Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan on Pannonica

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by SteSte, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. SteSte


    Mar 28, 2017
    Rome, Italy
    Thomas Morgan (db) and Bill Frisell (guitar) recently relased a new duo album, "Epistrophy". They play very relaxed on this album, i love the way they play.
    I found something that i do not understand in "Pannonica", as i know the structure is aaba where the last section is 9 bars so 8 8 8 9 bar song.
    Somebody could help me to understand what is happening in the structure of this song (a part the initial theme that is "floating" rubato like...?
    I have difficulties to understand what is happening at the end of the aaba cycles and if im not wrong they do 4 "A" consecutive...but im not sure...

    I found that in the whole album the bass is "following" the guitar.
    Unlike the Ron Carter or Red Mitchell or Scott Colley w Jim Hall duos where bass and guitar had the same "weight".
    In this album the bass is (to my) behind the "frontman guitar", i want know also what you think about. I know that do these "comparison" is really stupid because its just speculation but i like to talk about styles and aesthetics on music and i love the duo's in jazz where the double bass can be half soloist and half comping or both toghether. (Jimmy Blanton and Duke)

    Thanks again
  2. Basically all that's happening compositionally is that Monk is delaying the DbMaj7 (can't remember if Monk has any other voicing's he uses for that chord) by a measure. I personally like to think of the form as AABC, just to help solidify the 9 bars of the last section. Harmonically the turnaround in the first two A sections should be Ebmin7 Ab7 G7 DbMaj7. The turnaround on the last A (or C if you would like to think of it that way) starts off the same with a measure containing Ebmin7 Ab7 G7 but instead lands on a measure of Dmin7 G7b9 and then a measure of Dbmaj7. It's like Monk is extending the cadence to CMaj7 by an extra measure by adding in the ii-V that should land on C, but adds a measure of a tri-tone sub like chord (DbMaj7). Form wise on the Frisell and Morgan duo it sounds like they keep the form throughout the recording. Hope this all makes sense!

    Musically wise I'm a big fan of them together as a duo. For me I hear it more as a "conversational like duet" with a very minimalist twist. It's definitely quite sparse, but to my ears and tastes it makes it seem like there's not a truly clear cut soloist, which is very apparent on their interpretation of Paul Motian's tune "Mumbo Jumbo". These are just my thoughts on it, but everyone's is equally valid!
    oliebrice likes this.
  3. SteSte


    Mar 28, 2017
    Rome, Italy
    thanks for your time and explaination
  4. SteSte


    Mar 28, 2017
    Rome, Italy
    I think should be a good exercise for listening...apart the harmony that most part of us are aware, this is one of the most important song of the jazz culture...i'm talking about the structure and what is happening in this recording.
    As Sean suggested above we go for AABC letters where A and B is 8 bars and C is 9 bars.
    What i hear is 5 repetitions of the song:

    cycle 1 - theme 00.00 - 1.53 AABC
    cycle 2 - solo guitar (walking bass) 1.53 - 3.03 AABC
    cycle 3 - solo guitar (walking bass) 3.03 - 4.33 AAABC???
    cycle 4 - solo bass 4.33 - 5.44 AABC
    cycle 5 - solo guitar (AA) / theme (BC) 5.44 - 6.53 AABC

    The song is starting as slow ballad rubato like ad stabilizing at 70bpm and slowly speeding up to a maximum of 120bpm during the end of the bass solo, this is a big increase to me for a song like that.
    On the second cycle (starting at 1.53) i hear the bass landing at the last bar of the song missing one bar (as if C was = to 8).
    On the third cycle i hear three A sections consecutive, third A from 3.40 to 3.57 so AAABC structure instead of AABC.
    To be clear from 2.46 to 3.57 i hear AAAA, four consecutives A.

    I know that this is a stupid listening exercise and i know that these are both famous incredible musicians that are creating a beautiful art form that should not be considered with numbers or bars or others so please do not put me in jail, i love this music and i love both musicians and i love jazz and i know that the respect of the form of the song its not important when is a high art form performed from the best musicians in the planet. It is just for fun , just for listening analysis. Thanks