I’m so excited today to announce the release of my version of Chick Corea’s Children’s Songs! It is now yours to own as either a CD or digital download at www.solarmusic.com!
Over the past year, my producer Michael Franklin asked me to practice Children’s Songs as a tribute to the late Chick Corea. Michael knew him well and was saddened to hear when he passed away last February. So, Michael thought it would be very fitting for a child (like me) to record an album about Children’s Songs. He said these songs were complicated to learn, much less to play, but it was a challenge I wanted to conquer.
In just a few weeks, I had songs 1 through 10 practiced to perfection. During the summer of 2021, I had the rest of the album down by memory. Michael heard some early demos by that time and was impressed by my progress. I’d have had this album recorded sooner, but I had to go back to school in August. Additionally, Michael was equally busy with traveling, touring, and promoting other projects. More time for me to practice until we could meet again…
Shortly before Christmas last year, I finally had the chance to work with Michael and perform these songs for him. I can still remember the string of Christmas lights around the top of the studio walls while we were recording one song at a time. As proof of the countless hours I put into this project, I only played each song once or twice. Michael was speechless at the end. Not only did I play as close to the original recording nearly forty years ago, but he was also clearly touched by how much Chick would have been proud.
It was around Easter this year when I found out Michael wanted the album released on Chick’s birthday, June 12. Originally, this was supposed to be out on February 9, one year to the day that Chick died. But Michael wanted this to be a celebration of Chick’s life, so it made much more sense to be released as a birthday “present.”
The other reason for waiting until today was to have time to create a very colorful album cover. Michael knew another person, Tom Lupo, who designed award-winning album covers, and I really liked how the final version turned out! Michael’s vision for Tom was to have me look out across a piano while a claymation carnival plays to my delight. Against a backdrop of cherry blossoms, the look on my face is exactly how I feel looking at the cover even now. Great job, Tom!
All our work was finally unveiled this past Wednesday when Michael hosted a listening party at his studio. I arrived wearing a nearly identical outfit to the one on the cover, and all heads turned when I walked by. It was a small gathering of both friends and family, but it was really cool playing this album live for the first time! My favorites to perform were songs 10, 13, 18, and 20. Michael also had me say “Happy Birthday, Chick Corea!” while I performed song 20 in a promo video for Solar Music. And afterward, while everyone else was either eating or talking, I played some additional classical piano standards to end the evening with excitement and anticipation.
I hope you will support my work by sharing this post and buying my latest album. It would mean the world to me! Until next time, please enjoy my version of Children’s Songs, and I hope it brings you smiles, joy, and pleasure no matter how old you are…