01: Always Raining on my Street
02: Soul Parking
03: My Baby Just Cares for Me
04: Et Maintenant/What Now My Love
05: Big Fish
06: Autumn Leaves
"Always Raining on My Street" : This is a Scott McKnight composition that we've being doing live whenever Scott joins us on stage. He's usually singing it, but I wanted to give it a shot myself. I used to perform this song with Kevin Johnson & the Linemen, who recorded a fine version of it. That's Karl on electric, by the way, not Scott.
"Soul Parking" : Another fine Karl Straub composition that he used to play with his band The Graverobbers (which Jim and Martin were once in). Karl describes it as his attempt to write a Velvet Underground song. I like the Neil Diamond-like horns we added. There used to be a store called "Soul Liquors" on 14th st. in D.C. There was a sign hanging on the side of the building, directing people to an adjacent parking lot, "Soul Parking."
"My Baby Just Cares For Me" : From the 1928 musical "Whoopee," featuring Eddie Cantor, this standard by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn has way more lyrics and chord changes than the Nina Simone version. When we were asked to play at a wedding once, we chose to go back and learn the original version.
"Et Maintenant / What Now My Love" : Gilbert Becaud and Pierre Delanoe wrote the original version (in French) and gave it Ravel's "Bolero" beat, but that was a little heavy. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass gave it a a fast and carefree ride, though they didn't sing Carl Sigman's admirably translated lyrics. We give you a little bit of everything in this version, including some "Stompin' at the Savoy," courtesy of Chris's sax at the end.
"Big Fish" : I heard this in a portside bar in Concarneau, France, years ago, done by Les Alpinistes Hollandaises, a busking ramshackle band made up of an Englishman, a Basque woman and a Breton snare drummer. Yannick Farquhar was the frontman and he taught it to me. I promised him I'd record it someday. Listen to Jim Gray's only known bass solo. And if you know where Yannick is, tell him I've kept my promise.
"Les Feuilles Mortes / Autumn Leaves" : Here's another standard that's been twisted sideways by Karl's guitar work. This is essentially a Graverobbers arrangement that I wanted to record, just so I could sing in French again.
Yves Montand introduced this incredible Joseph Kosma/Jacques Prevert tune to the world in the 1945 film "Les Portes de la Nuit." Later, Johnny Mercer added the English lyrics, which are as brilliant as Prevert's. I like that he didn't try a literal translation, but chose to capture the tone. As with many standards of that era, there is an entire top half to the song that rarely gets performed these days. Someday we'll do that too.....