Here’s a cool arrangement of an old favorite of mine, Wayne Shorter’s “Prince of Darkness”.
You may not be surprised that this tune started as a left hand exercise for pianist Walter Bishop, Jr. I’ve written it as he plays it on an old video in which he explains how he incorporated the cycle of fourths into his music. On the third page I’ve included the solo section as played by the band on Walter’s Keeper Of My Soul album.
Here’s a swinging tune built entirely on minor chords from Grant Green’s Idle Moments record.
I recently picked up drummer Nate Smith’s new album Kinfolk: Postcards from Everywhere. It’s a very engaging work that’s full of pleasant surprises, including a lovely cover of a Stereolab song. Here’s the original in basic form:
Here’s another pretty song from Djavan, dedicated to his birthplace.
Here’s a funky tune from Djavan’s album Alumbramento. This may be the only pop song I know that never fully resolves the harmony. Every time it comes around to the G chord, the bass plays an F. Can you think of another song like that?
Last year on the site I used the month of March to focus on the blues in some of its different forms. I think this year I’ll be even more specific and feature the work of a single artist: Brazilian singer Djavan. He’s been putting out quality albums for over 40 years, and I hope he continues long into the future. His work reminds me in some ways of Stevie Wonder’s… a mix of funky pop songs and heartfelt ballads, featuring some interesting harmonic choices and always fronted by strong, mature vocals.
Let’s start near the beginning. This song is on his self-titled sophomore album from 1978. Its simple melody and danceable groove always put me in a good mood.