audio

Composing, arranging, and recording original new music in my home studio has long been a passion of mine, providing a slightly adventurous change of pace from the comfort zone of live jazz and cover band performances.

All songs were written, arranged, performed, recorded, mixed and mastered by Nervous Neal Smith.

Snagged

Dedicated to all the guitar-based shuffle blues bands who indulged my presence while I was cutting my musical chops.

Blue Dog Walk

Quirky and up-tempo in the manner of a European soda commercial from the 1960s.

Pale Blue Fog

The result of a challenge from a student to rewrite the theme song to DC Universe’s “Swamp Thing.”

Abandoned Marionette

This one placed itself in the musical space between Henry Mancini’s “Charade” and the theme song from David Lynch’s “The Elephant Man” during a time when I found myself practicing the expressive upper register of the bass clarinet.

Chaplinesque (Victrola Mix)

Originally written for a friend’s YouTube channel, the full-fidelity version of this tune was first licensed for broadcast by NBC Sports in the early months of 2019. This Victrola Mix is meant to emulate the sound of an early-acoustic phonograph, with surface noise sampled from my great-grandfather’s tabletop 1907 Victrola.

Peter and Otto

Peter and Otto were characters from Christopher Isherwood’s 1939 novel, “Goodbye to Berlin,” lending a Weill-esque vibe to the piano accompaniment of this cabaret-styled number.




Treadway Crisis

Inspired in general by contemporary video game soundtracks, with the melody bouncing between soprano sax, flute, and tenor sax.

Les Battements Burlesque

A tribute to the instrumental work of bandleaders like David Rose, with the tenor sax growling like a rusty old power tool.

Calling CQ

A soundtrack to the haunting of an amateur radio set. “CQ,” a code used in wireless communication, is a request (usually in Morse code) for communication from anyone anywhere.

Hyper Drive

A klezmer-fueled sprint away from the bad guys at a tempo fast enough to guarantee an effective escape.

Brisk Business

If “Blue Dog Walk” didn’t manage to sell you on that enigmatic 1960s European soda product, this one won’t either.

Koolitus

The title is the Estonian word for “training,” but it sounds to me like a sort of chronic social condition most saxophonists wish they could suffer from.

The Comfort Zone

Nobody asked me to write the theme song to a 1970s TV sitcom, but I did it anyway.

Long Walk Home

My sister-in-law Audrey put me up to this one, and I think it suits her.

Passos de Bebê

It’s the opposite of “Giant Steps.”

would you like to work on something together?

From taking lessons or hiring me for a show to collaborating on a musical project, I’m happy to talk about working together. Just reach out to get started.

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