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.
I think this solo is also an excellent example of using different approaches on a one-chord vamp. For me, I find it is really easy on a solo like this to get stuck hammering out blues licks. While Bob does use a lot of blues language in this solo he also breaks out of that in several ways:
- There are several spots that he emphasizes chord extensions. In mm 2-4 he uses the 13th and 9th chord tones. Mm 23-27 use the 13th as a focal point as well.
- Mm 28-29 are straight up bebop lines.
Measure 32-34 are the high point of the solo for me. The band comes back in right on mm 32 providing a lot more texture and motion and Bob goes from playing complex flowing lines to basically just holding out the C# (11th chord tone). I think that is a really great contrast and helps make a nice peak for the solo.