A novel is like classical music: the composer is in control of the melody, the counter-melodies, the harmony, the developmental modulations through key changes, the tempo and rhythm. Each performance will sound basically the same although listeners may be able to hear nuanced alterations in interpretation, and each listener will pick up on varied aspects that speak to him/her differently. In jazz the composer may start out being in control of the melody – although not really, as jazz players will seldom just play the notes as written, will usually immediately tease and tinker with them. The jazz composer also can’t maintain absolute control of the rhythm – any composition can be changed to samba or basa nova or up-tempo. The chord changes? Miles Davis was known to alter the chord changes to suit what he wanted to do. Every time the piece is performed, it’s a brand new experience: tempo, harmony, structure, duration, and especially the improvised solos – all are developed each time by the particular musicians who perform. Every time surprising, every time different, based on new emotions and discoveries. I hope this book is more like jazz than like a novel.
—From the foreword of Something Wrong With Her
In 2010, Jadid Ibis Productions and Cris Mazza commissioned jazz and fusion composer Van Decker to write a 3-movement jazz suite as the soundtrack for Something Wrong With Her. Van and Mark Rasmussen – the MarkR who appears throughout Something Wrong With Her – were both members of Standing Room Only, a jazz combo in Southern California. Van started the composition that became Time Stoll by reading excerpts from the manuscript. As Van completed each movement and lay down tracks for the rhythm and chords, Mark met him in his studio to record the tenor saxophone solos. When all the tracks were laid – including Van’s lyrical solos on guitar and piano – Cris went to the studio to record the spoken parts.
Time Stroll is taken from two jazz terms used as subtitles in the book:
Time feel: “(1) the subjective impression of the beat and how long a bar is, or the emotional quality of the rhythm.”
Stroll: “Omit the piano. A soloist (on a horn) strolls when he plays for a time with bass and drums only (or maybe the pianist strolls outside to have a smoke).”
Time Stroll will be available as a download from Jadid Ibis Productions, and is also available in CD.