Videos: Mulgrew Miller – Advice for Young Jazz Musicians and Learning to Improvise

Here are two videos of jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller speaking and answering questions at a master class. The basic point he makes in these videos is that you must actively listen to the music to understand it and to learn to play it. Good stuff from a master musician.

Transcribed: Ronnie Ball – There Will Never Be Another You

ronnie ball

Today’s transcription is the next in the series from The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley. Ronnie Ball isn’t a terribly well-known pianist. In fact, this album cover was the only photo I could find of him. The only other album I own with him playing is Lee Konitz with Warne Marsh. In that context, it isn’t much of a surprise that Ronnie Ball studied with Lennie Tristano. I think that influence can be heard in terms of rhythmic displacement and also in some of his note choices.  I have only transcribed what Ronnie played in the right hand. This is my first piano solo transcription and I’m not quite ready (at all!) to transcribe the solo and the comping.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Transcribed: Donald Byrd – There Will Never Be Another You

donaldbyrd

 

 

 

Today’s transcription is Donald Byrd’s trumpet solo on There Will Never Be Another You from The Jazz Message Of Hank Mobley. I have recently been adding some written dictation to my daily practice and this is the first project I’ve completed since starting that. Since I’m working my way through Hank Mobley’s solos from this album, I thought a good way to begin incorporating dictation into my practice would be to go through the other musicians’ solo on the album. I finished this solo yesterday and started on Ronnie Ball’s piano solo today.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Transcribed Lead Sheet: Cattin’ – Hank Mobley

I’m working my way through Hank Mobley’s solos on The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley and this is the next installment of sharing that process. Cattin’ is a 12-bar blues in Bb written by Mobley. As you can see on the leadsheet, the 5th-8th measures have a note to play an improvised fill. On the recording, Donald Byrd plays the fill on the 1st chorus and Hank Mobley plays it on the out chorus.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Home from Denver.

I’ve been home from the Moksha Denver trip for a couple of days. It was a great time and I had a blast playing and hanging with everybody, as always. Peter Apfelbaum, Jennifer Hartswick, and A.P.O.S.T.L.E. all killed it!

Photographer Jimmy Iles from the Denver Examiner was at one of the shows and took some great pics.

Denver Bound!

I’m heading to Denver for a few days to play with Moksha at Quixote’s True Blue for Phish afterparties. We’re having special guests Peter Apfelbaum, Jennifer Hartswick, and A.P.O.S.T.L.E. I will be holding down the baritone saxophone chair and I’m really excited to play with so many great musicians again!!! Back in a few days.

Click here for tix!

Transcribed: Hank Mobley – There Will Never Be Another You

 

 

I just finished writing out Hank Mobley’s solo on There Will Never Be Another You from The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley. I’ve been working on and learning this solo for a few weeks now and made sure I had it down in a really solid way before committing it to paper or even trying to play it on the horn. First, using Audacity, I edited the sound file so that it only contained the solo. After that, I loaded it onto itunes and burned a cd of the solo. Next, I listened. I listened in the car. I listened at work. I listened when I ate. I listened…. you get the idea. Following that was singing along with the solo, and when I could do that and felt like I was getting everything, I started playing it on the saxophone. It may sound like overkill, but I think there’s a lot of value in this kind of immersive learning. I feel like this solo is burned into my brain now.
Anyway… Hank Mobley takes a 2-chorus solo and then later on splits a chorus of fours with Donald Byrd, who is playing trumpet. There Will Never Be Another You is a 32-bar ABAC form song, usually played in Eb concert. The transcribed solo is written for tenor saxophone in the transposed key of F.

In bar 58, there are ° and + written above each F in the measure. The ° is the regular fingering. For the +, finger low Bb to get the overtone F. If you keep your tongue and throat in the same position and keep your airstream steady, you shouldn’t have many problems going back and forth between the regular and overtone fingerings.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.