Ifness

Member
Hello Everyone!

As any composer/musician coming of age in the late 20th century, I was exposed to many disparate styles and traditions of music. Two currents of musical thought that especially impacted me were complex contrapuntal music as exemplified by Bach and Josquin, and mid-last-century jazz as found in the works of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Bill Evans (and many others). The pieces I'd like to share here grew out of my desire to combine the melodic-harmonic language of the latter with the compositional structures and devices of the former. The 8 minute and 46 second video linked to below contains 11 short pieces of mine (jazz fugues, preludes, and inventions) for solo piano (each time-coded in the video description below the video on the video's Youtube page). Thanks for listening, and if you have time tell me what you think.


Note: the piano vst is the Native Instrument piano The Grandeur for Kontakt. I personally (due to venerable RSI problems in my hands and wrists) don't have the chops to play these pieces. I used Reaper to record them line by line with one hand.
 

clisma

Active Member
That was great fun! Well done. Lovely concept and execution, despite your RSI problem. The performance might have benefitted from a bit more ‘give and take’ in the tempo, but really quite good. Your panache, humor and joy in writing this shine through. Always fun on that last chord ;)

Great work! Fugue #1 is right up my alley.
 

wst3

my office these days
Moderator
ok, that's making my brain ache, but in a great way. I tip my to you, that is some clever work! And sorry to hear about the RSI!
 

Farkle

Senior Member
This is just great. Reminds me a bit of Gershwin's 3 preludes. Great linear writing! Keep it up! :)

Mike
 

Rob

Senior Member
@Rob

Never have heard of John Mehegan. I'll look for some examples of his work. Thanks for mentioning him!
well, at least I had some of his books like the jazz preludes and though maybe simpler than yours I remember they were done with good taste... btw, I guess you are familiar with the works of Nikolaj Kapustin, very complex by contrast but often equally interesting.
 

SillyMidOn

Active Member
Hello Everyone!

As any composer/musician coming of age in the late 20th century, I was exposed to many disparate styles and traditions of music. Two currents of musical thought that especially impacted me were complex contrapuntal music as exemplified by Bach and Josquin, and mid-last-century jazz as found in the works of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Bill Evans (and many others). The pieces I'd like to share here grew out of my desire to combine the melodic-harmonic language of the latter with the compositional structures and devices of the former. The 8 minute and 46 second video linked to below contains 11 short pieces of mine (jazz fugues, preludes, and inventions) for solo piano (each time-coded in the video description below the video on the video's Youtube page). Thanks for listening, and if you have time tell me what you think.


Note: the piano vst is the Native Instrument piano The Grandeur for Kontakt. I personally (due to venerable RSI problems in my hands and wrists) don't have the chops to play these pieces. I used Reaper to record them line by line with one hand.
@Rob
is correct - they do sound like some those John Mehegan pieces. He wrote 4 books if I remember correctly:

https://www.amazon.com/Books-John-Mehegan/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n:283155,p_27:John Mehegan

He came up with a system of writing chord sequences, some swear by it as it supposedly makes it easier transpose tunes, but I had to tell my piano prof I wanted to give it up after my first year at Uni - normal lead sheets were good enough for me and I could transpose them just as quickly without Mehegan's system :):

https://www.learnjazzpiano.com/post/2005/06/09/john-mehegan/

... and it also reminds me of an album Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond recorded called "Two of a mind"


as well as the Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Chet Baker, where they used a fair bit of contrapuntal writing and improvisation:


Line for Lyons:


Nice Work, btw.
 

agarner32

Active Member
Very nice... John Mehegan composed pieces with this kind of color too in the sixties
Wow, there is blast from the past. I had all 4 of his jazz piano books. They were my first intro to jazz piano. There weren’t many choices back in the late 60s early 70s.
 
OP
I

Ifness

Member
@Farkle
Thanks for the encouraging words! I'd never heard the Gershwin preludes. Just listened to them, and wow! Fantastic music. In the early nineties, when I spent a year transcribing only Bill Evans music (after I had spent a year doing the same with Thelonious Monk's music; what an education! :)), one piece in particular really made a huge impression on me, Bill Evan's solo version of Gershwin's "I Loves You Porgy".

@re-peat
Thanks for your high praise. Very much appreciated!

@Rob
Just listened for the first time to something by Kapustin, one of his etudes. Wow and fantastic also! Thanks for mentioning him. I'm going to listen to more.

@Rob @SillyMidOn
I just listened to a couple of preludes by John Mehegan that I found on Youtube. Impressive work. This prelude has some contrapuntal lines going at times.

One composer I discovered after I had composed all my little jazz pieces except for the last two fugues was Hank Levy. This Passacaglia and Fugue for big band is really impressive.

@SillyMidOn
My dad had the "Two of a Mind" album and I listened to it a lot :2thumbs:. During my time as a long-time aspiring alto sax player, I learned my share of Paul Desmond soloes :). And later during my brief career as gigging jazz musician (on chromatic harmonica no less, it being the only instrument I could play with RSI) I played "Line for Lyons". Great tune. Knowing that jazz musicians want to improvise I've experimented writing canons over jazz chord progressions so that there are changes to solo on. This was a fun little piece I wrote based on the opening of Parker's "Au Privave".
 

ryans

Active Member
What a treat.. the brilliant writing overshadows any lack of nuance in the performance.

Thank you for sharing..

Ryan