Transcriptions


Here is a collection of transcriptions made by yours truly. I'll add more of them gradually, aiming to present as broad a range of material as possible. Some are more guitar oriented but mostly it's the musical content that I'm after when transcribing a tune or a solo. For the guitar transcriptions, I sometimes add the tabulature just to indicate the exact way I think the thing was played. I aim for utmost accuracy; many times I think the nuances are what makes a certain player unique. I do take liberties with the rhythms, though; the transcriptions here are meant to be played, not just as a representation of what went down. Because of that, I try to write the rhythm down the way I think the player intended it, given the normal time streching practices in jazz.
To get the most out of the transcriptions, get the recordings that they are lifted off. Listen to the solo first, getting an understanding of the form, general feel; then get more specific listening to the lines, rhythms, etc. Next, isolate phrases that you like and learn them inside and out, singing them and then playing them on your instrument. Often that's as far as you want to go, although sometimes learning a whole solo will teach you a lot about structuring a solo, interaction with the other players and so forth.
Did you find these transcriptions helpful?  You can help me continue transcribing by making a small donation of your own choice to my PayPal account at petri.krzywacki@gmail.com. It will certainly put you in a better position for requests etc.!! ;)
Enjoy!


Solos


Clifford Brown: Daahoud

This is a classic trumpet solo lifted from the Clifford Brown Complete EmArcy Recordings box. Notice the extended use of approach techniques; in fact almost the whole solo can be analyzed in terms of chord tones and approach tones to them. I have analyzed some of the places by arrows and naming the chord tone that the line lands on.

Herbie Hancock: Watermelon Man

What can I say? Two choruses of classic Hancock from his debut album, "Takin' Off". Notice how he alternates between solo phrases and the accompaniment, never letting the momentum fade before re-establishing the comping pattern. As a guitarist, I was very much influenced by the way Hancock handles that double feat here; comping yourself is a mojer challenge for guitarists.

John Scofield: Grace Under Pressure

The title track from the album with Bill Frisell, Charlie Haden and Joey Baron, this F Rhythm Changes solo is a good example of Sco's fluid bebop lines.

Jonathan Kreisberg: Have You Met Miss Jones

This is a bright solo guitar rendition of the standard that can be found on Jonathan's "Trioing" album. TAB included!

Jonathan Kreisberg: New For Now

This solo, from Kreisberg's "Unearth" album, is a good example of his style. Very clear, mostly preconceived ideas played with absolute authority over his own uptempo modal composition. It contains some of his trademark phrases like the five-note ascending seventh chord arpeggios that are moved around within a scale.

Kenny Burrell: Moten Swing

Kenny Burrell's solo on this Count Basie classic finds him tastefully balancing his ideas between blues phrases and bebop style ideas. I've included a quick analysis and TAB for the challenged readers. The solo is from Burrell's 1961 "Bluesin' around" album.

Ben Monder: Trip

This is a magnificent example of contemporary jazz guitar by one of the greats. Lifted off a Jerome Sabbagh album, it is Monder's solo on a C minor blues in 7/4 meter. Analysis of implied harmonies included. An extremely well built solo statement that culminates in a chordal chorus featuring Monder's use of dissonant voicings that incorporate the b9 interval extensively.

Bob Mintzer: Little Motif

Here is a nice tune and tenor saxophone solo by Bob Mintzer, as recorded on his album "Hymn". The title says it all as far the composition is concerned. The solo is filled with very characteristic lines by Mintzer, triadic sounds, very tasty intervals chosen over the chord colors.

Joe Lovano: Sweet Mama

A strong solo statement by one of the greats of our time. The solo can be found on Ed Thigpen's album called "The Element of Swing". This bluesy minor tune finds Lovano double-timing a lot; other highlights are the rich rhythmic nuances and phrases that break up the tune's basic AABA form quite beautifully.

McCoy Tyner: One Mint Julep

Here's two choruses of early McCoy Tyner blues playing, from Freddie Hubbard's "Open Sesame" album. Pretty much the complete opposite of the Lovano solo above, it is a highly controlled solo with short phrases that do not seek to break up the form. It's a stylish bebop solo, showing clearly where McCoy came from. The left hand utilizes the voicings he favored at that time -somehow he managed already to get that open sound with very basic three-note voicings.

Mike Walker: Quietly Peeping Around Corners

This is a truly unique solo guitar tune, exploring the outer limits of usual harmonic conventions. Reportedly an improvised tune, it shows the level of polyphonic hearing that Mike Walker can reach. A gem by one of my heroes, from the saxophone player Julian Argüelles' "Home Truths" album. It's quite a finger twister, too, so take it easy and find fingerings that work for you.

Lenny Breau: What Is This Thing Called Love

Lenny Breau's version of this timeless standard carries with it all the trademarks of his unique and innovative style. Comping one's own solo lines with two-note guide tone voicings is the outstanding feature. It should present a nice challenge for anyone wanting to get into this style of "pianistic" playing. TAB included, though some fingerings are negotiable!

Tal Farlow: Taking a Chance on Love

This is a solo from Tal Farlow's classic album of 1957 vintage. It features very nice bebop style solo lines, which do not always coincide with the accompanying chords. The most obvious place is in the first A sections where Tal goes to G minor earlier than the rest of the players. The piano player follows suit later on but the bass lines insist on going back to Bb. I believe that this sound of controlled discrepancies is crucial to jazz music. TAB included.

Chris Potter: Early Autumn

Probably my all-time favorite Potter solo, this is from the outstanding Jim Ferguson album "Not Just Another Pretty Bass". Nice development of ideas over a rhythm section that is really swinging. Excellent note choices and great phrasing throughout.