Tobin Mueller – Moon River & Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Standard Deviations)

Tobin Mueller – Moon River & Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Standard Deviations)

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” could be the greatest song ever written. By making “Moon River” into a kind of introduction, the time it takes to get to its well known melody creates a sense of journey, of peace achieved, once the listener arrives. Having it played as a piano solo, it becomes an intimate solitary moment. This is an astoundingly original and moving arrangement, well worth the full 7-minute playing time. This is one of the many quiet gems from Volume Two of Mueller’s new album: “Standard Deviations.”

“Standard Deviations” explores the relationships between great jazz standards by intermingling melodies in unique arrangements that deviate into several genres, including soft jazz, hard bop, fusion, blues and progressive post-bop. This medley explores the musical and emotional connections between the two classic standards: “Moon River” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. They are related thematically as well as musically and the video shows how their imagery overlaps as easily as their melodies.

Backward and bowed piano interjections provide details that remind one of shooting stars. The watery background and shimmering strings are meant to highlight the sense of reflection. Bells dip below the surface of the moonlit river. Wind chimes and other whirling sounds remind the listener of the wind that will soon take Dorothy over the rainbow.

If you enjoy this arrangement, please listen to the entire album:

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