Alana's Fantasy – Justin Robinson
A well-titled "fantasy" of a song with its colorful, subtly unpredictable harmonies. The head is in a ballad tempo, but the modal solo section goes to medium swing.
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- Recording: Justin Robinson - Alana's Fantasy
- Recorded on: November 4, 2013
- Label: Criss Cross Jazz (1371)
- Concert Key: A, No key center
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Ballad
- Trumpet - Mike Rodriguez
- Alto Sax - Justin Robinson
- Piano - Sullivan Fortner
- Bass - Dwayne Burno
- Drums - Willie Jones III
At the beginning the melodic and harmonic direction is generally descending, balanced by a rising sequence in measures 7 through 10. The last four measures pivot between Amaj7 and A7(♯9), establishing an A key center; this key is not suggested elsewhere in the head, so our lead sheets have no key signature.
An interesting chord occurs in several places as an extra color to II-V7 progressions: on the fourth beat the II minor chord has a flat 5th and a major 7th. The notes in the first of these, Am♭5(maj7) in the third measure, are A, C, E♭, G♯. This chord could also be labeled Adim(maj7), but its function here is really an alteration of the preceding chord, Am7♭5, with the 7th raised from G to G♯.
Once the head is over, the fantasy has just begun! The solos on the recording go through a variety of tempos and textures, all over a modal A7. Our lead sheets and parts explain what happens on the recording. The bass is the first soloist, beginning rubato but then establishing a medium swing tempo—a little faster than twice the original ballad tempo. The drums come in during the bass solo, and the bass starts a vamp to set up the alto sax solo. During this solo the bass starts walking, continuing for the piano solo; eventually the bass and drums dissolve the time into rubato and the piano plays arpeggios up and down into a final chord to set up the out head.
This solo form can certainly be expanded for more soloists; the different textures can be mixed and matched in however ways you want—for example, if one soloist plays over walking bass the next soloist can go back to the bass vamp.
Second parts are available for the quintet arrangement from the recording. The trumpet plays harmony notes above the alto melody. Our trombone 2nd part is in a lower octave to match our C bass clef lead sheet, for settings with two trombones; if playing with any other melody instrument on the 1st part, trombonists can play the 2nd part an octave higher. The first and second parts can even be the reverse of the recording: trumpet on the melody with alto harmony notes above.
Justin Robinson's fourth album as a leader, "Alana's Fantasy" was also the second to last recording of bassist Dwayne Burno, less than two months before his untimely death. Justin memorialized Dwayne and pianist Ronnie Mathews together with a song on his 2017 album "At First Light" titled Lamentations For R & D.
born on August 14, 1968
Justin Robinson is an important member of the generation of jazz musicians who began their careers in the late 1980s to early 1990s. Justin got his professional start at age 18 in the Harper Brothers Quintet, making his first recording with them in 1988. Three years later, he made his first recording with Roy Hargrove, on pianist Stephen Scott's debut album "Something To Consider." Justin would continue playing with Roy for the rest of Roy's life. Read more...