Gerry takes a “riff” like approach through out most of the solo and swings pretty damn hard. The start of the second bridge is probably my favorite part; the way he stretches out the time during those first two measures contrasts so nicely with the rest of the bouncy swing feel. Not many people can make the bari sing like Gerry can, definitely check him out if you haven’t before!
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.
Blue Mitchell’s Solo on “Bluesville” from the album Step Lightly (1963). Players on album: Blue Mitchell (trumpet), Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone), Herbie Hancock (piano), Gene Taylor (bass), Roy Brooks (drum set). Transcribed by Lukas Skrove, Spring 2012. Solo begins 0’38’’
With transcribing the jazz language I’ve always been fascinated with the process of figuring out what the great players of the 50’s and the 60’s played. With such ease and flow their language of be-bop, and blues just feeds the ears of our generation with so much substance that I feel we sometimes miss out on. I’m a young musician trying to study this music and hopefully begin to understand it a little bit more with everyday that goes by. At school I try to transcribe as many solos as I can. This semester my trumpet teacher Adam Rossmiller came across this solo of Blue Mitchell’s and told me to check it out and transcribe it. So I did!
If there is one thing no one can deny about Chet Baker, it is that he was a master of melody (and that he was a massive drug addict). These early 1954 live recordings show too that Chet was well-versed in the bebop language and had been listening to and even playing with Charlie Parker. It’s this early playing that I think is Chet’s most potent as an improvisor. Continue reading →
John Scofield sounds like no other guitarist I’ve ever heard, and the guy’s got some badass chops. This solo is a testament to his seemingly endless creativity and flare for holding a listener’s attention, so we’re talking about the whole deal right here. The entirety of this album is 200% listenable from start to finish so I recommend checking it out–it’s a collaboration between Scofield and “wide open” improvisers Medeski Martin and Wood.
*I can’t seem to find my original Finale file for this transcription. I’m in the process of creating a new one so that I can provide Eb, Concert pitch and bass clef versions of the solo; hopefully in the next few days.
This Bennie Wallace solo from the album Bennie Wallace Plays Monk is quite a unique approach to the blues form. Quite honestly I don’t even know where to begin analyzing this solo in terms of harmonic language; this solo is far different from anything other I’ve looked at. Bennie is clearly influenced by Monk in his use of harmony, interval jumps and even phrasing. In a few spots he is definitely basing his lines (or at least parts of his phrases) around certain intervals – typically starting low on the horn and jumping up by 6ths, 7ths, 8ths or 9ths. A lot of the solo is “out” with respect to the chord changes which has a great tension building effect. Bennie eases the tension a few times by hinting at a resolution to the 3rd of the I7 chord (see mm 83, 107-108, 217).
Starting around mm 145 the bass drops out making it a drum/sax duet. This section builds to a frenzy with more frequent octave leaps (mm 151, 158, 163, 165, 173 etc…) and more 16th note lines and flurries of notes up until the bass comes back in at mm 205. Bennie counterbalances the frantic nature of the duet section by holding out a nice long G for three beats in mm 205 which brings the tension back down and leads to the end of Bennie’s solo.
I really wish I could provide the full solo for you to listen to because it is insanely awesome. Please check out Bennie’s website and pick up this track on Amazon or iTunes. Definitely worth it to get some different ideas on the blues.
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.
So I love listening to and transcribing solos that break lots of rules–and although rule-breaking isn’t a new concept in music (or any other creative activity for that matter), I like to think that it’s largely responsible for the generation of new musical material and original ideas in general. Ben Goldberg breaks lots of rules in this solo, but for as far out as he goes there’s always a strong indication that he knows where the key center/next downbeat is. It’s uncanny, really. And as musically aware Ben must have been to play these killer lines, in an email Ben told me: “I took a nap in the studio and then just walked out in a daze and played that — I didn’t want to be thinking about it too much.” Continue reading →
Today’s post is a short and sweet Ben Webster solo over Duke Ellington’s rhythm changes tune “Cottontail.” Ben uses a fair amount of repetition to develop his ideas through the solo. In mm. 1-4 he repeats the rhythm while stepping down chromatically each repetition. Each bridge has an idea that he repeats throughout each chord change (mm. 17-23 and 49-56).
Measures 33-40 act almost like an interlude between choruses even though the form doesn’t change. This is also a great example repetition. Each time he repeats the motiv he moves up higher in the register which, along with the diminished sound, creates a ton of tension and a very nice peak to the solo.
This was a slightly challenging solo to transcribe because it is such an old recording and some parts of the solo are very hard to hear because they get covered up by the brass hits. I think the transcription is pretty accurate, but I might be off in some of those spots.
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 →