My first wordless vocal vocal jazz composition from 1997 now has a 2022 update, including solo backgrounds, tweaked rhythmic figures for better layering, fully notated rhythm section parts (and now including a drum set part), and the full SkyTracks package now available with the new demo sung by Julia and myself for the first time.
Inspired by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays' use of the electric bass eighth-note ostinato figures in "As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls," "Song For The Traveler" creates layered vocal ostinati to create a trance-like effect, with two common tones throughout off the the modal harmony. A development section uses a writing device that has tenors/basses and sopranos/altos swapping notes on four-part harmony, also creating a mysterious sound that builds into a brief climax before the piece again drops off the cliff and ends by gradually eliminating the vocal parts until only the opening tenor phrase remains. Features a vocal improv solo that can be assigned to an instrumentalist if you prefer, and often this solo has been played with a delay effect to add to the trance vibe. I'm still proud of this piece 25 years later, and I'm happy to have revived it for a new generation of vocal jazzers.
fully-notated keyboard and bass, drums
Video: All-State Group
Illinois IMEA All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble 2007
Video: Behind The Chart - Arranging