Writings about Music

Piano Improvisation Series

Gathering Jazz Spirits With A Lapis Lazuli Ganesh

Michael Robinson (Los Angeles)

Finding the pocket with Frank. Finding the tempo with Frank. Finding the rasa with Frank.

Pandit Jasraj is the closest we have in Indian classical music or even jazz to Frank Sinatra. The velvet of their voices and the divinity of their souls are here for us.

For gathering the jazz spirits, just have Frank be there and they will come. Lester will come. Stan will come. John will come. Lee will come. Red will come. Miles will come.

And I know Frank and all of these musicians would have loved Pandit Jasraj, too, if they had known about him.

Come to think of it, I did lend Lee a cassette tape of Pandit Jasraj and Zakir Hussain doing Adana. Konitz was impressed by the recording, while wishing now I had delved into asking for more specifics about his listening experience. The alto saxophonist shared on another occasion, "I love Indian classical music."

What follows are some of my piano interpretations of songs also recorded by Frank Sinatra.

Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week is from the Wonderful Schemes album


Blue Moon is from the Somebody Whisper album



I'll Never Smile Again & Body and Soul are from the June Night album


More later, maybe including More.

Perhaps I should mention that part of saving the world is recognizing vital connections between different cultures. More esoteric ones help illuminate more basic ones like breathing the same air, the stuff singers use to sing with to color our lives with special meaning.

- Michael Robinson, April 2022, Los Angeles

Written after receiving as gifts previously unheard, astounding Frank Sinatra recordings and a lapis lazuli Ganesh at the same time.


© 2022 Michael Robinson All rights reserved


Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and musicologist. His 170 albums include 150 albums for meruvina and 20 albums of piano improvisations. Robinson has been a lecturer at UCLA, Bard College and California State University.