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Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

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One day while teaching my elementary music classes (ages 5-11), I came across a recording of the Harlem Boys Choir (which is a NYC public school) singing this old spiritual, in a "smooth jazz" kind of way. (The recording was included in the CDs which come with my music textbooks.) Although I was already familiar with the song, for some reason it struck me in a new way. And I decided to record it.

I have been collaborating with "real drummer" drlaine for a few tunes, and he and I got together on this one. I had originally conceived of it as a ballad, but the up-tempo urge took over, at drlaine's recommendation. And it was drlaine's idea to put in the Latin-style bridge.

I still am in awe of this long-distance collaboration process -- it's miraculous! drlaine, I hope we can meet face-to-face someday. In the meantime, I am getting to know you through your very soulful drumming. You are WAY talented!

Hope all of our listeners enjoy this as much as drlaine and I enjoyed putting it together.

The piano and bass sounds are played by me, and are from Sonic Boom Box. The drums are indeed real drums, recorded and performed by drlaine after I finished the piano/bass tracks.

And the whole thing is running through GB2. What a gas.

I need to convert the piano sounds to Synthogy Ivory, but have not gotten around to doing that yet.
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Song Stats
Hits: 13529
Comments: 23
Fans: 15
Plays: 5153
Downloads: 557
Votes: 36
Uploaded: Apr 07, 2005 - 10:39:46 AM
Last Updated: Apr 07, 2005 - 07:01:50 AM Last Played: Aug 03, 2019 - 05:15:32 AM
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Magritte said 5304 days ago (April 7th, 2005)
Fabulous. Never would have imagined such a fun version of such a mournful song.

My one teeny tiny suggestion would be maybe a slightly more drawn-out ending. It seems a bit abrupt (although that does fit the snappy feel of the song).

Please post more tunes, you guys.
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thetiler said 5304 days ago (April 7th, 2005)
Great tune

You can really play.

Not only jazz, but you maintain a nice melody.

Thanks for sharing :)
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Mr. S said 5304 days ago (April 7th, 2005)

Mr. S
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Joanna said 5303 days ago (April 7th, 2005)
Love it!
That is some great jazz playing, guys! Extemely cool. If
you ever need a vocalist, keep me in mind.
Check out my latest song called Baby, It's Cold Outside
MissChaos said 5303 days ago (April 7th, 2005)
all you need now...
is Richard Cheese singing the vocals. Wow. Very cool. I am
not a jazz fan by any means, but I'm loving this! And I
love the latin bridge -- I actually wanted to hear more of
it. Amazing talent here. Amazing.
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alley-oop said 5303 days ago (April 7th, 2005)
sweet to the soul
Hot chops all over! What groove, baby!
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bug67 said 5303 days ago (April 7th, 2005)
This might be the best recording I've heard on MacJams so
far! Would love to hear from drlaine for some drum
micing techniques. Outstanding!
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Scorpjammer said 5303 days ago (April 7th, 2005)
..I love this tune, John. What an awesome, deep, lush piano and bass. Drlaine's drumming is dead on. Two veteran musicians at work exchanging ideas and executing them to perfection. Sounds great with my (Bose) headphones.

Johnny LOVES Jazz!

Bravo, guys!

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Doadars Uncle said 5303 days ago (April 7th, 2005)
Nobody knows
Nobody knows...but I don't care, 'cause I'm groovin'

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Peter Greenstone said 5303 days ago (April 8th, 2005)
Absolutely wonderful all around. It sounds like the two of
you and a couple other people are in the same jazz club
playing live together. Such excellent playing and with
such style. And the mix sounds excellent, very full and
clean. I'll certainly download this one.
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rjjones1150 said 5303 days ago (April 8th, 2005)
perfect, most excellently done.
keep it up

ivory never sounded so good.
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Tom Atwood said 5302 days ago (April 9th, 2005)
Crazy Collaboration
Until I read the song descriptioon I had no idea this was a
collaboration. Very smooth, fused. The piano is excellent
(as usual) but I am extremely impressed by drlaine's long-
distance stick-work on this. Nice stinger.
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drakonis said 5302 days ago (April 9th, 2005)
inside out
Great job flipping this durdge sunny-side up... I hear the
best of Vince G. all over your stuff, classy and excellently

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Swanny said 5299 days ago (April 12th, 2005)
Talent SO GOOD
What a great piece of work

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iG.STUDiO said 5299 days ago (April 12th, 2005)
This is, probably my favorite amongst your latest submissions; great playing, totally enjoyable. Good to have you aboard, may be we could do something together, when I get fired next time, and have time to play :{)
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CraizeeMusic said 5298 days ago (April 13th, 2005)
This Is Fabulous!!!
I have been a jazz fan from a small kid. My grandfather would put on some of his records of Benny Goodman and others. I just loved to listen to them, and your song reminds me of the quality cool jazz I'd get on the radio on one of the local NPR stations. Great work man! You're on the favorites list!
All it needs is a good vocal track and its a hit!
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koolpaw said 5273 days ago (May 7th, 2005)
what a shame, i havent found this great performance!!!!

"Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen" had been played by GeorgeAdams who was a great Sax player, in vary spritual style. This performance is totally different from it but very cool !!!!! i like this !!!!

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stooey said 5261 days ago (May 20th, 2005)
Great Playing!
Great Playing, catchy Arrangement!
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Exogenous said 5249 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
Top shelf
Mr. Stebbe, you are a phenomenal talent. How many years
and instruction did it take to be such a virtuoso? minus
the feel, that's your own thing of course. Drumming and
recorded sound of drums is some of the best I heard on
the site, but keeping in consideration you have a lot more
dynamic range to play with than bloody rock band. Nice
job drlaine, top shelf callaboration. Never boring, great
phrasing and arrangement. Bravo to a dynamic duo.
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jeancharles said 5071 days ago (November 26th, 2005)
This IS my favorite!
Wow. I have to admit, this is my favorite piece here at MacJams. It may be
a biased choice, since "Nobody Knows" is one on the top of my favorite
Spirituals, but never the less, this arrangement is jazzly fantastic.

I love the variations, which was created in a very skilled manner. Great
realization. Thanks for this piece!
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John Stebbe said 5069 days ago (November 27th, 2005)
Thanks, JeanCharles
Thanks, JeanCharles. This is a favorite of mine, too. And I recorded
this when I had a very generic piano sound to work with, which was
from SonicBoomBox. It's an OK sound, but the gradations between
volumes, and also bright/dull gradations, are very coarse.

I've since gotten Synthogy Ivory as a plug-in for GarageBand, and it's
out of this world. Listen to a few of my recent posts, and you'll see
what I mean.

So even tho this has the "lesser" piano sound, many people seem to
like this better than all the rest of my stuff. I guess song structure and
feel trump subtleties of piano tone.
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John Stebbe said 4448 days ago (August 11th, 2007)
OK, I give.
OK, I give. Can someone please tell me why my little humble song has generated 5000+ hits? It must be hyperlinked to someone's site somewhere. Can someone let me in on this?

My NEW 2007 jazz piano CD on the iTunes Music Store.
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peacepiano said 2345 days ago (May 13th, 2013)
I do like it. But you are right, it doesn't really explain why there are so many hits. There are some very nice runs mixed in here. Sounds relaxed and fun, no pretentions. Always enjoy listening to your playing.
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Artist Info
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Name: John Stebbe
Location: Indianapolis Indiana USA
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I am a public elementary school music teacher in Indianapolis. I also direct the children's choirs at our church. I love to play piano. I play solo piano jobs around town, and also lead a jazz trio (piano, bass, drums). I was born in 1959. ... [see more]

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