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MP3 Little Piggie and the Mixed Nuts - Smokey Bleu: French Circus Jazz

French Circus Jazz

5 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Fusion, BLUES: Jazzy Blues

French Circus Jazz ? -------------------------------------

Everyone loves a circus. Little Piggie and the Mixed Nuts are no exception. In fact, we have traveled throughout our Pacific Northwest region for the chance to see and hear anything vaguely resembling a circus. Our favorites include the exotic, avante guarde animal-free sets, but there’s something to amaze, outrage and stupefy in even the funkiest little county fair-style family operations, like the Cole Bros. shows or the Culpepper & Meriweather big topper.

Among the very best we‘ve seen is the local mainstay in San Francisco, the New Pickle Circus. Obvioulsly no list would be complete without mention of the grand European visiting shows, like the Cirque de Soliel, Cirque Plume, Les Colporteurs (all French), the Swamp Circus Theatre (English), and the Imperial Circus of China. All of these feature international talent, breathtaking acrobatics and enormous thrills in a single ring, whether under canvas or on a stage.

The other feature almost always presented by any first class ''new Circus'' show is outrageous, extravagant, indefinable LIVE MUSIC. Esentially the soundscape driving the many elements of production, we think such music is best presented by a small band in a jazzy, unpredictable, melodic and emotionally manipulative format.

Our favorites employ rock and roll technology (guitar, keys, bass and drums), melodramatic key-changes, and wide-ranging tempo and time signature variations. The compositions are well matched to the action (or inaction) in a great show, and we go home remembering the music as much as the jugglers, acrobats or clowns.

This is what we mean by ”French Circus Jazz.” ------------

It’s truly an art form (a very challenging one ) which we have determined in the last few years to review, research and explore -- not always, or even as a preferred genre. Clearly an acquired taste, Blues/rock audiences appreciate (at most) a little piece now and then.

It is very hard just to get our hands on good material, something that in the abstract, away from the show, appeals to us as rock-trained musicians, and still evokes the Circus experience. It takes lots of time to write and arrange our own work. It is still more difficult to perform, as movements must be charted due to all the key changes and tempo and time signature variations.

Still, it is very much worth the effort, even prolonged toil, and whenever time and opportunity presents itself, we have one or more works under way. Over the last few years, we''ve gotten around to recording a CD every year or so.

Two Little Piggie CDs are comprised essentially of thoughtfully composed, original works of what we call instrumental French Circus Jazz:
Please check them out. ----------------------

In 2005 (also detailed and distributed on CD BABY) we completed, and first performed, "BUGS : A Deeply Troubling Symphonic Work for Guitar, Synth and Rhythm Section" to literally no notice whatsoever.

''BUGS'' is a sprightly, high energy, low volume, up-tempo work in several, mostly short movements. Our inspirations were at once the antics of French circus clowns and acrobats as well as the impressions, habits and character of social insects, stink bugs and brightly colored beetles.

Here we feature our newest work: In 2006 we published "Smokey Blue: French Circus Jazz" a subsymphonic proto-orchestral suite.

This is also an instrumental work in several movements, but we deliberately concentrated on crafting a slower, genuinely blues-inspired, somewhat more elemental work (with fewer instruments and effects), capable of dinner-time performance (once again, we anticipate having to work for food). Our engineering prowess has improved to the extent that in recording, we can rely largely on the same mic’d small tube amps, trap drumset, and keyboards we use to perform.

While “bluer” and more elemental, our efforts are still aimed at the zany & circus-like: key changes abound, instant transitions of time-signature and tempo, broad swings from major to minor, all drag you from happy-go-lucky to heartbroken down-and-out, in an instant, unabashedly manipulating for affect.

One of our favorites is the” Bleu Cheese Suite,” but we accept that it may be too long for radio airplay at 12:23. “Smokey is Bleu,” “Le Flea Circus Felini” and Soiled Spandex/ Sequined Sleep” are all reasonably emotive in fewer movements.

Please enjoy some free emotional manipulation in the audio segments offered. Here come the clowns: there go the clowns. Clowns are supposed to make you uncomfortable.

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