Recorded by Randy Sandke on THE SANDKE BROTHERS (example of improvisation/composition)
Stash: ST-575 / Recorded on May 30/31, 1985
A New Approach To Improvisation and Composition
The art of jazz improvisation has taken many forms and spawned many styles in its brief history, ranging from the melodic players of the 1920s, through the harmonic improvisers of the 1940s, to the free players of the 1960s. For the last thirty years or so a polarization has existed between practitioners of these last two styles. That is, between those musicians who use harmony as a basis for form and melodic improvisation, and those who ignore it, concentrating instead on melodic development, sound, texture, or sheer emotional intensity.
Yet between these two extremes lies an area of music which has largely been overlooked and never systematically explored. What I propose is a new style in which scales and tonality are dispensed with, yet harmony still serves as a basis for form and melodic improvisation. I call this metatonal music.
In Part One I identify and organize all four-note chords which lie beyond the tonal system and which cannot be represented by conventional chord symbols.
Part Two deals with deriving melodic material from these metatonal chords.
Part Three shows how I have used these ideas in recorded examples of my own music. These examples include pieces for symphony orchestra as well as jazz quintet.
Harmony For A New Millennium: An Introduction To Metatonal Music represents a breakthrough in harmonic thinking and opens up new creative vistas for composers and improvisers alike. No thinking musician should be without it.
About the Author:
An exceptionally versatile trumpet player and composer, Randy Sandke has performed and recorded with a diverse array of musicians including Kenny Barron, Ray Brown, Michael Brecker, Jon Hendricks, Benny Goodman, Frank Wess, Louis Belson, Dick Hyman, Jon Faddis Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Carter, Buck Clayton, Joe Williams, Clark Terry, and George Weins Newport All-Stars. Mr. Sandke has toured Europe numerous times, as well as Japan, Canada, India, and the U.S., performing at many festivals, clubs, and concerts throughout the world.
Harmony for a New Millennium is a fresh, creative approach to improvisation. Randy Sandke has developed a way to define and use harmony "divorced from tonality" within a jazz framework.
Michael Brecker; saxophonist and composer
Randy is an incredible musician. Not only does he possess a thorough understanding of the history of this music, but he is equally at home with more modern forms of expression. With this book, Randy explores some very unique approaches to harmony, and I think the information included will be valuable to both students and professionals alike. I know I'll be stealing a few of these ideas myself.
Nicholas Payton; trumpeter and composer
Randy Sandke's Harmony for a New Millennium is a masterpiece....a "must read and study" for those musicians that wish to expand their horizons beyond the boundries of the traditional, while staying connected to the musical/jazz tradition of growth and creativity.
Jon Faddis, trumpeter and Artistic Director of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band
Randy Sandke has developed a harmonic system which is logical, lucid, and elegant. It could open the door to a new world of creative possibility. His work is well organized and concise; a theory begging for application.
Joshua Redman, saxophonist and composer
I found Randy Sandke's new book very stimulating. I heartily recommend it to any musician who wants to expand his understanding of harmony and music theory in order to improve his craft.
Don Sebesky; arranger and composer
Randy Sandke's ideas are inspired and interesting. He has certainly piqued my curiosity.
Maria Schneider, composer
Randy Sandke is one of the best musicians I know, and his text on Metatonal Music should be of interest to every jazz improviser and composer.
Dick Hyman; pianist and composer
I've played and recorded some of Randy's metatonal compositions. Once I could forget the "old" theory and embrace Randy's ideas, it was quite a liberating experience. I was hearing and playing lines I wouldn't "normally" play anywhere else. Definitely worth checking out."
Jim McNeely; pianist, arranger, and composer
A very interesting and absorbing study material. Good for students and teachers alike. Recommended.
Mal Waldron; pianist and composer
Now, in this articulate and long overdue book, you'll not only see transcriptions of Sandke's strikingly original "Brownstones" and other works in this vein, you'll come to understand the logic behind metatonal composition and improvisation. Any player interested in expanding his musical options owes it to himself to explore this challenging volume.
Chip Deffaa; author and jazz critic of the New York Post
Fascinating and Provocative--a must for anyone genuinely interested in contemporary music.
Dan Morgenstern; Director, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University
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