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Cocktail Piano III   Sound Samples:
The Nearness of You (MP3)
Can't Help Lovin'That Man Of Mine (MP3)
I Can't Get Started (MP3)
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SONGMUSIC/LYRICS
The Nearness Of You: Sound Sample Hoagy Carmichael & Ned Washington
Someone To Watch Over Me George & Ira Gershwin
They Didn't Believe Me Jerome Kern & M.E. Rourke
All The Things You Are Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein, II
Can't Help Lovin'That Man Of Mine: Sound Sample Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein, II
Spring Is Here Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
My Ship Kurt Weill & Ira Gershwin
Autumn In New York / When The World Was Young Vernon Duke & E.Y. Harburg
M. Philippe-Gerard, Johnny Mercer
I Can't Get Started: Sound Sample Vernon Duke & Ira Gershwin
My Funny Valentine Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
You Are Getting To Be A Habit With Me Harry Warren & Al Dubin
You're Nearer Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
It Never Entered My Mind Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
On My Way To You M. Legrand, A. Bergman, M. Bergman
Clair De Lune Claude Debussy
Skylark Hoagy Carmichael & Johnny Mercer
Memories Of You Eubie Blake & Andy Razaf

As the name suggests, COCKTAIL PIANO III continues the seductive mood set by Jim Haskins in his two earlier volumes of soft, sophisticated piano sounds that speak so persuasively to those who relish this worldly genre that draws from both jazz and the classics.

Taking memorable standards of such gifted song writers as the Gershwins, Rodgers & Hart, Kern & Hammerstein, Vernon Duke, and Hoagy Carmichael plus contemporary work of their musical descendants and rendering them with stylish and lyrical clarity, Jim Haskins confirms yet again the timeless allure of great tunes well played.

Historically, much—though not all—cocktail piano material is music Americans first heard and embraced during two tumultuous decades: the poverty-scarred Depression year of the 1930s followed by harsh realities of a different kind in the 1940s when the nation went to war. Musically it was a period of stellar creativity. Turning away from the tumult and agonies of the times, the nation's lyricists and tunesmiths turned out a cornucopia of highly civilized, finely crafted melodic songs dealing primarily with matters of the heart. They were instantly successful. The universality of their appeal gave them staying power that performing artists in succeeding generations would continually reinterpret in new ways.

The style that Jim Haskins brings to his listeners goes back to the 1940s. Big bands were in, but they couldn't do it all. And there was all that wealth of material to be savored. Enter cocktail piano rooms—federal prohibition had ended in 1933. With war, prosperity returned. From coast to coast— and after war's end—across the Atlantic, the concept of cocktail piano venues caught on and grew to wonderous proportions. Even dry states had their fashionable clubs, tea rooms, and fine restaurants where "cocktail" piano held sway. The magic mix—with or without the literal cocktail—called for an intimate meeting place and a solo pianist playing engaging melodies in mood pianissimo.

Jim Haskins experienced it, first, at an impressionable age during cocktail piano's halcyon days, at the legendary Peabody Hotel's Skyway in Memphis. Not unlike millions of other Americans, Jim fell under the spell of the lovely, liquid voice of cocktail piano. It was an attraction that would last a lifetime. Even after he'd taken a non-musical track that led to Honolulu, where he earned recognition as a respected financial adviser, the pull of the piano was always there. Actually, he never really gave it up. He just kept it mainly a private thing, allowing for occasional invitational performances.

His musical training began in the '40s in Memphis, where he gained an essential foundation in the classics under the expert tutelage of distinguished pianist, Suzie Laverne DeShazo (herself a pupil of the renowned French pianist Alfred Cortot). Later, listening to jazz pianists who were classically trained, Jim would build his own signature style. Drawn to the freedom of solo work, his became an interpretation marked with subtle embellishment—but always remaining true to the melody line. A poetic and dreamy approach, it's also articulate and conducive to introspection, a reading that invites the imagination to roam. It's a mature style, rather like mellow wine. And like wine, it's intoxicating.

How appropriate, that in his mature years Jim Haskins would reach out to touch his listeners with these serene and starlit melodies. What you are about to hear is pure pleasure. Enjoy.

Liner notes by Mazeppa King Costa

Try out the sound samples, order a copy, and plan your next party.

Cocktail Piano I

Cocktail Piano II

Cocktail Piano III

Cocktail Piano IV

Cocktail Piano V

Cocktail Piano VI

Cocktail Piano VII

"By Request" Cocktail Piano 8

"You Must Believe In Spring" Cocktail Piano 9

"Sentimental Journey" Cocktail Piano 10

"When October Goes" Cocktail Piano 11

"Four Seasons" Cocktail Piano 12

"A Time For Love" Cocktail Piano 13

“So Nice To Come To” Cocktail Piano 14

“NEW YORK, NEW YORK” Cocktail Piano 15"Our Newest"

Does Show Tunes

Remembers Songs of WWII

Christmas Piano

Goes to the Movies

Salutes the 70s

Discount package for any 15 albums "The Greatest Generation Collection"


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