Angelo Piano Duo - "Helen's Song"- George Cables / Bruce Munson
"Helen's Song" video is dedicated to our dearest friend, Helen Wray. Helen was George Cables' soul mate and she was the inspiration for his classic jazz standard Helen's Song. The 2 piano Concert arrangement was written for the Angelo Piano Duo by Bruce Cameron Munson. This video features an excerpt of the original piano solo version by George Cables followed by performances of the Concert arrangement from the Salkind International Piano Duo Festivals.
Composed in 1985, "Helen's Song" has numerous recordings by different artists. "With the opening vamp and melody in D major I hoped to describe the bright yet calm demeanor of Helen's presence. From there the piece goes on to describe a wistful and romantic and somehow grounded person. I just hope it did her justice." George Cables
George Cables was classically trained as a youth, and when he started at the "Fame"- worthy New York High School of Performing Arts, he admittedly "didn't know anything about jazz." George has since performed and recorded with some of the greatest jazz musicians of his time, including Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Sarah Vaughn, Tony Williams, Bobby Hutcherson and Dizzy Gillespie. He has emerged as a major voice in modern jazz and is currently performing and recording as a soloist, with his trio, and larger ensembles, and appears as a clinician in college jazz programs. In addition to composing and arranging for his own albums, George Cables has contributed to recordings by many other jazz artists. http://www.georgecables.com/
Bruce Cameron Munson is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley Music Department and active as a composer and arranger. In 2009, he launched his own music editing and engraving business, Munson Music Services & Consulting. Munson wrote the two-piano concert arrangement of "Helen's Song" for The Angelo Piano Duo in 2006. "When given the opportunity to arrange George Cables' signature standard, Helen's Song, for piano duo, my first thought was: how am I going to transform this great jazz tune with its complex form into a much lengthier concert piece for two pianos and still maintain an improvisational feel? The answer was to treat the form of the solo section as a kind of theme and variations. After stating the head of the tune, I begin to venture out and interpret the solo section through my impressions of other great modern jazz pianists. So it is the feel of the music that is varied throughout, changing from the original Latin groove to swing and back, going from rhapsody to ballad, and even adding a little inside piano and piano case percussion. But it is not just in the solo section where the various musical personalities come into play. They are actually there from the start in various and subtle ways, all joining George in interpreting his masterful composition." Bruce Munson http://www.munsonmusicservices.com/About_Us.html