Black Cat, Christopher McGuire
Quartet with Randy Wensel piano, George Anderson Bass, and Warren Dewey drums.  
Black Cat popped into my head and fingers one day at the home of Gerald Jones and his wife Leigh Taylor. I was improvising on the ii7 and V7 chords (bm 7 and E7) of James Taylor’s arrangement of “Oh! Susanna” and Leigh encouraged me to turn it into a tune. Leigh also suggested I name it for our mutual friend, Catherine Whiteman, and African American TV host and thespian.   
Is That Your Foot?, Christopher McGuire
This song was the result of me not being able to play an Earl Klugh song by just hearing it in my head. I was playing at Turtle Cove, a high-end restaurant/jazz spot in Dallas and realized I was floundering around trying to play a piece I on’t know – in front of people! So, I thought, “Well I better turn this into something interesting so they’ll think I was playing an intro. “…Foot?” just came out from beginning to end spontaneously. The manager knew it was a new piece and said I should play it again to make sure I remembered it. This is an arrangement for my jazz quartet.

D’Blues, Christopher McGuire
As with most of my music, D’Blues came from a moment of noodling (improvising casually) with D and C9. One thing led to another and voilà, a new tune. This session was with my favorite jazz guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli along with two other favorites, Howard Alden and Nick DiGennero. We take turns starting with me, then Bucky, Howard, and Nick playing short phrases. We added George Anderson on bass at a later session. I learned the blues licks from Stevie Ray Vaughan when he was in my brother Pat’s rock band from 1969 to about early 1971.

Leo’s Fantasia, Leo Brouwer/Randy Wensel
I’m playing Leo Brouwer’s “Etudes Simples #6” and Randy Wensel is improvising on the changes. My suggestion was to have him play some atmospheric sounds the first time through, and then do anything he wanted the second time. When I proposed the idea to him, I started to write out the chords and he said, “No, just play it and I’ll come up with something. He had never heard the piece before that moment, and we recorded it in one take.

Girl From Ipanema, Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim
This is an arrangement for the jazz quartet by Randy Wensel and me. It is not intended to be in an authentic Brazilian style. It is arranged in the style of American Jazz orchestras of the 60s and 70s, similar to Stan Kenton. My coolest “Girl…” story is that I opened for Charlie Byrd in 1995 and we did the sound check together. I just couldn’t help playing the first two intro chords to see if he’d play it with me. 

One Note Samba, Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim
Just like “Girl From Ipanema” this arrangement is not authentically Brazilian, but rather in the style that is Kentonesque.

Satin Doll, Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington
This arrangement is another collaboration between Randy Wensel and me in the style of Stan Kenton using piano, guitar, bass, and drums, but without the horns. Randy is playing the counter melodies on the piano.

Autumn Leaves, Joseph Kosma
This is also from the session with Bucky, Howard, Nick, and George. I’m only playing on the heads at the beginning and end on my Takamine C132S.

Tío Pepe, Christopher McGuire
This piece came about during a visit to the Canary Islands (Islas Canarias) in 1981. We were having classes with José (Pepe) Tomás and also teaching American “study abroad” students. In the evenings, we went to a park and jammed with local Flamenco guitarists who we had befriended and shared some beverages. The first part is loosely based on the slow, rubato improvisational style they sometimes use to introduce. It is not intended to be “Flamenco Puro,” but rather a freely played Fantasia. The tune that is in rhythm is my own variation on a Cuban/Spanish Rumba, again not intended to be “authentic,” but rather my own thing with sincere respect for where it came from. It is named for José Tomás.

Varadero, Christopher McGuire
This piece was named #9 from the time I wrote it. Due to my lack of imagination, I named it #9 because it was the 9th pop piece I wrote. I’m playing my Takamine C132S on this track. I renamed it “Varadero” after spending a week in Varadero, Cuba. TripAdvisor says it’s the 2nd best beach in the world. I won’t argue.