Monthly Archives: September 2014

Forró em Santo André

Forró em Santo André lead sheet

Forró em Santo André lead sheet

This song is classic Hermeto Pascoal.  It contains some of the quitessential elements of his style.  The most obvious “Pascoalism” is the melody itself; full of long runs of 8th notes, often featuring doubled tones both on and off the beat.  The bassline is a counterpoint to the melody, not always related to the harmony, as in bar 9 where the bass plays E and A naturals over the Eb and Ab chords.  The harmony seems to dance around a Bb lydian tonality before settling on C minor for the remainder of the tune.

Hermeto builds momentum at the D.S. by moving from a downbeat-heavy melody to a more syncopated rhythm.  He makes life easy for the soloist by vamping on one minor chord instead of complicated changes, a techinque also favored by Frank Zappa.  Another hallmark of Hermeto’s writing is metric modulation.  The tune speeds up twice during the first head (ignore the modulations after the repeat).  Note the 1st ending repeats all the way back to the bar of 2/4 at the beginning.

They Did What To You?

From one of the funkiest albums of 2003, from one of the funkiest bands I know, Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet.

They Did What To You?

Skerik has been a stalwart creator of interesting and innovative music for 20 years.  His effects-laden saxophones have been a vital force in bands like Critters Buggin’, Garage a Trois, Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade and more.  His style can’t be put in any category, but I like to call it “skronk jazz”, incorporating funk, punk, afrobeat, noise rock, free improvisation… in short, it’s music that can’t be described by mere words or notes on a page.