Another classic Ornette Coleman tune.
I’ve mentioned before that the blues is the basis for more jazz songs than any other form. On a very basic level, “the blues” to me means a progression of: tonic, subdominant, [tonic], dominant, tonic. This may not seem like a Bb blues at first listen, but on closer inspection it has some telltale characteristics. The melody starts by roughly describing a Bb7 tonality, then goes through E to Eb. We move into a more obscure area until the altered C# chord, which is right where we’d normally find a G7. Then it cycles through C and F back to Bb.
I first heard this tune on Adam Rogers’ record Art of the Invisible. The hook has been stuck in my mind this week so I wrote it out in full.
This is a good example of how to construct an interesting song from very simple building blocks. The essence is in contrast; the A section is built on major chords that jump down by major thirds. The melody moves mostly in thirds. It intentionally disorients by quickly shifting tonalities and time signatures. The B section is built on minor chords that jump up by major thirds. The melody moves mostly in seconds. It resolves tension by settling into a single time signature, and rests on each key center for longer.
On Terri Lyne Carrington’s album Structure, the band solos in 7/4.