Composition B.S. II


This is a medium-up swing tune. Its character reminds me of Strayhorn’s Rain Check (on the album And His Mother Called Him Bill,1967), a light and happy sounding piece of music. It has an “A” and “B” section, the latter ending in a 4-bar vamp. A coda follows the vamp in the very ending.

The melodies are made mainly out of arpeggios and chord tones.

I have made use of the harmonic dualism based on the diminished seventh chord, as described in the chapter “Lush Life. Here, the tonal center alternates between Cmaj and Ebmaj, connected through the mutual diminished chord B-D-F-Ab. It is the minor subdominant that leads to the next key: the progression Fm7-Bb7 in bar 4 seems like a minor fourth degree of C, but also serves as a IIm7-V7 to Ebmaj. Then, before the repeat sign, Abm is the minor subdominant of Eb, but also, it works as a tritone-substitue for Dm7b5. The following dominant G7 modulates back to C.

Ebmaj7 also represents the key of Cm.

The last 2 bars of “A” contain the already introduced device of melody moving synchronously with the harmonic changes: The chords Ebmaj7-Abmaj7-Abm-G7#9 move in half notes, and so does the melody F-G-Ab-Bb. The #9 in the melody on G7#9 gives an interesting color and resolves unexpectedly into Cmaj7, back to the head of the tune.

The same progression is used in the coda, which leads out of the vamp into an ending.

This vamp, the last 4 bars of “B” (to be repeated, possibly open), was an idea inspired by UMMG. It contains two chord pairs: Ebmaj7-G7 (repeated)and Cmaj7-Bb7#11 (rep.). So to speak, the dominants of the two tonics are exchanged, and the tonal material of the two keys is blending.