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Jonathan Kreisberg´s “Autumn In New York”

I´m always amazed by Kreisbergs arranging, but this live version of Autumn In New York at Jazz Baltica (2008) is probably my favorite arrangement from this genius. It´s a perfect case study for voice leading and counterpoint, the dynamics are perfectly executed and his improvisation is as beautiful as always. You can download the PDF of the tune arrangement and Kreisberg´s improv at the end of the page (for free!). In the meantime, I´ll show you a couple of my favorite things about this performance. However, there´s so much musical information worthwhile studying that I really suggest you study the score in depth.

I´d love to hear your favorite thing about this particular performance in the comments!

The first thing I want to talk about is this beautiful intro. Kreisberg plays these open chords followed by a D pedal. The voices in each chord either stay where they are, go up half a step or up a whole step. The results sound amazing. The subtle and organic ascending movements leads to beautiful harmonies that work perfectly in the context of the tune, such as that last C7(11). It really goes to show the sheer power of voice leading.

Kresiberg´s use of constant rhythmic patterns is a very powerful arranging tool. While keeping the same ascending arpeggio shape in the tuplets, he navigates through the harmony with a new, interesting texture that is legitimized by repetition. He uses similar patterns to fill out the harmony throughout the tune. Somehow reminds me of Chopin.

Alright, last thing I want to talk about. If you´ve heard Kreisberg´s improv in this tune, then you probably realized he goes a bit berserk rhythmically speaking from time to time. However, I feel like this is a perfect example on how to be rhythmically interesting while being relatively simple and melodic about it. It´s just some triplets placed the right way with a clear and concise lyrical concept.

As promised, here´s the free PDF.

If you´re interested in this kind of content, make sure to follow my blog and check out some of the other transcriptions I´ve uploaded. Happy learning!

Eduardo Faour

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