photo by Jimmy Bruno

Foaming At the Ear Music

These days, I hate to call my original music "jazz." Jazz these days is usually background noise for some lawyer's mating rituals. When one finds Kenny G in the jazz bin, the term's been too compromised to have any meaning at all. So let's call it "Instrumental music with improvisation and a Philly attitude." After a friend said my music was tinged with madness, I set up Foaming at the Ear Music as a publishing company in order to get it out to the world.

I've made a series of CDs, 2 electronic fusion, 1 acoustic quartet, 2 wide-ranging solo efforts, a Miles Davis-type electric jazz CD with improvised music given form in the studio, a compilation of Frank Zappa tunes for solo piano, a similar collection of tunes by Brian Groder, an electronic realization of a classical tango composition, and a group of improvisations on the Fender Rhodes piano. I hope you can take a minute to click on the links below that lead you to the invidual albums. There you'll find lots of track samples, some charts for the tunes, and lots of explanations of the tunes and albums.

Please also check out my YouTube channel with lots of musical performances:

Dave Hartl YouTube Channel

The Albums

Click on the album to link to a full page of information.

The Rhodes Less Traveled 5 Tango Sensations Tales of the Plague Some Other Where Pianist Dimentia Busman's Holiday Lab Work Straight, a Head Foreign Growth Dave Hartl & Gaijin

Please go to my Bandcamp artist site to find audio samples of all these albums, and a convenient way to purchase them in such a way to best help keep them coming. They're available elsewhere but Bandcamp works the best.

The Rhodes Less Traveled

With the new year of 2023 dawning, I brought my Fender Rhodes into my studio and improvised freely over 7 days, no retakes, no notes. And the sound of the Rhodes was all the inspiration I needed. Click here for much more info!

Piazzolla: 5 Tango Sensations

I resolved to make an album featuring the accordion, which I've played since I was 5 years old. The music of Astor Piazzolla drew me into a deep dive, and this album was the first project of his compositions I completed. It's an electronic realization of his composition "5 Tango Sensations", originally recorded by the Kronos Quartet and played here by me on various synths and the Roland V-Accordion. Click here for much more info!

Tales of the Plague

Locked down for 14 months with no opportunity to play for people, I hunkered down in my studio and turned the pandemic into a creative windfall. Here's the result! "Lab Work" took me 7 years, Phase 2 of it only took me about 16 months. Click here for much more info!

Some Other Where: Hartl Plays Brian Groder

Brian Groder is a New York City-based trumpeter, composer, and band leader with a string of well-reviewed albums to his credit. He's also an old friend, and I resolved to do my own pianistic takes on his amazing compositions. Click here for much more info!

Pianist Dimentia: Music of Frank Zappa

I play 20 of Frank Zappa's compositions spanning his career, strictly solo piano. Without the lyrics and dropped onto unsuspecting people, folks seem charmed and intrigued, guessing the composer as Erik Satie or Stravinsky, something Zappa himself would've probably loved. Click here for much more info!

Busman's Holiday

After four albums of compositions that we recorded by working off of the charts for the tunes, I decided to take an approach that Miles Davis and Teo Macero used in their great series of electric albums in the '70's. A quintet freely improvised on bare, simple sketches in the studio. The resulting tracks were then massaged and worked on intently to create compositions from the material instead of the reverse. The result was a sonic voyage of long tracks, the most ambiant album I've done yet. Click here for much more info!

Lab Work

Released in December 2007 after two grueling years of work, this was my attempt to emulate Todd Rundgren's one-man band approach. Ranging from a classical trumpet-and-keys Requiem to Pink Floyd-influenced rock, to straight-ahead jazz and electronic algorhythmic composition, it's all over the map and cinematic in texture, my most fully realized album yet. Click here for much more!

Straight, a Head

I had a chance to record an acoustic album in the UArts studio as part of a faculty grant in 1996. I made the most of it by enlisting Ron Kerber on sax, Craig Thomas on bass, and Mark Graham on drums and writing a new book of tunes. It's my most traditional album and the tunes are still some of my favorites. Click here for much more!

Foreign Growth

With one album under my belt, by 1992 I decided to pull out the stops and really stretch the limits of the technology I had at hand. Check out the photos on this site to see what we had to go through in the days of large hardware synths, limited computers, and analog tape! "Perculator" began to get some heavy airplay locally before the local station gave up on jazz, and "The Church of Elvis" is still begging for its video realization. Come hear what you've been missing. Click here for more info!

Dave Hartl & Gaijin

It was 1990, and in a fit of hubris I decided to try to apply what I had been messing with on a Mac Plus computer and come up with a real album using a computer, something not too many people were trying at that point. I was playing the casinos of Atlantic City and creating these tunes was my therapy. Dance of the Corporate Thugs remains one of my toughest to pull off live (we've done it, though), and Geek of the Week remains a groove challenge. 6 curious little compositions that still have a special place in my heart. Click here for more info!

Assorted original works

Here's a link to another page on which you'll find sound files and information on live versions of the album cuts unavailable anywhere else as well as upcoming projects, unreleased works and alternate takes. I'll be updating this as we go, so come back often to see what's new!

Updated January 11, 2024.

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