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

Joni Mitchell

The Circle Game

January 6, 2020

The Circle Game was written by the incomparable Joni Mitchell and was released on her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon. This is what we were listening to when I was a freshman in college at NYU. I can see why it was so popular because of her lyrics, melodies, arrangements, guitar playing and most of all, her pure, clear, almost crystalline voice. Looking back now, I’m amazed at how someone so young came up with such a  mature theme and sophisticated lyrics.  Lyrics such as: “we're captive on the carousel of time, we can't return we can only look behind”, “words like, when you're older, must appease him”, “dreams have lost some grandeur coming true”, and especially the poignant phrase “it won't be long now till you drag your feet to slow the circles down”  -  how did she so convincingly have that perspective at her young age? Anyway, here’s my version playing the ‘Dynamic Nylon’ acoustic guitar sample from the Yamaha Clavinova.  I enjoy listening to it, but not as much as listening to Joni’s voice singing it. Dedicated to my friend W Beaubeaux. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Dynamic Nylon acoustic guitar sound - For this recording I’m playing [...]
An old image of Basin St, in black and white.

Basin Street Blues

January 6, 2020

“Basin Street Blues" is a song often performed by Dixieland jazz bands, written by Spencer Williams (words and music) in 1928 and first recorded that year by Louis Armstrong. (Williams also wrote the music for “I Ain’t Got Nobody”, popularized by Louis Prima.) It’s one of the greatest of all blues songs. Named after the main street of the famous Storyville district, the red-light district of early 20th-century New Orleans, north of the French Quarter. It became a red light district in 1897. Notable recordings: Lous Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Bing Crosby, and Fats Waller. Sam Cooke, Dr. John, Willie Nelson, Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis. This performance is dedicated to my friend Todd B, with whom I’ve shared many good times in the Crescent City. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Related post: Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans P.S.  For anyone wanting to read more about this quintessential jazz song: Pianist and composer Spencer Williams titled this number after the street where he lived as a youngster with his aunt. But the house he lived in was Mahogany Hall, probably the most famous brothel of Storyville. Williams composed the tune in 1928, eleven years after Storyville [...]
Bruce Springsteen, in a black suit holding a bouquet of red flowers.

All That Heaven Will Allow

January 2, 2020

“All That Heaven Will Allow” was written by Bruce Springsteen for his 1987 album Tunnel Of Love. Once again, it has those same familiar changes but Bruce adds in words that fit just right to describe the joy and enthusiasm of young love. He makes the changes his own by adding the second and the forth tone at certain places to add a sophisticated unique sound. Bruce took tight control of his artistic vision on this recording. He does vocals, guitar, mandolin, bass, keyboards, harmonica, and percussion, with Max Weinberg on drums. Dedicated to Alan L. and Bob S. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Related posts:    Thunder Road                               Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (based on Bruce's arrangement) Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!

As Long As He Needs Me

December 30, 2019

"As Long as He Needs Me" is a torch song sung by the character of Nancy in the 1960 musical Oliver! and written by Lionel Bart.  It is a love ballad expressing Nancy's love for her criminal boyfriend Bill Sikes despite his mistreatment of her. Best known for creating the book, music and lyrics for Oliver!, Bart was described by Andrew Lloyd Webber as "the father of the modern British musical". In 1963 he won the Tony Award for Best Original Score for Oliver!, and the 1968 film version of the musical won a total of 6 Academy Awards including the Academy Award for Best Picture. Some of his other compositions include the theme song to the James Bond film From Russia with Love. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!
Toy space ranger Buzz Lightyear and cowboy doll Woody from Disney's Toy Story pose for an album cover, with the text "You've Got a Friend In Me."

You’ve Got a Friend In Me

December 30, 2019

Ok, who doesn’t smile when they hear this song? And another song that’s so much fun to play! Randy Newman has received twenty Academy Award nominations in the Best Original Score and Best Original Song categories and has won twice in the latter category, contributing to Newman’s being the most nominated Academy Award extended family, with a collective 92 nominations in various music categories. He has also won three Emmys, seven Grammy Awards and the Governor's Award from the Recording Academy. Notable cover versions: Michael Bublé, Dr. John, Lyle Lovett, Tom Hanks, Robert Goulet, Gipsy Kings, Chris Thile and others. Dedicated to Josh and Lana. And Jamie. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!
James Taylor, with his arms resting on a tree stump.

The Blues is Just A Bad Dream

December 30, 2019

James Taylor’s ‘The Blues Is Just A Bad Dream’  was on his first album in1968. He was one of the first artists released by the Beatles’ newly formed Apple Records and was recorded at the same time they were recording the White Album. The key to this song is in the bass.  This is the standard three chord blues structure but the bass at a certain point is the hook that drives this song. This is one of the songs where I first learned the blues. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!
Music group The Association posing for an album cover for Never My Love

Never My Love

December 30, 2019

Ok, so I recently watched the music documentary by Jakob Dylan called ‘Echo in the Canyon’ [highly recommended], about the fertile creative scene in Laurel Canyon in the sixties. I immediately wanted to hear how this song would sound on the Bosendorfer piano sample on my Yamaha Clavinova. I was drawn to Dylan’s sparse arrangement of this sixties love song recorded by The Association and written by the Addrisi brothers.  It’s similar in style to many of the songs that I have been sharing with you, in that even without words, the simple beauty of the melody and chord changes is so compelling that it stands on its own without much improvisation. Anyway, enjoy. Dr. Weiss Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!
Stevie Wonder

Lately

December 30, 2019

"Lately" is a song by Stevie Wonder recorded for his nineteenth album ‘Hotter than July’ (1980). The recording sessions were primarily done at Wonderland Studios in Los Angeles (which Wonder had recently acquired). This song’s powerful emotional strength is largely because of evocative lyrics such as “far more frequently you're wearing perfume with you say no special place to go”, “just the other night while you were sleeping I vaguely heard you whisper someone's name” and “what I really feel my eyes won't let me hide, ‘cause they always start to cry.” But, as usual, the music is also pretty powerful, especially the key change after the deceptive cadence just before the last chorus. And, really especially when sung with Stevie’s incomparable vocals! For this song Stevie Wonder must have had a lot of fun - being not only responsible for vocals but also synthesizer, drums, Fender Rhodes, bass guitar, clavinet, background vocals, ARP, vocoder, piano, harpsichord, celeste, keyboards, harmonica, cabasa, percussion, bells, handclaps, flute! This performance is dedicated to Stevie. Please enjoy my humble piano version. Dr. Weiss Related posts: The Secret Life of Plants We Can Work It Out Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing [...]
Harry Belafonte as a young man, standing on a boat for an album cover, titled "The Best of Harry Belafonte."

Jamaica Farewell

December 30, 2019

"Jamaica Farewell" is a Jamaican-style folk song. The song appeared on Harry Belafonte's album Calypso. The lyrics for the song were written by Lord Burgess (Irving Burgie), an American-born, half-Barbadan songwriter. It is about the beauties of the West Indian Islands. Many, including Belafonte himself, have said that the song was popular in the West Indies since long before Burgess. It is believed that Burgess compiled and modified the song from many folk pieces to make a new song. [from Wikipedia] The Kingston Trio, who led the folk revival of the late 1950s, took their name from the mention of Kingston, Jamaica in the song, though they only recorded it many years later, in 2006. I have an affinity for this song because of the time I’ve spent enjoying life in the Caribbean - especially in Jamaica. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano [...]
John Lennon of Beatles fame, wearing his trademark glasses.

Imagine

December 30, 2019

In the "Forward" to Imagine: John Lennon in 1988 Yoko One said that John is still singing and talking, and that he was "a wind that never dies." I agree, and have a feeling that his voice will inspire for years to come. He was certainly an inspiration to me when I founded the One World Sight Project to help cure blindness around the world. Dedicated to Christine C. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Related post: We Can Work It Out Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!