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TafelJazz Stories

I wrote several tunes during the pandemic that were based on variants such – B.1.1.7 (The Mutation Blues), B.1.617 (The Mutation Waltz), and Exponential Blues. This tune begins with a C chord (C0) followed by a VI (6th) chord (A7) and then d- the abbreviation for a D minor chord. The melody always begins on the 9th note of the chord or 1 over 9 (1/9). When I explained this to John Paulson at a gig, he just rolled his eyes.

Each TafelJazz song tells a story – H3O’s Eric Heukeshoven explains their origin

Hei ’N’ Low - with John Sievers (2019)

The Hei ‘N’ Low is one of Winona’s most loved “East End” bars. This tune was written when John Sievers, Max, and I played there for the first time. The first note of the melody is an octave above the second … high & low.

Co VI d- 1/9 (aka A Hopeful Tune) - with John Paulson (2020)

Jig in Swing - with Janet Heukeshoven & John Paulson (2000)

When Ruth Paulson (John’s mom) turned 90, we played for her birthday party at Charter House in Rochester. Ruth was of Irish heritage and enjoyed a good Irish tune as much as the jazz her son plays so well. This arrangement adds a 2nd flute part to the celebration. (Afterall, I am married to a flute player!)

Duck, Duck … - with John Sievers (2019)

H3O was invited to accompany two Charlie Chaplin silent films at the Gray Duck Theatre as part of the Rochester City Jazz Festival. John Sievers’ vocal wonders if it’s “Duck, Duck, Gray Duck” or “Duck, Duck, Gray Goose” and gives the definitive Minnesota answer  … You betcha!

Jerry Jumps In - with John Paulson & John Sievers (2010)

For many years, I had the good fortune to play with local trumpeter Jerry Paulson. Jerry left us too soon on New Year’s Day 2019. This arrangement adds harmony in the trombone line. The title comes from a similar up-tempo blues – Lester Leaps In.

Almost Spring - H3O (2018)

H3O’s first performance at Midwest Music Fest was in March 2018. In Minnesota, that is often “almost spring”. The doubling of bass with the piano‘s left hand is a tribute to one of my jazz heroes – Horace Silver.

Waltzing at Sprigs - John Paulson & Eric Heukeshoven (2002)

John Paulson and I have made music together for nearly 40 years, Sprigs was a delightful restaurant in Rushford, Minn. that only lasted about a year. The owners, Joel and Carol, would dance to this tune whenever we played it. Wonderful memories!

The 125 Jive - with John Sievers (2018)

This tune was written for the opening of the SEMVA art gallery at 125 Live – a thriving community center in Rochester. The style hearkens back to my youth playing traditional jazz at the Bix Beiderbeke Festival in Davenport, Iowa, where, coincidentally, John Sievers spent his youth.

Nyhavn Reflections - with John Paulson (2008)

Marc Bernstein is a friend and colleague who lives and teaches in Copenhagen – one of my favorite cities. “Nyhavn” is Danish for “new harbor.” I composed this piece for Marc’s residency at Saint Mary’s University inspired by the reflections on the water in this idyllic setting.

One for Pappa – with John Paulson & John Sievers (2010)

Mike Pappas ran Michael’s Restaurant in Rochester for many years. His Greek family was always kind and generous to their musicians. This tune uses the same chords as I Got Rhythm or “rhythm changes” as they’re known. The bridge recalls Greek dance music in honor of the Pappas family.

Great Expectations - Eric Heukeshoven (2021)

Our first grandson, Felix, was born in October 2021. I sat down at my piano shortly before the recording sessions and wrote this song anticipating the birth of “Baby H.”

This Old Blues - Everyone! (1999)

One day I got a call from a bass player friend who had moved to Boston to attend Berklee College. “Hey Eric, you want to come out and play a wedding?” I pointed out that there were plenty of piano players in Boston, but the bride-to-be had heard a recording of The Jazz Missionaries with whom I had played, and they wanted that band. Yes, they would pay for the flight and rent the equipment. It turns out, the groom was Norm Abram of This Old House fame. The band gave a signed copy of the music to Norm and Elise, and I’m told it is prominently displayed on their piano. The hook is a quote from Steven Foster.

© H3O Jazz Trio