Tag Archives: Charlie Parker

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 C)

From the four takes that we have of Relaxin’ At Camarillo, Take C is the one that was chosen for release. This was actually the first of these solos I transcribed. The difference between this and the others was that I learned this one by ear and committed it to memory before writing it down. With the others, I listened to the recording and slowed it down using Transcribe!, wrote down what I heard, and checked it with my alto when I had it all written down. I thought that would be a good, practical application of the ear training I’ve been doing lately.

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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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ii-V of the day: Charlie Parker – 10.2.10

I’m back! After a nice trip to LA and a few days of catching up, I’m ready to get back with the ii-Vs. I haven’t mentioned this before, but I am transcribing these ii-Vs as I present them. I don’t have a big notebook or anything that I just pull from. I get up everyday and transcribe a new ii-V.

Anyway… today’s ii-V comes to us courtesy of Charlie Parker. It’s taken from his solo on Relaxing With Lee. I have it on The Essential Charlie Parker, but I know it’s available on a few other albums.

Relaxing With Lee is a 32-bar AABA form tune based on Stompin’ At The Savoy changes. Savoy is usually played in Db and this is also the case for Relaxing With Lee. On the recording, it sounds like Parker plays a composed theme for the first 8 measures and then begins his improvised solo.

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Transcribed Lead Sheet: Drifting On A Reed – Charlie Parker

Here is a leadsheet for the tune this blog is named after, Drifting On A Reed. This tune was recorded with various titles. The most common title, and the one that I originally knew this tune as, is “Big Foot”. Other titles include “Giant Swing” and “Air Conditioning.”

There are versions for C, Bb, Eb, and Bass Clef instruments. The tune is a 12-bar blues in the key of Bb. If you listen to the recording and try to play along, you’ll notice that the recording is actually in B. It’s not uncommon to come across recordings from this time that were sped up a little and sound higher than they actually were.

I decided to transcribe this melody for two reasons – it’s the tune from which I got the name for the blog and more importantly, it’s not in the Charlie Parker Omnibook. Enjoy!

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ii-V of the day: Charlie Parker – 9.15.10

Today’s ii-V is taken from Charlie Parker’s solo on the tune that I named this blog after – Drifting On A Reed. You can find it on the album, Bebop and Bird, Volume 1.

This is another nice line that does a good job of outlining the changes. The first measure outlines the D-7 by using an arpeggio up to the 9th (E) and back to 1 (D). The second measure has an enclosure around the 3rd of the G7 (B) and followed by another, longer enclosure that resolves to the 5th of the CMaj7 (G).

Drifting On A Reed is a blues in Bb, but on the recording I have it is a half step sharp so it sounds like B.

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Transcribed: Wes Montgomery – Au Privave

Yesterday, I put up my transcription of Cannonball Adderley’s solo on “Au Privave” from Cannonball Adderley and the Poll-Winners. During my practice today, I sat down with the recording and my keyboard and transcribed Wes Montgomery’s guitar solo. There are some nice lines and bebop vocabulary in the solo, but I really like the third chorus where Wes is playing in octaves.

A quick note, the transcription is written in concert pitch and transposed up an octave just like it would be for guitar.

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