Are you curious what I am dreaming of? I am going to tell you, musically. It is an admittedly short composition, but for three tenor saxophones. On account of the pandemic it is hard to get three saxophonists together, so I recorded myself thrice.
From time to time I compose licks. These are only a few bars long. A lick for the chord C7 over one bar served as a source for an etude which I called “Learn a Lick”. I attach three versions in different keys. The eager players may practice all three of them. Or you may use them to play a blues in concert Bb with your jazz mates.
The title can also be read as A Way From The Blues. I have practised many ways to play the blues and to improvise over the changes. Now, the composition is supposed to have nothing in common with a blues. This year it was performed thrice, the last time in a park in August.
This is a piece from the year 2017 performed at the barbecue of the Jazz & Pop School. The melody consists of an Indian pentatonic. Essentially, this is a minor pentatonic with a major third. I especially like the mysterious, psychodelic intro by the string instruments.
The title refers to the double meaning of heavy. It is employed in physics as well as in music, only think of heavy metal. Thus a piece of tonal physics was created and performed at the barbecue of the Jazz & Pop School in 2018. When you listen to the recording, I recommend to close your eyes. Imagine you are chasing through the vacuum of the beam pipe with so many other ions of your bunch almost at the speed of light. Again and again you are accelerated by high frequency cavities, being kept on track by superconducting magnets. 🙂
This is a blues which sounds a bit off-key, but where I stay within the harmonies. It has been performed for several times. Here you can listen to a recording I made at home with a guitarist and a bass trombone player. I played the soprano saxophone. Bass and drums came from Band in a Box, i.e. from the computer.
Where does the name come from? The tritone is a dissonant interval consisting of three whole steps. For improvisation you should play the third and the seventh. However, between the major third and the minor seventh, there is the tritone. Take, as an example, the chord C7. The third is E and the seventh Bb. There are mainly dominant seventh chords in the blues. Thus I could compose a blues with many tritones.
I would like to add some remarks on the harmonic background. The melody consists of a Japanese pentatonic. This can be built by a major pentatonic where the major third is substituted by a minor third and the second note becomes the root. I give an example:
D major pentatonic: D E F# A B
Major third is substituted by minor third: D E F A B
Second note becomes root: E F A B D
When I harmonised the melody, I did not do the last step. To stay within the example, I kept D as the root.