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Flow - Reviews
Cover of Flow
Flow: The Music of J. S. Bach & Tobin Mueller
available on CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify

Reviews by: Carla Maria Verdino-SüllwoldKathy ParsonsTerry L. PearsonThor OliversenBill BarnerJeffrey Price

Click here to see the main Flow page.

Tobin Mueller: FINDING FREEDOM IN FORM
REVIEW by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold (April 29, 2015)

Tobin Mueller’s latest double CD, "Flow: The Music of J.S. Bach and Tobin Mueller", may be his most ambitious and sophisticated recording project to date. Continuing the concept he initiated in his "Impressions of Water and Light", where he performed original arrangements, variations, and new compositions based on the works of Ravel, Debussy, and other Impressionist masters, "Flow" uses the protean output of Johann Sebastian Bach as its core inspiration, and lets the Baroque master lead Mueller as a composer and pianist into a journey of re-interpretation and new creation – a journey that inevitably explores the interactions of Baroque and Jazz.

Selected tracks from Disc 1
Play button 1 Joy
Play button 6 First Starfield (Prelude No. 1)
Play button 8 Leopold's Short Life: A Prelude and Fugue
Play button 9 Sleepers Wake
Play button 15 Encore and Amen (Prelude No. 21 in G Minor)

In the fifteen tracks of Disc One, Mueller plays his own piano arrangements and interpretations of Bach’s music, discovering in the eighteenth century genius not only the precision and grace of his compositional structures, but also deconstructing these harmonies and melodies in order to penetrate their inner life, and then letting that spark carry him to another place in his own artistic soul. Disc Two features two original suites for piano (and a bonus track piano duet from his 1998 musical "Creature") that are the result, the composer tells us, of spending half a year immersed in Bach’s music and in the study of his piano suites, as well as the Goldberg Variations. Despite the compositorial lessons Bach may have offered Mueller, these two works stand majestically on their own, addressing the listener in an idiom that at once is classic and modern.

In listening to Mueller’s interpretations of Bach’s own music, one is struck not only by his skill as a pianist, but by his comprehensive grasp of Bach’s form and structure; for only with such a complete understanding as his foundation, can Mueller dare to embark on his own “takes” on these classics. Highlights of the first disc are many. The rhythmically varied interpretation of Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, "Joy", which opens the collection, serves as an overture to what follows. "First Starfield", derived from Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in C Major, is a beautiful re-imagining of Bach’s melody using parallel fifths under and over Bach’s line and subtly shifting the downbeat midway through the piece. "In Anna Magdalena’s Hands" is a take on the Prelude of Bach’s Cello Suite #1, which recreates for the piano the lush, romantic chordal line of the unaccompanied cello in the original. "Leopold’s Short Life" (based on Prelude and Fugue # 2 in CMinor) is arranged as a big band piece which evocatively suggests the transience of life and the inexorable ticking of time, while "Sleepers Awake" is set down as a dialogue between right and left hands, between the voice calling the sleeper to consciousness and the Jazz groove of the baseline. "Night at the Theatre" constitutes Mueller’s interpretation of Minuet in G, (a work now commonly ascribed to Christian Petzold, but still associated with Bach through his wife’s notebook) in which he begins in a Broadway idiom and shifts to an eloquent and contemplative kind of soliloquy. Finally, the first CD ends with "Encore and Amen", a virtuoso tribute to what Mueller calls “the energy of an [Bach’s] infinite mind,” before it solemnly concludes in a reverential “amen.”

Suite: Flow
Play button 1 Tide Pools
Play button 2 Momentary Undertow
Play button 3 Yin and Yang
Play button 4 Salmon Ladder Variations
Play button 5 Bird In Migration
Play button 6 Curved Surfaces

The second disc contains two suites for piano, each in six movements. The first, entitled "Suite: Flow", explores the concept of ebbing and flowing energy mirrored in the rhythms of nature from tidal waters to migrating birds, and salmon swimming upstream. While Bach may have been Mueller’s departure point, there are a great many other influences which can be heard coalescing in the rich musical language of the work, among them the transparent and limpid harmonies of Impressionism. "Flow" begins with a slow first movement, “Tide Pools,” in which the rippling waters and receding eddies are reflected in the elusive chords. “Momentary Undertow” continues in slow tempo using arpeggios to evoke the circular flow and the eventual ascending pull. The third movement, “Yin and Yang,” is a light textured synthesis of two styles of playing, juxtaposing and integrating chords and arpeggios. “Salmon Ladder Variations” offers a marriage of Thelonius Monk and J.S. Bach in which short repeating figures suggest the fish ascending the ladder and slipping back, yet never abandoning their intense drive to procreate. “Bird in Migration,” the fifth movement which blends Charlie Parker with Blues and Bop improvisation, depicts the bold flight of the birds as an expression of freedom. The suite ends with “Curved Surfaces,” varying the melody of the first movement and using a waltz tempo to reference the dance-like gigues that ended Bach’s French suites.

New England Suite
Play button 1 River Ice (Winter)
Play button 2 Ghostly Bells (of Independence)
Play button 3 Lighthouse (Spring)
Play button 4 Train (Summer Tango)
Play button 5 Nor'easter (Early Autumn)
Play button 6 Berkshire Shadows (Late Autumn)

In his "New England Suite", also in six movements, Mueller meditates on the passage of the seasons and the cyclical forces of nature which flow through the universe with musical majesty. “River Ice” with its dark, repetitive chords that color the opening movement with a hint of Native-American roots, evokes the crystalline sparkle of the ice breaking up and reshaping itself. “Ghostly Bells (of Independence)” with its changing keys and tempi recalls the bells that have tolled throughout New England’s history, the varying pitches beautifully captured in the melody with the pure, clarion peeling at the end of the movement an intimation of approaching spring. “Lighthouse” introduces a sense of renewal, its bookended sections in waltz-time, with a middle section reference to Bach’s Well-Tempered Klavier #4. “Train” becomes a metaphor for summer with its allusion to the romance of the road; Mueller’s walking bass in the left hand signifies the continuum, while his right punctuates that with the sound of a train whistle and the suggestion of stops along the way. Movement five, “Nor’easter” conjures up the gently pelting rain on windowpanes and roofs in early autumn with a delicate, lulling quietude before seguing into the final movement, “Berkshire Shadows,” that pulsates with a gentle maturity and restful vigor. There is just a whiff of Ives here, as there is in the first movement, as well as the lush resonance of a description of the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” in John Keats’ “Ode to Autumn” before the suite ends on a gentle upward progression that is as much question as statement.

In addition to the pleasures of these imaginative interpretations and compositions, Mueller offers the listener a memorable acoustic experience and an attractively packaged visual one. The sound is rounded, subtle, intimate, and captures all the nuances of the artist in conversation with his piano and with his inspirations. The two CDs (with a generous 121 minutes of music) are accompanied by an informative sixteen-page booklet, handsomely illustrated with artwork. Mueller, who is an accomplished writer as well as musician, offers well-articulated insights into the pieces and invites the listener to embark with him on an exciting voyage.

"Flow" takes the listener on a complex and profound journey. On one level, these are works which require thought and comprehension - a knowledge of the Bach’s originals - but on another level, they exist in their own unique realm to be heard, absorbed, and experienced in the flow of the moment. And that intangibility, that ephemerality is precisely their genius. Mueller’s compositions are firmly grounded in an impressive musical technique and far-reaching understanding of past idioms, at the same time that they are bold, sometimes playful, often rebellious excursions into uncharted territory. The gift that "Flow" bestows on the listener is the insight into the dialectical truth that from form comes freedom.

-Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold

FLOW: The Music of J. S. Bach and Tobin Mueller
REVIEW by Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com - 5/12/15

Flow: The Music of J.S. Bach and Tobin Mueller is another very ambitious project from one of the most creative musical minds out there, Tobin Mueller. His first two-disc set, Disc 1 contains fifteen solo piano interpretations/arrangements of some of Bach’s best-known pieces, and Disc 2 is a set of two original suites composed to demonstrate how Bach’s music has influenced Mueller and his own music. Disc 2 also contains a bonus track, bringing that total up to thirteen piano solos. Bach is perhaps the greatest composer who ever lived and he continues to be a favorite among many jazz musicians as well as classical music aficionados. All of the music on Disc 1 is recognizable, and even though most of the interpretations have very strong jazz elements, my feeling is that Bach would strongly approve of Mueller’s creations. The CD set also contains a 16-page booklet that provides an historical perspective on Bach’s life and music as well as Mueller’s explanations of his creative processes. In addition to all of that, the artwork, also by Mueller, further provides spirited and colorful illustrations to accompany the music. It’s a beautiful package and the music provides a unique listening experience that is sometimes a bit challenging but always very enjoyable.

I always find it fascinating to hear how composers interpret classical music, giving well-known nuggets a new spin. Mueller did this exceptionally well with his previous album, Impressions of Water and Light, which was a look at Claude Debussy and other composers of the Impressionist period. Flow is a brilliant second part to a promised three-part series which will include the music of Chopin in the future. I love that Mueller ignored all boundaries for musical genres in this music, juxtaposing modal jazz, blues, Broadway, prog rock, and new age (and others) with classical stylings, giving free reign to his vast experience and training along with an imagination that knows no limitations. My favorites on Disc 1 include “Reinvention No. 13,” a playful a take on Bach’s Two-Part Invention #13; “Double Fantasia and Fugue in Gm,” a dark bluesy arrangement that feels just right; “In Anna Magdalena’s Hands (Cello Suite #1, Prelude),” a beautiful tribute to Bach’s second wife who transcribed much of his music; “Leopold’s Short Life: A Prelude and Fugue,” based on Prelude and Fugue #2 in C Minor, arranged as a Big Band piece that has a real swing; “Bach on Vaudeville (Two-Part Invention #8 in F), again very playful and full of fun; and “Air,” based on “Air on the G String,” a slow, pensive interpretation arranged in a set of variations that incorporate a number of jazz styles.

Disc 2 contains two 6-part suites - “Suite: Flow” and “New England Suite” - as well as the bonus track from Mueller’s 1996 musical, Creature. It doesn’t seem likely that a listener stumbling upon any of these pieces would hear an immediate connection to Bach’s music, but Mueller explains in the liner notes (also available on his site) which ideas he was exploring as he composed this music. Much more jazz-oriented than classical, the rich, complex harmonies and inventive rhythms go in a lot of unexpected directions that keep the music consistently interesting as well as fun to listen to. I especially like “Tide Pools,” “Bird in Migration,” “Lighthouse,” and “Train (Summer Tango).” The bonus track, “One Body of Man, a duet” was recorded live in 1998 and is a series of variations on a theme from Mueller’s off-Broadway musical, Creature, which is based on the Frankenstein story. Upbeat straight-ahead jazz, the piece really rocks and closes this impressive album with a great big grin.

All of Tobin Mueller’s albums are very different from each other, so if you are not familiar with his music or have only heard one album, check this one out! If you have his entire collection, this one will not duplicate anything previously recorded! It is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended for a one-of-a-kind listening experience!

- Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com

FLOW
REVIEW by Terry L. Pearson (May 5, 2015)

This is a truly enjoyable CD set! As a musician, I’ve learned to spot quality in music, but have been intimidated by jazz in any form. With “Flow”, Tobin Mueller has broken down that wall by sneaking in through the door of my affinity for the classics. His variations and reinventions of Bach in the first CD are very inviting, warm and comfortable, and I was gently ushered into the second CD with Tobin’s original compositions. The experience was one of delight. Tobin’s creativity shines, and his arrangements carry you smoothly through colorfully nuanced musical adventures. Being new to this genre, Tobin’s creations showed me the potential it had for many different styles. The melodies and well-placed notes make for one enjoyable ride!

"Flow" will remain in my stack of favorites for some time to come, and I recommend it to all, no matter what your usual listening pleasures may be.

Flowing playfully
REVIEW by Thor Oliversen (May 15, 2015)
Bonus Track from Disc 2
Play button 13 One Body of Man, a duet

I find this album to be a great companion while I'm working or when I need to calm my mind. This is good medicine! Tobin approaches the music of J. S. Bach respectfully, but also with a genuinely playful refreshing approach, adding his tasteful original touches.

There are so many beautiful details in his piano playing, the playfulness gets the good feelings flowing. Tobin really gets in a zone with these tunes. The bonus track "One Body of Man, a duet", is my favorite, a bluesy jazz piano duet.

No need to force things - go with the flow, and for a while, be in the place where no action is needed. That being said, Berkshire Shadows is a place I want to be (final movement of his "New England Suite"). Recommended!

[Note: Thor Oliversen plays bass/guitars on Tobin's song "When My Heart Still Beats" from A Bit of Light (2006).]

FLOW
REVIEW by Bill Barner (May 11, 2015)

I’ve been listening to Tobin Mueller’s new solo piano 2-CD album “Flow: The Music of J.S. Bach and Tobin Mueller” the past few days. Like last year’s “Impressions of Water and Light” -- where Tobin rearranged and improvised on well-known pieces by Debussy, Ravel, etc. -- on disc 1 of “Flow” he does his own jazz-influenced thing with Bach melodies. On disc 2 you find two suites composed by Tobin and inspired by Bach. None of the 2 hours of music on these CDs sounds like imitation Baroque. Rather, “Flow” carves out a niche somewhere between classical, jazz, and new age music. Many musicians have arranged, reinterpreted, or reimagined Bach. But, this recording is unique and quite enjoyable. Five (out of five) stars!

[Note: Bill Barner plays clarinet on "Caught In The Current" from Tobin's 2008 release Rain Bather.]

Escher, Bach & Mueller: Explorations of Order & Chaos
REVIEW by Jeffrey Price, M. C. Escher international expert, collector and owner of The Artists’ Market

I want you to know how much I am enjoying FLOW. I feel I could listen to those two discs forever and continue to find them enjoyable in the best possible ways and on so many levels. This enjoyment is expanded with the way you’ve paired images to the music in your music videos. Because of my fascination with Escher, I was especially drawn to “Leopold's Short Life - adapted from Bach, illustrated with Escher” based on "Prelude & Fugue No. 2 in C Minor" from Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier.

Through your musical imagery, it struck me head-on that Escher's vision is fundamentally a search, a contrast, and an exploration of order and chaos. Both of those forces are all around us, and perhaps there is no more fitting realization of that contrast than in music in general and Bach in particular. There are many reasons for that, as you know, but one I had not thought of until I heard your playing (and this is certainly not limited to Bach) is that you approach the keyboard with two hands. What are those hands doing? Certainly not the same thing! Often one hand takes the role of rhythmic order, laying a pathway so to speak, while the other hand explores more abstract forms. And then sometimes it changes - the hands might switch their roles, or perhaps they both take on the quest for order or the exploration of whatever else there is. It can be that way in a picture too, though in different ways of course.

I truly believe that Escher did not fully understand these things, nor can we, but he was particularly mystified because it drove him to work, work tirelessly, work his whole life, to express something in pictures, concepts that had no shape for him in words. And yet he knew that his pictures were only scratching at the surface of understanding the duality of things... he barely formed the question clearly, let alone believed he found the answer! But he knew deeply that Ringsnakes was right... I'm sure of that... and I believe he saw hope, dreams, and fear in his little woodcut of The Well. He sensed we might climb out of it, and that there was something beyond the darkness just as his portraits contained both their figures and the space around them in the form of clouds or spheres. These are not easy things to understand, and words often don't fit quite right... nor do pictures... but Bach was speaking in a different language, a language beyond words.

You are gifted, blessed, and probably cursed as well to hear and then strive to express some of those deep things that cannot be said any other way. You ended your music video with a little woodcut Escher created towards the end of his life, one that is not well-known at all. It is called an apple blossom in the Escher books, but it is actually a pinecone, a larix to be specific. It has (and it hides) a marvelous symmetry, just as nature disguises perfection in the chaos around us. If you imagine yourself a little bee flying above that pinecone and looking straight down at its pattern, the shapes you would see would be concentric rows of petals, and those petals would have to be pushed just a little to become fish. Escher did that pushing himself in another small print we call Concentric Fish. And yet, if we see fish in the world they always take on peculiar forms, individual from one another, each like a separate note, tied to all its neighbors and yet floating on its own. It's something like that: the hidden perfection of things leaking out now and then, letting us catch a glimpse of something utterly incomprehensible.

Through you musical visions I feel I understand Bach and Escher just a little bit better tonight, and that is a valuable bonus and somewhat separate from enjoying the music and seeing pictures that I have admired for most of my lifetime. Thank you for creating that, and for sharing it with me, and thank you for indulging my tangle of words attempting to appreciate it in the spirit in which you may have created it.

Jeffrey Price, The Artists’ Market

Tobin's Solo Piano Collection
Of Two Minds cover
Of Two Minds: The Music of Frédéric Chopin and Tobin Mueller is the final addition to Mueller's "Masterworks Trilogy" in which he explores the intersections of classical and jazz piano. Mueller reinterprets Chopin's most iconic piano solos (Disc 1) and uses the preludes to inspire three original jazz piano sonatas (Disc 2). Seductive, rebellious, heroic and beautiful. Jazz influences include Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck, Keith Jarrett. "One would be hard-pressed to find an artist with a more creative musical mind than Tobin Mueller’s." Fanfare Magazine's 2016 Editor's Choice Award.
Flow cover
Flow: The Music of J.S. Bach and Tobin Mueller is a double album featuring Mueller's reinterpretations of Bach's greatest hits (Disc 1) plus two original jazz piano suites by Mueller (Disc 2). Inventive, playful, joyous, beautiful, full of emotion and intelligence. Mueller embraces the sense of timelessness one achieves when in the state of flow, bridging the centuries, letting Bach's 300 year old manuscripts inspire through new expression. Jazz influences include Brad Mehldau, Fred Hersch, Gerald Clayton. "This may be the pianist-composer’s most ambitious and sophisticated recording. Highly recommended." Fanfare Magazine's 2015 Editor's Choice Award.
Impressions of Water and Light cover
Impressions of Water & Light is an exploration of the cross-inspirations between Impressionist and jazz piano, including adaptations of music by Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, Satie, Ibert and Carpenter. Tobin uses the written notes as if they are light and his imagination as if it is water, creating all new interpretations. This post-Impressionist music illustrates the intimacy between jazz and Impressionist music. You will never hear these works the same again. The gorgeous CD booklet is a work of art in itself, pairing an Impressionist painting with each piece. One of the three album in Mueller's "Masterworks Trilogy".
Impressions of Water and Light cover
Midwinter Born is a collection of jazz piano interpretations of traditional Christmas carols. Mueller captures the quiet simplicity, expectant playfulness and over-riding joy of the season. A delightful and sometimes surprising album destined to become one of your annual holiday favorites. The 18 track album includes: First Noel, Bring A Torch Jeanette Isabella, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, O Holy Night, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Carol of the Bells, Lo How A Rose E'er Bloom, Good King Wenceslas, Still, Still, Still and many more.
Morning Whispers cover
Morning Whispers is Tobin's first solo piano collection, a song cycle of tragic beauty. Music of healing and introspection. The use of key changes, unusual time signatures, and other variational devices makes this work involving, not merely New Age background music. Its gentle intensity, however, does not detract from its healing essence, its sense of inner joy. Influences include Aaron Copland, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Bill Evans, David Lanz, Liz Story. Several of these piano pieces have since been used in film and documentaries.
13 Masks cover
13 Masks is Tobin's second solo piano collection. An exploration of the links between avant-garde 20th Century music and jazz. Tobin used illustrations of 13 medieval masks to inspire songs combining ragtime, jazz and 20th Century avant-garde classical. Influences include Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck, Art Tatum, Scott Joplin, John Medeski, as well as classical composers Shostakovich, Ligeti, Bartok. These pieces will startle and delight. "A truly unique album with music to really sink your teeth into."
Afterwords cover
Afterwords - Combining spoken word and solo piano, Tobin "illustrates" his favorite works of literature with a wide variety of new musical compositions. He pays homage to classic authors like Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Faulkner, as well as new authors Dave Eggers, Chuck Palahniuk, Aimee Bender and China Miéville. Musical influences include Oscar Peterson, Hiromi, Brad Maldheu, Fred Hersch, John Taylor, even Keith Emerson. "An astonishing work of art."
Afterwords: Bonus Tracks cover
Afterwords: Solo Piano Bonus Tracks - For those of you who prefer music without any interruptions, seven of the best tracks from Afterwords have been remastered with the talking edited out. Originally conceived for distribution to jazz radio stations, this Bonus Album is now avaiilable to the egeneral public. Influences include Oscar Peterson, Hiromi, Brad Maldheu, Fred Hersch, John Taylor; post-bop, stride, new age, classic jazz.
Tobin's Other CD Collections
Tobin's Jazz Collection
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
Come In Funky cover
Come In Funky Old School Funk and and small combo Jazz featuring legendary bassist Ron Carter. "You guys can play! These are, almost without exception, very complicated numbers in terms of rhythm and the general sync of solos with ensemble playing, a stellar set of recordings that, I believe, adds seriously to the body of jazz that this represents. A remarkable work in every single way I can think of. This is such a bright and happy album that is played with a spirit of invention and joy from the first notes to the last." - Paul Page
The Muller's Wheel cover
The Muller's Wheel is a collaborative project combining the talents of pianist Tobin Mueller and saxophonist Woody Mankowski, featuring their jazz quartet and their larger 8-pieace ensemble, playing swing to bop to fusion to funk. The styles of Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Herbie Hancock, The Brecker Brothers, Weather Report and more influence this homage to the jazz greats. This is joyous music. "It reminds us of the happiness we relive when returning to our musical roots," say Mueller and Mankowski.
Rain Bather cover
Rain Bather is an 80 minute long play CD featuring superlative solo performances by all-star band members. Most of the tunes are in the jazz-funk-fusion vein, but many others try to break new ground, defying easy labels. Tobin Mueller - B3 organ, synth; Woody Mankowski - soprano sax; Chris Mueller - acoustic piano; Jeff Cox - acoustic bass; Dane Richeson - drums; Tom Washatka - tenor sax; Doug Schnieder - tenor sax; Ken Schaphorst - flugelhorn; Bob Levy - trumpet; Sal Giorgianni - flute; Bill Barner - clarinet.
SOLO PIANO JAZZ
Afterwords cover
Afterwords - Combining spoken word and solo piano, Tobin "illustrates" his favorite works of literature with a wide variety of new musical compositions. He pays homage to classic authors like Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Faulkner, as well as new authors Dave Eggers, Chuck Palahniuk, Aimee Bender and China Miéville. Musical influences include Oscar Peterson, Hiromi, Brad Maldheu, Fred Hersch, John Taylor, even Keith Emerson. "An astonishing work of art."
Of Two Minds cover
Of Two Minds: The Music of Frédéric Chopin and Tobin Mueller, especially Disc 2 - Tobin plays Tobin. Three original jazz piano sonatas make up Disc 2. Each shows Chopin influences, but draws more from contemporaries Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck and Keith Jarrett. "One would be hard-pressed to find an artist with a more creative musical mind than Tobin Mueller’s - especially one with the playing chops to fulfill his or her vision." Fanfare Magazine's 2016 Editor's Choice Award.
Flow cover
Flow: The Music of J.S. Bach and Tobin Mueller, especially Disc 2 - Tobin plays Tobin. Two post-bop jazz piano suites make up Disc 2. Each shows Bach influences, but draws more from contemporaries Brad Mehldau, Fred Hersch and Gerald Clayton. "This may be the pianist-composer’s most ambitious and sophisticated recording project to date... a journey that inevitably explores the interactions of Baroque and jazz." Fanfare Magazine's 2015 Editor's Choice Award.
Impressions of Water and Light cover
Impressions of Water and Light is an exploration of the cross-inspirations between Impressionist and contemporary jazz piano, including adaptations of music by Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, Satie, Ibert and Carpenter. "The listener has the sense that Mueller is having his personal conversation as a composer and pianist with these great 19th- and 20th-century composers." This is third album of "The Masterworks Trilogy" which includes Flow and Of Two Minds.
Impressions of Water and Light cover
Midwinter Born is a collection of jazz piano interpretations of traditional Christmas carols. Mueller captures the quiet simplicity, expectant playfulness and over-riding joy of the season. The 18 track album includes: First Noel, Bring A Torch Jeanette Isabella, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, O Holy Night, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Carol of the Bells, Lo How A Rose E'er Bloom, Good King Wenceslas, Still, Still, Still and many more.
Morning Whispers cover
Morning Whispers is Tobin's first solo piano collection, a song cycle of tragic beauty. Music of healing and introspection, these New Age and Neo-Classical pieces do more than evoke emotion: they tell stories. Influences include Aaron Copland, Bill Evans, David Lanz, Liz Story. Several of these piano pieces have since been used in film and documentaries.
13 Masks cover
13 Masks is Tobin's second solo piano collection. An exploration of the links between avant-garde 20th Century music and jazz, influences include Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck, Art Tatum, John Medeski, as well as classical composers Shostakovich, Ligeti, Bartok. "A truly unique album with music to really sink your teeth into."
Afterwords: Bonus Tracks cover
Afterwords: Solo Piano Bonus Tracks - For those of you who prefer music without any interruptions, seven of the best tracks from Afterwords have been remastered with the talking edited out. Originally conceived for distribution to jazz radio stations, this Bonus Album is now avaiilable to the egeneral public. Influences include Oscar Peterson, Hiromi, Brad Maldheu, Fred Hersch, John Taylor; post-bop, stride, new age, classic jazz.
Tobin's Rock Collection
Progressive Rock
Audiocracy cover
AUDIOCRACY is an international progressive rock collective. Their poetic writing and virtuosic performances make their high energy music life-affirming and uplifting, even considering the apocalyptic nature of their first release. Revolution's Son has been called "a masterpiece in the Epic Prog tradition." Progressive Magazine gave it 4 out 5 stars. Th story follows a revolutionary who comes to The City to be a catalyst for change and a prophet of truth. He falls into an Underground that urges a less innocent approach to change, leading to a post-apocalyptic finish. High energy, impressionistic prog.
Alternative Rock
A Bit of Light cover
A Bit of Light - A progressive folk / cross-genre collection of songs Tobin's been accumulating for a decade, A Bit of Light includes some of his favorite collaborations with saxophonists, fiddle players and guitarists, mixing jazz, bluegrass, tango and folk-rock. World renown violinist Entcho Todorov, Grammy winner saxophonist Danny McCaslin and L.A.'s Woody Mankowski, Enlish fiddler player Martyn Kember-Smith and guitarist John Luper provide fabulous highlights. The CD comes with a digital booklet in PDF format.
If I Live Long Enough cover
If I Could Live Long Enough - Previously unreleased outtakes from earlier projects, including the 1998-1999 Rain Bather sessions, the 2004-2006 MacJams collaborations, and selected songs from two of Mueller's musicals: Creature and Runners In A Dream. Featuring acoustic guitar by Grammy winner Michael Hedges, vocals by Woody Mankowski and Emily Rohm, and some of Mueller's best songwriting. Six free Bonus Tracks available here.
September 11 Project
September 11 Project cover
September 11 Project: Ten Years Later - Music written following 9/11/2001. Tobin was asked to participate in the 10th anniversary at Ground Zero ceremony and revisted these songs. He decided to put them out as an album instead of keep them to myself. Since he was unable to sing at the event, after contracting a lung disorder, this music gained layers of poignancy. Recorded in the months following the tragedy.
Tobin's Standards Collection
Song Of Myself cover
Song Of Myself - Tobin's favorite songs from The American Songbook, reinterpretted. Intimate, heartfelt, devistatingly honest music. Complete lyrics and song notes are linked from Tobin's Song of Myself page. Ballads, blues, showtunes, folk rock, jazz - the music of Tobin's roots. These are songs he's song for decades, arrangements that have evolved and matured with him. "American Tune" by Paul Simon. "Blackbird" by Paul McCartney. Bob Dylan's "Dignity." A Joni Mitchell and an Elton John medly. "Being Alive" from Company (Stephen Sondheim). "Impossible Dream" from Man of la Mancha. "Oh Danny Boy." "Frozen Man" by James Taylor. Many more, plus two original songs by Tobin Mueller.
Hard Place To Find cover
Hard Place To Find - Tobin has released a second volume of his favorite songs from The American Songbook. Complete lyrics and song notes are linked from Tobin's Hard Place To Find project page. "Still Crazy" by Paul Simon. Bob Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm" and "Bob Dylan's Dream." Richie Haven's "Paradise." "Dulcinea" from Man of la Mancha. "Alfie" by Bacharach. "Somewhere" from West Side Story. Many more, plus one original song by Tobin Mueller. All songs have to do with journeying, questing, searching. Released June 2nd, 2013. "Tobin Mueller is something of a Renaissance man of the arts, and 'Hard Place To Find' presents another volume in his prolific and impressive output. More of an art-music album than a pop release, I recommend it if you are looking for something different and deeply personal!" - Kathy Parsons, Mainly Piano
A Bit of Light cover
A Bit of Light - A progressive folk / cross-genre collection of songs featuring Mueller's vocals and a long list of his best friends and collaborators, including world renown violinist Entcho Todorov, Grammy winner saxophonist Danny McCaslin, L.A. saxophonist Woody Mankowski, English fiddler player Martyn Kember-Smith and Texan guitarist John Luper provide fabulous highlights. The music melds jazz, bluegrass, tango and folk-rock. The CD comes with a digital booklet in PDF format.
If I Live Long Enough cover
If I Could Live Long Enough - Previously unreleased outtakes from earlier projects, including the 1998-1999 Rain Bather sessions, the 2004-2006 MacJams collaborations, and selected songs from two of Mueller's musicals - Creature and Runners In A Dream. Featuring acoustic guitar by Grammy winner Michael Hedges, vocals by Woody Mankowski and Emily Rohm, and some of Mueller's best songwriting. 6 free Bonus Tracks available here.
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September 11 Project: Ten Years Later - Music written following 9/11/2001. Tobin was asked to participate in the 10th anniversary at Ground Zero ceremony and revisted these songs. He decided to put them out as an album instead of keep them to myself. Since he was unable to sing at the event, after contracting a lung disorder, this music gained layers of poignancy. Recorded in the months following the tragedy.
Poetry / Spoken Word
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As Simple As Soap - Del lends his deep voice and unique personality to Tobin's award-winning poetry. Love, fatherhood, history, death and daily meanings are all touch on in this combination of poetry and short story offerings. Each spoken word selection is accompanied by Mueller's visually stimulating background music that adds great emotional depth. The force and color of Del's voice earns this collection a high recommendation; the breathtaking and varied accompaniments make this a truly fascinating addition to Tobin Mueller's collected works.
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Afterwords - Combining spoken word and solo piano, Tobin "illustrates" his favorite works of literature with a wide variety of new musical compositions. Paying homage to classic authors like Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Vonnegut and Faulkner, as well as contemporary authors such as Dave Eggers, Chuck Palahniuk, Aimee Bender and China Miéville, Mueller spins musical stories that will make you consider each book in a new light. Every track is a musical meditation, guided by entertaining and insightful quotations. The 17 tracks combine to represent the true breadth of his musical influences and accumulated experiences.