New Moon Madness
Work For Art
Song For Kathy
Ed Byrne: leader, trombone, composer
All compositions written and arranged by Ed Byrne / Ed Byrne Music (SESAC)
Produced by Ed Byrne and Charles Yasski
Engineered by Holly Friedman-Katlenberg (1-5) and Tom Foley (6-8)
Edited by Jason Tower, Zing Recording Studios
Mastered by Jeff Lipton, Peerless Mastering
Cover illustration by Jonny Johansson
Special thanks to Dave Frain & Jonny Johansson
Two Shades of Blue evokes the two versions of Blue Sunday, sixteen-measure minor blues. Moreover, the CD is comprised of two suites: a New York studio recording (tracks 1-5) and a live performance at “Scullers” in Cambridge, Massachusetts (tracks 6-8). Each set features different personnel but both shares essentially the same musical concept.
New Moon Madness features a recurring form with a Latin bass ostinato that oscillates between 7/4 and 8/4 meters before changing to 4/4, finally releasing into a swing section that reveals a rapidly modulating ii V I progression.
Work for Art is a tribute to Art Blakely. Following a “mysterioso” introduction, the exposition theme unfolds over a 4/4 Brazilian rhythmic ostinato with a 6/8 Afro-Cuban midsection. The composition then relaxes into swing feel for the improvisations in the development section, which climaxes with a drum solo over a tutti riff before the theme is recapitulated.
Blue Sunday, a Brazilian samba in cut time, is essentially a sixteen-measure minor blues punctuated by twentieth century harmonies. It was frequently performed by Chet Baker in 1972-75 while Ed was Baker’s trombone soloist and music director.
Song for Kathy, composed in 1971 for Ed’s wife, is a slow ballad reminiscent of the Tin Pan Alley era. The trombone theme is supported by a counter-melody played by the piano and guitar.
Where’s Joe?, a homage to Joe Henderson, is based on a succession of ostinatos in 5/4 meter that ultimately flow into a swing section containing a non-functional chord succession comprised of step-wise descending major seventh chords.
Black Beauty (alternate title, Firewater) was composed by Bubber Miley and Duke Ellington, who recorded it in 1928 with the “Washingtonians”. Endeavoring to retain the spirit of Ellington’s style, Ed states the melody with the trombone in a plunger mute, but removes the mute at the coda’s conclusion to return the listener to the present.
Blue Sunday is a 4/4 bossa nova performance of the previously described minor blues, hence the title Two Shades of Blue.
Recorda-Me ("Remember Me” in Portugese) was composed by Joe Henderson, who recorded it in his 1963 debut LP, Page One. Ed performed this samba with Henderson’s sextet in 1971 and has been using it as a set closer ever since. Based entirely on the opening motive of the exposition that follows, the introduction is a lengthy improvised unaccompanied trombone solo, played with an analog delay.