If I Should Lose You – Grant Green

This is the first guitar transcription I’ve posted here, but I don’t think it will be the last.  Although I work more on piano than guitar, I’ve played guitar most of my life.

Of course there are a lot of great jazz guitarists.  At his best, I absolutely love Grant Green.  His tone is creamy, his lines are clear and musical, and he draws strongly from the common Bebop vocabulary.  I decided to transcribe this particular track because I thought the solo was a great jazz guitar study piece – very musical and mostly harmonically specific. Continue reading “If I Should Lose You – Grant Green”

Grandfather’s Waltz – Making sense of the form

Grandfather’s Waltz is a wonderful song recorded by Bill Evans and Stan Getz in 1964 (the Stan Getz & Bill Evans album) and again live in 1974 (on But Beautiful, recorded on a live date in Holland).  I transcribed Bill Evans’ piano solo from the 1974 live album – which I think is quite a little masterpiece.  The form of the song was strange, though.

Some time later, I heard from Dan Loschen, who was trying to make sense of the form. I’ve recently listened to all the recorded versions (that I know of), and come up with this rationale for the form. Continue reading “Grandfather’s Waltz – Making sense of the form”

Sonny Clark on McSplivens

I haven’t done much new transcription work lately, though I’ve been wanting to get it going again.  This is a transcription that I started a long time ago but never posted.

McSplivens is a Bb blues on Dexter Gordons’ “A Swingin’ Affair” with the always-interesting Sonny Clark on piano.  This transcription includes Sonny’s first three choruses (there are two more not transcribed here).

McSplivens – Sonny Clark

It hasn’t been long since I converted the site to a blog format.  I’m hoping to cross-link with other jazz-related blogs, and to start getting comments that are not from spammers.

So please leave comments that do not have links to Viagra merchants, etc.  😉

Singing with my daughter

These are several years old now, but still wonderful.  I recorded these songs with my daughter Lauren.  She was 9 or 10 when we did California Dreaming, and then about 12 when we did I Feel The Earth Move.

California Dreaming

I Feel The Earth Move

I played all the instruments; pulling this together was time consuming, but I couldn’t be happier that I did it.  What a great activity to do with my daughter!  The solo section in Earth Move is a little self-indulgent, but oh well…

Update: Fixed broken links!

Dig Dis – Wynton Kelley

I don’t think of myself is a particularly good blues player, and I was looking for some blues vocabulary from the master. This is classic Wynton Kelley, playing on one of my all time favorite jazz albums (Hank Mobley’s Soul Station).

Dig Dis – Wynton Kelley


Cherokee – Al Haig

Actually this is a Cherokee contrafact called Parker ’51…

This with Stan Getz, Live at Storyville, in 1952. I’ve been meaning to work up some mojo for Cherokee, and it’s an interesting problem. My mid-tempo vocabulary doesn’t work on Cherokee because of the fast tempo, not to mention the difficult key centers on the bridge. I like Al Haig’s vocabulary on this solo (one chorus only), but it’s also an interesting solo to listen to because he was having difficulty getting the eighth notes out fast enough. At the end of the bridge, you can hear Getz start snapping his fingers because Haig kept getting behind (by which I mean he couldn’t seem to play his ii-V patterns quite fast enough, so he’d finish late and need a couple of bars to “regroup”). I had to “rationalize” the timing of some of this, since certain licks dragged so much. I suspect Al had been drinking…

Parker 51 (Cherokee) – Al Haig