The David Zoffer Differential

The David Zoffer Differential

 Boston, Massachusetts, USA
BandJazzFunk

The DZD’s style is Flowtown: Head-nodding grooves w/character-driven Lyrics, Quirky virtuosos w/lush jazz harmony. Double vocal dialogue puts Wonder, the Police & Zappa in a blender. Vulnerable humor & sophistication for eclectics, delivered warm, bluesy, soulful & progressive. You deserve this.

Biography

If you like: Steely Dan, Jon Stewart, Prince, Robert Cray, Me’shell Ndegeocello, The Changes, Norah Jones, Stephen Colbert, Patricia Barber, Medeski Martin &Wood, Dave Chappelle, The Meters, Peter Gabriel, Chuck Klosterman and/or Paul Simon, then The David Zoffer Differential belongs in your playlist. The DZD’s classic influences include Stevie Wonder, The Police, Frank Zappa, and Joni Mitchell. The richly textured fusion of these styles creates the Flowtown sound the DZD has pioneered over the last five years.

The DZD full length CD, Release, has been released to college, public and jazz radio, and has reached top 10 and 20 positions in heavy rotation at stations across the country. Release is Zoffer’s third full-length CD and his first to have a national radio campaign through Evolution Promotions, who have worked for such artists as Sting and Brian Eno. Zoffer’s music has received international radio airplay across Europe and from Voice of America Radio. From his home base in Boston, Zoffer and The DZD have appeared for extensive interviews and live appearances on WGBH, WERS, WHRB, WICN, and his music has been on top ten lists from Arizona to Iceland and from Pittsburgh to Portugal. Zoffer has played colleges ranging from Stonehill College (upon winning the Boston Jazz Society award) and Harvard University in New England, to FIH Conservatory in Iceland. Zoffer’s music has been at home in many settings ranging from rock and funk clubs like Johnny D’s, Bill’s Bar, & the Lizard Lounge to packed performances at Jazz festivals from Boston’s Regattabar to Café Reykjavik and even classical venues like Jordan Hall. Zoffer has been a featured multi-instrumental soloist/composer/arranger at crossover concerts for the Boston Philharmonic and the Handel & Haydn Society at the Berklee Performance Center and Sanders Theater.

College Booking for the DZD is done through Boston Eventworks contact Kevin at kevin@bostoneventworks. Club Booking for The DZD is now handled by Alexa at Kollmar Presents. Contact her at booking@kollmarpresents.com

In addition to his performing career, Zoffer is also one of the leading lights in Jazz education. He has been department chair at the New England Conservatory (NEC) Prep and Continuing Ed. Jazz dept. since 1996. He is also on faculty at Berklee College of Music in the Contemporary Writing and Production department. In addition, he is a member of the Jazz Faculty at Tufts University. Zoffer has lectured internationally in the subjects of performance, composition, songwriting, improvisation, and Jazz. His students include Downbeat winners such as teen prodigy Grace Kelly (best Sax, Vocal, R&B and Composition for middle school students-unprecedented four categories in one year), Roland Davis (best composition for master’s degree students), and Bill Ward (best composition-high school students).

Zoffer has given workshops sponsored by colleges, teachers unions and music schools all over the world. He has done extensive workshops with students ranging in age from twelve to seventy and from beginners to seasoned professionals to teachers learning how to teach improvisation. David Zoffer has often given masterclasses on the same day of many of his performances. Zoffer’s unique background in performance on piano, guitar, bass, voice, saxophone, as well as composition/arranging give him a perspective that allows him to help many different kinds of students express themselves more clearly.

Lyrics

Safety Prayer

Written By: David Zoffer

First, let me say thanks.
I have something to worry about.
Here is my prayer:

Nothing bad
can happen
to my love.
It just can’t.

If you can hear me now please protect
those who without I’ll become a wreck.
You probably don’t respond to threats,
that is the difference between us.

Fragile you made us so soft to touch.
You probably don’t play favorites much.
We fall in love, it’s the sweetest crutch.
Don’t leave us cripple, please protect

my loved ones.
I need them,
I can’t live
without them.

Protection, creation;
do you do
both at once?

Sure, I have my doubts,
but I’m so afraid,
I pray anyway;
the price of loving.

If you can hear me,
if you’re really there,
and you care to care,
please grant us safety.

How are you supposed to hear
all these prayers are so simultaneous,
does it sound noisy?

Why would you listen to me instead
of someone else, do you rank by dread?
Some people think they’re inside your head,
I don’t believe there’s any room.

How do you discern
all our different pleas?
You made us selfish
How can you bear it?

Nothing bad
can happen
to my love.
It just can’t.

You, me, the fates
we can all do lunch.
I’ll let you pick any restaurant.
I can pick up any tab you want,
just don’t make my loved ones the tip.

Please button up,
eat and get some sleep.
These are the prayers
that a mother keeps.
If she should lose you, she’ll wail and weep.
You wouldn’t put her through all that.

For children and husbands
and their wives,
spare their lives.

We need them, they love us.
You love us, so we’re told.

So let me say thanks.
I have several things to worry about.
Please let me keep them.

I'll Be Around

Written By: David Zoffer

Friends, Lovers, Strangers:
that's my friend on the phone.

So have I told you 'bout my latest loss?
And once again there was so much beauty,
followed by some lame nagging.

And have I told you friend, the guilt I have.
‘Cause two affairs ago I was traveling;
old flames should not get married.

Sometimes I feel addicted
only to the beginning of love.

And you call me when you need to remind yourself why you do the things you do.
And I say, “my friend it’s always nice to hear from you” and...
You confess your sins and the shades of gray so poignantly.
And you say that people generally don’t understand you like me.

(Chorus)
Well you can tell me that you’ve done anything.
I’ll be around for you.
Oh, I’ll be around.

Let me listen to my lover now.

So, when can I get focused on?
And do you ever really need me?
How can you live the way you do?

And sometimes I just need to know why it is that you love me.

And you tell me that you’re leanin’ on me, and I know it.
And I know I drive you crazy both good and bad, you can’t help but show it.
Go ahead and set me up and see if you can really be trusting.
Deep down we're together, you know we'll be permanently adjusting.

(Chorus)
Well you can tell me that you feel anything.
I’ll be around for you.
Oh, I’ll be around.

Well you can take yourself and storm out the door.
I’ll be around when you get back.
Here you come, I’m around.

(Bridge)
'Cause friends and lovers
Seem to know when they’ve found something real.
You can’t resist, need to tell them your story.
You know that day
that you can be healed
with phrases that you’ll always remember.

Friends and lovers sneak in pain
between the help, but you can’t cut them out.

Almost everybody else lets me down.
Not friends and lovers,
they don’t have a hidden agenda that makes you think,
"What do you want from me? "

Sometimes I just need to know why it is that you love me.

I can say stupid things that I’d only say to you.
And we laugh,
and only you’ll remember it years later as true.

(Chorus)
Well you can tell me that you feel anything.
I’ll be around for you.
Oh, I’ll be around.

'Cause friends and lovers
they make it all worth it.
They let me know I’m alive.
That’s a big ol' phone bill,
but depression is more expensive.
Oh, what would I do without you?

(Chorus)
You can tell me that you’ve done anything.
I’ll be around for you.
Oh, I’ll be around.

Sure Feels Like We Have

Written By: David Zoffer

Should we go on home?
Are we so afraid of being alone?

Talked for sixteen hours on the first day that we could
I went from zero to your life story
In the way adrenaline should
But I want to keep talking
I oughta move away but I don’t
Been a while since this feelin’
Dangerous vulnerable time
But is it?
Wrong or right, it don’t really matter,
because this bad girl still comes home alone

I’d better explain myself to my self
Now, I’m just lookin’ talkin’ lady
And we ain’t been together baby
Well, but it sure feels like we have

Ain’t been together baby,
but it sure feels like we have

Don’t look up,
and I’ll promise not to look down
Don’t look up,
and I’ll try not to look down

Fall in love with the ear that
seems to guide me through my past
Do you want my permission to sin here?
‘Cause I’d love it if we could be fast
but I know myself too well,
my daydreams will last way too long
Better start to find some faults here
Tell me again ‘bout your crimes,
and this way, all those secret glances I gave you
They’re from a telescope no microscope could find
I’d better explain myself to myself

Now I’m just lookin’ talking maybe
And we ain’t been together, baby
Well, but it sure feels like we have

Ain’t been together baby,
but it sure feels like we have
I’ll try to promise not to look down,
but it sure feels like I want to

You’re too close to my body,
so get out of my head

At the end of my criminal investigation
I’m set straight
I suppose I have to say life is better
Only sniffing not tasting the bait,
but I thank you for testing
my ability to circulate
It’s the last time pray the last time
I’ll walk so close to the line
‘cause I know fallin’ from grace is so exciting
But love is so much stronger than a rush
I’d better explain myself to my self

Now I’m just lookin thinkin’ maybe
And we ain’t been together baby
We ain’t been together, but it sure feels
like we have

Ain’t been together baby,
but it sure feels like we have

Before it feels too nice
I think it’s time to go on home

Stop pretendin’ to live like I’m all alone
I could feel it then, but I can see it now
Our daydream is a nightmare for a story I can’t allow
Even though it sure feels like we have

Separation Anxiety

Written By: David Zoffer

Mmm
Hmm
Separation (Separation)
There is no liberation
Without complication
The question I was asked once
Are your folks still together?
Well I said yes
Do they still love one another?
Yeah, I guess, I think so
Weird, weird
We’re lookin for a ray of light
The statistics ain’t good
Radiating from the silicone electrified (boob tube)
Primarily premarital and way too many
Post marital relations end in (separation)
is all I see in the glossy darkness of celebrity
Well are we just too lazy
You mean to stay together?
Or break up, sometimes I see no difference
Then where’s that smile coming from? I see it in your eyes
Determination keeps you climbing back to love
You’d better get used to the idea
You'd better get used to me now
We’re gonna watch each other change
Over a long long time
Can kids hold it together?
No, but they can sure make things start with a bang
Can money hold it together?
Mmm, uhhhh, no
When you see me, what do you see?
Love
Not a roommate
Well, yeah
Why do you love me?
Do we have a concept of long term here?
(Separation) is all I hear
No one stays together
Longer than a year
Are we completely crazy?
You mean, to stay together?
Or break the link. How can you do this two times?
Our love is never ending; I think they lack what’s in your eyes
Determination keeps you climbing back to love
(Oh, how did we get out here?)
(Guess we are each other’s family now)
I never doubted that you were the one
All of my life, been waitin’ for you
Is that so? I never saw you comin’ as a boy
(How we doin? Got a lot to learn, must adapt.)
(Don’t forget to forgive)
(Guess we’d better, God forbid, make each other laugh)
I never doubted that you were the one
All of my life, been waitin’ for you
How did you see through my darkness
that things would get so much better?
When you see me, what do you see?
Love
Not a slob
Well yeah
Not a convenience?
Hell no! Separation
(Separation)
There is no liberation
Without complication, but we’ll have no goodbyes
You’d better get used to the idea
You'd better have no goodbyes
We’re gonna watch each other change
Over a long, long time
(Mmmhm)

FlamRap

Written By: David Zoffer

Sometimes when he’s lonely, he speaks change
Then he goes to the clubs
Sometimes there’s regret, but that’s forgotten when
He sees new love

Allow me to paint you a picture of a man
Picture of a man
His name is Damon Status, he works for
Status Entertainment
Ah, let me give you a
Taste of his arrangement, oh
Multi-generational player, a master of the (Flim flam rap)
Slick negotiator, half the stuff out his mouth is (diversionary sap)

If you’re corporate old and got money
You know he’s gonna take it from you, if you’re young fine and a honey
You know he’s gonna try to make it with you
And if you ever need his return communication
Don’t hold your breath, you’ll only turn blue, then red with frustration

Sometimes when he’s lonely, he speaks change
Then he goes to the clubs
Sometimes there’s regret, but that’s forgotten when
He sees new love
This is when he says “Hi, is this a private party?”
While he’s thinking “Oh God I must have that, it’s perfect”

Let’s look into the chat rooms
Multi-player participation,
Keepin’ track of the information on the
Fifteen girls up on the screen
He thins the herd typing something obscene
Followed by a “heh, heh, heh”
Oh please
And if you’re a (thin girl) who’s (sexy) and in her (teens)
(Oh so much the better)

Sometimes when he’s lonely, he speaks change
Then he goes to the clubs
This is where he says “uh ladies ladies, Fantastic!”
Sometimes there’s regret, but that’s forgotten when
He sees new love
Later on, he’ll say “Girls can I interest you in an audition for a
position in the entertainment industry?” Well come on over!

Ba bue da bue ah do ba bue ah ohh
I see big things for us
Ba bue da bue ah do ba bue ah
Picture of a man, Status entertainment, Taste of his arrangement oh
sometimes when he’s lonely
He goes to the club
This is when he says
Sometimes there’s regret
He sees new love
This is when he says “Dude, that girl over there doesn’t know it yet but she’s my wife”

Let me paint you a picture of a man
Who’s got to show you all his conquests
He has to
Tell you all about it
It keeps you wonderin’
What does he get out of it?
He’s got the pictures to prove it and he needs to include you to view it
Don’t show those
He calls me to read the e-mail that says he’s the worst lover she’s ever had twice

If you’re corporate, old and got money
Damon, darling do my next event
You know he’s gonna take it from you,
if you’re young fine and a honey
Hi
You know he’s gonna try to make it with you
And if you ever need his return communication
Don’t hold your breath you’ll only turn blue
Then red
why
with
didn’t you return my call?
Frustration
So lame

Sometimes when he’s lonely, he speaks change
Then he goes to the clubs
This is where he says “Hi my name is Damon Status, Status Entertainment, what’s yours?”
Sometimes there’s regret but that’s forgotten when
He sees new love
Later on he’ll say
“Man, you have to see her, she’s my new assistant and uh, yessssssss”

Driven

Written By: David Zoffer

Oh my love
Stay my love
Oh my love Oh my love
Stay my love

Driven, so driven now
What will it take for you to release yourself?
What’s it gonna take?
How much and how many chains to break
before you can allow yourself sometime to sit a little bit
and breathe?

Driven to excel demands you
Slice away from all of your fears and your motivations
Except for that thing that goes so far back
You can’t even remember why it is so good
Feels just like it should now

Oh how much longer must I keep waiting
I can’t stop now, baby. I don’t know how
Not forever do you, do you hear me?
Louder and clearer than
being driven wants me to
keep these unreasonable excesses.

Working is gambling and
Everyone hopes you bet on them
If you can buy that
you must consider yourself
Driven

Exactly when can I stop
delaying the gratification?
Oh my love Oh my love
Stay my love Stay my love

Oh my love
Oh my love
Stay my love
Stay my love

Oh my love Oh my love
Stay my love Stay my love

Oh my love Oh my love
Stay my love Stay my love

Each time I wake up with the same agenda
and that means I ain’t got no rest
You can only stay
in my life if you’re willing to play
or pay for that working gamble
that keeps me here for now
My drive

Lately in the breaths I may take
Just to charge myself between bets
Nothing more is allowed
I can get seduced by all the natural
inclinations that don’t stop me when driven
To madness now-but when will I feel good

Oh how much longer must I keep waiting
Just until I’m not where I’m at now
Not forever do you, do you hear me
Louder and clearer than being driven
wants me to keep these unreasonable excesses

Working is gambling and
Getting people on board
is winning half of my race out
If you can buy that
you must

Discography

Full length Pop/Jazz Progressive Funk CD, Release,
distributed by MudHut.co.uk and Zofco Records to national radio through Evolution Promotions. Available at iTunes/CD Baby. Played all over college radio (esp. in the Northeast) featured on public radio.

David Zoffer & Adam Larrabee (jazz duo) Courage in Closeness: Live in Boston 2003 Zofco Records/distributed through North Country-available at itunes.com and cdbaby.com

(EP) Superbaby, 1999 Zofco Records (funk/progressive rock)

David Zoffer (jazz solo artist) double CD, The Beginning of the End Vols. 1 & 2, Zofco Records 1996 w/Luciana Souza, Eddie Gomez, Don Alias, Bob Moses, Stan Strickland, Jeremy Steig

Set List

We do 90% originals, but for covers we may do a wildly remade funk or blues version of a standard like You Are My Sunshine, or a Jazz or Funk Classic. Sometimes for covers we may play a N.Orleans groove from The Meters (like Cissy Strut)or a shuffle by James Booker or Ray Charles, or a Chicago blues like B.B. King.
Occaisionally we break out a cover of the Police or Stevie Wonder, or Zappa (early 70s to early 80s stuff).
Our sets are usually 45-50 minutes with songs that average 3-6minutes (usually 4 minutes).
We do 11 or 12 tunes in a set.
In parenthesis I have given a genre description of the tune after the title.
Below is a set of original songs.

Sure Feels Like We Have- (Steely Dan meets Stevie Ray Vaughn)

Safety Prayer-(Sting/Peter Gabriel groove ballad)

Driven- (Prog Funk with soul singing)

Flamrap- (Progressive Hip Hop Flamenco Bossa Nova Fusion meets Zappa humor)

Much More Lovely-(Steely Dan/Marley)

Not Yet Known-(Mike Stern meets the Police)

I’ll Be