Rob Burger and Carla Kihlstedt, Fear of the South

(Mark Orton, Carla Kihlstedt, Rob Burger)

(accordion solo begins at 1:20, violin at 2:22)

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

Fear of the South, written by Mark Orton and performed by: Tin Hat Trio (Mark Orton, Dobro; Carla Kihlstedt, violin; Rob Burger, Accordion).  From the album ‘The Rodeo Eroded,’ released 2002 by Ropeadope Digital.


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.

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Michel Warlop/Stephane Grappelli/Eddie South, Lady Be Good

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

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.

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Stephane Grappelli, Minor Swing

This Thursday 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:


Download the PDF: ConcertBass ClefBbEb

Minor Swing, music written by Django Rienhardt and performed by: The Quintette du Hot Club de France, featuring Django Rienhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.  From Djangology, recorded in 1949 and released by RCA Bluebird.


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

Mark Feldman, Charms of the Night Sky

Mark Feldman – violinist (photograph by Valerie Trucchia)

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

Charms of the Night Sky, written by Dave Douglas and performed by: Dave Douglas, trumpet; Greg Cohen, acoustic bass; Mark Feldman, violin; Guy Klucevsek: accordion.  From Charms of the Night Sky, recorded 1998 and released on the Winter & Winter label.


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