Part 1: Flute (C)/Alto Sax (Eb)/Trumpet, Soprano Sax (Bb)
Part 2: Trombone (C)/Alto Sax (Eb)Trumpet (Bb)/Tenor Sax (Bb)
Part 3: Trombone (C)/Baritone Sax (Eb)/Tenor Sax (Bb)
Piano, Guitar, Bass, Drums
As an American jazz artist and educator based in South Africa since 1999, this is one in a set of pieces that reflect my musical and other experiences in this fascinating country.
Night Fright! – Ubusuky Ukuthuka! was composed while on Fulbright with the family to Durban, Kwazulu-Natal. Kwazulu-Natal is set in subtropical, sub-saharan Africa with pounding summer rains and relentless humidity. One night after a shower and in bed with a recent copy of David Hajdu’s biography of Billy Strayhorn entitled Lush Life, I was nearly frightened out of my skin when the largest bug I’ve ever seen fell directly onto the pages of my book. My wife came running thinking I was being murdered by the sound of my screams - thus truly a Ubusuky Ukuthuka! - Night Fright!
This is a fun blues to play. The opening vamp can be repeated any number of times. However it’s important to create a freaky, frightful atmosphere by using sparse and scary effects in the intro. Letter A is on cue. Play the accented eighth-notes in bars 4-5 short, straight, but with a meaty and heavy-noted feel. I think my scream can be heard in measure six of letter A. The last four bars of A has a relaxed swing feel to it; the bass should walk here with the remaining rhythm section players changing also to a 4/4 jazz feel. The bass and rhythm section should back to the funky, opening feel for solos at letter B. The rhythm section may choose and have the flexibility to walk/swing during certain solos. Solo backgrounds at letter C are on cue. Let your drummer solo on the D. C. over the opening vamp figure. You have the option to re-introduce the freaky effects as long as they don’t take the focus off your drummer. After the final statement of the melody have the rhythm section delay the last chord Ab/F - play this on cue while the horns are holding the trill.
All the trills are to be played slow and expressive. Try to imagine the bug!!!
Night Fright! – Ubusuky Ukuthuka! can be heard on the CD “Two in One: Mike Rossi & Ulrich Suesse” (MRUS 4074).