Here is a free transcription of Chick Corea’s solo on “My One and Only Love,” from the album Now He Sings, Now He Sobs. Transcribed by a phenomenal pianist, Glenn Zaleski. Check out Glenn’s new CD here: http://glennzaleski.com/
Here are the first three choruses of Brad Mehldau’s solo from his most recent album recorded at the Village Vanguard in New York City, Brad Mehldau Trio (Live). I always loved this solo. When I first heard it, I was somewhat floored. Brad’s seemingly dissonant yet wonderfully melodic lines had developed to an entirely new level. As usual, the solo itself also developed and unfolded flawlessly. Although I only got around to transcribing the first three choruses, I feel that there is a wealth of information that one can learn from these three alone.
To sum up how I interpret what Brad is doing, I believe he is essentially taking the elements that make up the average melodic bebop line and applying them through different cycles, as well as simply interpolating different keys over the harmony of C.T.A. The tune, C.T.A., is very similar to a rhythm changes tune, however, the A section is slightly different at the beginning. (Let me add that I also think he simply hears this way at this point after a great deal of practicing).
First of all, what makes a good bebop line? As my former teacher Hal Galper coined the term, “Forward Motion.” Basically, the idea that every line is leading to a strong melodic tone (root, 3rd, 5th, 7th) that falls on beat 1 or 3. (I highly suggest that you go to halgalper.com and learn more about Forward Motion.) If you listen carefully, you can hear that Brad’s dissonant sounding lines often use forward motion, but sometimes the “melodic” tones are actually led to in a different key than the original key of the tune.
That’s my theory. Hope it helps. Enjoy the transcription, and please feel free to contact me with any questions you have.
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Here is a beautifully done transcription of Herbie Hancock’s “I Have a Dream” by pianist and educator, Joe Gilman. This includes horn parts and full arrangement (no solos).
Check out Joe Gilman on our contributors page: https://jazzpianoconcepts.com/about-our-contributers/
And in this video with Bobby Hutcherson:
I am very excited to post the first jazz piano transcription to the site for our free consumption! Thanks to Greg Chen for providing his beautiful work!!!
About Greg Chen:
in the works of classical greats such as J.S. Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin and at the age of thirteen fell in love with the sound of jazz, finding it to be a natural extension of his classical training. Soon, he was experimenting with and combining a variety of musical styles including funk, fusion, rock, gospel, and Latin music. By the age of eighteen, Gregory had already played at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Avery Fisher Hall – Lincoln Center, World Trade Center 7, Gramercy Theatre, Symphony Space in Manhattan, Puppets Jazz Bar in Brooklyn, the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, Jazz at the Bistro in St. Louis Missouri, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, the American Jazz Museum “Blue Room” in Kansas City, and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Cincinnati, Smoke Jazz and Supper Club in Manhattan, among other venues. He has appeared at the Monterey and San Jose jazz festivals, among others. Gregory has had the opportunity to perform with such jazz musicians as Wynton Marsalis, Lee Konitz, Candido Camero, Ambrose Akinmusire, Steve Wilson, Jon Gordon, Julian Lage, Bobby Watson, Anton Schwartz, and Mike Tomaro. He has studied with Garry Dial, Ted Rosenthal, Peter Horvath, Michael Zilber, Frank Sumares, and Pablo Mayor among others.
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For years now, I have struggled with the fact that competition is often a large part of the music business. But it took me until now that it has absolutely NOTHING to do with music itself, unless you make it that way. One thing I absolutely hate is when people play music in order to impress people. You know what it usually ends up sounding like? Like a bunch of immature crap. Take a soccer player for instance (soccer happens to be one of my other loves). The greatest players are fully capable of using all the tricks in the book, but they only use them when necessary. They are team players, meaning they do what is best for the team, rather than doing a bunch of moves to get the crowd going and going for goal themselves even if a better opportunity exists for another player. Music is just like soccer. You have to play what is best for the music, not what is best for yourself. The mature musician saves his tricks for the right moment rather than spewing them all over the place to get a reaction from the crowd. Too many musicians end up being the immature soccer player! How does this all relate to competition? Well, the reason people turn into show-offs is because they feel competitive! Forget competition when you’re playing music. That’s NOT EVEN CLOSE to what your music should be about. Play music to evoke emotion. Play music to send a message. Play music because you LOVE PLAYING MUSIC.