Explanation of the Composition: “Round One”
by Evan Tate
The composition “Round One” is created in a similar way that many jazz musicians since the bebop era have composed. “Round One” is based on the popularly known chord progression of George Gershwin’s „I Got Rhythm“ with some harmonic alterations to give the tune a post-bop character.
1. The Chord Progression
“Round One” is based on a 32-bar “popular song form”, aka “AABA” form. The first 16 bars, and the last 8 bars (the “A” sections) use the chord progression from George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm”. Here, the key is F Major, instead of the popular Bb Major key.
The following variation is used:
|| F D7 | Gm7 C7 | Am7 D7 | Gm7 C7 | Cm7 F7 | Bb7 B°7 | Am7 D7 | Gm7 C7 |
| F D7 | Gm7 C7 | Am7 D7 | Gm7 C7 | Cm7 F7 | Bb7 B°7 | Gm7 C7 | F |
In the third 8-bar section, aka the “B” section or the “bridge”, the “B” section from Dizzy Gillespie’s “Woody’N'You” is used.
Here, the chord progression:
|| Cm7 F7 | C#m7 F#7 | Cm7 F7 | Bb Maj7 |
| Ebm7 Ab7 | Em7 A7 | Ebm7 Ab7 | Db7 C7+9 ||
A “C” Pedal tone is played by the Contrabass during the “A” sections in order to give the peice a more “open” harmonic character.
2. Melodic structure
The main Motif in “Round One” is a simple 4-note sequence, here with the scale degrees, 5 – 1 – 2 – 3.
In Bar #1:
In Bar #10:
In Bar #11:
In Bar #15: (transposed a half-step upwards):
The melody continues in a Bebop / Post-Bebop style, often with tones from chordal superimpositions and bebop typical rhythms.
Eighth – Quarter – Eighth
Ex. 1 & 2
Finally, the piece serves as a vehicle and challenge for Improvisation.
© 2009 Evan Tate