The Inspiration and the Composition:
Tumbleweed was loosely inspired by the music of Lennie Tristano who wrote many wonderful melodies over standard harmonic progressions. I enjoy working out contrafacts over standards and I wrote this 8th note melody over one of my older songs (which has now become the slow moving bridge melody). Originally I wrote the song for a trio I was playing with briefly in New York, comprised of Matt Jorganson on drums and Gary Versace on organ; James Mahone also joined us a few times on alto sax as well. The song was one of my first attempts to write something in 5/4; in the late 90′s I began working on meters other than 3/4 and 4/4 being influenced by all the great odd meter composing going on in the city. Hearing composers like Eric Rasmussen helped me realize how interesting it sounded to get away from common meters like 4/4 and 3/4. I’ve yet to write anything as metrically complex as Eric’s music, as I’m usually content staying in just one or two meters per song. The eight note melody incorporates the use of some triads and approach notes that are not found in the melodic minor scales commonly associated with the chords.
Leonard Thompson plays a beautiful keyboard solo on this song which also features Jason Harnell on drums, David J. Carpenter on Bass, Joel Peloquin on Guitar and Matt Otto on tenor sax.