“Nordberg Suite” in pictures!

Tune #6 went down on Monday, and again the wonderful and talented Una was there compiling photographic evidence. Some great shots of the band, Minnow the cat, the fish, and our special guest Bruce Harris! Got a favourite?


This tune comes out Monday March 2. Missed an earlier tune? Grab them all here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/nick-hempton/id449388179

Tinkling Tune #6 All Over The Ivories

Tune #6 is in the can! It’s called “Nordberg Suite”, and will be available Monday! Here’s a quick look from the new Steinway at Mezzrow in NYC!

(Missed one of the earlier tunes? Grab ’em here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/nick-hempton/id449388179)

Track #5- “Target Practice”- is here!

Here’s track five- on time this time! It’s called Target Practice, and features Dan Aran at the drums, Tadataka Unno on piano, and Dave Baron at the bass. Have a listen and let me know what you think. If you dig the tune, buy it for a dollar! (iTunes link is below)

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/target-practice-single/id957592753

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00S66GBW6

A pianistic stab at Tune #4

Tune #4 of Catch and Release comes out Monday! And it features the wonderful Rossano Sportiello at the piano! Sadly we didn’t get any footage of the recording session, so I thought I’d bash out a version so you can hear the tune. Rossano sounds much much much much better than this.

Buy tunes #1-3 at iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/nick-hempton/id449388179

Derailment averted by sporty fellow; delay on track 4.

To follow up on our last post, we’ve made progress! A tune was written, a pianist and an engineer were booked, and a recording session has taken place! Thursday morning I went into Smalls to put down tune 4 of Catch and Release, and I did so with one of my favourite musicians, Rossano Sportiello! An Italian native, Rossano has been based in NY for the last few years, and is one of the world’s leading practitioners of swing-style piano. He’s got a beautifully fluid technique and a gentle swinging touch which, along with his solid left hand, make him great fun to play with in a duo setting. He also, unlike this slob, knows how to dress for a recording session.


The tune itself is a simple little thing- I wrote it in the style of an old standard, and in fact its chord progression is almost identical to a very famous old tune. I’ll leave it to you to pick which one. We did about four takes, all of them relaxed and enjoyable. It sounds pretty- I think you’ll dig it.

Unfortunately, schedule-wise, we’re in the poo. While the tune is done and dusted, it still needs to be mixed and mastered (I’m going to attempt to explain that baffling process in a future post…), and we can’t get in to the studio until December 1, the intended release date. So I’m afraid I have to push this one back a week: tune 4 will be online Monday December 8. I’ll post some trailers before then- I might even have a stab at playing this one on the piano myself…

While I’ve got you, I wanted to link to an interesting (and extremely long) article about music streaming, specifically Spotify. If you’re curious about the future of digital music distribution, have a quick skim through this. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve come to accept that streaming does seem to be the way forward, but I’m no fan of Spotify. (Sadly my decision not to include Catch and Release in their catalogue didn’t make as many headlines as when Taylor Swift did it.) I understand that this is a business, and its purpose is to make money, but it’s difficult to read about these guys with their suites at the Plaza and their Ferraris, discussing selling art like it’s frozen fish fingers. I don’t have a solution, and it’s nothing new- businessmen having ripping off artists for ever- but I hope something changes. Maybe Spotify’s claim that more subscribers will mean bigger payouts is true. But for those of us in the bottom half of the sales tank, I doubt it will make much difference.

In good news, Amazon is selling loads of jazz albums for 5 bucks! Check ’em out and buy some music!

Session #3 in pics, and our secret guest revealed!

Tune #3 is called “The Third Degree”, and it comes out a week from today! Here are some shots from the recording session, featuring our special guest, guitarist Peter Bernstein! Dig:

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As always, thanks Una Stade for the great pictures!

A Terrifying Encounter with the Undead, and Some Light Piano Music.

I took my life in my hands and went to Mezzrow after dark for this video. Mezzrow is the new piano room in Greenwich Village, sister club to Smalls, and may or may not be haunted. I should warn you that something horrifying happens in this clip. And then I stop playing the piano and something even worse happens. Here’s tune #3:

If you’d like to know more about Mezzrow, you can check it out here: https://www.mezzrow.com

Sixty Seconds of a Very Swinging Trio!

Here’s a clip of the cats swinging out in the studio, on track #2 of Catch and Release. The tune is called “Hanging for Dear Life”, and you’re watching Tadataka Unno at the piano, Dave Baron on the bass, and Dan Aran at the drums.

The tune will be released September 2.  Dig!