Freffie – Elmo Hope
Like many Elmo Hope compositions, Freffie is composed of twists and turns, giving it a challenging but delightful bop-influenced melody.
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- Recording: Elmo Hope - New Faces-New Sounds: Elmo Hope Trio
- Recorded on: June 18, 1953
- Label: Blue Note (BLP 5029 10" LP)
- Concert Key: B-flat
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Swing (medium up)
- Piano - Elmo Hope
- Bass - Percy Heath
- Drums - Philly Joe Jones
Elmo adds a different twist to the melody. The concert key is B-flat. However, instead of starting with a B-flat harmony, he starts with an E-flat chord. Then in the second measure he goes to the normal B-flat key progression. The head is played twice and written out twice since the first measure is different each time. The last measure of the first time through is definitely a dominant B-flat 7th which leads back to the first melody E-flat chord. The last measure B-flat of the second chorus of the melody stays on B-flat to start the soloing. Elmo's final ending drives home an altered B-flat dominant harmony.
Elmo also recorded Freffie in 1961, again with Philly Joe Jones on drums. On this second recording, Paul Chambers played bass. Learn more about his 1953 session by checking out Stars Over Marrakesh and Carvin' The Rock.
For more details about Elmo Hope's recordings, check out the Elmo Hope Discography on Noal Cohen's Jazz History website.
June 27, 1923 – May 19, 1967
An imaginative pianist who valued subtlety over virtuosity in the landscape of bebop, Elmo Hope never achieved the fame that his close friends did, perhaps because he so rejected stylistic norms of the time. Elmo was a classically trained pianist with technique rivaling that of his childhood friend Bud Powell and a composer of music whose inventiveness and complexity approaches that of Thelonious Monk. In fact, Elmo, Thelonious and Bud used to hang out so much together in the late 1940s they became known as "The Three Musketeers." Powell, in Francis Paudras' book "Dance of the Infidels" is quoted as saying, "You gotta hear Elmo. He's fabulous. His stuff is very hard. He does some things that even I have trouble playing." Read more...