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Mark Sherman Hard Bop Combo- New York Jazz Workshop 9/24/12

Yesterday night at the Hard Bop combo we played a tune by Pat metheny. It might be hard to associate Pat with “Hard Bop, but this tune entitled Elucidations is an up tempo hard bop tune with beautiful changes. It is as I see it Pat’s tribute to Coltrane’s Giant Steps, or Moments Notice style of chord movement. We dug into this tune for a good hour as it has many different stylistic inflections throughout. We talked a lot about shaping a tune as a group. Shaping a total performance. Each tune we are confronted with has a different story(maybe lyrics) or reason it was conceived. When performing the music it is vital that you shape the tune as an ensemble from beginning to end. It is not acceptable to just bang out the rhythms, melodies and solos. It needs shape and must grow from stage to stage inside the solos and melody and the entire performance. So we worked a lot on building a total performance on this tune. I taught the rhythm section to play the melody and hits properly to tell the story that Pat has written on the chart(chart below).

Next we worked on Kenny Barron’s “Voyage”. Another trip through the various language styles of jazz. I look at the story of this tune as a “Voyage” through the be bop, minor blues, and post bop/modal harmonic styles of the poetic language of jazz. The tune starts out with a modal feel and uses elements of minor blues in the A section. The bridge is be bop with 2-5’s going through 3 or 4 different keys. The final A section is as the first A section is. It is a real burning straight ahead tune with a fantastic road map for soloing. A great vehicle. Thanks to Kenny Barron for this one!!

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