In the bebop era, it was a common practice to take a popular song and write a new melody over the familiar chord changes. Charlie Parker wrote many of his tunes this way, including Donna Lee (the changes are from Indiana), Ornithology (on How High the Moon), and Koko (Cherokee). For “Affirmation,” I chose to write my own “contrafact” (the technical name for a song written using this method) on a tune of Charlie Parker’s called Confirmation.
The primary motivation for playing a song like this was to have a bebop song that we could play as a clarinet and piano duet — I wanted a challenge for myself (clarinet has never been my strongest instrument, although it is the woodwind I started on) as well as a new color for the Duo Chronicles project. It turned out simple and straightforward, but at the same time fun and exactly what I was going for.