How to use this site

The title of each entry links to an MP3 recording of the lick. If your browser supports MP3s, this will open a separate window, where the lick will play. This window will still be here - you may need to drag the new one to one side to see it. Click on any of the transcriptions to open a larger version of it. Use your browser's 'back' button to return to this page.

All the transcriptions here are in concert keys. One day, if I have time, I'll create B flat and E flat versions if anyone would like them. Do let me know.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dizzy Gillespie - Salt Peanuts

And here's something from Dizzy Gillespie himself. Recorded live during the Jazz at Massey Hall concert (on which Charlie Parker plays a Grafton plastic saxophone). I suppose this should really be a real bebop line, full of quavers and semiquavers, to illustrate how Dizzy's style was influenced by Roy Eldridge. But for the publishing project which initiated this blog, we wanted to include something from Dizzy. In the first instance these cards are being published for guitarists, and I thought this phrase might translate to that instrument a little more easily than cascade of notes. I can imagine it being played over a hot club type rhythm, 'Django-style' - perhaps in octaves (though I'm not a guitarist, so don't take my word for it!).
Roy Eldridge - You Can Depend On Me

I think I first came across Roy Eldridge's name when reading Dizzy Gillespie's fine autobiography "To Be Or Not To Bop". Dizzy cited him (iirc) as one of his biggest earliy influences. Trumpeter Ian Smith who provided this lick would agree. We spent a fine evening in a South London tavern, where he dictated this transcription to me from memory, almost note perfect. Ian claimed that Roy's top F in the second bar here, was very consciously included, as it was higher than any note that Louis Armstrong had ever recorded at the time. The rest of this lick very clearly shows the way that be bop is heading in Dizzy's hands. This site shows the tune as being recorded on 8 April 1937. This one says 1936, and lets you stream it, and loads of other things from the same era.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

James Carter - Round Midnight

I don't think anyone would realistically claim that this is a 'lick' as such. It's a great phrase though, over Thelonius Monk's gorgeous ballad (one of my favourite tunes). James Carter seems to have a knack of making complicated things sound very simple. I once transcribed his tune "Stevedore's Serenade" from the album "Real Quietstorm". It sounds like a simple enough tune, but once you get down to the detail, it's full of double flats and other brain twisters. He also has a history when it comes to making people feel insecure about their own abilities - see Kelly Bucheger's tale of how James Carter Ruined My Life.
Hank Mobley - Dig Dis

This comes from the album Soul Station. It's always dangerous to claim a superlative, but this really is one of the all time great jazz albums. As a model of taste and elegance, it's hard to imagine anything better.
Gerry Mulligan - Budo

Gene Ammons - Exactly Like You

Huge thanks to Claus Koch (a great saxophonist I met at the Unterfahrt club in Munich, one mad weekend a few years ago) for telling me about this great piece. He says "almost the whole solo", so if the audio link above whets your appetite, here's the whole thing. Enjoy...
Charlie Christian - Rose Room

This one suggested by Moss Freed.
Cannonball Adderley

Taken from the Miles Davis Album "Round about Midnight / Milestones" (at least that's how it's listed on iTunes these days). Suggested by Simon Bates

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Stanley Turrentine - The Mule"
From the album Midnight Blue by Kenny Burrell.

This one's from Denny Ilett. The lick starts in the 7th bar of Stanley's 2nd chorus. THe audio clip starts from the beginning of the 2nd chorus.