Hey, Sports Fans…This’ll Get You Going !
Throughout his life, Steve DeDoes has been fortunate to be able call himself “a player” in the arenas of two of his passions — MUSIC and SPORTS.
“Still A Player” represents some joyful overlap between these two areas in the careers and the lives of both Steve AND his son, the saxophone “franchise player” Mattie DeDoes. You can read about athletic dimensions and other unusual aspects via this “related stories” link; in this post, we present the credits and the work behind the music itself.
- “Pickup Game” (3:38) – featuring Steve DeDoes, vocals & piano/keyboards; Jake Reichbart, guitar & guitar solo; David Taylor, drums & drum solos.
composed and produced for Gus Macker Basketball, 1997/2021.
- “IceMan” – for George (‘IceMan’) Gervin (3:57 instrumental) – featuring Mattie DeDoes, alto saxophone; Keith Stevens, trumpet; Steve DeDoes, piano/keyboards.
- “Pace of the Peloton” (5:47 instrumental) – featuring Mattie DeDoes, alto saxophone; Steve DeDoes, piano/keyboards; David Taylor, drums.
- “Detroit Strut” (5:35 instrumental) – featuring Pete Kahn, alto saxophone; Steve DeDoes, piano/keyboards; David Taylor, drums.
- “Take Me Out To The (Swingin’) BallGame” (2:11) – performed by “StrongArm Satch & the All-Stars of Swing”.
Vocal/”Dixieland”-style rendition of a classic – originally produced for Move&Learn Dance/Educational Products, 2002. Remixed for “Still A Player”.
- “SGB” (Sweet Georgia Brown) (4:55 instrumental) – featuring (a young, still-in-high school) Mattie DeDoes, alto saxophone. Latin-funk arrangement of a standard, hoops-connected theme song.
- “The Game Begins…Nowhere To Hide“
titled “The Moment Has Arrived” in the online stores (2:52 instrumental) – featuring Chris Collins, soprano and tenor saxophones.
This soundtrack culminates in an instrumental arrangement of the theme “Nowhere To Hide,” originally composed for and used in the 1996 USAF film “Project: GoldPan”.
- “To The Next Level” (2:04 instrumental) – featuring Jack Reichbart, guitar & guitar solo.
Note: only available on our CDs (through kunaki.com)
- “BallGame Farewell” (2:05 instrumental) – duet with Mattie DeDoes, alto saxophone & Steve DeDoes, piano.
arranged and produced in 2013 after the passing of baseball legend Stan “The Man” Musial; this recording was commissioned by and used for a Musial video tribute by the Baseball Hall of Fame (click here to read a 2018 post about this, and see the video)
Additional Performer Credits
all Piano/Keyboards: Steve DeDoes
Bass: Styles Bichley (tracks 1-6,8)
Guitar: Singe (tracks 2,4,6)
Drums: Stinson Diddle (tracks 2,6-8)
Congas, Percussion: Esteban DeSiete (tracks 1,2,6)
Subterranean Orchestra (7,8,)
Keith Stevens also plays trombone on (3), flute on (8);
the North Coast Horns appear on (1, 4, 6).
produced at DeDoes Music Productions, Ann Arbor, Michigan;
recorded at DeDoes Music, Solid Sound Studios (Ann Arbor), Brookwood Studio (Ann Arbor).
PRESS RELEASE: related stories (link)
Musical notes – styles, recording evolutions, etc.
Make no mistake, “Still A Player” is a Steve DeDoes production – and therefore, it is another “5-tool” presentation of diverse musical styles. Regardless of genre and purpose, a “Steve DeDoes track” always is designed to build on itself in clever and distinctive ways.
The opening number, “Pickup Game,” is just a flat-out ROCKer of a tune. The 2021 recording is fired by guitarist Jake Reichbart and drummer David Taylor. Reichbart’s solo will cause listeners to pick up their “air guitars” and play along “Guitar Hero-style”; Taylor’s driving drum breaks – along with a last-minute addition of “more cowbell” – will make anyone driving in their cars beat on their dashboards ! Steve’s lead vocal on this track is retained from the original recording; Steve certainly can’t sing that high anymore…
Enjoy the construction of this song, with the ways the intro, the synth riffs, and the drum and guitar solo sections fit around the two stanzas of the tune itself. The intensity and drive keep building, heightened by the “sounds of the game” that all combine into an ultimate crescendo.
The instrumental “IceMan” (for George “IceMan” Gervin) pays homage to the hall-of-fame hoopster with a modern combination of many musical layers. Certainly, this track pulls from the evolutions of “smooth jazz”, and uses some R&B textures in its combination of melody, harmony, and rhythm; the improvisations are intentionally built around phrases that are like moves in a basketball game. One phrase “plays off” another, eventually like “Ice” himself: UNSTOPPABLY CONSISTENT –
One of our listeners, a big fan of sports AND music, had this to say: “What I like about this song…is you see inside SD’s brain, and how he sees the “IceMan.” The “IceMan” is obviously the coolest guy on the court; he glides with ease; and makes the impossible look effortless…”
And as far as musical evolutions are concerned – the captivating piece “Pace of the Peloton” presents a unique and intriguing musical communication between lead saxophonist Mattie DeDoes, keyboardist Steve DeDoes, and drummer David Taylor. This modern jazz instrumental employs a number of complexities, which musicians and sophisticated listeners will identify – but none of that really matters !
The composer’s intentions are for this piece to always make sense to any listener, and retain a feeling of motion as various ideas, structures, and improvisations help to shape the overall trip. The composition is built from a repetitive, rhythmic 7/8 riff that serves as the introduction, and the foundation (i.e., the “cadence”); an initial synthesizer solo, over the 7/8 obligato, is like having “the wind at your back.” The track then gives way to the primary melody as stated by the sax. These two components (synth, sax) continue to inform the piece as the overall rhythms and layers build in intensity. Improvised solos – and exchanges with Taylor on drums – work around a 3-measure harmonic sequence (12 bars in length), over other paths of form and theme. Figures heard in the early portion of the piece continue to get restated in the “conversations”, as each player in the band takes part in the ensuing dialogue.
The title was derived from the ways in which all of these interactions are like a cycling road race, or ride. The individual rider has his or her own rhythm – but then, there are so many other variables: the landscape, other riders, and in a race, the tactics and shifting aspects. All combining into a thoroughly pleasurable ride !
Similar jazz conversations occur in a more straight-ahead, funky tune that aims straight for the heart of the Motor City. “Detroit Strut” also adds a little bit of soul to the mix – as three longtime Detroit standouts join forces in an infectious groove that’ll stick in your head.
Pete Kahn does the honors on the alto sax in this number, as DeDoes and Taylor serve notice on piano (keys) and drums, respectively. Once the introduction gives way to the basics of a happenin’ groove, the “Bob James-ish” melodic hook is presented on synth. Kahn then “announces his presence with authority”, with a great solo that leads the way into other musical invention; Taylor’s drumming comes to the forefront, expertly navigating a series of arrangement twists with short, polyrhythmic solo statements. After the melody gets restated with a vengeance, DeDoes’ piano “takes home” this energetic trip – through the main streets of a great city.
More about all tracks to come… Thanks for listening – S.D.