New CD!!! The Novick-Nieske Duo
The spare soulfulness and inventive sound of Billy Novick's (clarinet) and Bob Nieske (acoustic bass) is captured perfectly in this duo recording. Bob and Billy have performed as a duo for the past five years at the Franklin Cafe in Gloucester, MA and this recording is a testament to their highly-developed musical communication. You can purchase it as either a digital download or as a real CD.
Paul Lenart and I just finished recording another project for Sonoton, the world's largest music production library. We're calling this one "Vintage Jazz" and it builds upon or award-winning "Cool Jazz" CD we recorded twenty years ago. We were thrilled with how the the amazing musicians we worked with captured the sound, vitality and spirit of the music we wrote. Heartfelt thanks to Mark Soskin (piano), Dave Clark (bass), Bill Reynolds (drums), Mike Peipman (trumpet), Dave Harris (trombone) and John Wilkins (guitar). I played all the saxes we needed and I was truly inspired to record with such great musicians.
Well, it ain't a Grammy or an Oscar...
but, nontheless, as a winner of the Marks Award (yeah- I never heard of it either) I still get a statuette for the BEST JAZZ TRACK from the PMA (Production Music Association)!
The song is "Bopology," and I wrote it with my good friend and co-conspirator, Paul Lenart about 15 years ago.
Oddly enough, even though the PMA has been around for twenty-five years, this is the first year that the awards were given. Which means that somebody searched through 25 years of music...
and this was the best they could come up with?
The statuette will go right next to the trophy I got twenty years ago when I coached my then ten year- old daughter's soccer team. We were undefeated....like 4-0 in the lowest tier of a small town soccer league...but hey, a trophy is a trophy!
WHAT A FUN PROJECT!
I just finished both arranging and playing on a recording produced by renowned guitarist Duke Robillard. The CD will feature a wide array of female vocalists- including Maria Muldaur, Elizabeth McGovern (of Downton Abbey) and Catherine Russell- performing songs of the '20's and '30's.
Purchase THE GREAT GATSBY soundtrack CD
recorded by Billy Novick's Blue Syncopators!
2013 "The Sun Also Rises" Ballet is a huge success!
Billy's second full-length ballet was commissioned by The Washington (DC) Ballet to create a period score for their original production of Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises. His collaboration with choreographer and company artistic director Septime Webre was a huge success, selling out 6 of 7 shows at the Eishower Theater at the Kennedy Center.
The Washington Post raved about the music:
"Before the curtain rises on the Washington Ballet’s “Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises,” you get a taste of the ruin, decay and vague comfort that the war-scarred writer etched into his book. This atmosphere is evoked in Billy Novick’s gorgeous piano overture, which guides the audience through deep, slow waters into a Hemingwayish world. One of the pearls of this ballet... is Novick’s music, his arrangements and original compositions, which are performed live by his band and local musicians. Novick also collaborated with Webre on “The Great Gatsby,” but here his velvety jazz is even more artfully woven into an emotional landscape. This ballet gives us ample time to enjoy it."
From The New York times:
"The original music by Billy Novick — who is also the music director and plays the saxophone and clarinet here — effectively conjures both the 1920s jazz age and the more traditional music genres of Spain."
2010 "The Great Gatsby" Ballet is a huge success!
Billy was commissioned by The Washington (DC) Ballet to create a period score for their original production of The Great Gatsby. His collaboration with choreographer and company artistic director Septime Webre was a huge success, selling out 6 of 7 shows at the Eishower Theater at the Kennedy Center and it was the best-selling show in the history of the Washington Ballet.
The Washington Post review of the performance raved about the music:
" Bringing in Boston-based jazz expert Billy Novick and his band ... was a brilliant move.
The result is that for its musical splendors alone "Gatsby" is a remarkable event, an evening of explosive, ticklish and swooning live jazz (songs of the era, filled out with Novick's compositions), played with a verve to spark your thirst for hooch. Especially wonderful are the dark and cinematic early Ellington tunes ("East St. Louis Toodle-oo," "Saturday Night Function"), percolating jammers such as Tommy Dorsey's sly "It's Tight Like That," and Irving Berlin's ruminative "What'll I Do?" -- which echoes through the ballet as the theme for Jay Gatsby's romantic longings."
The Great Gatsby was performed again at the Kennedy Center in November of 2011 and was met with the same critical and audience response as in the premiere. The Washington Post STILL loved the music.....
"The first bit of action in Septime ?Webre’s “The Great Gatsby” is the emergence of the jazz band, rising on a lift from the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater’s orchestra pit, the tuba and string bass glowing under the lights like oil lamps.
It’s fitting that vocalist E. Faye Butler and the six musicians of Billy Novick’s Blue Syncopators receive such a prominent introduction, because they are the starring attraction of this production, which the Washington Ballet reprised Thursday after its February 2010 premiere. It is the music — vintage selections by Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Irving Berlin and more — that not only sets the mood for each scene but contributes to the emotional and dramatic tension, helps define the characters and distinguishes one episode from another. "
And now there's a soundtrack CD!
Listen to the CD
Purchase the CD now
Music from The Great Gatsby CD
"Tillie's Punctured Romance"to be released on DVD!
This 1914 silent film is a gem- it's the first full-length comedy, and features Charlie Chaplin's feature film debut. It is classic slapstick, and absolutely hilarious! Billy collaborated with two other composers to create a period muical score for the highly anticipated UCLA version of this film, and finally, five years after completion, the film will be released in a DVD format. Expect a live tour to follow