Lee Feldman

Lee Feldman

BandPopSinger/Songwriter

Lee Feldman is a pianist, singer and songwriter. His songs are funny, sad, and cinematic. Lee's 2nd album was recorded for Mercury Records. Lee is also the creator of STARBOY, an animated musical about a 2-dimensional superhero who lives with his uncle, a mathematician.

Biography

“Reviving a bit of Brill Building artistry, this New York piano man makes you think and swoon and hum all at once.” (Village Voice)

For years now, I’ve been trying to integrate a bunch of things that don’t ordinarily fit into pop albums: improvisation; stark emotional honesty; dark and surreal humor; cinematic dream-like narratives; strangely inevitable melodies; chamber music arrangements; experimental values. The goal is to incorporate these qualities into tunes that sear themselves into the listener’s brain and remain fresh and inevitable at each listening.

I was signed to Mercury Records in 1998 because of the unanimously great reviews I got for my first album, "Living It All Wrong." I made that album from money I had saved working for 10 years as a word processor in New York law firms. The songs came from many lonely years spent at the upright piano in my small Brooklyn walk-up apartment.

"The Man in a Jupiter Hat" was the album I made for Mercury. Producer Roger Peltzman and I spent our budget on great New York musicians: Lenny Pickett and the Blues Bros. horn section; downtown string masters Mark Feldman and Erik Friedlander; guitar god Dave Schramm; and Cherish The Ladies’ pennywhistle player Joanie Madden, among others. The album came out great, but as soon as I turned it in, Mercury’s parent company, Polygram, was bought by Seagrams’ (Universal) and everything was put on hold. In 2000, I put Jupiter Hat out on my own label (Bonafide), and I got more great reviews -- including a profile on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a cover story in KEYBOARD Magazine.

. . . which brings us to now. In February 2004, I took the band I had been working with for 6 years -- Byron Isaacs on bass and vocals (he’s also in the band “Olabelle”) and Bill Dobrow on drums (also with Martha Wainwright) into the studio to record the basic tracks for "I’ve Forgotten Everything." Ed Haber (producer of Linda Thompson’s critically acclaimed return to recording, "Fashionably Late"), shared my vision of highlighting this tight, piano-driven trio and trying to make a spontaneous and great-sounding album with echoes of Traffic’s John Barleycorn Must Die, Lennon’s solo work and Cecil Taylor’s anarchism – yet with a coherence and concision all its own. I think we did it!

One good thing about living in New York City (aside from the food and the Metropolitan Museum of Art) is that you can call great musicians, and they probably will play on your record. Teddy Thompson (vocals and guitar), Steven Bernstein (trumpet and slide trumpet), Joel Frahm (tenor and soprano sax) , Rob Burger (Hammond organ), Will Holshouser (accordion) Curtis Fowlkes (trombone), Greta Gertler (vocals), Pete Galub and Johnny Spampinato (guitars) -- it was a lot of intense personalities and a lot of fun!

Then to top it all off, me and Ed went out to Connecticut and got Jay Newland (who mixed and engineered the two Norah Jones CDs and a Charlie Haden/Hank Jones album that I love called “Steal Away”) to mix the album! His place was nice, but kind of cluttered with Grammys.

Also in 2004 I completed STARBOY, an animated musical about a 2-dimensional superhero who lives with his uncle, a Mathematician. It's been shown at film festivals in New York and London and will be shown (with live accompaniment) at The Whitney Museum in December 2005.

Lyrics

Me and My Sara Remaining

Written By: Lee Feldman

ME AND MY SARA REMAINING

And all of the places are changing
The walls and the buildings are falling down.

And none of the people are staying
Just me and my Sara remaining.
Just me and my Sara remaining.

And it was a Saturday evening.
The women were wearing their dressing gowns.

And I could hear one of them saying,
“Just me and my Sara remaining.
Just me and my Sara remaining.

And what will we do now that no one’s around?
What used to be up in the air’s on the ground.
And we’re in the building that no one has found,

Just me and my Sara are here.
Remaining.”

So why don’t you go to the window
And watch as the trees are bowing down?

It looks like the leaves are praying,
And just me and my Sara remaining.
Just me and my Sara remaining.

“And what will we do now that no one’s around?
What used to be up in the air’s on the ground.
And we’re in the building that no one has found,

Just me and my Sara are here.
Remaining.”

Discography

Living It All Wrong (1997) Pure/Bonafide
The Man in a Jupiter Hat (2000) Mercury/Bonafide
STARBOY (2004) DVD
I've Forgotten Everything (2006) Urban Myth

Set List

My sets are about 50 minutes, 10 - 12 songs. I either perform solo (piano and voice) or with bass and drums. A typical set is:

It Takes Two (to Untangle)
Big Women on the Shelves
Morning Train
Give Me My Money
Monkeys
Starboy Theme
Fragments Falling
Me and My Sara Remaining
Waltz For a Sad Girl
Hippy Store
Mrs. Green