The melody consists of a motif around a descending C Spanish phrygian scale (the A section) and a chromatic sequencing of the same motif a fourth higher on an F Spanish phrygian scale (the B section). The chordal movement by contrast suggests a C Major tonality rather than C Spanish phrygian, its relative minor f (melodic or harmonic), or its relative Major, A♭ Major. However, the song ends on a D♭ maj7 (#11) rather than a C chord, a displacement which is characteristic of Monk compositions.” (From Wikipedia)
Now, because of my inability to comprehend this wikipedia explanation for my favorite Bemsha Swing, I had a moment of brain twister when I tried to read it and almost lost confidence in my understanding of Thelonious Monk music. However, from my long time listening experience, I believe in the poetic displacement that occurs in Bemsha Swing and other Monk’s tunes, is easily accessible with their organic funky groove and evocative sound-vision. Although I respect many genre specific professional perspectives such as above, I prefer to dwell in the casual secret place of human imagination. First of all, you may want to know the Monk’s funny backstage bear-dance to understand the true vibe of his artistry. And like this jazzman, I want to create a kind of evocative conduit of imagination in space with earthy wit that includes some slicing of unknowable gestures in my bronze sculpture.
It is my own bear-dance with melody and rhythm, on subconscious level, are blended into the work with recognizable textures of nature fragments and cultural oddities. Those motifs from the multiple memories are metaphor for the array of clumsiness found in my own process of seeking the real. Life swings like a pendulum in between good and bad sometimes quite drastically, and the push that creates momentum for swinging is often comes from outside. But as long as our secret place can provide the very key for discernment, we would thrive just fine. I do not know about the etymological adjacency of this unique word “Bemsha”. But it just occurs to me to think that it represents for the reimagining of life to my own personal interpretation.