I have been listening, of late, to this album on repeat and it's fantastic! I chose to transcribe the 'head' and solo for the young musicians of York's Jazz Summer School (2019)
Below is a transcription of the 'head' or melody. (There are also rhythm section charts in the PDF)
Secondly, for improvising practice and learning language jazz language, here's the transcription of Kenny's solo. In my opinion, it's a perfectly formed blues solo! It really shows what you can do with a minor pentatonic and serious rhythm and groove!
Enjoy playing along with the record if you have it. If not click here to link to Blue Note, where you can stream the album, or buy it, as well as read more about Jimmy Smith.
That's me done here, until next time, enjoy practising!
Ilkley Jazz Festival 2018!
In advance of the Ilkley Jazz Festival Workshop with myself and Adrian Knowles, I have put together a lead sheet for the song 'Summertime,' which we'll being working through at this years workshop on Saturday morning 1o until 12. If you can, do print and bring a lead sheet which is suitable for your instrument
Players of varying standards are welcome at the winter gardens jazz workshop. We'll be learning about improvising, exploring the roles within a jazz group and examine the importance of interaction. Playing with other musicians is vital to jazz music, and you will be encouraged to play throughout the session!
The workshop will end with performances from those who are willing to participate.
Take the plunge and sign up today!
For full details of other fantastic gigs and other great workshops at the festival, please visit here.
Please see ZIP file below for parts.
#6 - Tuning Drones.
Blog post number six - I'll cut to the chase!
Below, I have made some tracks which are 10 minute drones for students to practice with. I have noticed that many woodwind players of an amateur level seem to forget about tuning and being in tune in relation to others, be it in large or small groups. Tuning is vital skill for musicians to develop, especially for brass & woodwind players as you are having to tune whilst you're playing!
Use the tracks below to play exercises on top of, such as scales (majors, minors, diminished augmented, chromatic etc) running up and down them and also doing intervallic practice, so 2nds 3rds 4ths etc. Play them slowly and ensure that you are in tune!
You may also wish to add timing and rhythm into your exercises. For this, simply add a metronome along with the track or use another program to create/ play a drum beat.
Drones in 12 keys!
Below is a concert C drone. (Eb pitch instruments = A) (Bb pitch instruments = D)
Below is a concert Db drone. (Eb pitch instruments = Bb) (Bb pitch instruments = Eb)
Below is a concert D drone. (Eb pitch instruments = B) (Bb pitch instruments = E)
Below is a concert Eb drone. (Eb pitch instruments = C) (Bb pitch instruments = F)
Below is a concert E drone. (Eb pitch instruments = C#) (Bb pitch instruments = F#)
Below is a concert F drone. (Eb pitch instruments = D) (Bb pitch instruments = G)
Below is a concert Gb drone. (Eb pitch instruments = Eb) (Bb pitch instruments = Ab)
Below is a concert G drone. (Eb pitch instruments = E) (Bb pitch instruments = A)
Below is a concert Ab drone. (Eb pitch instruments = F#) (Bb pitch instruments = E)
Below is a concert A drone. (Eb pitch instruments = F#) (Bb pitch instruments = B)
Below is a concert Bb drone. (Eb pitch instruments = G) (Bb pitch instruments = C)
Below is a concert B drone. (Eb pitch instruments = G#) (Bb pitch instruments = C#)
I hope these drone help with your practising. If they do, let me know as well as any other requests/questions!
All the best,
Welcome back! Next week I have a performance coming up playing exclusively Cannonball Adderley repertoire, As a result, I've been back listen to the man himself, specifically the album mentioned in post 2, 'Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley.' The tune I have gravitated toward this week is called 'Hurricane Connie.' This track isn't on YouTube, similar to 'rose room' though you can buy 12 classic Cannonball albums for £3.49 from iTunes,(follow the link). The 12 classic albums includes the song 'rose room,' among many others - It's thoroughly worth investing in!
The tune 'Hurricane Connie,' is based upon a song form & progression called 'rhythm changes.' This is form and chord progression was composed from a song called 'I got rhythm,' in 1930 by George Gershwin. Click the link to see a restored video of him playing from 1931. The amazing thing is that this chord progression and form (AABA) is still be still being used to play and compose over today!
A 'rhythm changes' is a very common chord progression and form (AABA), used time and time again to compose melodies over. Over time musicians have composed new 'heads' (jazz terminology for melodies) over this existing form as well as developing the harmony. If you don't understand form like AABA or chord progressions, don't worry, I'll be covering some in upcoming posts!
Back in post 2, I mentioned writing 'contrafacts,' composing a new melody over a pre-determined chord sequence. Why is the this useful to know/ relevant? Well, a couple of reasons:
1. Once you've learnt a rhythm changes chord progression & have practised soloing, you can use jazz language/ patterns, shapes etc for improvising on a number of various songs! Helping to make your improvising skills instantly adaptable to a new song.- hoorah!
2. You are able to play other 'heads,' in your solos whilst playing a different song! This is called 'quoting,' and happens frequently when some jazz musicians improvise. A master of this was Phil Woods. find out more about him on his website.
A quick warning.
You need to be slightly wary whilst quoting other heads over different rhythm changes chord progressions. This is because sometimes the chord types in the progression vary slightly. This can be enough to make some heads not sound quite right over other rhythm changes progressions.
This is the case with parts of 'Hurricane Connie,' but this is something I'll cover in more detail at a later date. My advice would be, If you can, use a combination of theory & your ears to work out/hear if it is going to sound good. If theory isn't a strong point, just use your ears! Ultimately - if it sounds bad or not quite right - don't use that particular head, pick a different one to quote instead!
Here are the parts for 'Hurricane Connie.'
More rhythm changes heads...
Here are a few songs which are written over the rhythm changes form.
The list goes on - If you know any other heads, it'd be great to know of them, so post them in the comments below!
I've included a play-along for practising improvising 'Hurricane Connie.' Again, It's only midi - but still serves it's purpose. You have 3 speeds to choose from, start slow and ensure that you're getting the correct phrasing. Ideally, buy the track and then play along with it slowed down!
Remember, getting the notes and rhythm correct is only half the job, which hopefully my parts will make easier. Remember, whilst you play along to the recording/ midi you need to get all the nuances. For example bends, vibrato, accents etc. There's no shame in replicating - it's the highest form of flattery and will continue to help you 'pay your dues.'
Anyhow, until next time, keep practising & listening.
All the best and catch you soon.
P.s. If this is helpful/useful or you have any questions/suggestions/ requests please comment below or even get in touch via my email. Again, good luck & until next time good luck!
#4 Kelly's Blues - Oscar Peterson
So a week has passed since my last blog post. Thankfully I'm still infatuated with Oscar Peterson CD mentioned in blog post 1, Live at 'La Salle Pleyel,' in Paris, 1996 again featuring:
Lorne Lofsky - Guitar
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen - Double Bass
Martin Drew - Drums
This time I've turned my attention to a blues called 'Kelly's Blues,' on the second CD. Oscar Peterson's wife was called Kelly, so I think it would be fair to assume it was written for her! Another interesting little fact, is Oscar Peterson had suffered a stroke in 1993 that weakened his left hand. Despite having a stroke, it didn't stop his desire to continue making music. Within a year of having the stroke, he was back touring and recording. When the recording of 'Kelly's Blues,' was made which I have transcribed, it was post Oscar's stroke but he can very much still play, as you'll see from the transcription..!
Song: 'Kelly's Blues.' (no youtube link!)
Artist: Oscar Peterson,
Album: Live at 'La Salle Pleyel.' June 25th, 1996.
Here are the PDF's for the song 'Kelly's Blues.'' There are copies for concert pitch, Bb and Eb instruments.
A quick note:
People playing instruments which aren't piano, you may need to be a little creative with how you play this piece, allow me to explain....
1.) If you play a single line instrument, you won't be able to play the harmony lines which Oscar plays alongside the head -, don't let this put you off! It will sound slightly emptier, though It's still a really great blues head to learn - It will definitely benefit your phrasing!
2.) Due to the piano being able to make huge leaps relatively easily, certainly in comparison with say a trumpet or saxophone, you may need to adjust where the notes are by changing octaves. I've done this to a point on the (No Harmony) versions, the other files are untouched, just the transcription with extra notes. Take a look and you'll see what I mean!
More phrasing practice. Don't forget phrasing is picked up by repeated listening and playing along with the recording you're learning - so get started now! I strongly suggest buying the CD or even just the track to do this!
Below is a MIDI play along for improvising, or playing it without the track!
Don't forget - whilst playing, aim to get perfectly in sync with the artist, copying articulation, dynamics & feel. Be as accurate as you can be.
What does Oscar have to say?
I though a nice way to finish the blog post would be to have an Oscar Peterson quote - so here it is:
"You not only have to know your own instrument, you have to know the others [Instruments] and how to back them up at all times. That's Jazz." - Oscar Peterson
So for this week, thanks for reading. Use the transcription to help you develop your phrasing/ grab some lines, for inspiration, improvising or even just to play on a gig! Hopefully you'll get some enjoyment from playing it and learn something along the way too.
P.s. If this is helpful/useful or you have any questions/suggestions/ requests please comment below or even get in touch via my email.
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