Other Places: A Rifftides Dedication

Here’s a first: trumpeter, composer, teacher, blogger and frequent Rifftides correspondent Bruno Leicht (seen here) has dedicated a new composition—a suite, no less—to this weblog. Mr. Leicht, who is based in Cologne, explains on his own blog that he bases the composition on several important pieces of music sharing certain harmonic characteristics. The piece has yet to be premiered or recorded.

How did Rifftides get involved? Go here for Bruno’s explanation and a lead sheet. Then, come back and click here for added background in a post from the Rifftides archive. If you click on all of the links in Bruno’s post, it will be a while before you get back here. That’s okay. We’ll wait.

The Rifftides staff thanks Mr. Leicht for the honor. We look forward to someday hearing “A Bad Lady In Six Flats.”

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  1. SeptemberintheRain says

    A musician with knowledge, wit, chutzpah, humour, and the title “A Bad Lady in Six Flats” is surely a cool one. Bruno Leicht’s blog (as well as yours, Mr. Ramsey!) is an inspiration for every jazz fan and can’t be recommended highly enough. Great mixture of historical panorama, expertise, far-out finds, and above all, an always palpable love for jazz. Big cheers!

  2. David says

    As explained in the links above, Monk’s “Hackensack” was a slightly altered version of Hawkins’ “Rifftide” which was actually a Mary Lou Williams tune on the changes of Gershwin’s “Lady Be Good.” It’s not the only tune that Monk got from Mary Lou. “Rhythm-a-ning” is based on a section of her “Walkin’ and Swingin’.” Williams discovered Monk in the ’30s when he came through Kansas City playing with a medicine show and may have introduced him to Hawkins. Williams and Hawkins helped Monk get established in the New York jazz scene. Mary Lou was also responsible for insisting that Benny Goodman listen to an unknown young guitarist named Charlie Christian. Her “Zodiac Suite” may finally get the performance that she envisioned at the L.A. Bebop fest.

  3. says

    Thanks, Bruno, for taking us through this Rifftides excursion and for Doug’s blog’s role in inspiring it. Looking forward to Bruno’s students getting it together. I love comparing Bill Coleman and Howard McGhee’s solos.

  4. says

    Yeah, Steve! Bill Coleman & Howard McGhee: Two unsung stylists; and I guess, both are almost forgotten in the US. Bill resumed his career in Europe; he died in France (1981) where he received the Ordre National du Mérite in 1974.

    His Bill Coleman Blues, an intimate duet with Django Reinhardt from 1937, should get posthumously awarded too. Isn’t there a Hall of Fame for Legendary Jazz Performances?

    No medal for Maggie though, the composer of “Cheers”, “Carvin the Bird” and “Stupendous”, and the inspiration for so many others. I strongly recommend his Maggie’s Back In Town.

    And since we’re in May, why not remembering April with Maggie?