Fire Dance – Charles McPherson
A two-part song—the head begins with a medium Latin groove and goes to double time halfway through. Solos are on an F7 vamp in the faster tempo.
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- Recording: Charles McPherson - Manhattan Nocturne
- Recorded on: April 24-25, 1997
- Label: Arabesque (AJ 0134)
- Concert Key: No key center
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Latin
- Alto Sax - Charles McPherson
- Piano - Mulgrew Miller
- Bass - Ray Drummond
- Drums - Victor Lewis
- Percussion - Bobby Sanabria
This is a two-part song, with a medium-tempo section followed by an uptempo section twice as fast. The head begins with a light Latin groove, switching to double-time rumba after 16 measures. The melody is quite simple, with a sustained two-note theme developed throughout the first half. On the recording you will note that each one-measure phrase of the melody has an piano answer that establishes an alternating chord quality, raising the initial suspended fourth up a half step; for example, the first two concert chords are B7sus and B13(♯11). At the beginning of the double-time section, brief rhythmic figures launch each four-measure phrase as a break for the percussion. The last four measures of the head have a single sustained melody note.
The first eight measures of the double-time section are repeated on the in head, resulting in a 40-measure ABCCD form: 16 measures at the slower tempo and 24 measures twice as fast. There is no key center; the chords are entirely dominant, largely sus, and they shift around mostly in whole steps throughout. Solos are on an F7 vamp, entirely in the faster tempo.
The entire head is played out after the solos, but without the repeat at C; a snappy bebop-ish ending is added to resolve to F, the key center of the solos.
born on July 24, 1939
With a career spanning over 60 years, Charles McPherson is a living legend of jazz. His highly expressive playing is firmly rooted in the bebop tradition. He was born in Joplin, Missouri and raised in Detroit, where he studied with Barry Harris . McPherson was part of a generation of talented Detroit musicians including trumpeter Lonnie Hillyer, drummer Louis Hayes and trombonist Kiane Zawadi. Like them, McPherson moved to New York in the late ‘50s. Read more...