[Thanks to Spencer Ritchie for this post! Check out more of Spencer's transcriptions on his blog spencertranscriptions]
Check out Lewis Nash’s chorus on his arrangement of “Monk’s Dream” off his 1989 Album “Rhythm Is My Business”. This whole solo is accompanied by Ron Carter’s steady walking bassline, so when trying this solo, lock in with the walking, but keep an ear open for Nash’s phrasing and attempt to mimic it. Continue reading →
This post was very generously provided by Marc Adler, a fantastic flutist and pedagogue out of PA. The above track is off the album Autumn Smiles played by Marc Adler, flute; Jim Ridl, piano; Darryl Hall, bass; Butch Reed, drums; and John Swana, trumpet. Marc sent along a “brief” analysis of the tune (below) which may not look brief on first glance, but compared to the subtlety of the recording it’s just the tip of the iceberg. And since we’re already getting the inside scoop on the music theory behind this tune–the skeleton of the music–I took the opportunity to ask Marc about the soft/squishy side of the music. Continue reading →
This submission is of an iconic solo played by John Coltrane and if you’re any kind of jazz fanatic it’ll be very familiar, but seriously–watch the video. Adam Spiers plays along with the solo, note for note, on the cello. As a cellist I find it difficult to describe just how insane this is, but to put it in perspective it’s kind of like climbing the stairs of the Empire State building in flip flops; it’s not impossible…but yeah. Wow. I’m very humbled to be posting this incredibly thoughtful and meticulous transcription along with such an amazing video, but unfortunately for you horn players out there the transcription is in C and an 8ve down. But you should still follow along and check out this amazing video and transcription. Probably twice.
This is another track off the album Sartori for a Hungry Ghost by local (Twin Cities) jazz/reggae group Parker Paisley (Park Evans, Guitar; Adam Wozniak, Bass; Brandon Wozniak, Tenor Sax; Pete Hennig, Drums), released April 2012 and recorded by Greg Schutte at Bathtub Shrine Studios in NE Minneapolis. I love listening to this entire album so definitely check it out–and if you like this solo then you’ll want to see/hear Adam Wozniak’s bass solo on the tune Third Persona, which I posted a month and a half ago. One of the really cool things about Park’s solos on this album is that they’re all different–in style and tone.
Matt Turner is a fabulous cellist and pianist based out of Appleton, WI where he teaches improvisation at Lawrence University (all three of us SKM contributors are LU alums). Matt plays with pianist Bill Carrothers, and has also played a fair amount with local Minneapoils group the Fantastic Merlins (visit his home page for the full discography–it’s extensive). From listening to this solo you might be able to tell that Matt’s musical background involves a certain level of mastery of jazz piano, as the harmonic implications of his melodic lines are very clear and intentional. This is very different territory from the totally modal Eugene Friesen solo I posted a while back, as there are some nasty changes to navigate, and huge lateral flexibility as there’s no rhythm section.
This track is off the album Sartori for a Hungry Ghost by local jazz/reggae group Parker Paisley (Park Evans, Guitar; Adam Wozniak, Bass; Brandon Wozniak, Tenor Sax; Pete Hennig, Drums), released April 2012 and recorded by Greg Schutte at Bathtub Shrine Studios in NE Minneapolis. You should definitely check out the rest of this tune, and the whole album, and know that all four of Parker Paisley’s members (not to mention engineer/drummer, Greg Schutte) are hard-hitting Minneapolis locals who play with many other amazing Mpls bands such as: the Atlantis Quartet (Brandon and Pete), the New Primitives (Park), Dark Dark Dark (Adam), the Fantastic Merlins (Pete), Dave King’s Trucking Company (Brandon), and Firebell (Park). I actually know Adam from back in highschool when we used to hang out and jam in our friend Tony’s basement, so it’s really cool to be reconnecting with him and doing what I can to promote his music.
John Scofield sounds like no other guitarist I’ve ever heard, and the guy’s got some badass chops. This solo is a testament to his seemingly endless creativity and flare for holding a listener’s attention, so we’re talking about the whole deal right here. The entirety of this album is 200% listenable from start to finish so I recommend checking it out–it’s a collaboration between Scofield and “wide open” improvisers Medeski Martin and Wood.
So I love listening to and transcribing solos that break lots of rules–and although rule-breaking isn’t a new concept in music (or any other creative activity for that matter), I like to think that it’s largely responsible for the generation of new musical material and original ideas in general. Ben Goldberg breaks lots of rules in this solo, but for as far out as he goes there’s always a strong indication that he knows where the key center/next downbeat is. It’s uncanny, really. And as musically aware Ben must have been to play these killer lines, in an email Ben told me: “I took a nap in the studio and then just walked out in a daze and played that — I didn’t want to be thinking about it too much.” Continue reading →
This is a really, really cool tune, and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to transcribe a solo that also has video, which we can include in full on the site. So cool of Joe to let us share this with all of you, and congratulations to him on the release of his new album (click the image to navigate to his online store).
This is one of my favorite tunes on the album for its cleverness, lopsided time signature, and killer solos! Rob Burger absolutely tears it up and Carla Kihlstedt swoops in and picks right up where he leaves off, both of them navigating 5/4 time like it’s their respective jobs. Which it is. So there you go. This tune has a very simple chord progression and A/B form which balances out the quirky time signature–and the tuba does a very clever hemiola bassline in the B sections (mm. 17-18, 21-22, 49-54) that’s just charming as hell, and really caught me off guard ten times I listened to it. The combination of simplicity, innovative quirks and killer playing epitomizes the impression I get from this whole album, so if you like this track I STRONGLY suggest buying the whole album.