Alive & Kickin' 

     I wrote the song Alive & Kickin’ in the spring of 2006. I keep a folder of music ideas that come to me. I was going through the folder and found the basic motif that makes up the beginning of the melody. I then developed the rest of the first 8 measures (A section) based on some chromatic ideas that I was working on at that time. The song is in AABA form (A=basic melody, A=same basic melody, B=different melody, & then A=basic melody from the beginning). Then I wrote chords for the A section that I had just finished. After playing the A section over and over, which is in the key of G minor, I decided to use the subdominant chord (iv) of G minor, (C minor), as the key of the B section. The B section has a lot of melodic ideas from classic jazz and is influenced a lot by Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie’s tunes in minor keys. I also feel as though the whole tune is reminiscent of Wes Montgomery’s tunes like 4 on 6 and The Road Song.
     At the time I was playing in an organ based group and we called ourselves Alive & Kickin’. So that is where I got the name for the tune. A lot of my students like playing Alive & Kickin’; it has a cool vibe about it that makes it fun to play at up-tempos. The first recording of this song that I did was recorded slowly because it was a new tune and the band wasn’t used to it. In 2006, I finally recorded it the way I heard it in my head with Jeff Hufnagle on piano, Jim Leslie on drums, Chris Berg on bass and myself on guitar. I hope you enjoy listening to it!