Ken Hatfield "Nine Jazz Duets For Guitar And Bass"


Ken Hatfield
Nine Jazz Duets For Guitar And Bass
The Story
The "Nine Jazz Duets For Guitar And Bass" folio contains compositions in standard notation written for a specific instrumentation: guitar and bass duo. Instead of writing these pieces as lead sheets and leaving it to the players to create their own parts, guitarist Ken Hatfield conceived these works as through-composed with improvisational sections functioning in a manner similar to the developmental sections of classical compositions. However Hatfield wanted the music to come from the jazz tradition. To achieve a balance between these potentially contradictory goals, he chose to through-compose the heads (thematic material, e.g., exposition, recapitulation, etc.), leave the improvisational sections open for blowing on chord changes derived from the thematic material, and construct episodes which facilitate seamless movement between the sections.

There is a long history of similar approaches employed by jazz composers such as Duke Ellington and Gil Evans; however, Hatfield had not encountered these techniques in printed form for guitar and bass.

In deciding to publish the scores of these compositions, Hatfield is encouraging classical guitarists to explore the terrain of the jazz musician, and jazz guitarists to explore some of the polyphonic techniques and voice leading methods traditionally associated with classical composition.

Hatfield hopes that his fellow guitarists find these works as fulfilling to play as he did to compose.

Additional Facts
Ken Hatfield's compositional experience includes commssions to write ballet scores for Judith Jamison and the Washington Ballet Company as well as for the Maurice Bejart Ballet Company. ASCAP has recognized his accomplishments by presenting him with its Composition Award for each of the past nine years.

In addition to performing with his ensemble, Ken has performed and/or recorded with Charlie Byrd, Jack McDuff, Chico Hamilton, Jimmy McGriff, Melissa Manchester, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Stephanie Mills, Linda Hopkins, Billy Daniels, Pat Benatar, Maurice Hines, Charles Aznavour, Bob Cranshaw, Grady Tate, Harold Mabern, Brian Torff, Marcus Miller, Kenny Kirkland, Dom Salvafor, Ben E. King, Eddie Kendricks, Marlena Shaw, Vivian Reed, and Z.Z. Hill.

Ken's formal education includes study at the Berklee College of Music, where he joined the faculty at the age of 19 after one year's attendance, and the State University of New York, where he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts.

"Ken's command of the classical guitar... is formidable and ...he is a serious voice on this instrument."

Randall Kremer, Just Jazz Guitar magazine

"I like the compositions, especially the sonata, a major undertaking, very well executed. The playing is damned good too."

Charlie Byrd, Solo Artist

"...his creativity, technique, and general musicality are always a delight."

Charles Chapman, Just Jazz Guitar magazine