Week 11 – Postmodern?

Postmodern? is a tune written in the 32 bar AABA song form. The chord changes are loosely based on Charlie Parker’s, “Little Suede Shoes” (A section) and “Confirmation” (B section). A common approach in the bebop era was to write new melodies on existing chord changes of popular songs of the day. These new tunes were referred to as a contra-fact. One example of this is Parker’s “Donna Lee”, which uses the chord changes to “Back Home in Indiana”. To me, Parker and bebop are as important to jazz vernacular as JS Bach is to Western classical music. My students probably get tired of me talking about the Omnibook (transcriptions of Charlie Parker) and Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier or Inventions. Both innovators, their music remains fresh to this day and beyond.  I tried  to employ a more angular sound in the melody (use of 4ths for example) and harmony (melodic minor modes) over this tried-and-true song form.

Week 9 – Traveler

I wrote Traveler back when I was in New York going to the Manhattan School of Music.  When played with a full rhythm section, I usually try to go for a Kenny Garrett type of vibe with the piece; the last section of the form lends itself particularly well to that style.

When Clay and I play it as a duo, we take a little more of a subdued approach until the end when we start taking it out a bit more.

A side note: Clay’s piano was tuned just before this session and sounds amazing.