The bell like pattern in the left hand at the start is developed in the right hand from bar 26 onwards and needs good coordination to make the change of texture smooth. This ‘pop’ styled piece has an easy solo section which uses pentatonic scales on Bb and Eb.
A pop styled tune with a section in F followed by repetition a fifth higher in C. The solo section is straightforward with two bars repeated and the suggested scale is the major pentatonic with a possible bluesy flattened third.
Influenced by Dave Brubeck’s tune ‘Take Five’, this piece adopts the same rhythmic pattern with some melodic passages inserted in between bars and the 5/4 groove. The actual 5/4 groove is in itself influenced by Turkish music where this grouping of 3 and then 2 is common. In Pentagon time the solo is rhythmically challenging and may need someone else to play the groove (a teacher?) while the other pianist focuses on the right hand.
In the style of musical theatre and jazz, ‘Infinite Regression’ uses a tonic pedal in the left hand while the chords change above. Although there are some changes of time signature the music is melodically led and so the rhythmic challenges are minimal.
The first piece to be composed for this book and it was influenced by some of the American TV themes from the 70s. The groove is swing but the left hand bass line is syncopated giving the music a contemporary feel. In bar 39 the right hand needs to be relaxed to play the falling grace notes.
The haunting nature of this piece becomes evident when the music is played at a quick tempo. It requires a nimble right hand to play the various figures as the hand goes from a more closed position to a stretched one. The rhythmic figure in bar 33 that is later repeated sounds effective if the rhythm is really strong. Beware bar 51-53 ! It is tricky as the usual pattern is interrupted.
A wide range; consecutive thirds in the right hand; a tremolo; octaves; parallel, quartal harmony (a.k.a ‘So What’ chords); and a very syncopated funky groove are what makes this music exciting but quite challenging.
There are four distinctive sections in the South African influenced composition ‘Base my Life’: intro; tune; bridge or development at bar 13; and then the chorus from bar 17. This last section should be practised slowly at first as there are many changing chords requiring different hand shapes. Recorded with the ‘Jazz Extempore Orchestra’ on the ‘East Meets West’ CD.
Part of the ‘Mirror Suite’ commissioned by Leasowes Music Festival. Expression and a relaxed style will enhance the music. It is important to count at all times, especially when the music comes to rest for long periods such as in bar 18 (the dotted minim).
Andrea Vicari's concise guide to the art of jazz piano playing including help with harmony, rhythm, accompanying, soloing and repertoire. Suitable for adult learners and older teenagers looking to get to grips with the mysteries of jazz; and classically trained pianists needing to teach ABRSM and Trinity Jazz exams. Also a useful accompaniment to "A-Rhythm-A-Ti"k for those students wishing to get to grips with improvising on Andrea's compositions.