Sunday, January 8, 2012

All That Jazz: Consider Me Gone

Sting: Consider Me Gone


Here’s one way to find songs for this week’s theme. Look up Dream of the Blue Turtles on Wikipedia, find the section where it lists the personnel on the album, and then follow the links to find out what else they each played on. You will find that this band had some serious jazz credentials, and that they went on to work with many mainstream artists who wanted to add a taste of jazz to their sound, if only for a song or two. Indeed, Sting said in interviews at the time that he was looking for the looseness and freedom that jazz offered for his debut as a solo artist. The title track from The Dream of the Blue Turtles was actually a jam session that was not even planned in advance, and it shows how good this band was. But, of the songs that Sting wrote coming into the sessions, Consider Me Gone best shows off the jazz qualities that came out in this music. Firstly, the song swings. But there are also some subtleties that surely come from the world of jazz. Listen to how the phrasing in Sting’s vocal line changes from verse to verse. Notice the little ornamental figures that Omar Hakim sneaks in on the drums. And then notice how the song’s tight groove loosens as the song comes to a close. The song runs just over four minutes, but it sounds like the band is just getting started, and like they jammed for another two or three minutes at least. I would love to hear what happened next.

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