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Take Two

Marmaduke The Contrafact

According to Wikipedia: "A contrafact is a musical work based on a prior work. The term comes from classical music and has only since the 1940s been applied to jazz, where it is still not standard. In classical music, contrafacts have been used as early as the parody mass and In Nomine  of the 16th century.  .... In jazz, a contrafact is a musical composition consisting of a new melody overlaid on a familiar harmonic structure. As a compositional device, it was of particular importance in the 1940s development of bop, since it allowed jazz musicians to create new pieces for performance and recording on which they could immediately improvise, without having to seek permission or pay publisher fees for copyrighted materials (while melodies can be copyrighted, the underlying harmonic structure cannot be)."

The Charlie Parker All Stars recorded Marmaduke in 1948. It is a contrfact based on Andy Razaf and Fats Waller's Honeysuckle Rose. It is interesting that many of the original tunes bop musicians chose, such as Honeysuckle Rose, were standards in the traditional repertoire - the tune was written in 1929.

There are so many fine versions of Honeysuckle Rose online, but it seems only right that our first 'take' should feature Fats Waller:


Listen to it here:

And so to Charlie Parker's contrafact, Marmaduke. It was recorded in 1948 for the Savoy label by Charlie Parker's All Stars, so included Miles Davis (trumpet), Charlie Parker (alto sax), John Lewis (piano), Curley Russell (bass) and  Max Roach (drums).


Listen to it here:

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