I’m not a particularly legit jazz musician. Yes, yes, I gig and know more or less what I’m doing (though I don’t/can’t always do it), but I don’t have a ton of jazz street cred: I don’t have thousands of tunes memorized, blistering bebop solos, jazz degrees, or time spent on the road paying my dues.
I have no illusion that I’m a modern Charlie Parker or Duke Ellington. Instead, I see myself more in the tradition of Vince Guaraldi, Claude Bolling, or even Dave Brubeck–slightly off the beaten path, experimenting at the edges of the genre.
My latest experiment is “A Quiet Conversation.” It is a breezy little thing that starts with a simple melody. But wait! When the first melody comes around again, it is now in conversation with a second melody. Like any good counterpoint, both melodies sound complete on their own, but when combined they sound even better, commenting on each other like any good conversation.
While the composers mentioned above may only be footnotes in the history books of jazz, they all composed melodies that have been heard and loved by millions. That would be okay with me.
Note: The first recording is a demo created by Band-in-a-Box with synth flute and clarinet solos played by yours truly. If you want to hear the same piece played by two real bassists (both me) click on the second recording.