ReMix: Final Fantasy VI "A Day in the Life of a Gambler" 4:00

By JJT

Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Searching for Friends", "Setzer"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy VI (Square, 1994, SNES), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2008-03-29, evaluated by djpretzel


WARNING: Despite its alluring title, this ReMix contains absolutely no Kenny Rogers whatsoever. When Jon initially presented me with this otherwise stupendous solo piano ReMix from FF6, the title fooled me into thinking the arrangement would have at least SOME amount of Kenny Rogers in it. But no dice. Nada Rogers. Mr. Jiggin clearly knows not when to hold them, when to fold them, when to walk away, OR when to run. But somewhere in the darkness, he breaks even with another fine solo piano mix in the esteemed tradition of Silent Progression. He writes:

"I recorded this for Dwelling of Duels' free month in December 07. Stylistically, the arrangement is informed heavily by George Gershwin and Vince Guaraldi. Big thanks to Larry Oji and Anso for encouraging me to go back and re-record this, as I was originally going to settle for a take that was both sloppier and less energetic. While the arrangement itself isn't going to change the world, this piano solo is probably the best combination of performance and recording quality I've managed to date."

So, not to beat a dead horse, but I just wanna say that George Gershwin is about as Un-Kenny Rogers as you can get, and leave it at that. Fortunately these influences provided an arrangement that's definitely different from a lot of the more lyrical, flowing solo piano pieces we see, focusing more on syncopation and rhythm. This picks up at 0'38" - the intro is actually mellower and more traditional, but then things do get a little Peanuts, in a pleasing way. There are a lot of colors here: 1'36" is touching and more melodic, 2'09" turns to darker, more ominous tones, then 2'41" harkens back to the jazzier, rather upbeat vibe from earlier. It's a heck of a performance and a heck of an arrangement... this gambler is having a very interesting day, to be sure. This is our first arrangement of the Setzer theme, appropriately timed as 21 is in theaters right now and Blackjack is clearly pertinent ;) Jon's a versatile artist and multi-instrumentalist who can pepper his arrangements with guitar, trumpet, etc., and have it sound great, but it's cool to also hear these paired-down, pure arrangement/performance pieces too, as they have their own immediacy and momentum to them. Excellent mix from one of many gems off the FF6 OST, and more greatness from JJT, who - in spite of both his pseudonym and lack of proper respect for Mr. Rogers - continues to impress.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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Flexstyle
on 2015-12-20 11:32:14

This is a longtime standby for my wedding DJ sets. Played it yesterday and saw this in the recent reviews and had to share. Brilliant piano piece!

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Necrox
on 2015-12-20 01:21:42

Great take on a good theme. Lots of fresh ideas and improvisation around the source. Searching for Friends sounds alright, but somehow doesn't have the same charm. Great playing regardless and a good arrangement overall.

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Drachefly
on 2014-06-30 14:39:25

I never liked Setzer as a character until this track. Then, I couldn't dislike him.

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timaeus222
on 2014-06-27 13:55:50

Personally I would have tried to not record the pedal pressing, but that doesn't leave the slightest dent on such tight playing and a well-thought-out arrangement.

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OutSpoken
on 2011-07-05 01:53:46

http://reoganworks.blogspot.com/2010/12/song-of-week-255.html

Excellent solo piano mix, love the title. The author of the writeup for this on my blog ranked it as one of the all time best tracks she's ever done a writeup for.

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Less Ashamed Of Self
on 2010-10-17 13:29:25

Other piano mixes expand, add harmonies, take weird avant-garde spins, or re-arrange the music...

But where this mix (and JJT in general) shines is the fact that a character was created here. The source tune is cool, cute, melodically rich, and has character, yes, but this song actually tells a story. There is no doubt in my mind that the source tune was payed great tribute here, and it's a beautiful thing to hear.

The title is apt, and the movement of the piece fits the 'day in the life' motif perfectly, and the execution of your talent is gorgeous. Really nice stuff.

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tweex
on 2010-08-04 22:31:04

Another piano mix from Jon. I'm excited. This one starts out very different from the others and sounds very majestic. However, that doesn't last long before the Guaraldi influence hits, and it hits hard. Love the feel of it! Jon's skill on the piano, both in the performance and the arrangement, has gotten better from his past works! I continue to be impressed with his style. It's also interesting to hear how he mixes the Guaraldi sound with the majestic style about half way through. Very nice combination. Jon has created song that, rhythmically, is quite peppy, but it still sounds very solemn and contemplative. That is a rare gift. Awesome work!

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metaphist
on 2009-06-28 22:06:20

I could listen to this all day. I think I will.

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Hazard
on 2009-05-31 14:51:05

You really took an already impressive musical melody and made it that much more fun to listen to. Amazing execution and sound, one of my favorites, thanks so much for putting it together.

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Lucentas
on 2008-12-06 18:14:25

I don't think JigginJonT knows how to make a mediocre piano arrangement. It must be some kind of physical impossibility for him. If he ever sat down to purposely make something that didn't blow everyone's minds, his hands would probably freeze up on him, and then start punching his lights out or something.

Odd theories aside, what a great piece. I'd been waiting for a symphonic arrangement of Setzer's theme, but solo piano is just as great, and he really covers it perfectly, I couldn't ask for more.

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The_Mighty_KELP
on 2008-10-30 12:38:00

Hey, I'm new here. I introduced myself over on the newbie introduction thread, so check me out if you wish.

This is my first review, so let's see how I do!

I like the introduction. Some nice, lush chords are a good way to go. I always like hearing source material early on, and I like how JJT plays through the main melody once, before having a little bridge at 0:38.

The pause at 1:28 is nice. I like how he then transitions into Searching Friends. The drawn-out note at 2:08 is perfectly beautiful.

The repetition of the same note/rhythm from 2:11 to 2:40 or so gets kinda boring, but I like how it then changes back to the best rendition of Setzer in this mix.

JJT has a long wind-down for this mix, from 3:18 to the end at 4:00, but the leading bass melody really helps keep it interesting, right up 'til the last note. The ritard at 3:48 is perfect.

Overall, an excellent mix. Not one of my most favorite piano solos, but it's got some good moments. I give it... 3.5 out of 5 stars. Above average.

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XiaoXiaoNeo
on 2008-08-30 11:43:50

I really loved this. The beginning kinda reminded me of the very beginning of the intro to The Office, where they show those little shots of Scranton while playing the solo piano. I could see this playing there for some strange reason. Anyways, the song just plain kicks ass. Great piano playing Mr T.!

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Martin Penwald
on 2008-04-23 16:36:05
'je ne sais qua'

Almost. Try again.

About the song: I was pretty surprised by how much energy this solo-piano piece has, and how uplifting it is in some places. None of that overly dramatic "I'm smashing my forearm on the piano keys" stuff in here.

Nice one.

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Ganit
on 2008-04-05 03:09:03
I think it might have something to do with it not being on the $10 speakers they used at the listening party.

lol Ya, that will do it. I won't even give a song an honest review unless I've heard it on a good pair of heads phones and a good set of speakers.

Forgot to add... loved this mix and I'm not even a big fan of piano solos. I am usually partial to electric guitar.

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Dhsu
on 2008-04-01 05:05:09
Well shit.

I don't want to be on crack, but apparently I am. ;_;

I think it might have something to do with it not being on the $10 speakers they used at the listening party.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)


Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VI (Square, 1994, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
Songs:
"Searching for Friends"
"Setzer"

Tags (5)


Genre:
Jazz
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Piano
Additional:
Arrangement > Solo
Production > Live Recording
Time > Tempo: Fast

File Information


Name:
Final_Fantasy_6_A_Day_in_the_Life_of_a_Gambler_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
3,839,091 bytes
MD5:
0b65d3c3c523efa5beb3488efce2ea0b
Bitrate:
124Kbps
Duration:
4:00

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