Tag Archives: The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley

Transcribed: Hank Mobley – Cattin’

Here is Hank Mobley’s solo from Cattin’ from The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley, Vol. 1. Cattin’ is a 12-bar blues in Bb. On Hank Mobley’s and Donald Byrd’s solos, there is a 16-bar tag added at the end. It’s 14 bars of a G pedal (F concert) It lands on C (Bb concert) on bar 15 and sets up the break for the next soloist to begin. There is also a measure and a half solo break before the beginning of the first chorus.

I really enjoyed learning this solo. There were a lot of little twists and turns that were revealed in the process. Hank Mobley superimposes some other chords over what the rhythm section is playing in a number of spots. For example, measures 9 and 10 of the first chorus could be interpreted as | Dmin7 / Eb7 / | Abmin7 / Db7 / | played over Dmin7 – G7. There are also cases of tritone substitution in bars 8 and 10 of the second chorus. There are a couple of other things in there too, but I won’t ramble on and risk being too pedantic.

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Transcribed: Doug Watkins – Cattin’

This is the next solo from “The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley.” Bassist Doug Watkins takes a 1-chorus solo on Cattin’, a 12-bar blues in Bb. This is the first bass solo I’ve ever transcribed. This is basically a chorus of walking bass, but it was interesting for me to see how often Doug Watkins’ first note on a chord change would be on something other than the root. This isn’t something really radical, but if you don’t know about it, you don’t know. I didn’t know.

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Transcribed: Ronnie Ball – Cattin’

This is the next solo from “The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley.” Pianist Ronnie Ball plays 4 choruses on Cattin’, a 12-bar blues in Bb. Unlike the solos of Hank Mobley and Donald Byrd, there is no F pedal tag at the end; it goes straight into a bass solo.

This is a nice solo that makes use of chromaticism, enclosures, and chord superimposition. The first 4 measures of the 2nd chorus also show the influence of Ronnie Ball’s study with Lennie Tristano. An 8-note motif is played first in 4 beats and then repeated 3 times using only 3 beats per repetition. The pitches are repeated exactly each time, but the rhythm is different each time. The 1st half of the motif is repeated a 4th time to end the phrase.

Another interesting motif occurs at the beginning of the 3rd chorus. There is a line comprised of notes from the B pentatonic scale superimposed over Bb7. The line is then repeated and resolved down a half step with a Bb pentatonic scale over Eb7. The 3rd measure has the same contour as the first 2 bars, but contains different intervals.

The last thing I think is mentionable is the 7th and 8th measures of the 4th chorus. The 7th measure starts with a D-7 arpeggio with an enclosure going to B natural. The B natural is the first note of a descending C#-7 arpeggio which connects to an ascending C-7 arpeggio.

So far out of the solos I’ve transcribed from this album, Ronnie Ball is the guy who I find the most interesting. I find myself in a position, as a listener, where I’m wondering what he’s playing and how does that relate to the changes of the tune. Transcribing these solos is turning out to be a great way of finding that out.

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Transcribed: Donald Byrd – Cattin’

As you may have read in some previous posts, I’ve been working my way through the solos from “The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley.” This Donald Byrd solo is the next installment of that series.

Cattin’ is a 12-bar blues in Bb. This solo is full of enclosures and chromatic motion. Another interesting thing about this solo is the repetition of material across choruses. If you look in the 6th measure of each chorus (F7) you’ll see that every one of them contains a descending 8th note figure that goes Eb, C, Ab, F#, and then resolves to G. All of the 8th measure of each chorus are also very similar, but not exactly the same. In Donald Byrd’s and Hank Mobley’s solos there is a 16-bar tag on a G pedal (F concert) that ends the solo. The last two bars contain a turnaround that acts as the break for the next soloist. A final note – the time on the pickups at the beginning of the solos is a little out. I notated 8th notes, but they’re not locked in with the rhythm section.

I will be posting Hank Mobley’s solo soon. I am learning his solos by listening, singing, and finally playing along. I write it down only after I feel like I have a really good handle on it. I am playing along with the solo now, but I need to clean a couple things up before I feel good about moving to the writing stage. For the rest of the solos, I am using them as written dictation exercises. I listen to a looped phrase at speed and try to write it down as it is playing and looping. After I write something down, I go back and check my work, correcting any mistakes I find and slowing the recording down to get any parts I couldn’t grab at tempo.

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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.

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Transcribed: Donald Byrd – There Will Never Be Another You

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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.

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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.

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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.

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ii-V of the day: Hank Mobley – 9.21.10

Today’s ii-V was played by Hank Mobley on There Will Never Be Another You from the 1956 The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley album. This album can be tough to come by. I could only find a Japanese import (expensive) when I was looking for it and ended up buying it because was about the only choice available at the time.

Hank Mobley’s lines are a good source of bebop vocabulary. He really outlined the harmony well and used the melodic devices of the time in a way that are accessible to the student (self-included!) looking to understand the mechanics of a good eighth-note line.

The ii-V starts off on the root of the Dmin7 followed by a chromatic lower neighbor tone. We then move up to the 3rd (F) and back down to the root. We then have an enclosure going to the C# (#11) on the downbeat of the G7 bar (D>C>C#). The C# can be analyzed as the beginning of an enclosure to the D 0n beat 2 (C#>E>D). We then move down in scalar motion until we get to the Ab (b9) on beat 4. This begins another enclosure, this time going to the G on beat 1 of the CMaj7 measure (Ab>F#>G). The line ends with 5-1 (G>C).

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