Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lonely Woman

I was on a business trip in San Francisco once in 2009 and had the opportunity to go hear some jazz one night.  This was when Jazz at Pearl's  was still open, and you were sure to here some good local musicians in an intimate setting.  It also happened to be walking distance from where I was staying,  so that was nice too.

I had a treat that night five years ago (it seems much longer somehow).   There was a local quartet playing, headed up by a pianist named Roy Brown.  Roy and the group had just come out with their Continuation CD,  so I got to hear them play everything on the album live.   After the show,  they were selling CDs of course.   When I get to see little-known musicians like this  I'll usually buy the CD to show support if nothing else.  In this case, though, I listen to these songs all the time!

One of my favorites on the disk is the tune Lonely Woman by Horace Silver.  Roy gives it the slow, sad ballad treatment.   The song, in Ebm at 49bpm is just calling for this kind of treatment.   The Horace Silver version is much more uptempo.

My version of Lonely Woman tries to use an arrangement similar to Roy's.

Roy Brown 

Roy Brown Quartet - Continuation CD

Jazz at Pearls,  which unfortunately is closed now.  Small jazz clubs  have a really difficult time surviving these days. 

Horace Silver

Geek Alert

This is "recital season",  meaning that I have to work out a solo piano version of something.  I'm usually not working on solo numbers, so this is always a challenge.  I think Lonely Woman, though, works pretty well both as a solo number or a trio.   I play it a little faster as a solo,  so I'm hoping this works out.

You may notice the drum/cymbal accents on beat 4 of the breaks in the melody.  Roy Brown's excellent drummer did something like this.  I had to get some separate drum loops and time them into those spots to make that work.  That was a pain,  but I think it made it sound much more like a real trio.