Guest Post by Derek Dreier: Herlin Riley, Evidence

Download the Transcription: Drums

Listen to the Solo

Watch a video of the solo being performed by Derek! – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OAEaf_qHunU

The transcription features Herlin Riley’s playing on “Evidence” from Wynton Marsalis Septet’s 1999 multi-disc release Live at the Village Vanguard. Monk’s writing, exemplified in “Evidence” is rhythmically unique, often jagged and deceptive, a quality which gives drummers many possibilities. Herlin’s choices are tasteful, organic and exploit the rhythmic opportunities Monk provides. Herlin plays with triplet vs. sixteenth and straight vs. swing ideas, and moves in and out of downbeat and offbeat oriented phrasing. All of which reflect the similar off-kilter effect the tune’s melody has. Also, notice the two busiest portions of the solo, (m.49-56 and m.73-76). The first example phrases triplets, with the latter phrasing sixteenths, demonstrating smart soloistic flow and development. With its phrasing, and creative rhythmic ideas, this transcription stands out as a fun and excellent example of musical drumming.

Guest Post by Dario LaPoma: Brad Mehldau, August Ending

Download the Transcription: Piano Score + Bass

Audio Link: August Ending

“August Ending” Brad Mehldau

For nearly two decades, composer-improvisor Brad Mehldau has left a prophetic mark on the music of our generation. One supporting reason is that his music strikes an emotional, spontaneous core while maintaining a structural quality evident through analysis. House on Hill was released by the Brad Mehldau trio (Rossy on drums) in 2006, and the opening track, “August Ending,” illustrates Mehldau’s search for “successful integration of composed and improvised material.”1 Feel free to decide for yourself, but I’m pretty convinced he’s on the right track.

The composition is bound together by a string of 8th notes (A-Bb), which while fitting colorfully into the harmony serve several foundational purposes throughout the tune. Continue reading

Guest Post By Reid Kennedy: Benny Jones, When My Dreamboat Comes Home

Download the PDF: Snare (behind Vocals), Snare (behind Trumpet)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Benny Jones is the snare drummer and bandleader of the storied Treme Brass Band.  Born and raised in New Orleans, Jones has been around brass band music his entire life.  His feel and concept for traditional jazz and second line rhythm has influenced a legion of drummers including Herlin Riley and Stanton Moore, among others.

Jones’ snare work on Treme’s recording of ‘When My Dreamboat Comes Home’ illustrates the phrasing and concepts that have become the standard for snare drummers playing this music.  The following analysis is derived from two 32-bar sections, the first being the vocal melody on the in head and the second being the opening trumpet chorus that follows.  Studying two choruses will allow for comparison and the development of any trends or patterns in Jones’ playing. Continue reading

Guest Post by Ryan Seward: Jorge Rossy, Monk’s Dream

Download the PDF: Drums

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Group:
Brad Mehldau Trio – Brad Mehldau, piano; Larry Grenadier, bass; Jorge
Rossy, drums

Album:
The Art of the Trio, Vol. 2: Live at the Village Vanguard

This transcription of the Brad Mehldau Trio’s reworking of the Monk
classic, “Monk’s Dream”, features the highly idiosyncratic,
interactive and linear time-keeping/soloing concept of Spanish
drummer, Jorge Rossy.  Pay close attention to such devices as rhythmic
density/sparsity, unorthodox phrasing, eighth-note quantization (swung
vs. straight), repetition, dynamic contour, use of polyrhythms, and
orchestration.  The transcription begins after Mehldau’s solo where
Mehldau and Rossy begin trading 8s for three choruses before the head
out.  The extended improvisation after the head out is not included.

Joe Locke, The Lost Lenore

Download the PDF: concert pitch, Bb, Eb, Bass Clef

The Lost Lenore“, written by Joe Locke and performed by The Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group featuring: Joe Locke (vibes), Geoffrey Keezer (piano), Mike Pope (bass), and Terreon Gully (drums).  From the album Signing released April 2012 by Motéma Music.

 

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).

Continue reading

Matt Moran, This Too Shall Pass


Matt Moran, photo courtesy of downtownmusic.net

Download the PDF: Concert, Bb, Eb, Bass Clef

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This Too Shall Pass, music written by John Hollenbeck and performed by: The Claudia Quintet (Chris Speed; clarinet, Matt Moran; vibraphone, Ted Reichman; accordion, Drew Gress; acoustic bass, John Hollenbeck; drums).  From the album ‘For‘, released 2007 by Cuneiform Records.

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.

Continue reading

Milt Jackson, Groovin’ High

Photo by William P. Gottlieb

Download the transcription: Concert, Bb, Eb, Bass Clef

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Ahh, BeBop. Will I ever be able to play you?

I transcribed this solo a few years ago when I was really trying to work on my bebop language in my solos. It’s been an interesting up and down road since then trying to perfect, or even just function in this very specific jazz art. Milt’s solo on Groovin’ High, one of the most iconic bebop tunes in bebop’s golden age, is a perfect example of the techniques a bebop player uses to sound like…well…to sound like Bird (Charlie Parker to you beginners out there).

Milt Jackson is one of the only really well-known jazz vibes players. There are others I have listened to, namely Joe Locke and Steve Nelson, but they’re both modern players who don’t really have that pure bebop thing happening. They’re both incredible players, and I am sure can play like that, but they’ve got other shit happening. The point in transcribing Milt was to dig in to someone who lived that language his whole life.

This however, is the first time I have revisited the solo, really practiced it (and checked for note errors, there were plenty), and did the analysis. I found some techniques similar to the Tom Harrell solo I transcribed for this site a few weeks ago. Pianistic arpeggios, Chromatic Approach Tones, Guide Tones on big beats (1 & 3), etc.

Continue for full analysis. Continue reading

Guest Post by Reid Kennedy – Lewis Nash, Sea Changes

Lewis Nash - Photo by Professor Bop

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the transcription: Drums

Sea Changes is an original composition from pianist Tommy Flanagan and serves as the title track from Flanagan’s 1997 trio date featuring bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash.  The tune itself is a simple 12-bar form that evolves from a bouncy island groove on the in head to a straight-ahead swing feel for a majority of the soloing.  Prior to the out-head, Nash trades two choruses with Flanagan, both of which are transcribed here.

Continue reading

Guest Post by Ari Nahum – Brad Mehldau, Wonderwall


Photo courtesy of Brad Mehldau

Wonderwall, written by Noel Gallagher (Oasis) and performed by: Brad Mehldau, piano; Larry Grenadier, bass; Jeff Ballard, drums.  From Brad Mehldau Trio Live, Nonesuch Records 2008.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the transcription: Concert Pitch

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.

Continue reading

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.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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