Essii's Dance – Ray Draper
A striking 3/4 song from a time when 3/4 in jazz was still uncommon. Our lead sheets show the two-horn harmonies in the intro and the bass figures in the A sections.
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- Recording: Ray Draper - A Tuba Jazz
- Recorded on: November, 1958
- Label: Jubilee (JBL 1090)
- Concert Key: B-flat
- Style: 3/4 swing (medium)
- Tuba - Ray Draper
- Tenor Sax - John Coltrane
- Piano - Jon Mayer
- Bass - Spanky DeBrest
- Drums - Larry Ritchie
About the arrangement: The tenor sax has the melody on the head. The A section chords are not played on the head on this recording. Instead, the piano, bass, and tuba play a quarter-note bass line consisting of the root, fifth, and root again in each measure. The piano and bass play these figures ascending, with the root on beat 3 an octave higher; the tuba has both roots in the upper octave. The piano comps in the bridge, with the tuba and bass both playing the roots in dotted half notes for a 1-feel.
There is an intro that begins with four measures of drums, followed by eight measures of the A section's bass line (bass alone for two measures and then joined by piano). The tenor sax and tuba then play a simple diatonic melodic phrase, voiced in fifths, over this for eight measures before the head. The coda is similar but with the melodic horn phrase first followed by the bass line alone, which winds down and can be faded out. Our lead sheets include the two-horn harmonies in the intro and coda.
This composition's title is also spelled Essie's Dance, but the original release used the Essii's Dance spelling.
August 3, 1940 – November 1, 1982
Ray Draper was born into a musical family on August 3, 1940, in New York City. His father, Barclay, played trumpet with name bands and recorded with Jelly Roll Morton, and his mother was a concert pianist. Ray went to the High School Of Performing Arts, for which he auditioned on tuba. His goal was always to make the tuba a recognized solo jazz instrument. As Nat Hentoff wrote, "He blows the hottest modern jazz tuba I've yet heard." At the young age of 16, on February 8, 1957, Ray made his first jazz recording session ("Jackie McLean & Co") for Prestige Records, for which he also arranged one of his own originals. Read more...