"African Thing" - Vin Gordon

"African Thing" (PDF) from the Vin Gordon album, Gordon In de Garden, Vol. 1.
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Here we have our first journey into Jamaican dub music.  While this recording does not appear to be a "remixed" version, it incorporates many of the characteristics of dub music, like heavy echo and delay effects.  And I'm going to make the huge assumption that dub music is generally in a minor key to produce a darker sound, in contrast to the relaxed feeling of reggae's major keys.

On the first glance of this transcription, you will notice that it is fairly bare.  Gordon's solos are not exploring theme or trying to lead the band somewhere.  Instead, his melodies help flourish the established beat of the music.  Gordon is not aiming to hit "the note," but rather helping to create "the groove."

The melodic shapes in this solo are linear, and the harmony is mostly pentatonic.  But Gordon's rhythms are syncopated, which contrast the beat and help produce the "spacey" sound, or even the disorienting effect, for the listener.  Again, Gordon's solo takes the more scenic route towards its destination.

Here's sort of a random YouTube video of live dub trombone.  It comes from the band Koloko, playing a festival show in Spain.  Notice the same characteristics as Vin Gordon's style of dub music.

Recommended Reading:  Travels With My Trombone: A Caribbean Journey by Henry Shukman.  Published by Crown Publishers, Inc.  (This may be out of print)