I used to play saxophone but a repetitive strain injury to my jaw made it impossible to continue.
The thing I grieved most was the ability to improvise. It was natural for me to want to work towards this on the piano.
A slightly folky vignette, with the same 3 sections in the head and solo: a pedal section (static harmony), a chromatic ascending/descending bit and then cycling major 7th chords.
It’s called “Whose Tune” because when I first found the opening melody recorded on my keyboard, I didn’t remember putting it there!
Unsurprisingly, this is in 7. The head is very rubato (stretchy time) and actually starts in 4, but the solo keeps to time and to 7. It took me a loooong time to be able to improvise in 7.
(The bells on my foot play minims so that they are on the downbeats for the first bar of 7 and on the up-beats for the second bar).
This tune is named after a very beautiful friend of mine, Avivit Caspi. We met when we were performing on the same bill and I was immediately struck by the contrast between her apparent fragility and the intensity and power of her performance.
The first track is a recent practice recording of this tune, which breaks off mid solo because I was primarily testing out foot percussion!
The second is a practice session from 2013 where I am soloing over the B section chords on loop.
(The singing along is just a practice habit!)
Song for SRB
SRB is my mum (Sheila Ruth Braggins) and I composed the head for this tune a long time ago. Recently I returned to the piece started working on the solo section.
This track is from practice, so there is some talking to myself over it… plus liberties with tempo!