This close to 3 hour mega feature demonstrates the most important and original approaches to rhythm featuring alto saxophonist Steve Coleman and Five Elements. The name of the band has nothing to do with the members or number of members, but everything to do with Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Ether.
Four compositions are demonstrated here “Pi”, “LSLLSSL”, “Drop Kick” and “Wheel Of Nature”. This dual cam workshop shows how Steve applies specific rhythms to forms and how the chords, harmonies, and melodies can be layered in many ways. Expansion is demonstrated on much more than odd meter as the music is multi-layered. The way the band experiments, rehearses, and builds are clearly seen here in the rawest form. There are no smoke and mirrors and definitely no shortcuts. Only hard work, repetitive looping, clapping and singing are the basis for understanding all of the music in its simplest form. There is no other music on the planet such as the music and many approaches of band leader Steve Coleman.
This chant is like looking at 3’s a different way. Three 3’s equal 9. For example 3 x 3 = 9. This is one of the basic ways of understanding this chant. Of course, counting all triplets spells out the 9, but dividing them in 3’s makes it less strenuous on the mind. Playing triplet chants longer than 6 takes two minds: the one that performs and the one that thinks. Yes, this takes repetition. I kept this chant as simple as possible so you can hear the long 9 phrase punctuated in certain areas for rhythmic division. You can also look at this chant as two parts. Looking at the PDF notice how the first part is from the top (beginning) and ends at the first 8th note snare in the second measure. The second half goes from there to the end. That’s another way of looking at this chant.
This chant is styled after what I call the James Brown Backbeat. There’s nothing technical about the word “Backbeat”. It’s just something I associate the snare drum phrase with. When performing this with the Play Along mp3, the music helps bring this style out. It’s limiting to instruct and demonstrate the odd meter of nine without music. As I always suggest, perform this chant at a slow tempo and eventually increase tempo as you feel comfortable through repetition.
This is the triple feel version of Duple Chant in 7 #1. In essence, it is the same chant as Duple Chant in 7 #1 felt with triplets. Technically it is different because of the feel and notation. Demonstrated at 72 BPM you get the relaxed feel to hear where every note drops. I believe performing this chant will help you understand all long odd meter phrasing with a faster ear. In other words, when you are in musical situations where you are given music at the last minute that is unusually triple feel odd meter, you will approach it faster by having repetitious practices of this chant and others similar.