1. Kanata

From the recording Kanata

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1st Movement of Kanata Suite
Composed by: Brandon Goodwin
Key: B minor
Time Signature: 4/4
Feel: Uptempo Swing

Masashi Usui - Tenor Saxophone
Joe Ferracuti - Piano
Brandon Goodwin - Drums

This tune was derived from a poem in the Tao Te Ching, which was translated into morse code and then transcribed into recognizable rhythms. These rhythms were used as the framework of the piece. The melody is the opening sentence of the poem, and the rhythm punches throughout the opening and closing statements of the melody are also words from this poem.
This movement is a drum feature, the first feature of the suite. Brandon improvises into a statement of the melody, which he states 3 times, before moving into the statement of the melody with the rest of the group. From there it moves into the improvisational section. Masashi and Joe both take solos before Brandon takes a drum solo over a rhythm section vamp. From there they move into the final statement of the melody with Brandon keeping up the intensity from his drum solo into the final climax which abruptly ends and leads into an interlude that features bassist Alec Safy.

This piece begins with a one minute drum introduction, which states the melody before ascending into the main body of this movement with the rest of the group. The first solo is taken by Masashi whose incredibly lyrical-style of improvisation sets the tone for the rest of the suite; lyrical but virtuosic, intense but subtle. From Masashi’s solo Joe takes a playful improvisation that shows hints of Mal Waldron. Joe’s solo leads into a drum feature where Brandon pulls out all the stops and takes a blistering solo over a rhythm section vamp. This leads directly back into the theme of the piece (which is based off of a morse code transcription of Buddhist text), but Brandon doesn’t let up, he keeps the intensity right until the last note, pretty much continuing his solo throughout the last statement of the theme.

From the last note of “Kanata” comes one of the most moving moments of the suite, which is a solo bass interlude performed by Alec Safy. His soulful improvisation subtly bridges Movement I (Kanata) with Movement II (Syrian Lullaby). But Alec’s solo doesn’t just bridge two very different movements into a cohesive suite, he makes his own personal imprint onto the music.