The Upsie Doodle
composed on 07/09/16
I wrote this blues when my son, Ben was about 2 months old. These were long days, spent sitting on the floor in a fenced off area of our living room while Ben would roll around on the ground and my wife, Chelsea and I would bask in his cuteness. The Upsie Doodle was one of his first acrobatic feats, getting him from lying on his back to a standing position with me assisting by pulling his arms while he tensed his legs. It was a real crowd-pleaser. I wrote this on one of those days while Ben was on the ground doing his thing. I picked up a ukulele and this tune wrote itself. The influence of Charlie Parker, Bud Powell and Miles Davis is evident (tunes like “Sippin’ at Bells” and “Dance of the Infidels”) and I feel like Charlie Haden’s approach to blues composition (“Sunday at the Hillcrest”) is also present. I like how the intros’ somewhat seamless transition into the melody can disorient the listener. The changes are a bit different from a standard jazz blues in its use of the “back door” (the Cm7 to F7 back to the tonic) as well as the Amin7b5 for a II chord. I haven’t played this live yet with the exception of a few private get togethers but a combo at Saddleback College did an arrangement of it and played it at a concert.