Rework the Standard // Afro Blue

Mongo Santamaria // Mongo // 1959

Mongo Santamaria first recorded his composition “Afro Blue” in 1959. Originally released on the album Mongo (Fantasy Records – 1959)

Afro Blue” was the first jazz standard built upon a typical African 3:2 cross-rhythm, or hemiola.[2] The song begins with the bass repeatedly playing 6 cross-beats per each measure of 12/8, or 6 cross-beats per 4 main beats—6:4 (two cells of 3:2). The following example shows the original ostinato “Afro Blue” bass line. The slashed noteheads indicate the main beats (not bass notes), where you would normally tap your foot to “keep time”.

via – Wikipedia

John Coltrane // Live at Birdland // 1963

In 1963 John Coltrane recorded “Afro Blue” with Elvin Jones on drums. Jones took the opposite approach of Santamaria, superimposing two cross-beats over every measure of a 3/4 jazz waltz (2:3). This particular swung 3/4 is perhaps the most common example of overt cross-rhythm in jazz.[5] [6] Coltrane and Jones reversed the metric hierarchy of Santamaria’s composition, by performing in 3/4 swing (2:3), instead of 6/8 or 12/8 (3:2). See: Demonstration of 2:3 cross-rhythm in 3/4 jazz waltz.

via – Wikipedia

John Coltrane (soprano sax)
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Jimmy Garrison (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)

Bogore // Ruined Dubstep pt.2 // 2010

Bogore is Asaf Borger (born October 20, 1987) an Israeli dubstep producer and disc jockey. Aithough i don’t consider it jazz, i find this take on a standard truly refreshing and innovative. Borgore creates a wonderfulyl unique assault on the senses while staying true to the melodic elements of the standard.

McCoy Tyner // Afro Blue //2007

Afro Blue is an album by musician McCoy Tyner, released on November 13, 2007. It compiles recordings from his albums on Telarc Records, documenting his eight-year tenure with the label.

Afro-blue // Lyrics

Abbey Lincoln // Abbey in Blue // 1958 or 1959

Abbey Lincoln was the first to record Afro-Blue with vocals on her album Abbey in Blue in the late 1950’s. According to wikipedia, songwriter Oscar Brown Jr. penned the lyrics to Afro-Blue

Robert Glasper Experiment (ft. Erykah Badu)// Black Radio // 2012

In 2012, Glasper released Black Radio, which featured performances by many neo-soul and hip hop artists including Erykah Badu, Bilal, and Mos-Def. This synthesis of hip hop and jazz is supposedly Glasper’s attempt to create a cross genre album that fully incorporated both musical experiences without betraying either.

This is a solid, contemporary remake of the jazz standard.

Dee Dee Bridgewater // Afro Blue // 1974

Maybe my favorite version of Afro Blue. I’m a big fan of the zippy tempo, and her twisting vocal lines. Her ability to jump around with the notation really makes the song her own.

Cecil Bridgewater (trumpet and kalimba)
Ron Bridgewater (tenor sax and percussion)
Roland Hanna (piano)
George Mraz (bass)
Motohiko Hino (drums and percussion)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s