Moana Surf – Jerry Dodgion
This very simple, laid-back song has a largely pentatonic melody. The original recording is not available as a download; exclusive audio and video from a recent session in the jazzleadsheets.com studio are presented here.
All selected items will be available for download after purchase.
- Recording: Duke Pearson - The Phantom
- Recorded on: September 11, 1968
- Label: Blue Note (BST 84293)
- Concert Key: E-flat minor
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Latin (Afro-Cuban 6/8)
- Flute - Jerry Dodgion
- Vibes - Bobby Hutcherson
- Guitar - Sam Brown
- Piano - Duke Pearson
- Bass - Bob Cranshaw
- Drums - Mickey Roker
- Congas - Carlos "Patato" Valdes
This song's form does not contain any repeated sections, but there is a uniform quality to it that contributes to its laid-back feeling. The melody develops two-measure phrases that consist of long notes with pickups; along with the changes, which leave the home tonality only a little before returning, this gives the piece a feeling like waves along the beach. The groove is a triplet-based 12/8 Latin feel throughout; the "2-feel" and "4-feel" indicated in the lead sheet refer to the bass part.
The Pearson recording, with Jerry playing flute, begins with the melody rubato as a flute/guitar duet. (The guitar lays out for the rest of the song.) At the break in the last measure of the B section, Jerry sets up the tempo for the rhythm section. They come in with four measures, rather than the eight-measure C section, before the flute and vibes come in for the full head in time.
On the jazzleadsheets.com version (see video) Jerry plays alto. The arrangement is more or less similar to the original. It begins with piano playing the head rubato; the bass and drums come in, in time, for the entire C section before Jerry enters with the head again. The piano also starts the melody on the head out, with sax coming in for the pickup to the C section. Jerry plays a cadenza before the two notes that cue the final chord.
Don Sickler: "The Phantom" was the third of six Duke Pearson studio albums to feature Jerry Dodgion. Blue Note hasn't yet made "The Phantom" available as a download, so when one of my talented Columbia University students asked Jerry to be featured in a concert, I told Jerry he should include The Moana Surf. They did play it for the concert and Jerry played alto sax instead of flute. After the concert, I asked the students if they would like to participate in a video performance with Jerry so we could document more of his music in a small group setting. They jumped at the chance to perform with him again, so now we have a new version, and the opportunity to expose it on jazzleadsheets.com—click on the video play button.
This recording was made in the jazzleadsheets.com studio, in a session featuring several other Dodgion compositions including Holunderkuchen. The young Bens have been together as a trio since 2012; at the time of this recording, Rosenblum was studying at The Juilliard School as well as at Columbia University, and Rubens and Zweig both at Manhattan School of Music. Ben Rubens graduated in May 2015; his senior recital in April featured the same trio plus Elijah Shiffer on alto sax, playing Holunderkuchen and several other of Jerry's songs. (Jerry was in the audience.)
As you may know, our policy is not to post music here unless there's a version available to hear, since music, after all, is made to be heard.
August 29, 1932 – February 17, 2023
One of the most in-demand sidemen in jazz, Jerry Dodgion is a saxophonist, flautist, composer, and arranger with over 50 years under his belt. Jerry was raised in the San Francisco area and took up the alto sax in his early adolescence. He began working in the early 1950s; by 1953 (at the age of 21), he was already working with trumpeter/band leader Gerald Wilson. Two years later, he joined Benny Carter's band in Las Vegas for the opening of the Moulin Rouge. In the late 1950s, he played with Frank Sinatra and became a regular member of vibist Red Norvo's quintet (1958-1961). Read more...