Kenneth Messer | The Phoenix Project

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Jazz: Post-Bop New Age: Relaxation Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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The Phoenix Project

by Kenneth Messer

For me music has always been about beauty and balance. The subtle blend of Soprano Saxophone, Vibraphone, Cello and Acoustic Bass, supported by Drums and buoyed by soaring melodies and distinctive harmonies fives this album a unique flavor. Peek-A-Boo is a fast jazz waltz with somewhat of a modal flavor, even though the chords do move quite rapidly. Evening Embers is a slow ballad in 3/4 with a very nostalgic quality to it. Small Twirl, Big Swirl is Jamaican Patois for something insignificant within the great scheme of things, therefore not worth worrying about. It is a reggae number; however, the chords modulate all over the place, as opposed to typical pieces of this genre that stay in one key. Misty Morning is an exercise in chordal contrasts with the "A" section being based around augmented chords with a somewhat static feel and the "B" section being based upon strong harmonic cadences, with a greater feel of movement. Manitou is an uptempo number that is a combination of both
Genre: Jazz: Post-Bop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Peek-A-Boo
Ken Messer
4:17 $0.99
2. Evening Embers
Ken Messer
4:20 $0.99
3. Small Twirl, Big Swirl
Ken Messer
8:12 $0.99
4. Misty Morning
Ken Messer
10:24 $0.99
5. Manitou
Ken Messer
8:41 $0.99
6. Summit
Ken Messer
8:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Growing up in the 70's I was exposed as much to non jazz sources as I was to jazz. These compositions represent my love of the music of Burt Bacharach, Paul McCartney, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.

I never have consciously copied these people; however, the shapes of their beautiful melodies were in the air for me when I was just getting started. The combination of beautiful melodies with somewhat astringent, piquant harmonies along with phrasing that is sometimes asymmetrical is a feature especially of Bacharach, Bernstein and Sondheim and perhaps best describes the compositions on this album.

These people were well known for writing "show tunes". Many great jazz performances are based either directly on "show tunes" or compositionally derived from "show tunes". I believe therefore adopting a similar approach for these contemporary compositions is well within the jazz tradition, even as I try to incrementally move things forward.



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