hey doc-z,

sorry for the delay in getting this posted- i've been a little busier than i thought.  anyway, i promised i would give you some of my suggestions for your how high the moon performance so, here goes:

the idea of having an introduction around a sequence of ii-v's is a good one, although the arrival of the melody seems a little unexpected, even though theoretically you are using harmony that fits.  the last chord you hit before the melody is d7 - a perfectly logical choice as you are going to the i chord of g major.  however, the previous cycle has set up a pattern that seems to need breaking before you can introduce the tune.  why not hit a g major chord to break the pattern and then harmonise the intro notes  over am7 and d7?  hopefully the first example midi i've posted in the files section will show you what i mean (example 1).

the basic interpretation of the tune is fine.  i like the way that you have made the melody fairly prominent and despite your fears, note wise it's also fine.  the one thing that i think your file lacks is some kind of groove.   in most cases you should either play free tempo or stick to a solid tempo throughout and i think you're just falling between the two stools at the moment - it's not free enough or steady enough to be one or the other.  there are times when you get some nice walking-type bass movement going just using the root and fifth and i think you could expand on this to make it feel more solid.

i like the idea you had of trying to change the rhythmic feel towards the end of the song (around bar 42) but it's often a good idea to restrict those kinds of changes to section changes.  in other words, this tune consists of two sixteen bar sections that are more or less the same.  it can be more effective to make a change when the 'b' or second section comes around so that it emphasises the repeat of the melody but treats it in a different way.  in the version you posted, it kind of felt like you ran out of bars and had to stop just as you were getting going.  if you are going to make that kind of change, you would seem to have a couple of options based on what you did in your file.  you could either:

1.  start the a section in a free tempo and drop into a walking 4 or 2 feel bass for the b section  (example 2).  in the example, i've kept to a two-feel using just root and fifth for each chord but of course you can expand on that by adding chromatic passing notes etc.

2.  start with a solid bass and then get into the more rhythmic chording for the b section.

i have roughly recorded the example midis of just to give you an idea of what i mean.  i am trying to use the same types of voicings and basslines as you did in your midi so that, hopefully, you can easily try to recreate it yourself.  

finally, i hope that you don't think that these lengthy suggestions are overly critical as they are not meant  to be and these suggestions are all based around stuff that you are already doing.  i think you have a good grasp of the a+b type voicings and you obviously have some good ideas for arranging pieces.    maybe you just aren't always sure how to execute the ideas that you do have.  

i hope that you find some of this advice useful and that you can take it in the spirit it was meant - that of an honest desire to help.

i'd love to hear another attempt at the tune if you have the time  or the inclination.  

regards

barry
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