In the Slow Lane


I enjoy writing lyrics about subjects besides love songs, although those have a challenge all their own. What attracts me to a song besides the beauty of it, and wanting to sing it myself, is the feeling, mood, or attitude I get from it. Often I picture someone, or a scene playing out, or maybe a conversation. This one is based on how some people seem to have enviable self-possession – at least to me. The words draw on a relaxed perspective with quiet self-assurance. I especially related to: “And I know if I rush, I end up behind.”  The last line is: “I’m O.K. In The Slow Lane.”

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A recent description of Kenny Barron: “One of the most articulate and polished mainstream-to-bop improvisers in the jazz of the last 40 years.” (The Guardian). For years the NYT labeled him the “pianist of choice,” certainly true for Stan Getz in their last legendary performances. Their duets are heartbreakingly lyrical and informed by the clarity found in the best of the genre. But Barron’s many sessions as a leader attest to his being a prolific composer as well. Being an NEA Jazz Master, among other accolades, is a reflection of the high esteem he holds. I was drawn to his compositions decades ago while in NYC, The desire to sing his melodies, surrounded by the complex coherence of his harmonic sensibility, however challenging, was compelling. More than two dozen of our collaborative lyrics and songs will eventually be available in the Shop.


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