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Monday Notes

Flamenco Sketches, modal jazz and open form

[Monday’s Notes no. 148] Flamenco Sketches is a track from Miles Davis’ album Kind of Blue, a masterpiece entirely dedicated to modal music. Among the various modal scales, the Phrygian mode and the flamenco scale are of particular importance, hence the title of this composition, of clear Hispanic inspiration. I transcribed and analysed the solos…

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Monday Notes

Warne Marsh, All The Things You Are. An Author’s Contrafact

[Monday Notes No. 127] All the Things You Are is a Broadway song and in the author Jerome Kern’s intentions was not a jazz piece. However, the song appealed to jazz musicians, who took it over and turned it into a classic of the jazz repertoire. Warne Marsh went even further, using the harmony of…

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Monday Notes

I Remember Clifford, a theme by Benny Golson for his friend Clifford Brown

[Monday’s Note 98] I Remember Clifford was composed by Benny Golson as a tribute to Clifford Brown who died tragically in a car accident. However, the piece does not express despair, it is music inspired more by the memory of the friend than by the sorrow for his death.

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Monday Notes

Jackie McLean, Hip Strut. A very unusual blues

[Monday Notes no. 94] Jackie McLean is one of the most original and modern alto saxophonists, perhaps the one who most continued Charlie Parker’s experiments. Hip Strut is an excellent example of his unique position between tradition and innovation. It is in fact a classic blues progression, which Jackie McLean nevertheless transforms in his own…

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Monday Notes

Sonny Red, Jelly Roll. A blues for Jelly Roll Morton

[Monday Notes no. 65] Sonny Red is the stage name of Sylvester Kyner, a saxophonist who has had rather limited recognition despite having played with great musicians such as Barry Harris, Donald Byrd, Curtis Fuller, Bobby Timmons. Jelly Roll is one of his pieces that celebrates the great Jelly Roll Morton.

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Monday Notes

Cannonball Adderley, Autumn Leaves. A jazz standard from France

[Monday Notes No 37] Autumn Leaves entered the jazz repertoire rather late, the original French version dates from 1946, while the English version became established in the mid-1950s. In this respect, Autumn Leaves is a young standard, in fact most of the jazz repertoire dates back to at least the 1940s, if not earlier.

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