Book of Unstandards is an empowering anthology of
music for the performer in much the same way that jazzs body of standard
repertoire serves as a mere, yet vital, outline to individualistic, expressive
performance. Like every important composer in jazz and the classical world,
Chalfant has tapped into the essence of song, which never lets the actual composition
get in the way of the music. Dmitri Ekshtut, JazzImprov Magazine
Book of Unstandards came into being with many twists
and turns. The first idea I had was in 2002 when I wanted to have a collection
of poems and sketches for improvisation. In 2003 I went through my entire filing
cabinet and catalogued every composition, fragment or title that I could find.
I excluded most of my performance pieces that were only documented on video
or audio recordings.
I struggled for the next three years with exactly how the book should be presented.
Should I only do sketches? Should I include poetry or not? Should I include
pieces with non-conventional notation? Should I write arrangements for the sketches?
Should I add chord changes to the pieces with melody only? Should I update scores
for earlier years to my current thinking? Should I