Inspired by Ahmad Jamal's Poinciana
("Secret Love" arr. Bijan Taghavi Japan Trio)
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RIP Ahmad Jamal (1930-2023)
One thing that Ahmad Jamal was famous for is the drum groove on his arrangement of "Poinciana".
Ever since then, many jazz musicians play at least one tune with the “Poinciana Groove”
... including me in my arrangement of the tune, “Secret Love”
1) Start out with just bass & drums.
Bass: pedaling the V (Bb)
Drums: Poinciana Groove
2) After I let the bass & drums establish the groove, I join them as we all vamp on the V7 (Bb7)
3) Start off with improv (no head in)
** This is a cool way to add to the mystery of the arrangement and make the head out feel more impactful. Usually, jazz tunes are played in a head-solo-head format (where the melody is played first and after the improvisation). But with this arrangement, I decided to do something unusual by starting with the solo and then just stating the melody ONCE: as the head out.
4) Starting quiet (so we have room to build) and in the upper register (ala the Maestro, Ahmad Jamal himself)!
5) Starting off with NO LH and only RH Single Note Lines.
** This is another technique that gives us room to grow that I added into the architecture of the arrangement. RH single note lines for 2 full choruses, until the 3rd chorus when I bring the LH in. This helps us build dynamically.
This is captured from 2018 Bijan Taghavi Trio Japan Tour - 12/26/18 @ LIVE HOUSE ROXX (Aomori, Japan). To watch the FULL CUT, click HERE.