Learn a Lick

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.

Learn_a_Lick_C   Learn_a_Lick_Bb   Learn_a_Lick_Eb


Away From The Blues

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.

The lead sheets of the third version:

Weg_vom_Blues_C_V3    Weg_vom_Blues_Bb_V3    Weg_vom_Blues_Eb_V3

Indian Boogie

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.

Here you find the lead sheets:

Indian_Boogie_C   Indian_Boogie_Bb   Indian_Boogie_Eb

Heavy Ions

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.  🙂

The lead sheets:

Schwere_Ionen_C   Schwere_Ionen_Bb   Schwere_Ionen_Eb


Easier Than Easy

First I composed a bossa with a lot of typical offbeat which I called Easy Bossa. It was never performed, since it seemed too difficult. Therefore only a Band in a Box version exists:

I simplified the Easy Bossa now calling it Easier Bossa. Still it is not easy, but easier.

In the Orangerie Garden Darmstadt the Jürgen Wuchner Workshop Band performed it in the summer of 2015. I especially like the relaxed atmosphere of the recording.

The lead sheets can be found here:

EasierBossa_C   EasierBossa_Bb   EasierBossa_Eb


Tritone Blues

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.

You can find the lead sheets here:

TritoneBlues_C   TritoneBlues_Bb   TritoneBlues_Eb


Japanese Bossa

This piece was performed during the Xmas Session 2015 at Jazz Institute Darmstadt by the Jürgen Wuchner Workshop Band.

You find the lead sheets here:

JapaneseBossa_C   JapaneseBossa_Bb   JapaneseBossa_Eb

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.