Dance Suite No.1 (1977)
for Piano Solo
1.  Voodoo Woman


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In 1977 I started an improvisatory ensemble.  It was modeled after some then-current jazz ensembles, except it did not have a drummer.  Our "solo" sections turned into group free improvisation segments, piquing my interest in free improvisation, a trait which has continued ever since.  For the ensemble, I wrote several tunes.  During the summer, I used these tunes to create several piano pieces.  I orchestrated the first two suites.  "Treadmill" and "Voodoo Woman" were performed, but my impression was that I had made some miscalculations and the orchestrations were too busy.  Treadmill for orchestra was retained, but I did not pursue performance of any of the others.

After writing "Voodoo Woman", I performed Choros No. 10 by H. Villa Lobos with the Phoenix Symphony.  The last movement of that work uses music from a Voodoo ritual in Brazil.  It is a very exciting movement.  It also is the same visceral rhythm I use in Voodoo Woman, which caused me to change the name of the piece to what it is now.