Saturday, March 10, 2007

Troubadour - Calypso meets Modal

Here's a new tune that I wrote entitled Troubadour..there were probably many forces that inspired this one, but Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane come to mind first: where wild Calypso meets "sheets of sound" modal invention. (I've recently started learning to play Tenor Sax, so Rollins and Coltrane are ever present in my daily routine). Besides the tune itself, what makes the piece interesting is that the solo section opens up into two distinct sections - the first section is a rhythmic Lydian jam. In the lead sheet I suggest a sort of Jazzy Calypso bass/drum groove feel, but that could mean just about anything. The transition from that section would be lead, ideally, by the soloist and take us into a contrasting slow/out-of-time minor/modal section- free, open and sparse...and this could gradually lead us back to the main tune. So there are a lot of possibilities and each soloist will undoubtedly have their chance to carve out their own little world.

The demo I made of Troubadour attempts to emulate the overall arc and feel of what I had in mind, but it's just my own limited take, and naturally open for interpretation.

Troubadour - Rob's basement demo rendition (MP3)

Troubadour - B Flat Lead Sheet (PDF)
Troubadour - Concert Lead Sheet (PDF)

As usual, I encourage players (students and/or pros) to download and perform my tunes and Troubadour is no exception. If you do perform Troubadour, please drop me a line and let me know how it went. And for you true giants of Jazz, Troubadour is definitely one to consider for your next CD...hint, hint!


Rob Birdwell