"It's All In There" - Youngblood Brass Band
It looks like we have got the blues, and not just any blues, we have got some up-tempo minor blues. Now, traditionally speaking, playing the blues is an effective way to end a show or leave the audience with one last jam. The familiar form and structure make it easy for all to be on the same page. But the minor blues seem to lack the harmonic momentum of the dominant seventh chords within a major blues, and I suppose the way to compensate is to bump up the tempo. Either way, through harmonic or technical exhilaration, the minor blues need to be amended in order to leave an impression on your audience.
Obviously, Youngblood wants to have party and included a long crescendo within its minor blues form that sets up a lasting "Rock the house" jam. This compositional technique is not uncommon, and can be compared to a three act play or a trilogy of stories. The first act establishes the framework as a 6-bar blues, even repeating itself here, and then along comes the second act that introduces some new ideas and takes the story in another direction. Notice how it takes its time in setting up the tension and does not resolve until the third act, which takes us back the familiar territory and resolves everything in a jubilee of Ewoks on the forrest moon of Endor. Yub nub!
Anyway, the third act also shows how things have changed because of the middle act. In this case, at the 1:08 mark, the bass line changes due of the previous rhythm pattern in the middle section. My ears hear this as an unintentional accident, that the Warrior simply forgot which pattern he was supposed to play. But even acknowledging this mistake, he does not miss a beat and still plays a supporting bass line around the melody. What does it take to stop him? He's more machine now than man. Dammit!
As for the solo, pay attention to the use of 6ths and 9ths and their pull back towards the chord tones. The 6ths and 9ths, along with some chromaticism, can be your friend… and a powerful ally it is. Wootini!
And so here is a YouTube video of Youngblood Brass Band playing last week at their only U.S. show of the tour, a hometown send-off show before they tour through Europe. Bon voyage! May the force be with you… always.
Recommended Reading: Arban's Famous Method for Trombone, edited by Charles L. Randall and Simone Mantia. Published by Carl Fischer.