Sunday, July 26, 2009

Now's the time

Usually, I slow down Bird recordings to play along to them. In this case, he takes it a a reasonable tempo, somewhere around 130. So I decided to play along at normal speed. All was good for an entire chorus. And then he puts you right back where you belong. I ended up skipping a couple of lines :).

I need to do more Charlie Parker.

For now, here's
Now's the time

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tweet Tweet

Last Composition for a short while.

and a quick recording.
Tweet Tweet

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Billie's Bounce

4 choruses of Charlie Parker. Some parts are very tricky to play. Nevertheless, this is quite addictive.

Here I am on top of Bird playing Billie's Bounce

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A blues? Perhaps.

This one can be found on the Savoy Sessions.
Charlie Parker blowing over a blues. A Parker kind of blues. 12 bars in C Major with these basic changes.
CM7 | D-7 G7 | CM7 | G-7 C7 |
FM7 | F7 | CM7 | E-7 A7b9 |
D-7 | G7b9 | CM7 | CM7

The chord are flowing. 16th notes @200 bpm are used to play fast passing chords, while the swing 8th provide a good tension release. It's unbelievable someone could chain chords this fast (listen to the original, it's slowed down to 150 or so here), go so high in the register while keep complete control over the tone, and -- of course -- not get lost.

So here I am as Bird, playing 3 choruses of Perhaps.

Mind blowing...

Friday, July 3, 2009

My Whole Love

Composition of the week.

I discovered Rosegarden for Linux. And it's just absolutely awesome. The note editor is really good, I'm able to quickly enter notes using my keyboard, editing is convenient, chord notation is very intuitive. 5 minutes, my sheet is complete.
The output uses Lilypond, and looks much better.

A few things worth noting in this line. First, I purposely overuse the whole tone scale, and that's where the title comes from. Also, I slip in a couple of pitch grouping technique. Metaphors for the Musician explain this concept in details. In bar 5, 6 and 7, I use groups of 3.

In bars 21 and 22, I use rhythmic grouping, a series of triplets which gives a 2 against 3 feel. It's a technique that creates a sense of randomness. I heard Charlie Parker use it all over the place, and this always comes unexpected. This is also difficult to apply because counting is more difficult. The last 2 8th notes help me get back to a normal flow.

here's the sheet:

And, as usual, a quick recording:
My Whole Love

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Composition of the week. Nothing too special except for slipping in a couple of Fitzgerald quotes.

And a quick recording: