B A R R Y L A N D .



fast hannah.








mad skills.
bbbbarry thRoWz U sOmE dEeP hOuSe

killer music.
my score for sea world's shamu show, and the story behind it

hear some samples of my first solo effort

we 3 kings.
the protagonists' christmas CD

music to go.
order some of my CDs


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 O n the day of the Protagonists' first performance, in a jazz concert, back in 1990, we got together and wondered what on earth to do. After we settled on the first number, a blues, I suggested that we do a blues.

The bass player at the time, Kenny, said, "One blues right after the other?" To which I replied, "Well, it doesn't have to be a traditional blues." I was just delving into the richness of the blues form at the time, just as Wynton Marsalis's three-volume blues cycle was coming out, and thought I'd try my hand at it.

So, I came up with a few basic ideas: first of all, a gentle tempo, with a riff borrowed from the latin-influenced light pop rock of the sixties; second, put it in a major key with the basic chord a major seven instead of a dominant seven; third, go to a minor four instead of a four dominant seven. Yep. That's it. The melody line grew on its own.

Next question: what to name it? Unresolved, until a few moments before I announced it. It happened that that day my newborn niece, two months old, was being flown in from Alaska, and I'd see her for the first time after the concert. So I thought it might be nice to name it after her. The title I announced, literally off the cuff, was "A Flower for Hannah."

Way cheesy. Reminds us way too much of one of those late tunes in the Real Book that shouldn't be there. So, later, I changed it to "Baby Talk," figuring that that title, besides being catchier, better captured the tender mood of the song. We usually just refer to it as "Hannah's Tune," though, and perform it to this day; to this day it remains an extremely satisfying chart, and, along with Darren's "Fifty-Fifty," something of a signature tune for us.

When we were doing the first round of "Blizz Blazz" sessions, we were setting mic levels, and, needing to play something peppy, for some reason launched into a quicko version of our comfort piece. Thus, "Fast Hannah." We'll probably include another take of it on the album along with "Baby Talk."


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fasthannah.mp3 6 megs