Took 5 to the Wing
Uploaded on Nov 12, 2016
My first full foray into jazz piano is here!
This is called "Took 5 to the Wing" for a combination of two large reasons:
The "Took 5" is taken from the Dave Brubeck Quartet's famous jazz piece, "Take Five". Like "Take Five", this is in 5/4 time and uses an accompaniment ostinato with the same rhythm and a similar melodic curve as "Take Five"'s. It even borrows the Dave Brubeck Quartet's love of block chords.
The "to the Wing" is actually derived from the chord progression of its accompaniment ostinato--it is very similar to the opening bars of both Ridley's and Meta Knight's themes. Both of those video game themes are in C minor, in quintuple meter for substantial periods (although the start of Ridley's theme is arguably in 10/8 time with its 3-3-2-2 rhythmic pattern), and start off with C-Db-Bb in the accompaniment in a roughly 3-1-1 rhythmic pattern in each bar. Seeing as both characters have wings, I thought the overall title "Took 5 to the Wing" could imply that one of them got hit in the wing and took 5 damage. (It is no coincidence that this piece is also in C minor and quintuple meter.)
Harmony-wise, though, Meta Knight's theme probably won. My piece picked up its strong tendency to use D flats, stricter adherence to 5/4 time, shift to F minor, and relative lack of key changes. I've only played piano transcriptions of Ridley's theme once or twice, while I'm pretty close to finishing a piano transcription of Meta Knight's theme, so of course one of them rubbed off more on me.
This is partially based on piano improvisations on that ostinato and partially done on the computer (rather on the spot). Whenever I improvise on that ostinato, I tend to throw in those shifts to F minor and G minor, tremolos, Phrygian implications, chords with many notes a whole tone apart, the return to the original theme, and more. Chances are, unless I have the sheet music in front of me, I can improvise a piece similar to but not exactly this.
The 16th-note sextuplets in Bars 53-59 are tremolos and do not need to be played completely accurately. This is jazz, after all.
Unlike almost all my other pieces, this does not end with a clean tonic chord. Jazz has a habit of not ending pieces cleanly, and this piece follows that trend.
As awesome as "Blue Rondo à la Turk" is, I believe that "Take Five" has the greatest influence on me overall among the Dave Brubeck Quartet's pieces. At one point, I even improvised "The Noble Haltmann" and King Dedede's theme on the piano in the style of "Take Five"...
|Key signature||3 flats|
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