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Remote Riffing: Volume 1

by Keenan McKenzie & the Riffers

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Strolling 'cross the sand We're so happy hand in hand Think how charming it would be In the dwindling light by the sea Darling, if I may Take us dancing by the bay Picture you so close to me In the dwindling light by the sea The band plays our favorite tune And you smile, and I swoon The sun dips below the sky A breeze rolls in with a gentle sigh Watching golden waves 'Till one of us misbehaves Nothing sounds as fine to me As the dwindling light by the sea *** You dear, at my side I could search both far and wide But nothing sounds as fine to me As the dwindling light by the sea As the dwindling light by the sea
Cincinnati 03:25
If you wanna be my honey bee You gotta show some wit and charm You don't have to be from the Ivy League If you say the right words when you're in my arms, so Philosophize me, Socrates me Write me a sonnet or a song With some rhetoric and rhyme, it won't take you any time You'll be me well-read baby from now on, yes My well-read baby from now on *** Show me stacks of play in three acts And darling never will I roam For the man I'm gonna marry needs a broad vocabulary I want a well-read baby to call my own, sweetheart A well-read baby to call my own *** If you're anything lesser that a tenured professor You better quote me Emily Dickinson on the phone 'Cause if you're Thomas, Dick or Harry, I hope you own your own library I want a well-read baby to call my own, yes A well-read baby to call my own
There's a house on Hawkins Drive Set atop a lonely hill Vacant seventy years or more It's a dreary site until The first full moon in autumn When a light grows from within Through a doorway to another place The music will begin It's said the owner, rest her soul Was a host of some renown At ninety-three the old queen bee Threw the greatest dance in town Got an eight-piece band, grand buffet And friends from cross the way When the Reaper came, and spoke her name The old gal was due that day But it dropped it's scythe to marvel at the birthday fling Said, "It ain't quite the Devil's music, but the cats can swing." "Here's what I'll do: I came for you but to keep this scene alive One night each year, we'll party here At the house on Hawkins Drive!" *** Come join the joyful spirits in the fun Just be sure to say farewell before the band is done For if you linger long enough To see the dawn arrive Then right or wrong, you will belong To the house on Hawkins Drive!


7 tracks of remotely-recorded swing music, performed by Keenan McKenzie & the Riffers!

Remote Riffing began as a video series in April 2020. For each song, musicians recorded themselves individually at home, contributing their parts in a carefully planned order. This process often spanned many weeks, and is quite different from how we typically record (together, in one room). Nevertheless, we think these recordings share a special energy that feels warm and alive.

For this release, The Riffers include many regular players, as well as guests joining the band for the first time. 23 musicians appear on this project, hailing from locations including Los Angeles, Beijing, New Orleans, and Durham. Recording these tunes certainly lifted our spirits, and we hope they bring you joy as well!


released October 18, 2020

Music composed and arranged by Keenan McKenzie
Painting by Collin Williams (@artbycollin)

Laura Windley (vocals), Keenan McKenzie (tenor saxophone), Lucian Cobb (trombone), Jonathan Stout (guitar), James Posedel (piano), William Ledbetter (bass), Daniel Faust (drums)

2. PARTS & LABOR (186 bpm)
Noah Hocker (trumpet), Keenan McKenzie (tenor saxophone), Jonathan Stout (guitar), James Posedel (piano), William Ledbetter (bass), Josh Collazo (drums)

Keenan McKenzie (tenor saxophone), Jonathan Stout (guitar), Chris Dawson (piano), William Ledbetter (bass), Josh Collazo (drums)

4. CINCINNATI (192 bpm)
Gordon Au (trumpet), Keenan McKenzie (soprano saxophone), Lucian Cobb (trombone), Jonathan Stout (guitar), Chris Dawson (piano), William Ledbetter (bass), Peter Shilliday (utensils)

5. MY WELL-READ BABY (105 bpm)
Lynn Grissett (trumpet), Keenan McKenzie (clarinet), Haruka Kikuchi (trombone), Annie Erbsen (guitar), Mark Wells (piano), William Ledbetter (bass), Josh Collazo (drums)

Laura Windley (vocals), Lynn Grissett (trumpet), Keenan McKenzie (saxophones/clarinet), Lucian Cobb (trombone), Chip Newton (guitar), Mark Wells (piano), William Ledbetter (bass), Riley Baker (drums)

Renée McGee (trumpet), Keenan McKenzie (alto saxophone), Shaena Ryan Martin (baritone saxophone), Billie Feather (guitar), Mark Wells (piano), William Ledbetter (bass), Chrishawn Darby (drums)


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Keenan McKenzie Durham, North Carolina

Keenan McKenzie is a Durham-based saxophone and clarinet player, specializing in dance-oriented music. In addition to leading his own band, the Riffers, he appears with The Mint Julep Jazz Band, Michael Gamble, Jonathan Stout, The Rhythm Serenaders, and The Shakedown. ... more

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