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3/11/2016

Midnight Revisited www.keyboardmag.com

keyboardmag.com

MidnightRevisited

byAndyLaverne 2minread original

ItisthoughtthatthelegendaryjazzpianistTheloniousMonk

composedthesongRoundMidnightasearlyas1936attheageof

19.Sincethen,ithasbecomeajazzanthem,playedandrecordedby

amultitudeofprominentjazzmusiciansincludingDizzyGillespie,

MilesDavis,BillEvans,ChickCorea,RichieBeirach,andyoung

phenomJoeyAlexander,nottomentionAmyWinehouse.Thesong

waseventhestarofthefilmRoundMidnightthatfeaturedHerbie

HancocksAcademyAward-winningscore.Thisyear,afterNEA

JazzMasterJameyAebersoldchosethesongforhisSummerJazz

Workshoppianofacultytoplayateveningconcerts,Isetoutto

reimagineit.Forthepurposesofdemonstrationandexplanation,I

offerthissolopianotemplateandadaptationinthestyleofRound

Midnight.Thisisthefirstinaseriesoftwoinstallments,

presentingeachsectiononitsown.

IntroandFirstASections

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MyfirstchallengeinreimaginingRoundMidnightwastobreak

awayfromthestandardintroofdescendingminorii-Vchords.

Coincidently,IhadrecentlytranscribedMcCoyTynerssolopiano

introtothesaxophonistWayneShorterssongLost.Itwas

McCoysintroandthecircuitousroutehefollowedtothealtered

dominantseventhtargetthatpropelledmeinanewdirectionfor

myarrangement.McCoysLostintrowassettingupGminor,soI

merelytransposeditdownathirdtoleadintoEbminor.

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AfterhittingtherootoftheBb7altchord,thereareaseriesof

descendingquartalstructures(aMcCoysignature),whichendwith

achordalenclosureoftheBb7altchord.Thistechniqueisreferred

toasconstantstructure/variablefunction.Itsanonfunctional

harmonizationofamelodicline.Iarbitrarilyassignedchord

symbolstothetenquartalstructures.TheBb7altislessambiguous

insoundandfunction.

Ratherthandivingdirectlyintothetheme,Icameupwithamotif

inmeasure4tosetupthemelodyanduseasarecurringidea

throughoutthearrangement.Noticethechangingtempomarkings,

anotherfreedomofsolopiano.Therhythmicaugmentation

(eighthsinsteadofsixteenths)ofthefirstfournotesofthemelody

impartsdramainmeasure5.ThebriefholdbeforetheGmajor7#5

chordaccentuatesthesurpriseofthatuncharacteristicharmonic

color,andtheadditionofthe2/4measureletsthecolorsaturate.

ThewarmerAb7sus4inmeasure7leadsnicelyintotheBb7b9in

measure8.Diminishedstructuresreflecttheconstant

structure/variablefunctionoftheintro.Measure9resolvestoEb

minorwiththeadditionofthecolorsofamajor7andab5.(Another

waytolookatitwouldbeD-/Eb-).Therhythmicallyaugmented

melodyisnowharmonizedintenths.

Measure10mimicstheharmoniccolorchangeinmeasure5,this

timediminishedinsteadofmaj7#5.Measures11and12borrowthe

quartalthemeoftheintro.TheD7sus4isahalf-step-above

approachchordtotheDb7sus4inmeasure13,followedbythe

rhythmicallyaugmentedmelodyharmonizedintenths.Measure14

accentuatesthetritonesinherentindominant7#11chords.Wego

backtothemaj7#5colorwithinnervoicemovementsintenthsfor

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measures15and16.Thefirstendingisadisguisedii-V-iinEb

minor,witharestatementofmyEbminormotif.Thesemotifsserve

aslandmarksforsymmetryandunity.

Stay-tunedforPartTwo!

PracticeTip

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Creatingasolopianoarrangementposesmanychallengesand

opensunlimitedoptions.Asasolopianist,youreinthedrivers

seat,soyoucanswitchgearsandchangedirectionsatanytime,

sayspianist,composer,andlongtimeKeyboardcontributorAndy

LaVerne,whohasperformedwithartistssuchasFrankSinatra,

StanGetz,andChickCorea.Hislatestprojectsincludethebook

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ChordsinMotion,theDVDChords&LinesinMotion,andtheCDI

WanttoHoldYourHand.LaVerneisProfessorofJazzPianoat

SUNYPurchaseinNewYorkandtheHarttSchoolofMusicin

Connecticut,andhesonthefacultyoftheAebersoldSummerJazz

Workshops.Findoutmoreatandylaverne.com.

WatchHerbieHancockandWayneShorterplay"'RoundMidnight"

live.

Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter Quartet - 'Round Midni...

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