San Diego Saxophone Lessons

San Diego Saxophone Lessons
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Transcribing: Rhythm Changes Sonny Stitt (part II)

My transcription chops are still a little bit rusty, but here's the latest video. This is from the record Sonny Stitt/Bud Powell/J. J. Johnson and the tune is Sonny Side. As you can read in the liner notes below, this was some of the earliest Stitt recorded with him playing tenor.

This particular track has a rhythm section of (the incomparable) Bud Powell on piano, Curly Russell on bass, and Max Roach on drums.  Recorded in December of 1949, this is from one of my favorite periods in bebop.


To keep working on improving in some other keys, I pitch-shifted the entire track down from concert Bb to concert A before I started the transcribing process. This is a great workout on the horn! And next time that crazy vocalist calls a tune in A-major I will be more prepared. This particular solo was a real chops-buster for using the bis-key.

As I've said before transcribing is an excellent way to improve your time-feel, tone, phrasing, intonation, ears, and is far-and-above the best ways to learn true jazz articulation. All the info is on the record! Or the MP3 file in this case... but that just doesn't sound as cool.

Here are some great pictures that I found on showing the original record and cover art (much better than the reissue CD art, in my opinion).


Read part I of this post here.

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