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last updated August 1st, 2012


Brian Seeger


Brian is glad to be able to present you with high quality lead sheets of some of his original compositions. All of these charts are currently being played, and many of them appear on recordings. The charts are in Adobe Acrobat format; you can get the free reader from Abobe if you need it. Please feel free to play them, record them, and share them with your friends and fans. If you would like to put any of these compositions out there on a CD, Brian’s publishing information is included on the charts, and you can either contact Brian directly (click here), or, you can license them online through the Harry Fox agency. Remember, jamming is always free!




Unrevealed

This tune is the first piece that I wrote entirely at the piano. It was one of those compositions that just sort of owned me - once it got started gnawing at my brain, I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I finished it. My good friend Alex Bosworth has put some words to it, and if I’m lucky, it might end up on her record which is coming out in 2013.

Wife Repellent

I’ve had the opportunity to do a few tours in Europe with an organ trio that features Jean-Yves Jung on the keys and Paul Wiltgen on drums. These guys are both incredible players and super-beautiful people, which makes touring with them a total dream-come-true. I wrote this tune for that trio and have dedicated it to Jean-Yves’ wife, Yolanda, who is really sweet but can’t stand listening to organ! The feel is a semi-driving quarter note thing ala Motown from the 60’s. This tune appears on the Organic Trio’s first CD, Home Remembered.

Prayer

I wrote this on Christmas Eve, 2011. I was working on another tune and then this one started happening, and I rolled with it. I decided to add words to it, and went for something on the dark side. I like how it came out

Home Remembered

Home Remembered was the result of a small burst of writing I did for a gig with my good friend and musical wizard Jesse Lewis a few years back. I was looking to write something heartfelt that the band could really vibe out on. In 2009, New Orleans vocalist Cindy Scott put words to it, and it appears on her disc Let the Devil Take Tomorrow as Start Again. She prefers it in Bb, but for me it just doesn’t lay in anything other than C. Happily, she curses me under her breath on our gigs together and does it in C! That’s a real friend. This tune also appears on the Organic Trio’s first CD, Home Remembered.

Strummy

This is a tune of mine that doesn’t get played that much and hasn’t appeared on anyone’s record yet. I would say it fits neatly in the category of Arena Jazz. It’s a blast to blow on and can be pretty over the top energy-wise. I think the bridge changes are kind of crafty - I’ve toyed with the idea of recycling them in another tune, but now that I’ve put it out there I probably won’t do that!

Wheeling

I’m always amazed at how good this one feels, as it is sort of a 5/4 version of swinging New Orleans meets Hillbilly. Sounds potentially awful, right?

Buffalo Trace

Perhaps the coolest part of teaching at the National Guitar Workshop is getting to hang hard with amazing musicians that are from circles beyond your regular sphere. David Hamburger is one of those folks; I totally admire his musicality, and feel blessed to have gotten to know him some. I wrote this tune so we would have something to play together at a faculty concert. We sounded good!

Saturn’s Spell

One of the things that I ”practice” is free association voice leading in two or three parts. It’s an ear thing, and also a technical challenge wrapped up in pure musical expression (hopefully). Saturn’s Spell evolved from one of those practice sessions. The title comes from the vibe that Saturn supposedly casts on the Earth, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Providence

I’m a huge fan of drummer Paul Motian, and have spent a lot of time checking out his different projects over the years. Sometime around 2005, Johnny Vidacovich, another drummer that I can’t get enough of, asked me to help him put together a tribute to Motian. We’ve kept that project alive since, doing one or two shows a year. I wrote this one for that group, trying to channel as much PM as possible.
This tune appears on the Organic Trio’s first CD, Home Remembered.

Blowout

This tune was inspired by some tracks I’ve heard from the early 70’s that I suspect were fueled by more than excitement. I wanted something that really would get the Gentilly Groovemasters’ juices flowing, and this seems to do the trick. What doesn’t work is guitar playing the head at A – the melody notes really need to be sustained for it to have the effect I was going for.

Dunbar’s

During the lead up to the recordings for Stanton Moore’s instructional book and DVD, he told me he was looking for something that could be played with a brass band and also as a more straight up funk tune. Shortly after that, I was hanging on the beach one night in Florida when I came up with this tuba/bass figure, and the rest of the tune just fell into place. It really does lend itself to a variety of grooves, and, it’s an incredibly easy tune to play.
This tune appears on the Organic Trio’s first CD, Home Remembered.

End of an Era

A modal ditty with a rolling ostinato bass figure, End of an Era more or less plays itself. I was kind of worried that it was too much of a good thing, but cats seem to like playing on it. Many of the melody notes work well as the lead line of a quartal structure, which also helps blur the shades of its minor-ness. I wrote the bulk of Era one night at the Stationhouse when Charlie and James were doing the gig.
This tune appears on the Organic Trio’s first CD, Home Remembered.

The Flower

I wrote this tune sort of as a dedication to my good friend Mark DiFlorio. Mark was a great drummer that used to live in New Orleans. He had an incredibly individual sound, and was one of a handful of New Orleans guys that had a “broken swing” concept together. This is a medium to medium up waltz that works well in that style.

(This chart has been slightly edited as of 9/5/02)

One More Good-bye

This is a piece I wrote while on the subway late one night, heading out from Manhattan to Queens. It sat around on my desk for about a year, until I added the chord changes to it. It’s a ballad, but one that moves along, if you know what I mean. I particularly like how this one turned out.

Inside

Inside was my attempt to write a burnout type tune, although according to my dear friend Jesse Lewis, it really is just “fast, happy jazz.” Whatever, I make no claims to this one’s enduring qualities! I do know that it is fun to play on, and pretty much can be read down in one shot, even by blind guitar players.

Crescent Winter

This chart is apparently kind of a pain to play, especially for drummers. It is supposed to have a very slow triplety feel, like some Elvin thing way slowed down. Many of the chords in the center of each bar are pushed. It was one of those tunes that I just heard, pretty much the whole thing. One day I’ll find the perfect groove on someone’s record or something and then it probably will all make sense to the rest of you.
Nobody’s Blues

This is a tune that has been around since the early 90’s. It started out as a weird blues head that was meant to go into a free thing. Then it was discovered that the chord changes could be interesting to blow on. Then, it became a funk version that was part of the repertoire for Stanton Moore’s band, Moore & More. It appears on Stanton’s first record “All Kooked Out” with Charlie Hunter and Skerik. This chart reflects that version. (ps - I was tickled to find out recently that they’re using this tune for the Funk Combos at the Berklee College of Music’s five week summer program. If anyone out there has a copy of that chart, I'd love to see it.)
For The Record

I wrote this tune for Stanton because he said none of my stuff was “dumb” enough. He didn't think this was dumb enough either, but, he liked it in spite of that, and decided to include it on his Verve debut, “Flying the Koop.” Karl Denson and Skerik sound awesome on this track. I think of it as sort of a swinging go-go/batman feel, but it really can be played with a straight ahead organ trio type vibe.


Still Here

This piece consistently gets the most comments of all of my compositions. I wrote it around Christmas of 1992, basically in one inspired sitting. If any of my tunes ”just came out,” this would be the one. It is basically a slow folk tune with a couple of smarty-pants type changes. It has been recorded on Theresa Andersson’s “Vibes” CD (that version has words, is on the faster side, and is called “Brian’s Ballad”), and on a disc that never quite saw the light of day, by the group Passage (you can hear that cut on the Recordings page.)
Eat Your Greens

This is my tip of the hat to the excellent guitarist Grant Green. It is somewhat funky, in a subtle sort of way, I can imagine it being played quite nicely by Idris Muhammed. I wrote this one early in 2001. A few different groups around New Orleans have made it part of their books. It appears on the STR Digital disc “Funk Yard,” by Gatemouth Brown’s great organist Joe Krown (although if it was up to me, it probably would be a little slower!)
Not Many Shirts

Shirts is one of the older songs in my collection that actually still gets played. I wrote this one in 1991, just before I moved to New Orleans. It is a brightish 3/4 tune that was my attempt to write a piece that relied on strong voice leading for its harmonic integrity (One of my friends, a brilliant pianist and musician, George Mesterhazy, once played this for me as a ballad, and he made me sound like I actually could write something deep!). I find it really fun to play over, and still challenging after all these years. It still hasn't been recorded on a publicly available product, although it has made it to the studio a couple of times.
Jacanabac

This is a fairly warped set of blues changes that actually doesn’t sound so artificial (at least not to me!). I wrote it when I was on tour in Brasil with Davell Crawford in 1997. There is absolutely nothing about it that sounds Brazilian, not one thing. It works well in an Organ context, it’s more or less straight up swing. I’ve heard rumors that Skerik plays it in Seattle with a B-3 player. I’d really like to hear that sometime. It appears on Quintology’s second disc, “Blues By 5.” It was named after my favorite beverage combination at the time.
Honey Island

Honey Island is a swamp area east of New Orleans, close to Mississippi. This ballad, although pretty much just a jazz number, has a lot of swampiness and blues in it. I think it is one of my better writing attempts. It appears on Stanton’s first record, and he plays some beautiful mallet stuff on it. A few other groups I’ve worked with have played it also, although I still feel that the definitive version of it has yet to be put on disc.




Seeger Dennard Things

Keyboardist Charlie Dennard and I have collaborated on a number of musical projects together, including Moore & More, Quintology, The Seeger Dennard Thing, and some other groups. In the last couple of years we have been in the studio on a number of occasions, recording some Organ trio tracks, as well as some guitar and piano duets. At some point we decided we should try writing together, and it has proven to be a very fruitful endeavor. All of the charts below are being played regularly, and many of them have been recorded, or are going to be in the near future.


Let’s Go

This is one of the first pieces we penned together. A version of it is on Stanton Moore’s first Verve record “Flying the Koop.” It also is in the rotation of Quintology's sets. It's a nice little funk tune with a fairly interesting form.


Grant Slant

This is a burn-out funk tune inspired by some of the pieces on Grant Green’s “Live at the Lighthouse” recording. The little chop buster line at the end of the head was one of those inspired moments, we were in the studio working on something else, and it just came to me, perfectly clear, completing the tune.
Father

I love this piece. Charlie inspired me once with his rendition of “Georgia,” and I told him we should write something with that totally church, slow 6/8 vibe, with the big 4 backbeat. We worked on it a little, then a large piece of it came to me standing on the street outside of a gig while I was waiting for a ride home. As simple as this tune is, it is really difficult to get it to feel just right, it takes a really special drummer to pull it off. I know I’m gonna record this one, I just don’t know when.

Hunch

Hunch is a funk number that has a few more chord changes, which makes it really fun to play, and to blow over. Its form is a little like Let’s Go, where different soloists play in different keys, but it feels slightly more involved without being cumbersome. This tune appears on Stanton’s “Flying the Koop,” as well as on a compilation CD put out by “Where Y’at” magazine.


Booby Trap

I heard this rock guitar comping thing superimposed on top of a bright boogaloo, and Booby Trap was born. The melody is kind of nifty and angular. When we do this with Moore & More, the soloists trade off on the two key areas, and it usually goes through a whole bunch of different feels, which gives it a spontaneity that some of the more straight up funk numbers don't seem to have.


Wailing Wall

I did an amazing set of recordings with saxophonist Ed Petersen and drummer Jason Marsalis a couple of years back. We improvised for the entire sessions, sometimes inventing tunes, and other times inventing soundscapes. The form and chord changes for Wailing Wall came to me at one of those sessions (you can listen to Pentelvin on the Recordings page). It was a really nice modal thing with that rolling Elvin feel, but in 5/4 time. I toyed with it for a while, getting close to making it a composition but not quite finishing it. I decided to bring what I had into one of Charlie and my writing sessions, and with his patience and help, and one nice chord change, we were able to complete it.


 

 

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