I’ve been writing some pungeunt, complicated jazz tunes recently. It’s good to explore the edges, but it’s also good to write simply and from the heart. I named this one “Placidity” because of its serene nature. From the first seed of an idea–a few chords played quietly at the piano–until last night’s premiere at the club, this song has a certain something that soothes the soul.
Of course, even the most soothing music needs some contrast, movement, and tension. There is a bit of that tension even in the opening melody. Notice how the melody stretches, starting with a 3rd against the root, then a 7th, then a 9th. It’s not a biting dissonance, but just enough that the melody feels like it’s lifting away from the harmony, then gently returning–an ebb and flow like ripples on a lake.