Summertime always puts me in the mood for music like this, especially when I’m just lounging around the house.
Elle would have caught my ear even if it was a straight-up pop/R&B record, but Ntjam Rosie and her band add some spice to the sugar with odd time signatures and unexpected harmonies. Tunes like “Roof Over My Heart” keep circulating in my subconscious long after the record has stopped spinning.
Roof Over My Heart
I posted a waltz from this album a few months back. Here’s the laid back blues that closes the set.
I don’t know much about composer Christian Chevallier, but I know I like this song I heard on an old Roy Haynes record.
Red Rose transposed
Red Rose concert
Writing last week’s post reminded me of a Chick Corea tune from his Friends album. I think the melody on bars 9-12 is improvised, but Chick plays something like this the first time around.
The One Step
Speaking of songs that have a fresh, new sound when played in 3/4, I was really pleased to find “One Step Ahead” on Cecile McLorin Salvant’s latest album The Window. The original is one of my favorite Aretha Franklin songs, and now that her voice is gone it’s bittersweet hearing someone else sing the words. Still, this version really has a life of its own, and like all great jazz has one eye toward the past and one on the present. This is just a lead sheet sketch of the melody, the phrasing should be unique to each performer.
One Step Ahead
This song is usually in 4/4, but play it in waltz time as Frank Rosolino does, and it takes on a lilting quality that fits the lyrics well.
Thou Swell (FRosolino arr)
I’m slowly going through hundreds of old transcriptions done with pencil and paper, back when I used to sit next to a cassette deck or CD player with one finger on the rewind button. One by one I’m entering them into the computer and recycling the stacks of paper I’ve been living with for years.
This bossa nova from Ron Carter was a project from early in my quest to improve my ear. I find bossa nova music in general to be a treasure trove of interesting chord qualitites and inversions. Needless to say, this one had some mistakes in it (and still might).