Music Composers Unite!
Here is a piece I am releasing this next month or so in one of two free-Jazz albums I am putting out of my NYC Jazz quartet. It features Pete Rende on Piano, Matt Pavolka on Bass and Bob Meyer on drums. This is a "montage" compilation of a long, extended improvisation, chopped down to just over 4 mins. This tune is a minimalist composition and performed as a duet with myself on tenor sax and Bob on drums.
What do you think? Does the minimal amount of written composition bother you? Or does it sit fine in context? Is the improvisation too heavy? Or is it enjoyable even with its continued intensity? Love to hear what you guys think of this very different side of me musically ;-)
also on my SoundCloud at:
Although not really my cup of tea, it's very clever and complicated. At one point I wanted the main sax riff to move up to another key, but I suppose that's not really the point of the exercise. The sax seems a lot louder than the drums, so it comes across more as a sax piece than duet, so I must listen again to focus on the drums.
Thanks Adrian! It is pretty multitonic throughout, tho without having other instruments playing its hard to really define a tonal center with that kind of wash of notes. The point of the excercise is definitely to play off the P4th motif and expand and I definitely got lost in having fun ripping at several points. At that moment it becomes more about the raw energy than anything. I wish I could harness all that and still make a cohesive melodic statement. This is kind of an old recording so maybe I am maturing and might be able to the next go... or maybe not lol. I unfortunately lost the multi track tapes (48 track digital tape recorded at Right Track studio in NYC in the mid 90s) and only have DAT tapes of rough line mixes. So I am just trying to figure out if its useable material or if it should stay on the shelf. This piece was a montage I cut down to roughly 4 minutes (you can hear a couple of fade points in there) from a 20 minute duet of bombasticism. I appreciate the listen man, and the critique even more. Music is SO much perception and I lose objectivity listening to myself masturbate musically pretty easily! lol :-)
This style of music is fairly specialised as you know, and you have to be really "into" it to know what to listen out for. However I think you should share some more of your more conventional sax stuff with us - compositions or standards - I'm teaching myself clarinet and it helps to find some inspiration as I'd like to try the sax in the future. Nice to hear the real instruments and get away from the samples for a while.
Lol you guys made me smile with the gl-ass licking! Single malt for everyone on me :-)
George thank you, I am humbled by such a nice comment. I know it was an odd choice to post something like this, but I had recently made this soundbyte/montage to begin promoting an album or two of this music im working on releasing in the next few months. So i had the mp3 and i thought, well it IS composition and not something I think Ive ever heard anything remotely like and because of the minimal amounts of actual composition and maximal amount of improvisation (which is indeed composition, just on the spot instantaneous composition!) I thought it would make an interesting point for discussion, and indeed its already turned into a good conversation with interesting thoughts!
Thanks everyone for listening and participating!
Even though I don't really have a developed ear for jazz, I really liked this piece. There were no dissonant chords because there was only one tonal instrument. It was fun! Although, in my opinion, it may be a bit too long, I thought it was a finished product by the 3:30 mark. I am impressed by your work, sir.
There is some cool interaction here. I like my free jazz with a bit more textural and dynamic diversity though, or with the sound of conversation and clinking glasses in the background or birds chirping and dogs barking (ie: live). I'm just an amateur at best when it come to recording techniques, but maybe there's a bit too much compression, thus the flat dynamic?
Chris. I enjoyed listening to your music. I think it is impossible to listen to it without smiling. Well done. :)
Thank you Ann, Tombo and Noah for listening :-)
This kind of Jazz exploration is often very lengthy, the original full piece is nearly 20 minutes as is most of the pieces I recorded in this session. Tombo I think the "compression" thing isnt compression that you hear, but rather the 128 kb/s MP3 with the terrible SoundCloud algorithm. Im pretty sure we didnt record with any compressors and this is the line mix, so it wasnt mixed with lots of toys. It was however recorded at RIght Track studio in NYC which is a pop facility (at that time it was Madonna's main studio and you couldnt get in unless you could pay literally $2k per hour LOL - my friend was a staff engineer and his girlfriend was the studio manager so they did me a huge solid by squeezing us in that one day) - unfortunately while the equipment was all off the charts good, the piano was a real rock piano, not really in tune and cause Pete Rende much consternation that day, which affected the rest of us as well with our continuity from one song to the next. Thanks for the comments tho, I will make sure as we edit down these takes to make sure we show the very large dynamic range (even tho the only tapes we have are 16 bit so not much of that 24bit low volume information is there anymore). Thanks folks!
I don't get into dissection much, because the works here are too diverse, on many levels of experience, and what do I know anyway?
But you asked, and I listened. (I don't like leaving the site, and then losing my way back, as often happens).
I came back because I really liked the playing, the energy and what you did with and to the P4 motive. You fellas made something out of practically nothing, and that would not bother me at all. Guys like Beethoven got a lot of mileage out of a pedestrian falling Major 3rd...
I wish it could have a solid ending, which I think is the most difficult thing to pull off in heavy inprov jazz.
Your work led me to my small CD collection: I pulled one of my favorite works from 1960, Tito Puente & His Orchestra playing an Afro-Jazz piece - "Caonao." If you have not heard it, try to do so. I stumbled on it by joining a record club in my Perez Prado days. The Album is called "Tito Puente, Dance Mania, Vol. 2" Much of it was recorded at Webster Hall Studios on 3 days in 1960. I like him because he reminds me of the Bronx on a hot summer night.
What you share with "Caonao" is this sort of movement from relative sanity to relative chaos, likened to a state of ecstasy that perhaps a Santeria rite might create. Something quasi religious: maybe a Pentecostal arrival of the gift of tongues might be apt to describe your prophecy. Keeping with that simile, it takes another adherent to "translate" for the congregation just what it was you said. I'd say that there are sassy days with throaty sounds acomin'.
WOW!! Sylvester that is awesome, can I use this quote?? haha!
...likened to a state of ecstasy that perhaps a Santeria rite might create
Well I am thrilled that our song inspired you to dig in on Tito Puente, who is fantastic (and I love Perez Prado too, tho generally a very different concept with strict guidelines, but love it the same!) I will look for Caonao tonight.
Btw, the tune was attached inline as an MP3 also, but just included the SoundCloud link as extra. Sorry I didnt make that clearer and you had to leave the site!