Celebration of Soul

from by Josh Maxey

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    Miles High Records is handling the digital distribution of Celebration. It is on iTunes, Amazon, eMusic and many other sites. You can get the music directly from me as a CD. $19.78 includes shipping and an immediate download of the album.

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about

The title track of Celebration of Soul is a style of song writing that I had a few cracks at on previous records before I wrote this one. A similar format was the song Highest Mountain from Rhythm of the Sound Current. Some songs are written with the chords first and then finding the melody over those chords. An early example in the series of that is Dear Ones. There are songs that both ideas write themselves at the same time. That happened early on with Theme Song (both those are on Approach). This is how the majority of my songs are written.

A little later, I started using a third way of writing that composed the first part of the song without thinking too much about the structure that it created for the solo section. I had learned from the repertoire of jazz standards that the 'head' of the tune and the solo sections were generally the same. I think the first that I tried something a little different with was The Tombs from Light Cycles. That song and a few others lead to Celebration of Soul.

The written section at the beginning is a mix of a couple of ideas. The intro on guitar and drums is also in the form that we improvise over. The first riff you hear is a short 5 note phrase followed by a melodic statement moving contrary to the first phase. The subsequent descending chords are really what the tune is based on. The form repeated before it moves to the 2nd half. The second half references the earlier tune, The Tombs and it's first half is made up of rhythmic chord hits. I wanted this song to have a powerful feeling and big chords on the guitar with organ, drums and saxophone brings that to life. The next phrase is a descending idea that appears in different forms through the series (see the bridge of Part III of the Language) and it references what I learned from one of my biggest influences, Nathan Page.

In a nod to AABA form, the descending chords of the first sections return to bring the written section to a close and begin the improvisation on the repeated form.

At some point over the years I began to think of all forms as derivative of blues. This is one of those forms. It changes between two tonalities and the 2nd half of the solo form is taken from the B section of the written part of the song followed by the chords that are in the intro.

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from Celebration of Soul, released August 18, 2015

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Josh Maxey Denver, Colorado

Celebration of Soul is the 10th album recorded in 3 years documenting 50 original compositions with 20 musicians. It has been released on Miles High Records and is the first of the series on a label. Check out all the music here! Play it loud and enjoy! ... more

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