This was written in 1998. I’m sure it was influenced by the compositions of Bill Evan’s like “Walking Up” and “34 Skidoo”. I seemed to have stumbled on a symmetrical harmonic pattern using Major tonalities descending in minor thirds and then using a ii V to shift into the same progression up a half step. The bridge superimposes a 4/4 feel over the 3/4 time signature, very in keeping with Bill Evans’ mannerisms. The melody uses 3 bar phrases over the 4 bar harmonic scheme. The combination of all of these harmonic and time feel shifts felt very “bright” to me, hence the title “Staring At The Sun”. I’ve since learned that there are songs with the same title by U2 and The Offspring. This was not a consideration at the time. I have a few notable memories of playing this tune. One was at a session at pianist, Rich Eames’ home studio, I think with Jeff D’Angelo and Mark Ferber. We got a very nice studio recording of it but I never got a copy of it. I don’t know if it still exists. The other was for an audition for the Jazz Ambassador program with Joe Bagg and Mark Ferber. We recorded it in Joe’s living room in Riverside along with a few other originals and some obscure Ellington tunes.
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