08 November 2010

Addition By Subtraction

I'm currently working on repurposing an old composition of mine to meet an unforeseen deadline. Early in this blog's reign, I wrote of my discomfort with all of the tributes one encounters in jazz, and mentioned this very tune, my first and last contribution to the cause, and one which even used this dreaded word in the title: "Tribute to Oliver Nelson."

I've certainly written better things in the intervening 8 years or so, but for reasons I won't go into, this tune is about the only thing I have that fits the bill for the current obligation, and so I'm revisiting it. There's potential here which has me questioning the assumption that I'd never play it again, which was probably more about the title than anything else. I'm going to call the new version "Oliver Nelson," as in Chick Corea's tune "Bud Powell," a tune which succeeds musically despite being sort of a stylistic mash-up, much like what I'm after. Ironically, by taking to word "tribute" out of the title, I'm now paying tribute to two, perhaps even three, musicians instead of one. Even so, I'm happier to be doing it more tactfully than I was before.

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