Rising and Falling

Now that my weekly gig at Euro Bistro is back after a summer hiatus, I’ve returned to the discipline of writing a new tune each week. Don’t worry: I won’t be so OCD about it that I ignore life’s other commitments, but I find that writing a continuous stream of new jazz tunes keeps me sharp and primes the pump for larger projects.

This week’s tune is called “Rising and Falling” for obvious reasons. The clear rise and fall of the opening melodic motif not only determined the song’s name but also obliged me to repeat the motif in various guises. But “Rising and Falling” doesn’t only describe the melody; it also describes life’s three-steps-forward-two-back movement of success and failure, growth and retreat, faith and doubt.

What really gives the song its character, though, is the striking–even jarring–movement between the first two chords, Ebmaj7 and C9. A more typical jazz harmonic progression would be something like: |Ebmaj7 |Gm7 C7 |Fm7 |, etc. But this bold little tune gets right to the point, jumping to a new tonal area with no intermediate step to cushion its landing. But for all its harmonic derring-do, it still has a light and lovely lilt.

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