Guest Post by Andrew Green: Eric Harland, Byus

Byus, written by Walter Smith III and performed by: Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet; Walter Smith III, tenor saxophone; Jason Moran, piano; Joe Sanders, bass; Eric Harland, drums.  From the album III, released 2010 on the Criss Cross label.

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Download the PDF: Solo, Drumset Notation Guide

I initially transcribed this because I was playing it in a jazz group at Lawrence University (Appleton, WI).  The solo really shows off Harland’s technical virtuosity and fluidity around the kit and is a prime example of why he is one of the most in-demand drummers right now.  This introduction is in 7 throughout and I chose to notate the 7 as alternating bars of 4/4 and 3/4 for ease of breaking down the beats when reading.  This intro sets up the tune beautifully, introducing the 7/4 feel that returns throughout the disjointed and angular melodies and hits.  Many of the individual licks are simple in conception but difficult to pull off at such breakneck speeds, one right after the other. Continue reading