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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This tune by conga player Mongo Santamaria has been already chosen for TOTM 8 years ago. But I hope for many fresh contributions - and retrospective tracks from the hard disc drives of the long time participating members.

Afro Blue is the first Jazz-Tune I loved and new by name. I had a percussion teacher (percussions were really big in the 80th) and his band played Salsa and other styles. One of their songs was Afro Blue.

The song has a simple melody and simple tonal chords.
It's in concert f-minor, dorian for the first 4 bars (with D) and aeolian for the next 4 bars (with Db). Interesting is this hemiolic african cross rhythm which is 6/8 and 3/4 at the same time.

The song has two parts, but the second is only a variation of the first. Playing by ear and not having to think too much makes it perfect for the B/I TOTM imo.

There are several great recordings of Afro Blue out there.

The first from Mongo Santamaria is very nice with great percussion, flute and xylophone.


Cal Tjader (with soli in Blues Form):


The recording for sax players is of course John Coltrane on soprano:


I don't know, who wrote the lyrics for Afro Blue - Abbey Lincoln perhaps?


The song was making a very hip comeback in the 21st century with versions from Robert Glasper, Erykah Badu and Esperanza Spalding:


Esperanza Spalding (Afro Blue) International Jazz Day Global Concert 2013

Sheets and Backing Tracks can be found here.

Hoping for many contributions this month!

Dirk
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Enjoied very much the last B/I TOTM "Little Sunflower" - thank you Jared!

Just to start the thing: Here's my lazy saturday afternoon noodling on tenor:
 

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Great Choice Dirk - and a perfect tune for this thread. This is one of the rare simple songs I've not yet tried to play, so I'm looking forward to it.

I've updated the B&I TOTM Index which can be found here
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What a wonderful light mood this track has, love it!. Very nice short solos keep the song fresh. I like especially your rich soprano sound. Perfect sunday morning track - thank you for that!
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, Dianne Reaves! They are really pushing the song at the end! Who‘s playing soprano?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Randulos sax and guitar + saxsynth version inspired me to try a track with multiple instruments. I chose baritone sax and piccolo flute. The energy of the latin backing track overwhelmed me a bit, but I tried to keep track somehow :)
PS: I like if a salsa backing track is counted in in spanish .....

https://soundcloud.com/taragot%2Fafro-blue-baritone-piccolo
 

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I only had about 15 mins today, but trying to work in some variety, as the single mode here was very intriguing to me. Got some guidance from my instructor - this is a sloppy first take but putting out a bar for myself to improve on by the end of the month and hoping to make those scales other than D- pentatonic shine!

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I see no link. Can you provide one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry Jared for the delayed listening - have been out for two days. Nice sparkling and singing alto sound. And I like very much, how you work with motivs and repeat them through your solo. "Repetition legitimizes", as Adam Neely points out ;).
Just a random thought, if you want to get more colors than the D-pentatonic: Perhaps you could add, emphasize and explore the two variants of the 6th scale tone Bb/B for some part of your solo. That would give you a little more, but well chosen options without leaving the - for this modal tune - appropriate pentatonic. But your instructor shurely has a lot of more ideas. Waiting for your next track! And of course, some more players to enter the stage.
 
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Sorry Jared for the delayed listening - have been out for two days. Nice sparkling and singing alto sound. And I like very much, how you work with motivs and repeat them through your solo. "Repetition legitimizes", as Adam Neely points out ;).
Just a random thought, if you want to get more colors than the D-pentatonic: Perhaps you could add, emphasize and explore the two variants of the 6th scale tone Bb/B for some part of your solo. That would give you a little more, but well chosen options without leaving the - for this modal tune - appropriate pentatonic. But your instructor shurely has a lot of more ideas. Waiting for your next track! And of course, some more players to enter the stage.
Thank you and Haha yes! All fully agreed upon by my instructor, as he emphasized hitting the two tones separately, and asked me to use B natural more, as I got stuck on Bb in my fingers!

Some other really interesting stuff I've been informed of by my instructor, and for all others who may care, was altering between Dorian, harmonic minor, melodic minor, and aeolian. So mixing in the natural 7 as well as the b6. Then the real challenge for me - he also offered a tension idea in V7b9 which was very intriguing to me! I gave it a run but need a lot more work to bring it out. Hoping to keep running through all these ideas and make something great for the final take near end of month!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Then the real challenge for me - he also offered a tension idea in V7b9 which was very intriguing to me!
Very interested about the suggestions, he gave!
 
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So, I am posting a recording and I'm not quite sure why. I had literally ten minutes at the office yesterday when nobody else was there and I recorded a quick a-capella version of afro blue on my cell phone. I hadn't used my phone to record before but my daughter (who just turned 5) hacked into my phone (she watched me enter my password and remembered it) and was using garageband to record herself and it seemed like it was worth trying and I have to admit that I was surprised at how good the quality was. I am also playing on a reed that I first broke in at least six years ago and I was amazed at how well it played (I can't blame the reed). I have played my sax about a half dozen times over the past 5 years, so if it sounds like I making excuses, I am. So, this is definitely not a quick recording of a quality like peebee, this is something much different.

https://soundcloud.com/cleger15%2Fafro-blah
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would be happy if my tenor would sound like this, too - great sound! Did you record it with a backing track in ear, or just free?
I hadn't used my phone to record before but my daughter (who just turned 5) hacked into my phone (she watched me enter my password and remembered it) and was using garageband to record herself and it seemed like it was worth trying and I have to admit that I was surprised at how good the quality was.
These little girls are unbelievable smart!
 

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Well Dirk here's my offering.


I couldn't find a backing track that I liked anywhere. So I used a percussion track from a good friend of mine and…….well here it is.

The drum is tuned to an Eb so I played it in that key.

It's quite short.

Thanks for listening as always.

Headphones recommended.
 

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Well Dirk here's my offering.


I couldn't find a backing track that I liked anywhere. So I used a percussion track from a good friend of mine and…….well here it is.

The drum is tuned to an Eb so I played it in that key.

It's quite short.

Thanks for listening as always.

Headphones recommended.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!
 
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