Tag Archives: Blue Note

Transcribed: The Go! Album (Part 4 of 6) Dexter Gordon – Love For Sale

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Head and 1st Solo

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2nd Solo, Head, and Vamp

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Here’s a transcription of Love For Sale from Dexter Gordon’s Go! album. It starts off with a 2+3 clave in the drums that’s reminiscent of the beginning of Soy Califa from Dexter’s A Swingin’ Affair album. That feel continues through the “A” sections of the melody and changes to a swing feel in the bridge. When the rhythm section comes back in after Dexter’s solo break, it’s swing all the way.

Toward the end of the 1st solo (m. 197), there’s a tremolo that alternates between G and Bb. That is played by using the fingering below the asterisk and using the tongue to change the voicing of the note as you play it. I think of it as alternating between the syllables “ah” and “ee”. Another way to think of it might be to think of repeating the syllable “yah”. Dexter uses this device frequently as does Cannonball Adderley.

After the piano solo, Dexter comes back for a 2nd solo. Following that, there’s a return to the last “A” section of the melody and a return to the Latin feel from the beginning. After stating the melody, Dexter plays over a vamp and the recording fades out.

I’ll be back soon with Part 5 of this series, the beautiful ballad, “Where Are You?”

Transcribed: The Go! Album (Part 3 of 6) Dexter Gordon – Second Balcony Jump

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Second Balcony Jump is a Rhythm Changes tune by Dexter Gordon. It stands out to me because it has two different melodies. The last two measures of each “A” section is the same, but the rest of the two melodies are completely different.

While revisiting this material, I remembered an interesting fact about this album. Aside from the two ballads on the album, “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Up To Dry” and “Where Are You?”, Dexter Gordon plays 2 solos on every tune. The general form of the tunes is: melody, tenor solo, piano solo, tenor solo #2, melody.

I’ll be back soon with Part 4 of this series, “Love For Sale”.

Transcribed: The Go! Album (Part 2 of 6) Dexter Gordon – I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry

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Here is the second song from Dexter Gordon’s Go! album, I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry. This is a beautiful ballad written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn. When I was learning this solo I checked out some vocal versions of this song. Frank Sinatra, of course, has a great version. The real surprise (at least to me) was a version by Linda Ronstadt with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. It is incredible!

That’s it for now. I’ll be back with the next installment in this series, Second Balcony Jump, in the next couple days.

Transcribed: The Go! Album (Part 1 of 6) Dexter Gordon – Cheese Cake

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This is a top to bottom transcription of Dexter Gordon on his tune Cheese Cake from the 1962 Go! album. It has the melody, Dexter’s solo, and the final melody with an 8-bar tag. A couple of years ago I decided to transcribe Dexter’s playing on the entire album. I’ll be sharing those transcriptions in upcoming posts.

Transcribed: Joe Henderson – Recordame

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I’ve decided to open up the vaults and share some transcriptions I’ve never posted. This one is Joe Henderson’s solo on Recordame from his 1963 album, Page One.

Transcribed: Joe Henderson – Inner Urge

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I did this transcription several months ago as an assignment for my lessons with Garry Dial. It was the most difficult solo I’d learned to that point and the experience was both rewarding and empowering. It felt really good to know that I was capable of doing that.

Anyway, a couple of notes on the solo. Joe Henderson was a master of rhythm. This rhythmic sophistication is, to me, one of the most intriguing aspects of his playing, but it also presents the greatest challenge when writing out the transcription. In some cases, I just tried to make all of the notes fit within the space in which they were played. I’m sure there are a few different ways to notate some of the more complex phrases.

Notes for a couple of specific spots:

In measure 14, there’s an altissimo D in that measure. To me, it sounds like Joe Hen played the F# (with the front F/fork key) on beat 3 and it cracked, resulting in the altissimo D.

In measure 79 (4th chorus), the “and” of 1 is a harmonic/false fingering. You could finger F# or G while holding down the palm D key. It could be F# or G depending on the intonation of your horn. F# works better for me.

Measure 110 (5th chorus) on beat 4, the A is another harmonic/false fingering. You would finger D while playing that note. If you’re unable to do it, experiment with the voicing (tongue placement). The tongue should be in a slightly higher position. If that doesn’t work, play the fingering for D without the G key (LH3).

At the beginning of the 6th chorus (measure 121), the notes alternate between palm key D and palm D with the fingering for G added.

Hope you enjoy the transcription.

Here’s a recording of me playing along with the solo (warts and all):

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Transcribed: Widow’s Walk – Rick Margitza

 

 

This solo has all of the things that I like about Rick Margitza. There’s a lot of great melodic inside playing, material built off of upper structure triads, and a strong display of fluency in the altissimo register. I actually learned this solo 6 months ago, maybe longer, but I just got around to writing it down. I spent a LOT of time playing this slowed down to 50% (even down to 25% sometimes!) in Transcribe! It was the only way I could have possibly gotten the 32nd-note double-time stuff down.

A couple of notes for practicing/performance:
The solo goes up to altissimo D (D4). I decided to write this all with ledger lines and not use 8va.
There are a couple of harmonics in the solo. They have a ° sign above them. Finger the bottom note and sound the top note.

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