The “Burchfield Nines” referred to in Michael Franks’ song are a term that refers to a specific chord progression in jazz music. This chord progression is named after the jazz painter and watercolorist Charles Burchfield, who was known for his use of “nines” in his musical compositions. The Burchfield Nines progression is characterized by the use of 9th chords, which are chords that include the 7th and 9th notes in addition to the root, 3rd, and 5th.
In jazz music, chord progressions play a crucial role in determining the harmony and structure of a piece. The Burchfield Nines progression is unique in that it creates a complex and dissonant sound that is often described as “jagged” or “angular.” This sound is achieved by using 9th chords that are stacked in an unusual manner, which creates a tension that is not typically found in more conventional chord progressions.
The Burchfield Nines progression has been used in a variety of jazz styles, including bebop, hard bop, and fusion. Many jazz musicians have incorporated the progression into their own compositions, often using it as a starting point for improvisation. Michael Franks, who is known for his smooth and melodic vocal style, utilized the Burchfield Nines progression in his song to create a contrast between his vocals and the complex harmonies in the music.
In addition to its use in jazz music, the Burchfield Nines progression has also been used in other musical genres, including rock, pop, and classical music. This versatility and versatility of the progression has made it a popular choice for musicians looking to incorporate a unique and challenging harmonic element into their compositions.
Despite its popularity, the Burchfield Nines progression is considered to be an advanced concept in jazz theory and is typically only used by experienced musicians. It requires a deep understanding of chord structures and the ability to navigate complex harmonies. However, for those who are able to master it, the Burchfield Nines progression can be a powerful tool for creating dynamic and innovative music.
In conclusion, the “Burchfield Nines” referred to in Michael Franks’ song are a specific chord progression in jazz music that is named after the painter and watercolorist Charles Burchfield. This progression is characterized by the use of 9th chords and is known for its complex and dissonant sound. The Burchfield Nines progression has been utilized by musicians in a variety of musical genres and is considered to be an advanced concept in jazz theory.