Sing Your Song



Making music with Wolfgang has been a source of joy to me for many years. We share a passion for great songs, stories and jazz, which leads us to material that challenges and inspires us. Wolfgang's pianistic virtuosity makes choosing any song possible, from the simplest folk song to the most complex classical piece, and he combines a richly elegant accompanying style with an open door for improvisation. What a pleasure to share this first recording of our duo with you! (JN)

About the music:

Isn´t It Romantic: This is a witty rearrangement of the Rodgers and Hart classic by pianist Jimmy Rowles, who is one of my favorite musicians. He knew practically every song there is, and his point of view on a tune is always worth checking out. I was fortunate enough to meet and to hang out with him, so this is our little tribute to the great Jimmy Rowles. (WK)

Sing Your Song: Judy has written many wonderful lyrics to jazz tunes and I am very happy that she put such encouraging words to this one. Really not easy to sing – but no problem for her! (WK)

I´m All Smiles: I fell in love with this tune when I heard Hampton Hawes´s version of it. It's a special song with lots of unexpected harmonic devices and a long build-up at the end. Since we found this a bit too theatrical to be used in every chorus, we decided to use the last section only at the ending. (WK)

Where Love Has Gone: I found this rather obscure song in a Sammy Cahn songbook, along with lots of other interesting tunes. Its opening statement has a bass line that Jimmy van Heusen was fond of, used here in a fresh and sophisticated way. A unique composition, and one very rarely performed. (WK)

One For My Baby: One of Sinatra´s favorites is reworked here rhythmically and within the form, hopefully without losing the mood of the lyrics. (WK)

Lonely House: This ode to loneliness is from Kurt Weill's American opera, Street Scene. Weill and many historians considered this score to be his masterpiece. Abbey Lincoln's haunting version inspired me, and I brought the original piano part to our reherarsal. Wolfgang managed to evoke the creaking house and crying babies in this masterful interpretation of the original. (JN)

Lost In The Stars: This beautiful, tragic song comes from the musical of the same name, written by Kurt Weill, with a libretto by Maxwell Anderson based on the novel, Cry the Beloved Country. In it, a black South African father has a crisis of faith when he learns that his son has robbed and murdered a white friend of his. He asks „Is God is really watching?“ (JN)

Asphalt Nightmare: This quirky minor blues was written by the brilliant composer/pianist Kirk Nurock, a longtime friend and musical collaborator from NYC. The melody embodies the frenzied pace and excitement of New York City; the improvisation continues it... (JN)

Eagle Poem: This is my setting of a poem written in 1990 by Joy Harjo, an American Creek Indian poet. I fell in love with her description of the eagle's flight, as he circles above Salt River, the cycles of life and death reminding us to take the utmost care and kindness in all things during our short stay on earth. (JN)

My Old Man: From Joni Mitchell's Blue, this is one of my favorite love songs from the 70's, a declaration of free love: „We don't need no piece of paper from the city hall“... (JN)

The Judgement of the Moon and Stars (Ludwig's Tune):

Joni Mitchell's poetic lyric speaks to Beethoven, the man who composed symphonies he would never hear. Once a legend in the court, later reduced to a laughing stock by his former female conquests, she awknowledges his pain and offers some advice: “ Show 'em that you won't expire, not 'til you burn up every passion, not even when you die“. (JN)



Wolfgang Koehler Judy Niemack-4521.jpgListen!
Wolfgang Koehler Judy Niemack-4534 copy.jpgListen!
01 Sing Your Song Jan. 28, 2020.wavListen!


Judy Niemack, vocals, Wolfgang Koehler, piano, in Duo