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Jim Duffy: Home

Hello, this is Three Dots Music, the home base for the musical activities of Jim Duffy.


Make Music New York 2016

Hello, I will be performing a rare solo set, just me and a Nord keyboard, on Tuesday, June 21, at 3 p.m., at Hudson River Park, which is a new park area on the far west side of Manhattan, at West 36th Street and Hudson River Boulevard East which is near 10th Avenue, not far from the Jacob Javits Center.

I'll be playing original tunes, improvisations and favorite covers and standards. My plan is to go up there without a set list and see what happens.

Make Music New York is now in its 10th year - over 1,000 performers will be doing their thing at various spots around the city, alone or in groups. It's a fun thing, and if you can check it out, come on down.

The performance schedule for that day at Hudson River Park is as follows:

12:45 p.m.: Jaime Garamella

2 p.m.: Mixed Doubles

3 p.m.: Jim Duffy

4 p.m.: Antonio Mancilla

Pale Afternoon cover

"Pale Afternoon," my third full-length release of instrumental pop music, is now available.

You can find it on CD Baby.

And on iTunes.

And on SoundCloud.

And on Spotify.

Some music tracks are now available on YouTube, on the 3dotsmusic channel. 

Additional YouTube tracks (via CD Baby) are here.

And selected tracks, plus archival material, are on the music page of this blog. 



Jim Duffy, a Brooklyn-based composer and keyboardist, announces the release of "Pale Afternoon," his third full-length collection of moody and bouncy instrumental music.

The eleven tracks on "Pale Afternoon" each aim for a specific feeling. Duffy leads a small group from his 1960s Wurlitzer electric piano. Dennis Diken of the world- famous Smithereens is on drums, Paul Page, who tours the world with Ian Hunter, plays bass, and Lance Doss, who has toured and recorded with John Cale, plays guitar and lap steel.

"We made this record very quickly, over a long period of time," Duffy says. “We had minimal fuss and lot of fervor.”

The opening track, "Boulevard Six," careens forward in a minor-key groove in a 6/4 beat. From there, the tracks take sharp turns in mood and tempo. “Tenerife” has an aerodynamic, West Coast feel. On “Reverse Image,” Kevin Kendrick’s vibraphone provides icicle-like counter-melodies. “Sputare Il Rospo” hits hard at a quick pace, then Claire Daly’s baritone sax sends it over the top. After a few of these three-minute trips, you'll be ready to expect anything.

"Pale Afternoon" was recorded and mixed by Greg Duffin and Mario Viele at Cowboy Technical Services, in an analog format, recorded and mixed to tape. The tracks were mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Scott Hull. Warm and punchy is what it is.

Jim Duffy has long lurked behind various music scenes in New York, playing with some of the top performers in the rock, pop, jazz, ethnic and avant-garde worlds, including Freddie "Boom Boom" Cannon, Wanda Jackson, the Fleshtones, the Bottle Rockets, Sour Jazz, the Damnwells, Reid Paley, Will Rigby, Speedball Baby and the eight-piece Persian-style psychedelic funk band Mitra Sumara, among many others. He co-founded the ‘80s Boston band Rods and Cones, and in the ‘90s he played with the New York band Martin's Folly.

For "Pale Afternoon," he draws upon his myriad influences and inspirations and his address book of fellow musicians. When we twisted his arm, he agreed, "OK, this is the best batch yet." 

-- Derek Shackwell-Smith

St. Cleve Chronicle


Latest blog posts:

Go to Blazes - "Out on the Side": A memorable recording session from 1995.

Embracing Imperfection: No one has ever made a perfect album, and no one ever will.



Duffy Bway cropped

(Jim Duffy on Broadway, 2014. Photo by Amy L. Anderson)


Thank you for visiting, and welcome. To hear some tunes, please visit the expanded Music page.

To read the latest posts and essays -- and to comment -- please go to the Blog section. For updates on upcoming events, please see the Calendar pageTo buy CDs or downloads, please go here.


Jim Duffy -- that's me -- is a New York-based composer, keyboard player, session musician and occasional electric bassist and melodica player

Mostly I focus on composing, recording and performing original instrumental music, usually playing a mid-1960s Wurlitzer electric piano. My first album of original tunes -- I still call them albums -- was "Side One," which was released in 2004. My second album, "Mood Lit," was released in 2009. The third installment is in the works.

In the 1980s, I co-founded and played bass guitar in the Boston band Rods and Cones, which was known for quirky grooves and for the unbridled performances of singer Chris Kelley.

In the 1990s, in New York, I co-founded and played keyboard for the band Martin's Folly, along with singer and guitarist Chris Gray. We explored many forms of 20th century U.S. music.

In the oughts, I started recording original instrumental tracks, playing Wurlitzer electric piano and acoustic piano along with Dennis Diken on drums, Paul Page on bass and Lance Doss on guitar and lap steel. This group sometimes performs live as the Jim Duffy Combo.

Instrumental tunes are the main thing right now. A third full-length studio recording is in the works, plus some live performances.

And I'm part of a group called Mitra Sumara. We perform Persian pop music from the pre-revolutionary Iran, music from the 1960s and 1970s.

Mitra Sumara is led by Yvette Perez on vocals and features Peter Zummo on trombone, Sam Kulik on bass guitar, Julian Maile on Guitar, Jim Duffy on keyboard, Michael Evans on percussion and Brian Geltner on drums.

I have also played on records by the Bottle Rockets, Sour Jazz, Greg Trooper, Reid Paley, the Fleshtones, Speedball Baby, Florence Dore, Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, Joe Flood, the Damnwells, Jim Koeppel, Will Rigby and many others. And I have performed on stage with rock and roll pioneer Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon, rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson and many others.

Meanwhile, I've been composing and recording the next full-length release of instrumental tunes. Also, playing some acoustic piano.

Again, thanks for visiting. Please have a look around, and a listen.


The instrument of the future:  

Hohner melodica


Assorted posts and essays:

Embracing Imperfection: No one has ever made a perfect album, and no one ever will.

Recent and Upcoming Live Music Events: Let's listen to stuff that's way further out than what we ourselves do. 

"Low-Tech Notes": Why the melodica will prevail in the long run.

Notes on Composing: Description of an inefficient but inevitable working method.

Grafitti From 1976, Newly Exposed: An archeological find and photo essay on the New York Harbor waterfront.

Recent Listening: Mary Lou Williams, 801 Live, John Zorn

Opus No. 3 Is Under Way, and you're the first to know!

Random Notes and Updates: What this post lacks in flash, it makes up for in sincerity.

Non-Expression in Music: Does this essay make my ass look pretentious?

Rocking With Wanda: Rock and roll pioneer Wanda Jackson is finally getting her due. Here are some reminiscences from my brief stint as Wanda's piano player.

Last Call at the Lakeside Lounge: Notes on a rocking little venue's 15-year run, and its closing.

Notes From Zuccotti Park: Observations from a nearby office building.

Thank You, Burt Bacharach: Let's appreciate this man while we still have him.

While You Were Out: Experimental activities of a confidential nature.

The House of Hits: How my old Boston band Rods and Cones met a high-rolling starmaker, with world-shaking consequences -- but not for us!

Herm, Part 1: Time-traveling to a Saturday afternoon in 1981 when we tried to write an album.

The Early Rods and Cones, 1982: When you try to create something, you often end up with something quite different.

'Education in Love': Rods and Cones' greatest hit.

The Elliot Mouser Floating Blues Band: Thirty years after this band blew my mind, I started playing some gigs with them...

Play Me, I'm Yours: Sixty pianos, outdoors in New York, courtesy of British artist Luke Jerram. Here's a hands-on report.

Frank, Before and After, 1989. Here are some non-musical notes from a strange, outlier period.

Notes on Hank Jones (1918-2010): He was a jazz pianist with a magic touch and a graceful manner to match.

Dealing With the Dead, Part 1 and Part 2: Is it possible to hear the Grateful Dead without absolutely loving them or despising them?



Valeria, LED display

Photo by Valeria Hermida in San Isidro, Argentina.



To see recent video of Mitra Sumara performing at Le Poisson Rouge in New York, click here.



Here is a clip of Mitra Sumara performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 12, 2012:




To see the entire concert of Mitra Sumara at the Kennedy Center, click here.