"Carnival Time" - Rebirth Brass Band

"Carnival Time" (PDF) from the Rebirth Brass Band album, The Main Event: Live at the Maple Leaf, and compilation, Ultimate Rebirth Brass Band.
Support this blog via Patreon.

What time is it?  "CARNIVAL TIME!"

Do you ever notice that blues songs from New Orleans are usually up-tempo?  Although, to be fair, this tune does not strictly follow the 12-bar blues form (mind the measure of 2/4 in the fifth bar).  And I assume that the phrasing was based around lyrics, at one point.  But why does singing the blues feel so good?  Because it's "CARNIVAL TIME!"

Do you ever notice that the tempo to a lot funk music is around 100 beats per minute?  This tune, the previous Rebirth tune, "New Orleans Music," Trombone Shorty's "Backatown," Youngblood's "Brooklyn," other funk anthems, like "Brick House," "Superstition," "Pick Up The Pieces," "Jungle Boogie," and on, and on.  What's so funky about this funky time?  Because it's "CARNIVAL TIME!"

Do you ever notice that some blues melodies play outside of the blues scale?  It can be deceiving, but think about it this way: do y'all want your blues happy or sad?  Classically speaking, the idea is based around the Melodic Minor scale where the 6th and 7th degrees are raised when ascending and lowered when descending.  Another way to approach this is through the use of the Major Pentatonic scale, which emphasizes the interval between the 6th and the tonic.  Because the blues is built around dominant seventh chords, the rules of tonality can be bent stylistically depending on how you want your blues to sound.  When using the standard Blues Scale, melodies tend to sound minor with some attitude, whereas with the Major Pentatonic, melodies sound more glorious.  So, why would we want to bend the rules of music?  Because it's "CARNIVAL TIME!"


Here's a YouTube video of, you guessed it, "CARNIVAL TIME!"

Recommended reading: Improvise.: Scene From The Inside Out by Mick Napier.  Published by Heinemann Drama.