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Standard Deviations - Reviews
Back Cover, Standard Deviations
available on CDBaby, Amazon, iTunes and Spotify

Reviews by:
Scott YanowJohn LaMantiaKathy Parsons
Carla SüllwoldF. Norman VickersGerry Walsh
George Harris (Jazz Weekly)

Click here to see the main Standard Deviations page.

Consistently Intriguing - Well Worth Exploring
REVIEW by Scott Yanow (August, 2018)

Tobin Mueller has certainly had a wide-ranging and remarkable life. The composer and keyboardist has performed jazz, rock and classical music at a consistently high level including recordings with Dave Brubeck, Ron Carter and Donny McCaslin. He is considered a pioneer in New Age music but prefers more energetic post-bop jazz and electronic explorations. At Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin, Mueller studied musical composition, physics and journalism. He became an important environmentalist, a NYC Dramatist Guild playwright and lyricist (writing for many musical theater productions), a conductor, musical director, founder of the online arts community ArtsForge, and composer of film scores, ballets and symphonies. He has led 29 recordings since 1986 to the present.

The recent two-CD set Standard Deviations is a tribute to 20th Century songwriters and songs, but in Tobin Mueller’s own way. He reinvents 33 standards in 24 performances (there are several medleys) for a set of colorful and unpredictable performances.

The first CD is mostly medium and up-tempo ensemble performances. Mueller’s piano, organ and synthesizers are the main voices although there are worthy appearances by saxophonist Woody Mankowski, guitarist Paul Nelson, bassist Kenny Cash, drummer Mike Nappi, and Lamar Moore on drums and percussion. From the start of the opener, a funky “God Bless The Child” (which becomes a thoughtful “What A Wonderful World”), it is obvious that this is not a mere retrospective of classic material. While the melodies are generally close by, Mueller’s improvising and interplay with his sidemen lead the music into consistently unpredictable journeys.

To name a few other highlights, “St. Louis Blues” is electronic and bluesy, “Eleanor Rigby” is quite adventurous with fine soprano playing from Mankowski, “Moanin’” has an explosive rockish guitar solo from Nelson, and Leonard Bernstein’s “Cool” is given a particularly witty arrangement. The spirited music certainly keeps one guessing.

The second disc puts its emphasis on dreamy ballads and Mueller’s acoustic piano although his other electronic keyboards set many of the moods and play their part. The only other musicians are drummer Mike Nappi (for a medley of “The Way You Look Tonight” and “The Nearness Of You”) and saxophonist Mankowski who plays beautifully on a tenor-piano duet rendition of “Sophisticated Lady.” “Stardust,” with Mankowski’s soprano perfectly emulating Wayne Shorter, lets us imagine how the song might have sounded if performed by Weather Report. “Moon River” evolving into “Over The Rainbow” is logical and moving. Mueller’s solo piano on “Georgia On My Mind,” “Secret Love” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” lets one hear him thinking aloud and creating wistful statements.

A consistently intriguing and colorful set, Standard Deviations puts the focus on Tobin Mueller’s vivid imagination and his obvious love for the timeless material. It is well worth exploring.

- Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian and author of 11 books including Jazz On Record 1917-1976

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An Amazing Amalgam of Jazz's Best Standards
REVIEW by
John LaMantia (September, 2018)

Standard Deviations is an amazing jazz amalgam that showcases the great players Mueller chose to record with. But even more so, I think it captures at its zenith, Mueller’s genius ability to dance in and out of motifs and themes while paying such great respect to the jazz composers he "quotes”. Like Flow.. and Of Two Minds... he makes the intertwining of the composer's intent with his own interpretation sound so effortless, expansive, beautiful and awesome to listen to.

I am so impressed with how prolific Tobin Mueller has been these past three decades, and truly enjoy experiencing anew his generous talents.

- John LaMantia, contributing critic for Downbeat Magazine (September, 2018)

Another Musical Masterpiece from Tobin Mueller and Crew!
Standard Deviations, Volumes 1 and 2
Disc 1: 50 minutes
Disc 2: 73 minutes
by Kathy Parsons (September, 2018)

You’d think that after reviewing eighteen albums by an artist, a reviewer would have a pretty good idea of what to expect when getting new music from that artist. Well, when it comes to new music from Tobin Mueller, that is never the case. Over the past fifteen years or so, Mueller has released such a varied collection of albums that any new releases are always a fascinating surprise. Last year’s Afterwords paired quotations from some of Mueller’s favorite authors with original solo piano compositions. Before that was the Masterworks Trilogy, where Mueller chose works from various Impressionist composers (Impressions of Water and Light), JS Bach (Flow) and Chopin (Of Two Minds) and gave their music his own unique interpretations. Great stuff, all of it! Calling it a possible extension of the Masterworks Trilogy, Standard Deviations pays homage to thirty-three of the great jazz standards of the 20th century. A two-disc set, the pieces are presented singly and as medleys. Some are solo piano and some are ensemble arrangements that include guitars (Paul Nelson and Pay Wayland), sax (Woody Mankowski) and percussion (Mike Nappi and Lamar Moore) as well as Mueller on acoustic piano, vintage electric pianos, organ, synths and Trilogy bass. Kenny Cash produced and added additional bass. Disc 1 is dedicated to Mueller’s father and contains ten tracks that are mostly up-tempo ensemble pieces (his dad’s favorites!), and Disc 2 is dedicated to his mom and features fourteen somewhat quieter ballads and more solo piano.

Volume 1 begins with an unusual pairing of “God Bless the Child” and “What a Wonderful World.” A duet with sax master Woody Mankowski, Mueller plays pianos, organ, synths, bass and percussion on this one. The melody of “God Bless the Child” weaves in and out of the funk-fusion improvisations, and then Mueller introduces a beautiful solo piano arrangement of “What a Wonderful World” before returning to a “cooler” but more uptempo closing. I was surprised to see “Eleanor Rigby” included in a jazz standards collection, but it fits perfectly in this context. Actually, I’m not sure I would have recognized the Beatles’ classic without the liner notes, but the spirit of the song is certainly there, performed on sax, conga, drums, bass, pianos and synths. “Moanin’/Blue Monk” features some smokin’ hot guitar, piano, and bass work! “After Hours/ Monk’s Point” again pairs Mueller (piano and organ) and Mankowski, this time in a great blues performance and my favorite in Volume 1. Other titles include “St. Louis Blues,” “Take Five” and “Take the ‘A’ Train.”

Volume 2 opens with “Autumn Leaves,” a solo piano arrangement that was influenced by Charlie Parker’s “Ornithology.” “Stardust” begins with a bouncy synth intro that becomes a catchy rhythm throughout the piece. Mueller layers in pianos, bass and percussion and Mankowski works his sax magic. “Am I Blue/ Summertime” is a layered solo piece for pianos and synths. “Summertime,” probably my favorite jazz standard, is often very dark, but this version is more lighthearted as if viewed through the eyes of a child. The medley of “Moon River” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is dreamy and magical and is performed as a slow piano solo with various electronic effects - I really like this one! Mueller’s solo piano “Georgia On My Mind” is unlike any of the versions I’ve heard. Wistful and soulful with an easy-going rhythm, I really like this one, too! “Secret Love” is a bittersweet piano solo that expresses so much without a single word. “Rhythm Medley” is a fun and energetic mix of “”It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Fascinating Rhythm,” and “I Got Rhythm.” My favorite on Volume 2 is the solo piano medley of “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and “People.” Overflowing with feelings of melancholy and longing, this one grabs me every time.

Standard Deviations is another musical masterpiece from Tobin Mueller and crew! In addition to extensive liner notes, Mueller has posted alternate takes of many of these pieces and clips from other influential recordings. The album is available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.

- Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com

A Recording Gem
REVIEW by
Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold (October 2018)
Fanfare Magazine music critic

Composer and pianist Tobin Mueller’s newest two-volume CD is devoted to his fascinating and often surprising arrangements of 20th century jazz classics, which he performs on piano together with six contemporary jazz legends (guitarists Paul Nelson and Pat Wayland, saxophonist Woody Mankowski, and percussionists Mike Nappi and Lamar Moore. Not only is the selection memorable, but also the way the listener is asked to hear these tunes is highly original and revealing.

Mueller creates twenty-four variations on the tunes and themes and allows these to segue into one another demonstrating the interconnectedness of many of these songs. Applying fresh textures and harmonics and layering onto the acoustic piano and other instruments the sounds of synths and vintage electronic instruments, he achieves a fresh sound that causes one to listen anew. Moreover, the sequencing of the pieces moves with such a subtle and fluid pace that the entire recording becomes a kind of jazz symphony where the individual themes and their deviations coalesce into something more comprehensive.

The first disc is devoted to upbeat tempo arrangements of both jazz standards like Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child,” Paul Desmond’s “Take Five,” and Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the A Train,” interspersed with contemporary melodies that borrowed heavily in inspiration from the period jazz like Leonard Bernstein’s “Cool” and the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.” Mueller’s grand piano and his fleet-fingered technique anchor the pieces and he breaks out in expressive solos, but so, too, do the other musicians – as in Thelonius Monk’s “Straight No Chaser” with Woody Mankowski’s searing sax solo.

Disc two presents quieter arrangements of many of the vocal ballads of the swing era and mid 20th century. In contrast to the highly syncopated, spiky rhythms of the first disc, the second is soulful, more bluesy, and more blatantly melodic. There is an extended mash up of “Moon River” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” that tugs at the heartstrings, a cantabile “Autumn Leaves” featuring Mueller’s melting glissandi. Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady” is framed as a duet for Mankowski’s saxophone and Mueller’s languid piano. Bart Howard’s “Fly Me to the Moon” allows Mueller to play an expressive solo reverie, as does the mournful Jerome Kern “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” Mueller interpolates musical theatre classics such as Richard Rodgers “My Funny Valentine” and Lionel Bart’s “Where Is Love?” in which he plays acoustic piano and layers electric pianos and synths for an ethereal tone. Swing era standards such as the progressively up tempo combination of Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got Swing” and George Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm” prove lively foils to Manning Sherwin’s “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” which Mueller plays as a halting and hanting solo finale to the collection.

Standard Deviations is one of those recording gems that offers both lovely, relaxed listening together with thought-provoking complex connections. It is a recording that bears repeated attention to gather all of these subtleties, but it is filled with rewards for those who accept the invitation.

- Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold. Also see Carla's 2016 Fanfare Magazine interview: The Masterworks Trilogy.

Standard Deviations - Volume 1 and 2
Recommended
REVIEW by F. Norman Vickers (September, 2018)

Interestingly, I had reviewed a previous two-CD set, Afterwords, exactly one year previously. On receiving this one, my expectations were pleasantly fulfilled. But, first some words about this unusual multi-talented man. In addition to being a pianist/composer/vocalist, he’s a playwright, director and sometime actor.

The current 2-CD set features Tobin on piano, keyboard or organ. Some selections have added instrumentalist such as saxophonist, guitarist and drums. Mueller might add vibraphone, drums and/or bass to these. All selections on this album will be familiar to most jazz listeners. To name a few: "God Bless the Child", "St. Louis Blues", "Take the “A” Train"; "Autumn Leaves", "Stardust", "My Funny Valentine" and "Georgia On My Mind".

All are performed tastefully and in Mueller’s unique style. Hence, his appropriate title of Standard Deviations.

So, this is a recommended album for those willing to listen to standard jazz tunes presented in a tasteful yet different style.

- F. Norman Vickers, Jazz Journalist Association, Pensacola Jazz

Standards Reimagined
REVIEW by
Gerry Walsh (September, 2018)

The best reimagining, in the last decade, of the best standands ever composed. I love the intellectual glider plane ride through what I envision is Mueller's thoughts as he plays. I can hear his soul, I swear!

- Gerry Walsh (September, 2018)



Tobin's Jazz Collection
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
Standard Deviations cover
Standard Deviations - Jazz/Blues - Keyboardist Tobin Mueller is joined by Grammy-winner Paul Nelson (guitars), Woody Mankowski (saxophones), Lamar Moore & Mike Nappi (percussionists) to breathe new life into 33 standards in this fresh Two Volume CD. An homage to Monk, Ellington, Gershwin, Brubeck, Hoagy Carmichael, Lennon-McCartney and more. "The greatest collection of reimagined standards in the last decade."
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 Other CD Collections
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.
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.
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." Jazziz's 2017 Critics' Choice.
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.
Standard Deviations cover
Standard Deviations - Jazz/Blues - Although this is mainly an enemble album, half the tracks on Disc 2 of this two volume recording are solo piano arrangements. Think of this is a piano album with fabulous guest artists sitting in on 2/3s of the tunes! See Standard Deviations project page for complete Liner Notes and several Bonus Tracks.
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
Standard Deviations cover
Standard Deviations - Jazz/Blues - The only instrumental album in Tobin's "Standards" collection. An homage to Monk, Ellington, Gershwin, Brubeck, Hoagy Carmichael, Lennon-McCartney, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Henri Mancini, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer and more, featuring great players and innovative arrangements. "The greatest collection of reimagined standards in the last decade."
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.
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.
Poetry / Spoken Word
As Simple As Soap cover
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.
Afterwords cover
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. Jazziz's 2017 Critics' Choice.