By Diaa Bekheet | Washington, DC
American pianist and composer Neil Alexander has a new album titled Darn That Dream. It is Alexander’s solo album of pure piano music. “This is my first solo piano offering with no treatments, no synthesizers… basically nothing to hide behind,” he tells VOA’s Music Beat in an interview.
The title is a throwback to the good old days of Broadway musical theater, when Louis Armstrong sang “Darn That Dream” in the musical “Swingin’ the Dream,” in 1939.
I dream each night,
You say you love me and hold me tight
But when I awake and you’re out of sight
Oh, darn that dream.
Neil Alexander has different renditions of “Darn That Dream” on piano. “It’s definitely one of my all-time favorite songs from the jazz singers’ repertoire,” he said. “I have done various arrangements of it, and it was good on this recording to get back to the basics as it were.”
Darn That Dream showcases 11 tracks, including six original songs. “About half of those are improvisations. They were recorded in the studio, sort of created on the spur of the moment,” he said.
Alexander is working on “Darm That Dream” Vol. 2, which will include some great classics.
“What I’m going to feature on Vol. 2 is something that I’m currently touring, which is my own personal piano transcription of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring,” says Alexander.
“Now with the 100th anniversary, I’m touring this piece as much as possible. I have shows coming up on the West Coast (of the United States),” said Alexander. “That’s what’s going to be featured on Vol. 2, along with a wonderful piece by George Gershwin called Lullaby for Springs, which I have also transcribed for solo piano.”
Vol. 2 will be released by the end of this year.