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Zwee Dot: “The Father” by Gregory Dudzienski

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

By Kelly Sill

In this month’s “Zwee Dot,” Kelly Sill shares his listening notes to the to the Gregory Dudzienski composition “The Father” from the Gregory Dudzienski Quartet’s 2020 album, Beautiful Moments.

“The Father”

from the Gregory Dudzienski Quartet’s

Beautiful Moments

2020, Origin Records

Gregory Dudzienski – Composer, tenor saxophone

Chris White – Piano

Kelly Sill – Bass

Jeff Stitely – Drums

0:01 And the cut begins

0:06 It’s a vamp

0:13 Gives the drummer a lot of freedom to do a lot of stuff

0:20 Saxophone comes in—nice piano part

0:27 Very simple and pleasing melody line

0:33 Notice [it goes] to a major key with a walking bass line—nice contrast

0:40 And now back to the original figure with a different chord

0:47 Turning around to the original key

0:52 Probably second in-head

0:56 Even though it’s one chord, pianist is changing the voicing slightly for each melody note

1:01 The bridge again

1:06 That’s a mysterious section

1:15 The original figure and the turnaround to the top

1:20 A careful and thoughtful beginning to the piano solo

1:26 Really nice development

1:32 And to the bridge where the pianist just sits on the bass and drums

1:38 Beautiful development

1:45 Back to the top, but now everyone is in walking 4/4

1:51 It sits very nicely

2:00 The major section really opens up like the sun coming out

2:05 Really interesting bridge; I guess it’s actually the back half of the tune

2:21 Oh, he’s getting bluesy

2:36 Starting to phrase out of his solo

2:40 Well done

2:50 Tenor player is going after it

2:56 Logical development

3:01 Really forward moving

3:11 That figure really got it going

3:23 This really makes sense

3:46 That was beautiful accompaniment

3:51 I love when it goes from minor to major

4:02 Wow, pianist really heats it up!

4:10 Great exposition

4:15 I like the back-and-forth

4:29 He’s probably getting out of the solo

4:33 He is—now playing a figure into the drum solo

4:42 Drummer is still in time—playing a hemiola

4:49 He’s changing the time—probably going into a free section

4:55 Now playing textures

5:06 Interesting momentum

5:13 Also, theme and variation

5:33 Sounds like he’s getting ready to go to the vamp

5:39 Back to the vamp

5:53 And the out-head

6:07 Same as the in-head

6:14 Great interaction

6:23 Second out-head

6:54 Tenor is playing with the figure

7:01 Heating it up a little bit

7:04 Letting it sit there

7:13 More interaction

7:40 Sounds like a fade

7:41 And it is

7:52 Nice ending

7:55 Another great cut!

I tried to dictate this cut as if I had never heard before; it wasn’t easy.



Kelly Sill has been a mainstay of the Chicago jazz scene for more than 45 years. After receiving his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he moved to Chicago. 

He has since performed and recorded with a vast array of jazz artists, including Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Art Farmer, Eddie Jefferson, Clark Terry, Cedar Walton, Herb Ellis, Woody Shaw, Hank Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, Barney Kessel, Chris Potter, Ernie Watts, Bob Mintzer, Mel Torme, Anita O'Day, Janice Borla, Jack Mouse, Jackie McLean, Joey DeFrancesco, Donald Byrd, Bobby Watson, Eddie Harris, Scott Hamilton, Victor Lewis, Clifford Jordan, Bucky Pizzarelli, and many more. 

He has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Ravinia Festival, the Elkhart Jazz Festival, the Red Sea Jazz Festival, the Thessaloniki Concert Hall in Greece, and Symphony Center (Orchestra Hall) in Chicago.

Kelly has served on the faculties of Northwestern University, Interlochen Arts Academy, Northeastern Illinois University, Lake Forest College, DePaul University, and Northern Illinois University. He currently teaches at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. For questions or comments please contact him at or visit his website at

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