Fire “Bird & Them”

This video lesson has something unique to the others: lyrics and rhyme. “Fire” is another composition by Steve Coleman in which the lyrics to the rhyme form the drum chant. There are many ways to compose and this is an example of using cadence and phrasing of words to form the actually basis of the composition. Charlie “Bird” Parker and John Coltrane are the topics and inspiration of this rhyme. The rhyme is pretty simple, easy to remember and recite over and over. Being that Bird was before Coltrane, the rhyme describes how Bird’s influence on Western Music was succeeded by Coltrane’s influence. That’s all the rhyme is about. One theory behind all of this is the basis of Rhythm and Blues in the pocket of the drum chant. This is no different than how many producers create the Hip Hop art form dating back to The Last Poets in the sixties. I added a vocal count in on the play along mp3 so you know exactly where to come in with the first kick drum where I say “Top”. There are two bars of 9/8 leading in as you come in on the first beat of the third bar. Notice how the bass and guitars have a rest on the first beat.

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