This is another solo I transcribed to help me get my stuff together for the Tower of Power cover band I’m playing with. “On The Serious Side” is from Tower of Power’s 1975 In The Slot album. An interesting thing about this solo is that Lenny Pickett plays it on alto saxophone. The band leader for the cover band told me this was kind of a tribute to Maceo Parker and that’s the reason for going with the alto.
LP takes two solos on the recording – one in the middle and the other close to the end. They’re both 9 measures long and the first bar in both is a pickup measure. Both solos are built around a minor pentatonic scale with an added 6th. The intervals for the scale are 1, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7 (A, C, D, E, F#, G).
LP also uses false fingerings on 16th note lines where he repeats A2 (A above the staff). The “o” and “+” denotes this. The “o” is the regular fingering. For the “+”, you’ll add 1,2, and 3 on your right hand. I’m not entirely sure he’s doing it in the first solo or if he’s kind of half-tonguing, but the false fingerings were the best way for me to play it. You can experiment with it and come to your own conclusions. If you do, please feel free to comment on that.