Zubatto Syndicate

A new world of Big Band music

Release Week: A Song A Day, Part 5

Posted by on Jun 4, 2011

To celebrate the official release of Zubatto Syndicate, we’ll be sharing one song from the record each day with some behind-the-scenes thoughts about the music. We’re also offering the download of Zubatto Syndicate as “pay what you want” from now until the release party on June 11th! Pay nothing or pay $20 – you decide.

The Green Boy From Hurrah (Z2)

I was experimenting one day with a 7/8 samba – just playing it and clapping along – and realized that I was hearing the whole thing a full sixteenth note off from where it really was. That is, what I thought was the downbeat really wasn’t at all. I worked some more on it and started to get it, but in a flash of insight, suddenly saw myself trying to lead 11 other musicians through the same process. So I changed it to how I was actually hearing it.
The result was a cool 7 – not the usual 7 – that had a very definite groove and immediately suggested a bass line and some repeating motifs. I think that the melody is one of the catchiest that I wrote for Zubatto (maybe that I have written ever), so much so that my girlfriend started to sing or whistle it after I had been working on the piano for a while.

It would be impossible for me to overstate the virtues of Byron Vannoy and his importance to this band. For every tune, I tried to provide a solid drum part that represented what I was thinking and hearing for the music. Byron took each song and brought the drum part to life, either building on what I had written or replacing it entirely with something better. For this tune, Byron took to that 7 groove and made it his own. For the recording sessions, he brought his full kit, including this cool sounding little Chinese cymbal he had (I think he said he found it for a few dollars somewhere) and you can really hear it on this song.

Solos are by Chad McCullough (trumpet), Greg Sinibaldi (tenor) and Tim Carey (bass). The song begins with a short drum solo by Byron.
One of the earliest mentions of “Little Green Men” is from a 1899 story in the Atlanta Constitution called “The Green Boy From Hurrah.” “Hurrah” is the aliens’ own name for their homeworld, which is likely Mars.

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