Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blue Bossa

This is going to be a fairly short blog post.  Since I had so much difficulty playing linear solos at 188 on my last effort, Minority by Gigi Gryce, my teacher assigned me some tunes that are good for linear solo practice at different tempos. 

One of those songs is Blue Bossa. "Blue Bossa" was composed by Kenny Dorham. It was introduced on Joe Henderson's 1963 album Page One. It is a blend of hard bop and bossa nova.  According to Wikipedia,  the tune was possibly influenced by Dorham's visit to the Rio de Janeiro Jazz Festival in 1961.

In the Real Book,  Blue Bossa is denoted as being played at 160 bpm by Joe Henderson.  The song seemed like a good practice vehicle,  since it is pretty fast,  yet slower than the 188 bpm that I was attempting with Minority.  It is also a hard bop blend,  and Minority is a hard bop classic,  so the tunes are similar in that regard.

I'm describing this as just a practice session,  but I do really love this song.  This is one of the most identifiable instrumental songs in all of jazz.   It is also one of the first songs that I was ever introduced to when I picked up a guitar.   I haven't tried to play it in many years,  so I was glad for this opportunity.

Joe Henderson

Geek Alert

I did not go out and pull a lot of piano jazz versions of Blue Bossa to listen to.  I'm sure there are many excellent ones.  Undoubtedly,  I would have spent too much time coming up with a sophisticated arrangement if I did listen to great pianists playing this!   This is a very stripped down arrangement.  It has just a quick little bossa cliche intro,  and then a standard repeating ending.   I kept the arrangement as mostly the original Cm6 flavor,  although I do change some to m7. 

1 comment:

  1. Ken,
    Nice work!
    Terrific energy!
    The piano sound particularly strong and confident.
    Keep up the wonderful progress!