First of all, I’d like to send a quick shout-out to Darcy James Argue, who wrote this award winning (Charlie Parker Composition Award, 2004) piece, and is the leader of currently my favorite big band record, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Infernal Machines, on which this Ingrid solo is lifted. I am constantly inspired by Darcy’s music, and he is a big influence on my own big band writing.
Rhythm. What can be more definitive in music? Rhythm is what drives music forward, particularly in music that derived from African roots like jazz. Trombone Shorty knows all about rhythm. He’s one of those New Orleans guys who never really shook that New Orleans attitude in his playing (thankfully). Trombone Shorty’s playing on this track especially, is derived from New Orleans Brass Band trombone playing. He approaches his solo very rhythmically, and doesn’t vary the notes he uses hardly at all. I think he steps outside the notes of the Eb minor pentatonic scale maybe once in this entire solo. The information is not in the note choice, but in the rhythmic development. Continue reading →
I’ve always been more of a straight ahead/bebop kind of player and since my main gig is with a pop band I’ve been looking towards some more pop oriented influences to help myself feel more comfortable soloing in that style. The real lesson in this transcription is in the inflections, articulation and use of grace notes; I think that is really what makes this style come alive so to speak. I tried my best to notate some of the more distinct articulations and grace notes, but you really are going to have to spend a lot of time just listening and following along with the transcription to pick up on these things.
Ambrose. My newest obsession on the trumpet. It took me months before I could remember his name “uhh…it’s this long name and starts with A, but he’s ridiculous!” but I’m sure I’ll never forget it. Ambrose is the perfect mix of math and emotion. Right when you think he’s lost you in a solo, he reels you back in with a sweet, warm melody, or just a straight up funky blues lick. Ambrose’s sound is mesmerizing. It’s always the first thing you hear, the sound of the instrument. Before all the licks, and all the “finger flapping” as Ambrose so humbly (he’s clearly full of it) calls it, you hear the sound. Just the pure sound of the instrument. Your sound is the #1 most important thing in your playing. It might sound weird, but I truly believe that. How can you tell when it’s Miles? It’s that sound. Dizzy? Louis? Clifford? Same thing. It’s their individual sounds, sometimes brittle, other times hypnotic, that make you go “No doubt about it, that’s Lee Morgan.” Continue reading →
Anyone that knows me, knows that I love me some Dave Douglas. Dave has been a huge influence on me both as a writer and a trumpet player, and this particular solo has been one that has haunted me for many years. Dave is a lyrical master, and this solo is a perfect example of his prowess. Almost the whole solo is played over a simple I (vi), ii IV V progression, but its basically just Bb major the whole time. His two horn writing is really some special as it is on display on this track.
Peter Bernstein plays jazz guitar the way I love to hear it played. Even with the wealth and density of harmonic and rhythmic concepts he employs, its all feel. Nothing takes precedence over feel, and its uniquely his own.
Roy is one my favorite trumpet players of all time. His mix of hard bop and soul/gospel in his playing is exactly where I want to be as a player, so I tend to listen to a lot of (too much?) Roy. This tune is no exception. It’s from his record Earfood, which is pretty much a standard quintet record, except it has this track on it, and this track really just blows away the rest of the album, as good as it is. Everyone on the record plays great throughout, but it’s like they were all born to play this tune. Each solo builds on the last creating a track that ebbs and flows just right, until you’re hitting the back arrow on your ipod to listen again.
I remember the first time I heard this song. I was in the kitchen cooking and I turned on the radio to Jazz 88 FM. Brad was about a third of the way into his solo when I first tuned in. I remember that almost instantaneously I knew it was him. This was somewhat expected as once you come to know a great player’s voice it is as easily recognizable as your Mom’s. But after listening for about 10-15 seconds or so, something else happened, something that perhaps speaks more uniquely to Brad’s playing – I knew he was playing the tune “Wonderwall”. I had never ever heard this tune in a jazz context before, and the last time I heard it was probably in high school. Furthermore all of the harmonies had been thoroughly changed. But I knew, without a doubt that he was improvising on the tune Wonderwall. And when his solo ended and he came back in on the bridge I just smiled, shook my head and chuckled to myself.