Playing Keith Jarrett’s “Grow Your Own”

Here’s my (our) latest Journey Through The Real Book video. It’s #142 which means we’re nearing the 3-year mark! (At one video per week, it’ll take about 8 years to complete the entire book.)

“Grow Your Own” is an early Keith Jarrett tune which to my ears reflects the influence of composer Steve Swallow, who played bass on the original recording (Gary Burton and Keith Jarrett, from 1971). In fact, Swallow is one of the largely unsung heros of the early jazz fusion scene, particularly around the Boston area where Jarrett had the Berklee College of Music for a while. Chick Corea and Gary Burton were both on the Boston scene and played a bunch of Swallow’s compositions too.

The song is unusual for “jazz” or even fusion because the harmonies are largely triadic, with only a few 7ths thrown in for good measure. The underlying rock beat is very typical of the popular music of the time and it’s fun to hear how the chords move around in unexpected ways, which was also typical of the time. In this sense, parts of the tune remind me of Vince Guaraldi’s musical work for the “Peanuts” (Charlie Brown) television shows.

Here’s the video of me discussing and playing this fun, lively tune. Give it a try yourself and you’ll find that you’ll be expanding your musical horizons in challenging and artistically rewarding ways.

Grow Your Own: Journey Through The Real Book #142

And here’s the original recording, to compare it with:

Thanks for being here, and “let the music flow!”


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