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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, David Wright asked me to pick a tune and, naturally, my time was lagging, so I'm a bit late. My first call was done not long ago, so I'm going to go with my second choice, Steve Kuhn's SAGA OF HARRISON CRABFEATHERS. It's in the Real Book, and I have a backing I can post. It's also in the BIAB Real Book sets. If you need a chart, I'll put one up here later tonight. It's a bit on the contemporary side, but a nice tune with nice changes. I'll try to upload a version or two tonight as well.
 

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I like lydian...:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, info galore!

First, the backing (in chorus, three choruses, out chorus), at 143 BPM can be downloaded here.

Here are the charts in C, Bb, and Eb. If you download the Bb, be sure to download one of the others, as well, as the solo changes differ slightly (you can play the straight changes and it won't cause an issue).

And here are two versions. One by Steve Kuhn from the album Live In New York, and one from a band called Come Shine.

If the tempo is an issue, I have a slower version kicking around, but it'll take some time to find it.

Any questions, let me know.
 

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I love it, totally unfamiliar with this tune until this morning. Seems like one that could lend itself to many interpretations.

There is a BIAB file available for this in the BIAB file archive for any Yahoo users (filed under _S). If anyone would like the BIAB ".mgu" file to create their own backing track just let me know.
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Band-in-a-Box-Files/


Not sure if this YT version is representive or not, but very nice none the less.

http://youtu.be/lxvU1RLZzoQ
 

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Tried an early "baseline" take on this month's tune after reading through it a few times. Interesting changes, hadn't played my Berg setup much at all lately (little pitchy and out of control at times) thought I'd give it a go on this first try...need to spend some more time practicing before my next go at it on my regular setup.

While I came up with the setting before my title, this one was irresistible!!!

the Samba of Harrison Crabfeathers
 

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This looks a good call, interesting tune, never heard of it before. I have a fairly busy month, away for a few days, family visiting and then off to Germany at the end of the month for four low key gigs, really looking forward to that.

However, I will try and have a go when I can.
 

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lyics go something like this...quite intriguing.

Now and then i think of when his teeth were so small and white
He laughed when he heard the songs in the distant night
Later on his smile was gone, his lips spoke of silent things
The least he could do was more than his life would bring
Oh what a shame what a terrible shame to be lost and found below the ground, Beneath every child that play
his life was so short it’s hard to believe today...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, watch the vocal versions. A number of newer versions have come out, but the lyrics above are the original lyrics. It's a beautiful tune with some very dark lyrics. I don't know what it means, but it's subtitled on the Live in New York album "Aka Poem For N°15". I assume it relates to some story from the news near the time it was written.

Shawn, I don't really hear it as a samba, so that was a stumbling block for me. You seemed to tie the changes to the melody well enough, though it was clear you were being cautious. I used to play this in a duet before I ever heard Kuhn's version or the lyrics and we did it with a semi-funky bass line. After hearing the words, I always tend to play it darker than I did then.
 

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(Thurman Munson)
 

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According to vocalist Sheila Jordan as quoted in Jazz Women...

"Some people used to think it was about a child who died at an early age. Actually, it was originally named after a piano player who was advertised in the back of Down Beat magazine. Steve saw the name and liked it. He never knew the guy, but was intrigued with the name." It was after the death of Thurman Munson that Kuhn renamed the composition in memory of him (Poem for #15).
It is an interesting lyric. Dark and brooding, I think.

As far as doing as a samba, I like to samba-cize about anything. FWIW, when I did My Favorite Things which was another waltz tune as a samba, I think it worked better that time...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good info on the Sheila Jordan quote. That makes a lot more sense (though the alternate title is messed up -- I copied and pasted directly from the file; No. 15 makes a lot more sense). Odd that SK would write such strange and dark lyrics from that source, though.
 

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Off topic, but I'm a huge fan of Steve Kuhn. One of my favorite pianists. He's not afraid to get quite messy rhythmically or harmonically and has an interesting "bag of tricks". You can download one of my favorite Kuhn albums here. Features Steve Slagle on sax and flute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was very interested to learn that Steve Kuhn was the original pianist for the John Coltrane Quartet. Likewise, Pete LaRoca was the original drummer. Coltrane found Kuhn too busy for what he was seeking (ironically when you consider where the band ended up after McCoy left). It shows both the growth pattern of Coltrane's understanding of the music as well as the need to grow into where he thought the music was going -- fascinating stuff. I read (I can't recall where) that Kuhn basically plead with him because, "I knew something big was about to happen and I just wanted to be a part of it." In hindsight, despite the exceptional abilities of both Kuhn and LaRoca, it's hard to imagine that classic quartet being any better than it ended up.
 
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