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by C. Michael Bailey
As viewed through a jazz prism, what is a variation if not an improvisation written down? A transcription of Coleman Hawkin's famous 1939 recording of Body and Soul" is no different than Bach's Goldberg Variations or Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. All examples present a theme and then melodic variations over the harmonic structure of the theme, and many of the most famous composers wrote variations on their own or other composer's work. French pianist Vanessa Wagner chooses an eclectic ...read more