaginative spiraling melodic line. The lively, syncopated outer sections of the theme surround a contrasting interior episode of calmer music.

excerpt from Motionville (John McKenna)
Streaming version of excerpt from Motionville
A swinging tune with a wonderful driving bass feel and flowing harmonies that move effortlessly from key to key. John McKenna performs a fantastic solo here, full of musical explorations.

excerpt from I Concentrate On You (Cole Porter)
Streaming version of excerpt from I Concentrate On You
An up-tempo version of the Cole Porter classic: John McKenna’s saxophone takes us on an exciting ride.