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

Let It Be

June 18, 2019

On This Day (June 18) in 1942, Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool. I’m sure glad he met the other guys and I was around to hear it. I’ve always thought that “Let It Be” is one of the true classic piano solos. For years I thought I understood that ‘Let It Be’ meant ‘to leave things as they are’, with a pacifist connotation. And also that ‘Mother Mary’ had religious overtones. Now I understand that ‘Let it Be’ was meant more in a prayerful way, hoping for words of wisdom and an answer to times of trouble (as in, ‘let it be soon’) with a timeless message. Anyway, it’s a beautiful, inspiring song. I know that it’s inspired me over the years. And ‘Mother Mary’ was actually about his deceased mother Mary, who had just seen in a dream - but I’m sure that Paul was OK with the ambiguity. Happy Birthday, Paul 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. [...]

Stella Blue

June 17, 2019

On This Day in 1972 (June 17), “Stella Blue” was first performed by the Grateful Dead at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (47 years ago today!) If you’re already a Grateful Dead fan, the song needs no introduction.  But for those of you who have never been to a Dead show, after you hear the first notes of this song you just settle down into your chair to enjoy a mellow few minutes and enjoy the tasteful light show! I look at it as a musical impressionistic work of art. Impressionism is a style or movement in painting originating in France in the 1860s, characterized by a concern with depicting the visual impression of the moment, especially in terms of the shifting effect of light and color. It’s an artistic style that seeks to capture a feeling or experience rather than to achieve accurate depiction. In music it’s a style of composition (associated especially with Debussy) in which clarity of structure and theme is subordinate to harmonic effects. Robert Hunter’s phrases such as ‘all the years combine, they melt into a dream’, ‘there's nothing you can hold for very long’, and ’it seems like all this life was just [...]

More Than You Know

June 5, 2019

More Than You Know I am a big fan of female jazz vocalists. This is a song that was famously sung by two of my favorites, Bille Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald (among many, many others.) I probably first heard their version while I was an intern in Hartford, Connecticut. I shared a house with a jazz DJ who gradually introduced me to many jazz LPs every night on his way to his bedroom upstairs. I fell in love with their voices and this song. (By the way, composer Vincent Youmans also wrote the music  for Tea for Two.) Thanks again, Todd. (Happy Birthday!) 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!!
Elton John playing the piano

Can You Feel The Love Tonight?

June 3, 2019

Just saw Rocketman this weekend. Elton, this one is dedicated to you. 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!!

Armed Forces medley

May 26, 2019

No words needed here. The music and lyrics speak for itself. Related post: Memorial Day Tribute 2016 - America the Beautiful 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!!

If Dogs Run Free

May 24, 2019

If Dogs Run Free - Happy Birthday Bob! On this day in 1941, Bob Dylan was born.  I first heard this song from the album New Morning when I was 17 and a freshman at NYU. This song fragment contains one of my favorite lines: 'Just do your thing, you’ll be king.'  This beat jazz homage featured Bob Dylan’s spoken word poetry, scat-singing Maeretha Stewart and Al Kooper on piano. Kooper was known for organizing Blood, Sweat & Tears, providing studio support for Bob Dylan when he went electric in 1965, and bringing together guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills to record the Super Session album (BTW, if you haven’t listened to this album, then do!)  I thought the jazz intro was just so cool, and Dylan’s mysterious and, as always, inscrutable words were among his best (where to start?) such as ‘my mind weaves a symphony and tapestry of rhyme’ and ’to each his own, it’s all unknown’.  Anyway, Happy Birthday Bob! Enjoy, Dr. Weiss This was dedicated to Luis. Related video: Forever Young - On This Day Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a [...]

Tell Me More and More (and Then Some)

May 16, 2019

Billie Holiday is tied with Ella Fitzgerald for my (and probably many others) favorite female vocalist.  What you may not be aware of is that Billie was also a composer who not only wrote this song, but others including God Bless the Child (who’s got his own), Lady Sings the Blues, and (Hush Now) Don’t Explain.  Nicknamed "Lady Day”, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills. She is totally unique and instantly recognizable. I won’t even begin to get into her tragic childhood and life (for this, see her wikipedia article.) It is an understatement to say that she had a right to sing the blues.  One devastating example: Holiday's New York City Cabaret Card was revoked, preventing her working anywhere that sold alcohol for the last 12 years of her short life. Our loss. Another almost unbelievable example: as she lay dying (at age 44) in the hospital suffering from heart and liver problems, she was arrested and handcuffed for drug possession, her hospital room was raided, and [...]

Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? (with lyrics)

April 29, 2019

Well, as a matter of fact, I do find myself missing New Orleans, one of my favorite cities, at one of my favorite times of the year in the Big Easy: Jazz Fest!  For a nice summary of Jazz Fest history, read this summary in the New York Times from a couple of days ago. One of my most emotional times in New Orleans was attending the first jazz fest after hurricane Katrina in 2006. I described this moving experience here. This one is dedicated to the many friends and family with whom I’ve shared this unique experience over the years, including: Todd, Alfred, Will, Donna, Portia, Jonathan, David, Katrine and Jay (who, by the way, has the sweetest perfume store in the French Quarter: Madame Aucoin Perfume, around the corner from the Hotel Montelione.)  Let the good times roll! 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 [...]
Easter Parade Poster w/ Judy Garland and Fred Astaire

Easter Parade

April 21, 2019

Back by popular demand, I'm happy to share again what is becoming something of an annual Easter tradition - me playing the Easter Parade for my poodle Bisou!  I'm not sure if Bisou ever got a chance to watch the classic movie with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland, but she definitiely appreciated the music! I hope you enjoy! Dr. Weiss

Cars Hiss By My Window

April 19, 2019

On this day (April 19) in 1971 the Doors released their sixth studio album, L.A. Woman, which included this song, Cars Hiss By My Window. We were BIG Doors fans in my Philadelphia neighborhood! This is the song where I first learned to play the blues.  (I didn’t realize at the time that it was a very common but slightly altered  I/IV/V blues progression, borrowed from generations of black blues musicians, originating in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s.) Another interesting thing I didn’t suspect at the time (pre-Google in our pockets!) were the other musical influences: for this recording, the Doors hired Elvis Presley's bassist Jerry Scheff and Leon Russell’s rhythm guitarist Marc Benno to round out their sound. The band began recording without much material and needed to compose many songs, including this one, on the spot in the studio!  Keyboardist Ray Manzarek recalled that "Jim said it was about living in Venice [Beach], in a hot room, with a hot girlfriend, and an open window, and a bad time…” Listening to this song, I can easily imagine the cars, waves, headlights and beaches of Venice. The ending’s pretty dark, but he was obviously [...]