Tag Archives: blues

Transcribed: Charlie Parker – Score of 4 Relaxin’ At Camarillo Solos


I’ve taken all of the solos I transcribed on Relaxin’ At Camarillo and put them in a score. The take is listed at the beginning of each stave. It’s pretty cool to look at these solos stacked up like this. There are a few instances where Charlie Parker played exactly the same line in the same spot in 2 different solos; a few rhythms line up like that, too. I will be taking a look at these and doing some analysis that I’ll share in the days to come. Enjoy!

Transcribed: Charlie Parker – Relaxin’ At Camarillo (Take E)

Here is another take from “The Complete Dial Sessions.” After putting this 3rd take down on paper, I’m beginning to see some patterns emerge throughout. I’ll share some of those in a later post.

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Transcribed: Charlie Parker – Relaxin’ At Camarillo (Take D)

Here is the next take of Relaxin’ At Camarillo. If you look at the 8th and 9th bars of each chorus, you’ll see that they’re almost exactly the same. Also, check out the 4th bar of the second chorus. To my ears, it sounds like a mistake and the last two notes are articulated in kind of an unusual way.

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Transcribed: Charlie Parker – Relaxin’ At Camarillo (Take A)

I’m spending a lot of time with Charlie Parker right now and thought I’d share a little bit of my work. This solo can be found on “The Complete Dial Sessions” by Charlie Parker. It’s a 4-disc set and has multiple takes of several tunes. It’s neat to listen and hear the differences and similarities between takes. I did have to adjust the pitch on this recording. “Relaxin’ At Camarillo” is a blues in C and the recording was flat by over a quarter-step, so it sounded like it was in B. I will be posting transcriptions of the other takes in the next few days.

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Transcribed: Lester Young – Pound Cake

Here’s a transcription I did of some classic Lester Young. Pound Cake is a blues in the key of G (A for the tenor saxophone) and Lester plays two choruses. This solo would be good for use with students who are getting started with transcribing solos. It all falls within a comfortable range on the horn and, rhythmically, it’s pretty straight forward.

I learned this solo about two months ago, but only wrote it down tonight. When I was younger and working on transcriptions, I would listen to the recording, figure out a note or two, write it down in a notebook, and rinse and repeat until I got through the solo. After that was done, then I’d work on playing it. I did make progress using this method, but as time went on, I felt like it was a little too narrow and I wasn’t getting the results I wanted.

With this solo, and the ones I’ve worked on since, I’ve taken great care to listen to the recording a lot and sing along with the entire solo. After I can sing along with the solo, I begin learning it on the horn. With all of the prep work, listening and singing, learning the solo on the horn comes much more quickly than my old method. I’m not too focused on writing the solos down right now, but thought I would write this one out since I haven’t posted a transcription for a while. Hope you enjoy it.

UPDATE: I had originally credited Lester Young with three choruses for this solo. I have learned from several sources that he only played the first two. According to the personnel of that recording, it appears that Buddy Tate played the 3rd chorus.

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Transcribed: Cannonball Adderley – Au Privave

Here’s a transcription of Cannonball Adderley’s solo on Charlie Parker’s “Au Privave” from 1960’s Cannonball Adderley and the Poll-Winners. I first heard this on a compilation called Cannonball Adderley: Jazz Profile and have always liked the solo he took on this tune. It’s only three choruses and there are some great lines. This solo, like a lot of Cannonball Adderley’s playing, is also a study in articulation. There’s a lot of variety in terms of groupings, length of notes, and accents. Wes Montgomery also takes a really nice solo on this tune and that might be the next solo I cover on the blog.

For anyone unfamiliar with this tune, it is a 12-bar blues in F concert. The transcribed solo is transposed for the alto saxophone.

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