"Double Take" - Vin Gordon

"Double Take" (PDF) from the Vin Gordon album, Gordon in de Garden, Vol. 1.
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This is a fun tune.  I don't have much to say about the trombone solo, unfortunately.  Maybe there is some other element to Vin Gordon's playing that I am missing entirely, but this solo does not speak to me.

What I do like about the tune is the harmony and the chord changes.  So let this be a mini-lesson in composition.  We all know our blues forms, our I-IV-V progressions, and our ii-V-I's.  But my favorite progression, at the moment, is a move to the vi chord.  In a tune like this, where there is no borrowed harmony (V7 of a different key), the move to the relative minor is as dramatic as you can get.

In the minor, the harmony uses a "borrowed" i-vi progression that creates a dark mood.  The contrast occurs as it moves to the major key for an extended ii-V-I progression.  The descending move between the Bm and G (iii-I) has the feeling of an arrival, similarly to a cadence.  Likewise, the fall back into the minor, I-vi with bassline that walks down the scale, is a common technique to begin the journey away from the tonic center.  This tune also uses the broad roadmap of a "minor verse, major chorus" that is found in many pop songs.

I just did a quick search for Vin Gordon videos, and they seem to be disappearing just as quickly.  Regardless, I believe that every good horn section needs a set of dance moves.  Here's a YouTube video of Gordon performing with the original horn section for The Wailers.  It's not a tight routine, but you can probably learn a step, or two, from them.  Hell, if I'm not going to write about playing the trombone, why should the video be about playing the trombone?

Recommended Reading: That Is All by John Hodgman.  Published by Penguin Group.