There is more to "The Blues" than a specific twelve bar chord progression. The character or "feeling" of the music and Iyrics has more to do with making the blues 'blue" than the harmonic progression upon which it is based. It is. however, this basic twelve bar progression that is the unifying factor of the music of this collection. The character of some of the music (Fiddlin' Blue. Ska Blue, Hound Dog, Straight No Chaser has wandered quite far from that of the original "black man and guitar singing lyrics bemoaning his lot in life." I would hope, how ever, that this true blues character is apparent in most of the other pieces.

To my ear Harlem Nocturne strongly exhibits this feeling of "bluesness", in spite of the fact that it is the one piece on the CD that does not adhere to the standard blues form. Ska Blue is an example of the blues in an Afro-Caribbean incarnation.

Bela's Got Da Blues begins with a literal rendition of the first eleven bars of the slow movement of the Bartok Viola Concerto, which is so close to the blues in both form and feeling that it requires only minimal alteration to turn it into the straight ahead blues that follows. Hound Dog gives the nod to ' Classic Rock" which certainly could not have evolved as it did without the blues Electric Landlady is my tribute to cousin Jimi a practitioner of the blues in what was at the time an avant garde setting. Beginning and ending with Thelonius Monk tunes ends a certain symmetry to the project that we "legit" composers find attractive. Blue Monk has a ways been a favorite of mine, and felt it made o good overture to the album. My search for on up tempo tune with which to end, led me to Straight No Chaser a be-bop standard based on the blues changes.