Saturday, July 22, 2017

Jazz Music for a Punk Rock Kid

My new album Profit and Loss features a song for each of my sons. My older son, Ian, is now almost five years old, but I wrote and recorded his song, "Elder Son" when he was about two or three.

Ian has always been an emotionally complex young man, and I wanted the song for him to be deep and thoughtful. Now, he's a total punk rocker of a preschooler, so I might do it differently today.

It's centered around the bass line played on my Modulus/Fender hybrid fretless bass (which has subsequently been modified to sound better than this). This line is a sort of "lullaby drone" that I sang to Ian at bedtime when he was a newborn. I couldn't help but make it the core of the song.

With that bass line and the 3/4 time signature, it reminds me of something Alice Coltrane might have done in the early '70s, so I was inspired to add the harp flourishes as a nod to her. Not real harp, of course, just samples.

The guitar is my Heritage Millennium Pro semi-hollow, in a kind of Larry Carlton mode. The sax is SampleModeling software, and I'm happy with the way the solo turned out, considering it's not real saxophone.

I considered adding more to this arrangement, but every time I tried I came back to this relatively sparse arrangement. It's held up for me for the last couple years since I recorded it.

Let me know what you think!