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Book details
  • Genre:MUSIC
  • SubGenre:Genres & Styles / Jazz
  • Language:English
  • Pages:32
  • eBook ISBN:9781467563697

The Jazz Compositions of Edo Castro - For Small Ensemble

by Edo Castro

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This book is a culmination of the music that I have written over the past 36 years. This is not all of the music I’ve written but the ones I felt represented major turning points in my writing. The way I have presented the material here is very much like that of the original “Fake books” - with a single staff and chord symbols above the written melody below. It was my intent to leave out bass parts on certain songs and leave it up to the performer to create their own bass lines. Granted I did write down a few bass parts for certain tunes but in essence left out most of my created bass parts so that the performer could draw on their own ideas. My only other note per song was to establish the "feel" by denoting "Funk" or "Straight Eight Feel", etc. I encourage you to refer to the original recordings from my CDs whenever possible as a starting point. Enjoy exploring my musical world. - EDO
This book is a culmination of the music that I have written over the past 36 years. This is not all of the music I’ve written but the ones I felt represented major turning points in my writing. I grew up with a piano in the house. No one was really musically inclined and there’s no recollection of anyone seriously playing it. There are vague memories of my mother playing “Clementine” while I sang along, but I can’t confirm that. So the piano was dusted and cleaned once a week, otherwise sitting idle. Then one day I opened the piano and just started to play, making up songs, alone at the piano. No words, just instrumental meanderings. I was untrained and unguided. My ideas were simple and naïve. My grandmother even paid my cousin one summer to give me piano lessons. Despite showing a particular knack for the piano, I hated practicing and hated having to read music. It wasn’t until my late teens that I took an interest in reading and writing music. (But that was several years later.) I wrote my first Jazz tune while in a college Brazilian Percussion class. The instructor said, “I’d like to perform some original music written by you.” I heard that and jumped on the opportunity. Hearing it performed, I was completely hooked. At that point my destiny was laid out before me. That first tune was a simple D minor Blues called “Blue Asia;” followed that same year by a composition for Gamelan called “After The Rain,” published in 1982 by American Composer, Lou Harrison. Still unguided, I wrote many “not-so-note-worthy” tunes. (There were a few gems in between.) It wasn’t until under the tutelage of Frank Mantooth that my work evolved and matured. His guidance was key to my confidence as a composer. I enjoyed our private sessions where he questioned my harmonic choices and challenged my ideas. He often praised my work but jokingly chided my bass playing by telling me to stop listening to that “ECM stuff” and start learning how to “swing.” (That is another story.) He referred to me in class as “Jazz Edo.” He continued to call me this after my graduation in 1987, and up until his passing on January 30, 2004. This book is dedicated to the memory of Frank Mantooth. “Frank, I am learning how to swing.” — Edo
About the author
Born in San Francisco to mother Aida Saberi, Edo was an only child from Aida’s first marriage. Later Aida remarried and had two more sons, Thomas & Ted Saberi. Edo attended Grattan Elementary, Herbert Hoover Junior High and J. Eugene McAteer High schools, all in the city by the bay. Edo grew up during the tumultuous 60s, where from an early age he was exposed to a myriad of musical styles, listening not only to rock and roll and R&B, but classical music, folk and jazz. His first Jazz albums were given to him by his late Uncle, recording engineer pioneer Reice Hamel. From these, Edo was first exposed to and smitten by the sounds of Vince Giraldi, Hugh Masekela, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, Ramsey Lewis and Paul Desmond. Edo initially studied piano and violin. But when a friend suggested that he try the electric bass, he knew he had found his instrument and did everything he could to immerse himself in it, seeking out and learning whatever he could from whoever would take the time to teach him. Edo attended Humboldt State University in northern California. With less than three years playing bass, he bought an acoustic bass and auditioned for the music department at San Jose State University. While studying there, he met musicians from across the country. He was so inspired by their sound, he moved to Chicago in 1982, his uncle’s hometown, to pursue his music education. He studied at DePaul University for a year, then completed his studies at the American Conservatory of Music, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1987 with a focus on jazz studies and electric bass. During his time at the Conservatory in Chicago, Edo rose through the musical ranks, often recommended for gigs by his teachers. By the time Edo graduated from the Conservatory, Chicago Magazine had noted him as “One of Chicago’s finest.” He continued to hone his craft in Chicago until 1990 when he returned to the Bay Area. Edo’s formative years were spent developing his skills in various funk, jazz and rock bands in the Bay Area and Chicago. In the late 70’s Edo studied and Performed with Lou Harrison and Gamelan Si Betty. This led to one of his first compositions for American Gamelan being published by Lou Harrison. Since his return to the Bay Area in 1990, Edo has worked on 20 CD projects and has performed/recorded with David Amram, Mark Walker, Hassan Kahn , Pete Cosey, Roy Haynes, Fareed Haque, David Onderdonk, Ed Thigpen, Johnny Griffin, Joel Harrison, Jim Trompeter, Ian Doogle, Deborah Winters, Jill Knight, Paul Van Wageningen, Caroline Aiken, Dan Zinn, Bethany Pickens, Michael LaMacchia, Armando Peraza, Caren Armstrong, Percy Howard, Mike Molenda, Stuart Hamm, Lorn Leber, Michael Manring, Mark Egan, Yves Carbonne, and David Friesen. Edo’s fan base stretches the globe (with sales in Norway, Switzerland, Germany, France, Japan, Spain, Argentina, Italy and England) where he has found praise and recognition for his unique musical talents and his joyous and transfixing compositions, and recognized internationally for his rare proficiency on several varieties of the extended-range bass. Edo is an endorser of Conklin Basses, Bee Basses and AccuGroove Cabinets, and GHS Strings.