Celebrating Nick Drake on the Anniversary of His Passing

by Jason on November 24, 2010 · 4 comments

in Nick Drake Project

Nick Drake

Tomorrow marks the 36th Anniversary of the passing of British singer/songwriter Nick Drake. Many people who are new to Nick’s music think that he is a current artist and still with us. That’s a great testament to the timeless quality of his songs.

As you know if you’ve visited this blog recently, I am in the thick of recording a tribute to Drake with my band, The Jason Parker Quartet. I have been immersed in his music for going on two years now, researching, arranging and enjoying every minute of it! Nick’s music speaks to me on so many levels, and it’s a thrill and an honor to be recording this gorgeous music with my band.

I thought I would be remiss if I didn’t mark this occasion with a tribute on the blog, so here are a few videos of some of my favorite Nick Drake tunes, an amazing documentary about his life, and a video of the JPQ playing some of the tunes we’re going to record next month. I hope you like them and take a minute to remember this wonderfully talented artist today and tomorrow.

I don’t remember the exact moment I first heard Nick’s music, but I know it was this song, which still remains one of my favorites. Many of his songs deal with sad themes, but this one has a hopeful quality that I love.

This is another of my favorite of Nick’s tunes. So haunting and gorgeous. I also love this video, which uses a series of photos that were taken for the “Five Leaves Left” album.

This is one of his most covered tunes, especially by jazz guys.

This is another song with a beautiful, hopeful message. A fitting end to his debut album.

I had a great time arranging this tune for the JPQ. Wait until you hear Evan Flory-Barnes playing the cello part on bass!

And here’s the JPQ from a show we played back in August. This was the first time we had played these tunes live. It was an amazing experience for me to hear the arrangements I’d been working on for so long come to life!

Here’s the JPQ playing “Three Hours” at Cal State Bakersfield at a master class we led while on tour in May. Check out Evan’s beautiful bass solo. I was in tears by the time he was done.

Finally, here’s a really beautiful documentary about Nick and his life called “A Skin Too Few”. The filmmakers talked to Nick’s sister and parents, so you get an inside look. It’s almost an hour, but well worth it!

I hope you enjoyed this tribute. I know my Thanksgiving day will be spent listening to Nick’s music. And I can’t wait to share our Nick Drake tribute with you, coming this spring.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc November 25, 2010 at 2:33 am

Nice post Jason, and great initiative! I just put in my pledge for $25 and sure hope you will reach your goal. I can’t wait to hear your version of the tracks from my favourite ND album. I start making some promotion here in Holland for your project.

Last May we stayed a week in the UK and made a detour to pass through Tanworth in Arden, to see the house and Nick’s grave. See the enclosed link for our impression in just a few minutes.


LUCIA November 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Lovely, warm,beautiful tribute.
Last night I posted 24 of Nick’s songs on my Facebook. It was my way to celebrate his life, through his legacy.

I can’t wait to get your cd. And I wissh to be closer to attend any of your concerts performing Nick’s songs.

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