I have been listening, of late, to this album on repeat. As a result, I chose to transcribe the 'head' for a workshop I run alongside Kenny Burrell's solo for the York Music Forum 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!
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.
DLP is my desire to discover artists, attempt to understand what they are doing and ultimately learn to play...!