Blue Spring Shuffle: The K.D. Challenge

The K.D. Challenge” is our hint that Kenny Dorham compositions are not only challenging, they’re intriguing, great-and-fun-to-play masterworks. They are some of the most unique and important small group compositions in jazz. We’ve added the swinging, relaxed Blue Spring Shuffle this week.

One of the things that sets Kenny Dorham apart from other composers is his emphasis on the specific roles of the individual rhythm section players. The often-distinctive role of each rhythm section player is part of the composition, not just part of an arrangement. The independent instrumental parts combine in an interplay that is more than the sum of the parts. To help each individual player, because everyone has to know what’s happening,  we’ve made each rhythm section part double-staved, showing a smaller staff with the melody above each part. You’ll find it’s very helpful to see the melody in relation to your own part. Often we’ll also indicate other rhythm section cues so you can really see how everything fits together.

Try our Minus You audio tracks (click on the Minus You tab for each title): every rhythm section player can have his/her own audio track,  minus their instrument, to practice with. You can master your role while also accompanying recorded soloists. Melody players will have a great rhythm section behind them for the melody and also for soloing.

Many fans have said, “K.D. is the cat!” Jerry the Jazz Musician wrote: “His music remains more than basically satisfying to his listeners. It smokes!”

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