I’m FINALLY posting a cello solo, and since I’m an improvising cellist, it’s about time. There are actually quite a few fabulous cello-playing improvisers out there, and Eugene Friesen is a leader in the field. This whole album, Carnival of Souls, is full of cello techniques and tone colors that you’ve probably never heard, some of them pulled from the acoustic bass, or even guitar lexicons. As a trio member, Friesen excels at holding down the rhythmic accompaniment with arpeggiations and intricate basslines, as well as soaring, lyrical melodies when Howard Levy takes over the accompanimental role.
Hearing the Bad Plus for the first time marked a major development in my musical development; it was my junior year of high school and the coolest thing I’d habitually listened to prior to this was along the lines of Sugar Ray. That’s an exaggeration, but not as much as I’d like to think. I started really listening to bass lines and beat placement, and just ate it all up–we’re talkin’ Bootsy Collins/Fred Thomas/Tim Drummond/etc. (James Brown), Chris Wood (MMW), Ron Carter (Miles Davis/Herbie Hancock/Freddie Hubbard/A Tribe Called Quest), Larry Grenadier (Brad Mehldau), James Jamerson…and the list goes on.
Pretty much anybody who considers her/himself an artist has been asked to do pro bono work by a friend or family member, another artist, or somebody representing a business or larger production. The act of asking for free art isn’t what’s wrong here–there are scenarios in which this is perfectly appropriate–the problem is when there is a budget but art isn’t accounted for, even when deemed necessary to the success of the production. Event organizers need to understand that if they require professional art for their event (off of which they intend to profit), the artist needs to be paid.
This track grooves so hard I can’t possibly sit still while I listen. It’s the way Hollenbeck employs distinctly different snare drum timbres and perfectly compliments the utterly simple descending bassline, and then Moran’s vibes solo floats effortlessly over the top and constantly subverts the swung 4/4 feel with 12/8 and straight 4/4 references. This tune is incredibly special because it is a hard-grooving lament in memory of Matt Moran’s late father, Tom; have you ever heard of a hard-grooving lament? No, me neither.
Lady Be Good, written by George/Ira Gershwin and performed by: Django Reinhardt, guitar; Michel Warlop, violin I; Stephane Grappelli, violin II; Eddie South, violin III. From the album ‘Django Reinhardt Crazy Rhythm,’ released on the Iris Records, recorded in 1937.
This is the third transcription I’ve done in a row featuring Stephane Grappelli, and after this one I’ll do something different – but this trifecta of violin solos was just too cool to pass up.
This Thursday sokillingman.com broke 1,000 views, so thank you! We’re really excited to have so many people interested in this project and we have all sorts of plans for development. Here’s a little bonus post in celebration:
This tune is absolutely classic, and very well could have been the first tune I heard that convinced me that I understood what Gypsy Jazz sounds like. It’s just that kind of recording. While it’s not the whole picture by any means, this tune exemplifies a lot of the rules and conventions of the genre and has a very balanced ratio of variety to continuity. So I figured this would be a great study tool for said reasons, and I love the solo, so it was a no-brainer. Continue reading →
A big reason why I learned how to transcribe is so that I can write out charts for myself, and other musicians I’m playing with. It seems like there’s always new repertoire for everyone to learn, members to add/replace or a sub to train, and the reality is that not everybody does their homework. There’s not always time, and you don’t always have the $$ to pay somebody who’s willing or able to put in the work and accurately learn/memorize a part.
I’ve been drawn to this solo (the whole album, really) since the first time I heard it. I love the combined timbres of accordion+violin and accordion+trumpet, and so many beautiful textures and combinations are explored on this album. Even just during the violin solo. One thing that really turned me onto this solo in particular is the subtly nebulous nature of the rhythm which seems to fight the underlying rhythm, but without sounding ‘wrong’ in any sense of the word. (I first noticed this kind of rhythmic stretching/contracting listening to Miles Davis, such as his solos on Sweet Pea and the title track of the album Water Babies – it’s really inspiring how Miles goes in and out of the groove without disrupting it.) Continue reading →