Home Music Articles Forums Blog Chat More...      

The Gumshoe Wears A Rag


by

TobinMueller

 Genre: Piano

Get Flash to see this player.

Description
After a 7 month hiatus from playing piano, I am beginning my newest piano commission. The project's working title is "Chaos of the Subconscious," a slight change from the romantic/neo-classical/new age "Morning Whispers" project. The idea with this project is to put together a song cycle that exposes the many layers of subconscious conflicts. Other songs will have more of a Ullen/Scherbako/Scriabin influence (along with Monk, Brubeck and Medeski). But this one sounds like a crazy musical stage number. Most of you may not know that I was a Private Investigator for just over 3 years (1980-84), my only "real" job outside music, writing and webwork. Lots of stories, for sure. This tune combines some of the silliness of those years.

Altho this surely will not be the first song of the cycle, it happened to be the first one I completed, so I am posting it even tho it may not be that representational of the project. But I so rarely use humor in the compositions I've shared at Macjams, I wanted to put this one out there.

I chose "Ragtime" as a tongue-in-cheek genre, in keeping with the whimsy of the piece. As Alimar commented, this is really "Neo-Prog Rag," or twentieth century classical inflected solo jazz piano.
Leave a Comment
You must be registered and logged-in to comment.
Lyrics
Other pre-mastered recordings from 13 Masks posted at Macjams:

Chromatisome Swing (tribute to Oscar Peterson)
Two Peas in a Chili Pod (dedicated to McBoy)
A Monk Caught In The Thelonious Sphere
Chaos of the Subconscious
You Make My Heart Skip A Beat



Song Stats
Hits: 6717
Comments: 46
Fans: 23
Plays: 614
Downloads: 239
Votes: 30
Uploaded: Jul 14, 2006 - 07:45:13 AM
Last Updated: Dec 26, 2007 - 09:36:42 AM Last Played: Nov 22, 2014 - 02:50:28 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
share on facebook share on twitter download song
Hardware:
G5; Roland A90ex
Software:
Ivory plug in, Bosendorfer Imperial setting
Comments
said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Guy Noir wrestes with his demons
So, you were the original Guy Noir! How cool is that? I like the concept
and execution of this funk-shway piece. Wow. I wish I could play like
that. You own the keys, Tobin. [Or do they own you?] What was that
half-whisper I just barely discerned? [Never mind, singer.}

Few hours of repose
and a barge load of woes,
God's trawling the oceans
for wayward emotions.

All kinds of perceptions.
Distinct dispositions.
Unique dreams and sighs.
Diverse wails and cries.

This deity's angling.
His love's disentangling
the human condition,
dark mare of perdition.
TobinMueller said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Guy Noir wrestes with his demons
I always dig when you add your poetry, wisdom, insights and quotations to my
song pages, Richard. "...love's disentangling the human condition..." Thank you
so much. I dig solo piano (and so does Suzanne). Something special about
doing it on a one man - one instrument level. Plus, I don't have to orchestrate!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Guy Noir wrestles with his demons
Glad you like my snippet of poetry. Your music made me do it, creative guy.
So, are you familiar with Garrison Keillor's "Guy Noir" gumshoe character on
"A Prairie Home Companion"? A perfect match for your demon wrestlin' piano
work here.

---
http://www.schletty.com/song
TobinMueller said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Guy Noir wrestles with his demons
Yes, I love Guy Noir. I've been a fan of PHC for decades. Lake Wobegon is one
of my favorite vacation spots.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Guy Noir wrestes with his demons
So, you were the original Guy Noir! How cool is that? I like the concept
and execution of this funk-shway piece. Wow. I wish I could play like
that. You own the keys, Tobin. [Or do they own you?] What was that
half-whisper I just barely discerned? [Never mind, singer.}

Few hours of repose
and a barge load of woes,
God's trawling the oceans
for wayward emotions.

All kinds of perceptions.
Distinct dispositions.
Unique dreams and sighs.
Diverse wails and cries.

This deity's angling.
His love's disentangling
the human condition,
dark mare of perdition.
said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Crazy but cool!
Crazy but cool!
I see a Bob Fosse choreographed stage number... solo piano off to the side. Dancers doin that incredible Fosse jazz thang (trenchcoats, black fishnet stockings, high heels, etc.). You are quite talented, Tobin. But, I guess you know that. Unlike most of us, you could probably make money with your music, if you chose to... All the best. James/B2X
TobinMueller said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Crazy but cool!
Fosse, yes, that's totally cool. Great image. That's kind of what I was seeing
when I was playing, only it was more the movie version, or maybe the breakout
video, or maybe the tv ad version where Daniel Day Lewis plays the gumshoe
and I make a ton of money on the rights!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Excellent
"Right in your face" piano improv. The performance, expression, timing
changes, tonal quality, etc., live up to my every expectation. The ability to
achieve such a dynamic, without distortion or clipping, is a true feat in
itself. Humorous undertones, in a rather serious piece, really give this a
warm, human touch.
TobinMueller said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Excellent
Thanks for the ears and the "Prog-Rag" genre label. And for noticing the serious
context of the entire piece. Lots of subtle shifts that, on relistening, I wish I'd
made less subtle. I think writing a song, recording it and sending it out in one
week may be too fast. My percolating time may need lengthening. Yes, it's
tough to record the loud-softs of piano playing without limited dynamic energy
thru over-compression. Thanks for noticing that part, too.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
chikoppi said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Of all the music sites in all the world...
Confess. I'm sure I heard a few chords in there that contained every
note in the scale (and a few outside it). This feels like its all over the
board and chaotic, yet it holds down a very unique style and strong
theme. Lively and loose, yet in another sense very specific with regard
to the impression it creates.

The Ivory piano sounds great. The bass notes have all the punch of a
bass guitar.

Very fun. Very playful. Very cinematic. The earlier reference to Fosse
(one which I would have never come up with) is right on. Maybe
moreso than any of your other works I can "hear" your enjoyment in
performing this.
Check out my latest song called Disquiet (demo 2)
TobinMueller said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Of all the music sites in all the world...
Yes, I used some of those Medeski flat hand techniques of chord clustering. I
plan on using more of his techniques as the cycle grows. At least I'm hearing
lots of noisy clatter from the right hand in my head. Thanks for the careful
listening, by the way. I always enjoy your enthusiasm in dissecting music.
Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Stun Nutz said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Rousing and inventive...
This kept me on the edge of my seat and quite entertained!
Check out my latest song called stagnation
TobinMueller said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Rousing and inventive...
It's a page turner, that's for sure. Glad I have most of it memorized.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
J.A.Stewart said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Sounds Like...
You were *packin'* on this caper, Tobin and shooting from the *hip*
with a jazzy revolver. Lots of interesting fireworks in this piece.

A really nice job of musically piecing together all those emotions that
come with life experiences, in a work that coalesces chaos and caprice
in such a... *singular* fashion.

So did you retire the deerstalker? ;-)

--- Joe


Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
TobinMueller said 4090 days ago (July 14th, 2006)
Sounds Like...
I actually had a deerstalker (Sherlock Holmes cap) that I would wear just for the
absurdity of what I was doing. It got me in a restaurant (the maƮtre d would see
me and yell "Lestrade is waiting for you at the window seat" and whisk me past
other waiting patrons; pretty cool). But, alas, the hat shrunk in the rain (made of
out wool!) and no longer fits. Sometimes I wore 3 hats on a single job, just to
throw people off (when I was doing surveillance). What I always wanted was one
of those cape coats that Holmes wore, tho. Still hankering for that.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Tadashi Togawa said 4089 days ago (July 15th, 2006)
Tottering step.
Is this piano a man who is getting it drunken?
It expresses it well.
Check out my latest song called Mexican taste
Mcboy said 4088 days ago (July 16th, 2006)
a new .....
and modernesque pink panther theme.........sure sounds like it could
be....kool......
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
John Stebbe said 4088 days ago (July 16th, 2006)
Sounds like Monk
You said the other songs would sound like Monk, but this one really does
hearken back to his sound, quite a bit, at least to my ear.

So you used to be Jim Rockford! Very cool. Did you live in a trailer? Drive
a Firebird? Wacky friend named Angel?

Excellent composition. Sounds very well thought out. How much, if any,
is improvised?
Check out my latest song called Midwest States Song
TobinMueller said 4087 days ago (July 17th, 2006)
Sounds like Monk
I drove an Escort, lived in an apartment in Fitchburg WI (suburb of Madison
that in the early 80s seceded from the Union becuz it was not included on the
state map, but then rejoined) where I was also the janitor (free rent) across the
hall from immigrants from Russia and above a family from Lebanon (whose son
was killed the first week they return by a car bomb.... Lebanon has had troubles
for decades), and have always had wacky friends. None of this piece is
improvised, altho some of it did grow out of improvisation. No cadenzas, like
some of my pieces have.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
composerclark said 4088 days ago (July 17th, 2006)
KJ meets BF
I like the way you take a genre here and give it a little twist so that it isn't
what the listener expects, and yet it has a kind of stylistic familiarity all
the same. It seems to careen back and forth between Keith Jarrett and
Bob Fosse, and that is a simply wonderful juxtaposition. (Maybe you
should ask Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette to join you in a trio version
of this!) I like this very, very much!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
TobinMueller said 4087 days ago (July 17th, 2006)
KJ meets BF
Keith Jarrett was the first guy to teach me the importance of voicing a chord.
Thanks for the reference. And, yes, I'd play in that trio any day! (I hear
DeJohnette's snare and trap in my head a lot while I'm playing.)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 4086 days ago (July 18th, 2006)
Although Not Meant as a Tribute
I'll always thing of this as the "Mickey Spillane" song.
You used to be a private eye ... I used to be a spy.
Next we'll need to find the assassin amongst us. ;)
Monkaton said 4086 days ago (July 19th, 2006)
Although Not Meant as a Tribute
I've assassinated a few guitar solos, does that count?

---
Nothing is Real
Check out my latest song called The Chord
perceptualvortex said 4085 days ago (July 19th, 2006)
Very engaging
It's continuously interesting, changing and always moving. Some of it reminded me of the way Art Tatum would be all over the place. And Sun Ra. The strong jazzy feel never leaves, even as you move all around. This is amazing, thanks for sharing it.
Check out my latest song called Mercury (RPM 6)
TobinMueller said 4078 days ago (July 27th, 2006)
Very engaging
Yes, I forgot Tatum, most definitely an influence. Thanks for the careful ears.
Glad you felt like the jazz never flees, since I feel like it borders distressingly
close to musical theater at times. Hard to shake, that.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Komrade K said 4084 days ago (July 20th, 2006)
Someone above said
... this sounded like Monk - I hope they meant Thelonious and not the
hypochondriac TV detective! Anyway this does have something of the feel
of the great man in its unpredictable sways, ducks and dives. It took me
a couple of listens to really get into it but now I think it's an amazing
piece of work - that askew phrasing gets really kinda catchy.

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
TobinMueller said 4077 days ago (July 27th, 2006)
Someone above said
Yes, it is always hard to tell what first impressions of a song might be after
playing it a hundred times to yourself. As I envision this cycle of songs, tho, I
think this may be one of the more accessible. I think almost all music feels
better after many listens, and I appreciate the time you took to listen a second
time. By the way, I think that it fits both Monks, which is kind of fun.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
mf said 4074 days ago (July 31st, 2006)
Dear Tobin,
I havn't heard all of your music, but like everything i heard from you 'till
now, this one also blow's me away.
Very expressive stuff.
Check out my latest song called At The Races
Scott Carmichael said 4065 days ago (August 8th, 2006)
the elder statesmen
another example of why you (with Clark) are the elder statesmen of
MJ... I couldn't touch you guys... I'm so glad that comercial constraints
are not part of what determines what is valid on MJ... you are certainly
a master on piano as well as an obvoious composition monster... and
did you say this is a piano plug in... if so it's the best I've heard... I'm
sure it must have something to do with the player!!! my favorite part is
the whimsical right hand melody over the disonant up and down
movment of the left hand in the middle of the song.. it's brilliant, as
well as technically impressive

to quote Ziti... Deepst bows... it seems appropriate
Check out my latest song called Dogwood
TobinMueller said 4057 days ago (August 16th, 2006)
the elder statesmen
Thanks, Scott. Being an "elder," I am always astounded by how much I used to
know. Not really feeling elderly, however, is part of my general feeling of
bewilderment that motivates me, plus intense curiosity and an occasional lean
toward intimate expressiveness. But then again, I am only 50! I like to think of
myself as a perennial bloomer (more than merely a baby boomer). I just hope
creeping arthritis can be held at bay long enough to record a few more of these.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
eleveneyes said 4051 days ago (August 22nd, 2006)
oh my
oh how i enjoyed this piece! fantastic Tobin. the composition alone is
outstanding and the performance really is exciting. def DL!
Check out my latest song called You And Me
heatherbrooks said 4046 days ago (August 27th, 2006)
Tobin tears it up...
Incredible emotive qualities-I can't think of one feeling that wasn't
present here at some point. The beautiful density of the slow chord
section about 3/4 thru really got me. Just wonderful.
Check out my latest song called Run Aground
jiguma said 4046 days ago (August 28th, 2006)
tour de force
Tobin - I've been away a lot, and over the time this was posted I
obviously also had my eyes and ears closed! My apologies for missing
this tour de force of yours!

This is way outside my listening experience, but I just love the
intensity, breadth of mood and humour you convey. It blows me away
to think that you've got this MEMORISED!!!!

I can't add anything that hasn't already been said, except that I enjoyed
this more than any solo piano piece I've ever heard (in fact it's hard to
believe that it is all played by one person on one instrument - not
questioning anything by that comment, just gobsmacked).

Excellent!!!!!
Neil
Check out my latest song called We End Up Being All The Same (42)
TobinMueller said 3849 days ago (March 12th, 2007)
MEMORISED!!!!
I have to look at my hands at several moments in this piece, so I have to memorize it! Thanks for your enthusiastic comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
scotsmanlerxt said 4042 days ago (August 31st, 2006)
Smiling
The humor comes through in this song. I smiled right from the start (and
it's hard to define why), which, I think, is a nice touch. I could go on and
on about the great technical aspects, but it wouldn't do it justice. I
actually felt something in this song, if for no other reason to like it, it just
made me smile.
Check out my latest song called Colton's Music Box
TobinMueller said 3849 days ago (March 12th, 2007)
The humor comes through
I'm so glad the whimsy and humor come thru, since that was always on my mind as I constructed this piece. I'm trying very hard to smile behind every phrase, glad you could hear it. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
j2morrow said 4037 days ago (September 5th, 2006)
Incredible
Both the song and the playing are amazing. Headed for my ipod.
Thanks.
Check out my latest song called CAPTURE THE RAPTURE
Monkaton said 4034 days ago (September 9th, 2006)
Where's Officer Krupke?
Besides Brubeck, Monk and the others I detect (pun intendend) a little
West Side Story in there too.

Well played and well written.
Check out my latest song called The Chord
said 4013 days ago (September 29th, 2006)
Wow!!!
I don't even know what to say!.. I know!!!!...I wish I could do THAT on
the guitar!!!

Outstanding!!!! Your horizions are endless.....

Wow!!!.... Thanks for sharing!!!...You are my first download!..

That sounded funny.!?!......You make me want to practice!...That
sounds even funnier!

Chris.

TobinMueller said 3849 days ago (March 12th, 2007)
I wish I could do THAT on guitar
One of the nice things about piano is being able to play 10 notes (sometimes more) at once. Then again, I wish I my piano had a whammy bar and the ability to bring personality to each string articulation like guitarists can. I used to play guitar, but could never keep the calluses needed, my fingers are really soft. And it took too much practicing to stay good! (Only so much practice time in a day.) Thanks for you fun comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
VicDiesel said 4003 days ago (October 9th, 2006)
Future-retro
First of all, this is a cool tune. I really enjoyed listening to it.

It did remind me a bit of pianists like Leo Cuypers and Michiel Braam
who have done pretty far out (and regularly still stride-based) stuff in
classically influenced jazz piano.

Oh, the title. After the first couple of seconds of piano I did have an
urge to start in a Philip Marlow voice "It was a dark and stormy night.
And wouldn't you know it, a dame walked into my office." Did that ever
happen to you?

Anyway, fun stuff. -- Victor.
Check out my latest song called Sonnerie de Ste Genevieve
Enrique Gil said 3998 days ago (October 14th, 2006)
unusual sounds
I like the combination of an unusual melody in the setting of a nice
ragtime rhythm. very cool!
Check out my latest song called Simple Feelings
paul f. page said 3850 days ago (March 12th, 2007)
Gumshoe
Tobin,
There's not a moment of this number that isn't interesting, delightful, and just plain full of wonderful ideas and superlative keyboard control. What a master you are at all of this. I am totally impressed and, better still, happy that I get to hear such great music. All 10s in my book. Wow.
Paul
Check out my latest song called 124
TobinMueller said 3849 days ago (March 12th, 2007)
Not a moment of this number that isn't interesting, delightful
Thanks. I especially enjoy your delight, since you are a pianist of excellence with a great ear for melody. I tried never to repeat anything exactly, even within the repeated sections. I appreciate your comments and urge everyone to also visit your music as well, which is superb and always lovely.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
elektronix said 3823 days ago (April 7th, 2007)
Next one...
..there is so much music from you to discover here, different genres and different moods, but I think, the solo piano is your home, isn't it?

Very nice style, yeah, and something really new, it is not rag time: As you mentioned above, I would say it is "twentieth century classical inflected solo jazz piano"
We should find a short name...

I will now switch to my better sound equipment in my living room, take a good whiskey and will hear it again on my better loudspeakers. This is wonderful easter egg, which I found here.

I love this kind of music.

Thanks a lot of sharing.

Happy easter,

Bernd
Check out my latest song called Night Theme
thetiler said 3287 days ago (September 25th, 2008)
Terrific Tobin
Amazing how musically articulate you are in a jazzy avant garde way.

7 month hiatus. Wow to play like that and not play for so long.

Blows me away! !!!
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
send a note
I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Chat
Who's Online
Invisible Members: 0
Visitors: 99