I’ve been listening to a lot of Cuban and Brazilian music lately and one of the artists that I’m really, really hooked on is Hermeto Pascoal. As I was driving home to Las Vegas on Monday from a gig in Long Beach, CA, I was listening to the Festa Dos Deuses album. On the very last track, there was a little melody Hermeto sings in the background:
I couldn’t get that line out of my head and I decided to learn it on the horn. It wasn’t very difficult and after I figured it out in the original key, I played it in the other 11 keys. I’ve been using this as part of my tone practice the last couple days. Tone exercises can get boring sometimes and it can help to add some melodic material to these exercises. The written exercise is a simplified version of what Hermeto sings on the track. The exercise is only written out in the lower octave, but you can, of course, move it all around the horn. Play the melody slowly and freely, making sure to hold the last note as long as possible. Relax, take a big breath, and play the exercise in the next key.