Candy Dulfer – Xotica

I’m so glad that I found this album, and this track in particular. It’s my favorite by far. It’s a very beautiful ballad. The track opens with a bass pattern that repeats throughout the track. Candy comes in with some beautiful improvisation. Although there are drums and keys in the background, it feels more to me like a duet between the bass and alto. The bass and alto do play the melody line together at the end of the track, but it’s fairly short. I could listen to this for hours – I wish they had stretched it out more!

I’m hard pressed to categorize this as anything other than jazz. In a way it reminds of me of old ‘fusion’ tracks from bands like Steps Ahead or the Yellowjackets. Candy’s tone is so beautiful on this track – bright but soulful. And she doesn’t overplay anything, it’s very tastefully done throughout and builds gently to a beautiful conclusion.

Ballads are always the most challenging to transcribe. The time feels so loose and the subdivisions are so precise. I had to pull out all of my tricks to accurately capture what was happening rhythmically. And then I went back to simplify things a bit to make it actually readable.

Even so, it’s a challenge to play – not because of the technique but because of the rhythms. This is one of those cases where it would be much easier to memorize the track than it would be to read it, but both are valuable skills to have.

Note – the track I have skips a half a beat six bars from the end. I don’t know why, it sounds like a bad edit. I tried to fill in the blanks as best I could and then play around the edit.



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