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Bud Powell Un Poco Loco - part 2 

Once I realized that the actual improv going on was just over a C-pedal, I was curious to know what kind of material Bud would play.  Generally it's melodic, beboppish, but the adventurous parts are especially exciting. 

Click here to hear his solo slightly slowed down.

Click here to hear his solo on Alt take 1.

Click here to hear his solo on Alt take 2.

Instead of writing a huge analysis of these solos, and how they compare, differ, etc, I thought I would just point out some of my favourite juicy bits.  Even…Read more

Bud Powell Un Poco Loco 

My big project this fall was digging into Bud Powell's "Un Poco Loco". 



It's a song with more than one moment that pushes the envelope of standard jazz language, rhythm and form. The Max Roach drum pattern alone has been elaborated on by many- the 5 over 4 pattern is filled with energy and slightly lopsided, not quite adding up to two bars.At the fast cut time tempo, I feel like it has a falling forward momentum, which feels to me like he was aiming more for whole note triplets across the barline (this was…Read more

Interpreting a melody - My Funny Valentine (part 3) 

After getting the ball rolling with three worked-out versions of the first eight bars of My Funny Valentine, and then looking at how three singers performed them, it was only natural to find three great instrumental versions to look at.  Keep in mind that this is the first time the melody is being stated in the performance- although with a song like this there is a lot of familiarity with the original on the part of both listener and performer.

Sonny Stitt - from a Quincy Jones' collection.  It was really…Read more

Vocal phrasing of a melody - My Funny Valentine (part 2) 

This is really a continuation of my previous post about rhythmically worked-out backphrasing.  I thought it might be interesting to take some of my favourite singers' versions of My Funny Valentine and see exactly what they are doing. 

Here is Chet Baker from "The Best of Chet Baker Sings" - one of my first vocal jazz records.  On it are simple and beautiful versions of 20 songs every jazz musician should know.  Chet's phrasing leans towards triplet-type figures.  The exact rhythm in measure 5 is hard to…Read more

Ornette Coleman "How Deep Is The Ocean" 

Ornette plays standards (and with pianists) so rarely that I want to dig into what this early example of his band sitting in with Paul Bley does.  I also have lifted a bunch of his playing on "Embraceable You" but this performance of "How Deep Is The Ocean", an Irving Berlin Standard from the '30s, is a track I haven't really listened to before, from an album (Live at the Hillcrest 1958) I've been meaning to dig into more.   The horns play a unison intro line, it sounds loosely out of time but they…

Autumn Leaves 

At pickup jazz gigs and jams, musicians are often confused by the key of the standard "Autumn Leaves". It's commonly played in G minor (like the Cannonball/Miles version) or in E minor (as printed in the real book). However it starts in the relative major (in the case of E minor, an Amin7 chord, a ii-chord in the key of G Major), so if someone says "Autumn Leaves... In G" they could mean either version.  I personally feel that it is a minor-key piece, as the piece ends resolved to the Minor, and the first…Read more