Welcome to my music blog - The Soundtrack of My Life!

Many of you have asked me “What’s with all the music, Dr. Weiss?” Well, as I’ve told some of you:

I personally call every surgery patient on the evening of surgery just to make sure they are doing well and have no questions that need answering. Occasionally, I would be at the piano and play a song that we had listened to that day. I gradually realized that I wanted to go through all the music that I had played during my life and at least start making a list of the songs that I had recently played.

Well, there are now about 600 songs on the list and I realized that it in a way it represented the ‘soundtrack of my life’! And that’s how I got the idea to record these songs and share them with my patients, friends and family. After I record them they will reside here, for easy access.

Music is truth. It’s honest. It’s really the first social media, where in a way, people could share their souls directly. And isn’t that what the purpose of social media is and why it’s so popular - trying to share who you really are, as completely and directly as possible?

Finally, it has been (and will continue to be) a genuine pleasure sharing these different songs with you and I really appreciate all of your positive feedback!!

Musical Genres

Jim Morrison The Doors 1 1

The Crystal Ship

March 2, 2024

Jim Morrison The Crystal Ship (3:53) Yesterday we listened to some classical Chopin waltzes.  Today let’s listen to some classic rock. I sent out this video last year, but I enjoyed playing around with the special effects and watching it so much – here it is again for all you Doors fans! We were BIG Doors fans in my Philadelphia neighborhood when I was in high school! In fact, I went to the Philadelphia Doors concert that was recorded live instead of going to the senior prom! ‘The Crystal Ship’  is a good example of “classic” psychedelic rock, a rock music genre (consisting of a variety of different styles) that is inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, the peak years of which were between 1967 and 1969. ’The Crystal Ship’ was released in April 1967 – 57 years ago! The music incorporated new electronic sound effects and recording effects, extended solos, improvisation and the incorporation of jazz. In fact, it’s the first time that I’ve ever started a jazz arpeggio improvisation on the very  highest key of the piano (1:29), actually twice! Psychedelic video effects start a little earlier (0:21). Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Some information from Wikipedia The Crystal Ship dedication: Larry S., with whom […]

Chopin 1

Chopin Waltz in G# Minor Op 64 No 2

March 1, 2024

Frederic Chopin Waltz in G# Minor, OP. 64, No 2 (3:31) On this day, March 1, 1810, Frederic Chopin was born in Poland. He was a Polish-French composer and pianist of the classical Romantic period. He moved to Paris at age 21 where he lived until his death at age 39 in 1849. In my opinion, this is one of his most beautiful waltzes (although that’s a difficult choice!) Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Dedicated to David G. and Charlie B. Some information from Wikipedia Related Posts: Chopin Waltz in Gb Major Op 70 No 1 Chopin Waltz in F Minor Op 70 No 2  (Haunting) Chopin Waltz in Db Major Op 64 No 1 (“MInute Waltz”)

Im In The Mood For Love

I’m In The Mood For Love

February 14, 2024

I’m In The Mood For Love (1:55) Recorded 2/13/24 George Shearing   George Shearing passed away ON THIS DAY, February 14, in 2011. One of the jazz greats, Sir George Shearing was known for his incomparable and complex reharmonizations. Usually, in classical, pop, or jazz, a piano player may use (hopefully sparingly) the damper pedal (the one on the right) to blend adjacent similar chords, usually one or two measures (4-8 beats). However, for this arrangement, I’m changing the pedal literally with each beat!! Listen carefully and you will hear how Shearing makes the song his own. Thanks, George, for showing us a new way of playing and listening. Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy, Dr. Weiss

Mozart with play button horizontal 4

Sonata in C Major

January 27, 2024

Mozart: Sonata in C Major (9:30) Three Movements: I Allegro, II Andante, III Rondo Allegretto Recorded 1/25/24   Mozart was born on this day January 27 in 1756. This Sonata was composed 1788 – 236 years ago, three years before his death at age 35. Although the piece is well known today, it was not published in Mozart’s lifetime and first appeared in print in 1805. A typical performance takes about 11 minutes, but I think I play the second and third movements a little faster, so it clocks in at 9:30. Because we all seem to have shorter attention spans, I’ve been trying to keep my recordings to under 3-4 minutes, but this complete sonata is so delicate and beautiful that I was compelled to record all three movements. It’s well worth a relaxing 9-minute 30-second listen. I realized that there were so many notes, that I didn’t need to use the damper pedal at all, and doing so allows us to hear the left-hand harmonic themes more clearly, especially between 3:53 and 4:07. According to Wikipedia, “Despite his short life, Mozart’s rapid pace of composition resulted in more than 800 works of virtually every Western classical genre of his time. Many […]

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Mr. Jelly Lord – Jelly Roll Morton

January 23, 2024

Mr. Jelly Lord (1:33) Recorded 1/21/24 Jelly Roll Morton, born October 20, 1890 in New Orleans, has been called the first great composer and piano player in jazz. Actually, Morton once confessed that his innovations resulted from his inability to remember and play ragtime pieces properly. He had to “fudge” the notes. His improvisations led him to create loose, swinging rhythms that were more informal than ragtime, and sounded a lot more fun. Morton was jazz’s first arranger, proving that a genre rooted in improvisation could retain its essential characteristics when notated. I can personally attest to that. How else would a kid from the Philadelphia suburbs be able to record this song 100 years later? His composition “Jelly Roll Blues”, published in 1915, was one of the first published jazz compositions. He also claimed to have invented jazz. I don’t know about that (Louis Armstrong and others might also take issue with that claim), but he was certainly foundational and very influential in the development of jazz from ragtime. Morton had an eye for the ladies and the charm of a snake oil salesman. To tide himself over, from time to time, he put his talents to use as a […]


Artificial Intelligence Peace Blog

January 1, 2024

Illustration Credits: Rick and Dall-E We are constantly trying to make sense of why we have all the wars and misery around the world, and what we can do about it. I decided to ask chatGPT (while I was in an Uber with a driver who was from Senegal, recently arrived from Africa.) We both agreed on the plan below that chatGPT came up with in seconds. My New Year’s wish is that the countries of the world select leaders who also agree.   Rick: How to get world peace? ChatGPT: “Achieving world peace is a complex issue that humanity has been grappling with for centuries. However, many ideas and steps are generally agreed upon as necessary to get closer to this ambitious goal. Here are some of them: Education: Access to quality education for everyone can contribute significantly to world peace. Education can foster understanding, tolerance, and empathy among different cultures, nations, and ethnic groups. Poverty Reduction: Poverty often leads to conflict and strife. Therefore, global efforts to alleviate poverty can directly contribute to world peace. This includes economic development, fair trade practices, and aid for underdeveloped countries. Conflict Resolution: Encouraging peaceful resolutions to conflicts instead of resorting to violence is crucial. This can be […]

Mozart with play button horizontal 4

Theme from Symphony in G Minor (First Movement) (1:31)

December 5, 2023

Theme from Symphony in G Minor (First Movement) (1:31) “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart This symphony is unquestionably one of Mozart’s most greatly admired works, composed in 1788 at the age of 32. (He was to die 3 years later.)  The fact that we are still humming this melody is a testament to the unique nature and magic of music. Few things stand the test of time more than music: maybe because the music still lives on and is present among us. But not just any music – who besides Mozart and some other classical composers will be widely known in another 235 years? Frank Sinatra, Lennon/McCartney, Bob Dylan and possibly Stevie Wonder? Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550, is one of only two symphonies Mozart wrote in minor keys and reflects his interest in the artistic movement known as Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress), in which darker and stronger emotions were showcased. The year 1788 was a dark one for Mozart. Viennese audiences were proving less eager to hear his concerts and recitals, bills were piling up, and his infant daughter Theresia had just died. Letters to friends […]

Lush Life

Lush Life

November 29, 2023

Lush Life (3:29) by Billy Strayhorn “Lush Life” is a jazz standard that was written by Billy Strayhorn, who was born on November 29, 1915 and wrote the song when he was just a teenager! Despite being written 90 years ago, this song is ageless and has fascinated (and challenged) many jazz legends over the years. Strayhorn also composed the Duke Ellington orchestra’s signature song, “Take the ‘A’ Train.” For someone in their teens to write one of the most unique and sophisticated jazz melodies and chord changes, accompanied by such mature and world-weary lyrics, is almost unbelievable, comparable to other musical prodigies. I’m playing it with very little improvisation and many of the chords in root position. The song and the harmonics are so unique that the wandering melody almost demands that you listen to every note and chord change as written.  (Also, I can’t improvise like John Coltrane!)  There is a great recording by Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass in which Ella (one of the great jazz improvisers) also sings the melody almost note for note as Strayhorn intended. I agree with Jon Batiste (writing about Thelonius Monk’s ‘Introspection”, a different song but one with a similar uniqueness): “Sometimes […]

Botox Man Weiss Music Minute

Botox Man

November 13, 2023

Botox Man – Weiss Music Minute   Today I want to share an incredible coincidence that has linked me and Botox Cosmetic: we have the same birthday (April 15)!  In fact, I was being interviewed on the radio about the product on my birthday on the very day of the FDA approval (Botox Cosmetic’s ‘birthday’.)   Please enjoy this parody of Johnny Rivers song “Secret Agent Man” entitled, “Mr. Botox Man” that I wrote back in the day. We literally recorded it in a garage by the beach!    

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Nobody Does It Better

October 14, 2023

Nobody Does It Better “Nobody Does It Better” is a power ballad and the theme song for the James Bond film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ (1977). Composed by Marvin Hamlisch with lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager, the song was an inescapable worldwide hit performed by Carly Simon. The other night I re-watched (once again!) the James Bond film ‘Quantum of Solace’, in which the theme song was written and performed by Jack White and Alicia Keys (itself a very cool song).  Since my last blog was on the 1961 movie theme “Town Without Pity – blog, song”, I thought I’d continue the trend and skip ahead 16 years to 1977, and also because today (October 14) was Roger Moore’s birthday. Even though I personally prefer Sean Connery and Daniel Craig, Roger and I did experience seven exciting cinematic adventures together (whew)- and it also fits in with my ‘On This Day’ theme. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked it the third-greatest James Bond theme song, while Billboard ranked it the second-greatest. In 2021, USA Today crowned “Nobody Does it Better” the greatest James Bond Theme Song. In addition to Carly Simon’s unforgettable rendition, the song has also been performed live by such varied artists as […]