Ray Skjelbred is a sculptor of sound and rhythm, transforming popular song and the blues in ways that surprise and delight. Here, he’s at the keyboard at the San Diego Jazz Fest, offering us magic that is both whimsical and deep. The original text for his rumination is a bouncy Walter Donaldson song from 1929, REACHING FOR SOMEONE (AND NOT FINDING ANYONE THERE), a situation we’ve all encountered. The song was a hit in 1929, and many will know the quicker-paced Whiteman and Trumbauer versions.
Thanks to the inventive singer-guitarist Meredith Axelrod, a friend of JAZZ LIVES, Ray was inspired to play this song at a much more melancholy tempo, appropriate to the situation the lyrics describe, and the result is lovely and haunting:
I hope that all that you desire is accessible, if not now, then someday soon.
May your happiness increase!