African Language Wordplay Trilogy III - A Xhosa Shave

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African Language Wordplay Trilogy III - A Xhosa Shave


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Difficult (Grades 7+)
5 minutes
Jazz music
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This is a trilogy of solo jazz piano pieces that: a. can be expanded for ensemble; b. have outrageous puns in their titles; c. share some internal musical characteristics and ideas.

As I have been ever since I’ve known him, I continue to be mightily impressed and influenced by the musical ideas of Steve Hall. Steve has always loved syncopated bass lines that drive the time, and we share a fascination with modal combinations, especially the intersections & interactions of phrygian and lydian. Some music offered in tribute to a revered friend.

The title eschews any of the obvious punning possibilities on Steve’s name–"Deck the Hall with Steve" and what not–in favour of more shameless wordplay on African language names.

Although written for solo piano, including other instruments should be straightforward. Bass or electric bass should play the left hand pattern, and swing during the B sections, ditto drums. Horns & guitar could play the top note of the chord as a melody during the A sections; the B melody should always be played by piano, however, with accents from other instruments ad lib.

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