Cedar Walton Big Band Project - Day 6 Clockwise


Clockwise is one of Cedar Walton's most challenging compositions. The chord changes to the A section of the tune provide insight into some of Cedar's compositional tools and also reiterate the influence of Art Tatum. The A section features major chords succeeded by dominant chords a tri-tone away. The tune goes through 8 key centers (a tough to blow over!). Tatum has influenced (and continues to influence) jazz musicians with his use of harmonic substitutions (tri-tone subs in particular). Like many pianists, Cedar loves dominant chords and tri-tone subs. We hear this in his interpretation of standards and also in his compositions. Walton originals like Hindsight and Clockwise contain a number of tri-tone substitutions. Additionally, each tune travels through many key centers. 

Cedar recorded this tune in 1979 with his Eastern Rebellion group with Bob Berg, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins. Curtis Fuller joined the group for part of the recording (playing on Clockwise and Firm Roots which were recorded in 1979 the other tunes on the record were recorded in 1977). Bobby Hutcherson also recorded Clockwise in 1979. What is particularly noteworthy about this recording (in regards to my project of arranging Cedar's music in the big band setting) is that it's one of the largest groups to date to record one of Cedar's tunes.  

Clockwise - Bobby Hutcherson, Conception: The Gift of Love


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