1. Roll Jordan Roll; 2. Dangdut
Roll Jordan Roll’ (movement one) is a series of genre variations on the African-American spiritual of the same name. The melody was transcribed from a 78rpm recording of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and in turn, this appeared on the 1962 Folkways LP entitled An Introduction to Gospel Song. In my version, the listener will hear my own harmonization followed sequentially by pastiches of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Lennie Tristano, Anton Webern, and Thelonious Monk, in turn.
‘Dangdut’ (movement two) is a direct transcription of an Indonesian street musician called Mas Sujud. He and the tune appeared on a 1982 Kiwi-Pacific Records Ltd./Hibiscus Records LP called Music for Sale (Indonesian street music recorded by Jack Body). In the original, the singer accompanies himself on a small drum, and in my version, the piano part was generated solely by the notes in the melody and rhythms played by the drum. The sax part plays the melody.
This piece was recorded in 1991 by Taimur Sullivan (sax) and Allissa Eells (piano) with funding from the American (then Minnesota) Composers Forum.