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 weary 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!
So this week, I've been listening to some early 'Cannonball' Adderley, specifically the album 'Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley.' The tune which I have decided to transcribe is a piece called 'Rose room.' Unfortunately the link isn't to Cannonball playing, as it's not on YouTube, though the link is for Nat 'King' Cole, he's not too shabby! :) You can if desired, buy 12 classic Cannonball albums for £3.49 which includes the song 'Rose room,' among many others - It's thoroughly worth investing in!
On the album, released in 1955, was a line up of some fantastic musicians of the era, including:
All of the music on the album, was arranged by Quincy Jones, who is still going strong today!
Interesting fact... you know you want it..
'Rose room,' was originally composed by Art Hickman with lyrics by Harry Williams in 1917. The chord sequence was then used again by Duke Ellington which he then composed a different tune for. The new song is known as 'In a mellow tone.' In the 'music world,' this is known as writing a 'contrafact,' this is where a musician composes another melody over a pre-exsiting chord sequence. Once you start looking for 'contrafacts,' you'll start noticing a lot of jazz tunes share chord sequences...
Song: 'Rose room.'
Artist: Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley.
Album: 'Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley' (link to 12 classic albums) Original album released in 1955.
I have included a lead sheet for 'rose room,' Unfortunately, it's not the full orchestrated Quincy Jones version, maybe later in the year I'll find time for that. Meanwhile, here are some lead sheets. There are copies for concert pitch, including bass clef, Bb and Eb instruments.
Hopefully you'll enjoy playing along with the recording (if you buy it). If not, feel free to use the Mp3 backing below to practice the head, and soloing.
The whole point of using the transcriptions & play-alongs, is to help your phrasing. One of the most important things which people wish to achieve in jazz is good phrasing. This, unfortunately, is hard to teach, It's picked up by repeated listening and playing along with whichever recording you're learning, Whilst playing, aim to get perfectly in sync with the artist, copying articulation, dynamics & feel.
If you want to be able to slow the piece down, as well as loop the piece It'd be worth you buying this program: Transcribe. It allows you to slow a recording down gradually without changing the pitch, however you can also change the pitch too if desired!
Use the transcription to help you develop your phrasing/grab lines for inspiration or even just use the chart to play on a gig! (This has been tested in gig situation and works as well as 'You look good to me.' found in post 1 of my blog.) Hopefully you'll get the same enjoyment from learning it as I have,
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!
Thanks again - Ben
Discover, Learn & Play.
A blog aimed at discovering artists, songs and learning to play along the way. All of this alongside other useful tips.