Welp, it's been another couple months. This blog is still very much active, although updates have been more sporadic recently. Grad school has kept me pretty busy.
Hermeto Pascoal - Nem Um Talvez
Here's my interpretation of Hermeto Pascoal's "Nem Um Talvez". This tune was recorded on the Miles Davis album Live/Evil. Given the way Miles used to change songs in the studio, it's likely that Pascoal's original version was a good deal different than the version that was actually released. (If Pascoal recorded the tune himself, I'm unaware of it. It would be interesting to hear.) But this is a pretty close approximation to what was played on the record. The phrasing might be debatable but I'm pretty sure the chords and melody are right.
It just occurred to me that I have not updated this blaaaggh in a month! Here are some oldies that I've had in the can for a while, but I haven't shared them before.
Ornette Coleman - Macho Woman
This one was recorded by Ornette's Prime Time quintet, and released in 1978 on Body Meta. I will probably be sharing some more tunes from this album from time to time.
Collin Walcott - Margueritte
[Chart updated 10/12/11. Please make sure you download the new version to replace the old.]
This is a beautiful tune, the opening track on Walcott's first album Cloud Dance. I remember reading somewhere (maybe the liner notes??) that Margueritte was the name of Walcott's wife, but I could be just completely making that up.
A different version of this tune was recorded on Oregon's 1974 album Winter Light. I'll post that in the future.
The tune is one of two quartet tunes on the album, with Jack DeJohnette playing drums. I posted the other one at an earlier time; click the "Collin Walcott" label below to find it. The rest of the album consists of duos and trios with Dave Holland and John Abercrombie. This is a really good, very accessible 70's jazz album that I can't recommend highly enough.
I've got a pretty busy July but hopefully I'll get around to doing some serious transcribing at some point. I noticed a couple requests for "Splash", which is definitely encouraging. I'll give it a try soon.
On a side note: readers of this blog might be interested in a series I've been working on over at my other blog. This is a series of the earliest recorded examples of free improvisation that I've been able to find, with the point of demonstrating the wide variety of approaches that have led to it.
[Note: In an interview, Braxton once gave a couple of examples of titles that he would never use for his compositions, like "The Sun Came Over The Mountain" and "Braxton's Blues". I originally titled this post "Bracky's Blues", because that's what I remembered him saying. I noticed the error and changed the title, but you can still see "Bracky's Blues" in the URL to this post. No disrespect was intended toward Braxton, then or now.]
Two tunes off of Anthony Braxton's New York, Fall 1974 album on Arista. Side A of the album is played by the quartet of Braxton, Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland and Jerome Cooper. Side B contains collaborations with a proto-World Saxophone Quartet, and ex-Musica Elettronica Viva member Richard Teitelbaum. The final track features the original quartet with the addition of Leroy Jenkins on violin. All in all, a very solid, if unusual, album.
Anthony Braxton - Composition #23C
UPDATE: the ineffable Gary Prince found a typo in this transcription. So, I've updated it. Please re-download this new one!
Braxton describes this piece as an "additive repetitive structure", to be played as written, observing all repeat signs once. The result is a form like: 1, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4, etc. The tune becomes "progressively revealed" until the end, when it is played straight through. For Braxton's notes on the piece, see restructures.net.
Anthony Braxton - Composition #23D
A more straight-ahead tune, with free solos. I'll leave it to Braxton's own notes to tell you the rest. Read on restructures.net.
When I transcribe, I try to envision the chart being used on the recording session. Transcribing a tune like "Bittersuite" is particularly challenging because it is so loosely interpreted by the ensemble. "Brofilia" is especially frustrating because it clearly follows a basic blues form, but the i chords appear to be treated as vamps. In addition, there appears to be miscommunication about where beat 1 occurs during the section. So, it's not perfect. But at least it's better than the version in the Real Book. If you have suggestions on how to improve this chart, let me know.
Please be inspired by this tune to go out and work for clean energy. Advocacy isn't enough, we need to do work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that means we all need to stop driving so much, among other things. Carpool, take the bus, ride your bike to work.
(Sorry to get political, but if you think music should be apolitical, don't forget about how much great music came out of the 60's. And why. Plus, it's International Workers' Day. Hug a union.)
These two tunes were recorded on Feb. 20th, 1969 with Miles, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, John McLaughlin, Dave Holland and Joe Chambers. Both tunes never saw the light of day until the In A Silent Way Sessions box set came out.
Miles Davis - The Ghetto Walk
Another example of Miles' extended compositions with modal solos. The recorded take is nearly a half-hour long, leaving ample solo space. (In fact, you can really hear the band settle into the solo section groove)
Miles and Wayne restate parts of the melody in a rubato fashion. I'll leave it to you for now to figure this part out, I just wanted to get the basic form of the tune transcribed.
Joe Zawinul - Early Minor
A beautiful minor ballad. The Rhodes really shimmers on this one. This tune deserves to be played far more often, hopefully this chart will encourage people.
I've been going back to the Complete In A Silent Way Sessions box lately, transcribing tunes of interest. Lots of good composing, and great playing (considering they were likely sight-reading most of these). Next up on the docket are "Splash" and "Splashdown" but we'll see how far I get in those!
Throughout the late 1960's, Miles Davis and his group was intensely exploring new compositional methods. The 2nd quintet had delved into modern, non-functional harmony (see "Circle" and "Fall") free jazz (see "Orbits", "Dolores", etc.), and rock (see "Freedom Jazz Dance" and "Eighty-One"). By the time of Filles de Kilimanjaro, Miles was writing complex linear song forms, with modal solo sections stuck in the middle.
Up until 2003 it was generally assumed that this tendency fell away in 1969 as Miles went completely modal. But the recent release of unedited session tapes tells a different story.
Miles Davis - Shh, Peaceful
The song form is almost completely obscured by editing on the album version. But listen to the version on the box set and you'll hear a fully-formed composition, with modal solo sections, just like "Frelon Brun". For the uber-uber-nerds, here's an interesting piece of history: Miles' own lead sheet of the tune. I used it for parts of the transcription above. The last three bars of system 5 resemble the descending chord progression that is heard on "It's About That Time", but the bassline is nowhere to be found. Maybe this sheet of music was the source material for the entire recording session, not just "Shh, Peaceful"?
In any case, this tune was recorded on February 18, 1969. Peter Losin's always-useful Miles Ahead website also includes a breakdown of how the master take was edited for the LP version. Check it out!
Miles Davis - Dual Mr. Anthony Tillmon Williams Process
This tune was recorded on November 11th, 1968. Discographer Peter Losin suggests that this tune may have been co-written by Gil Evans, which is definitely possible. It was shelved but eventually released by Columbia in 1976 on the album Water Babies.
Marcus Miller - Tutu
Recorded on February 11th, 1986. Released on the album Tutu, by Warmer Bros. I didn't bother transcribing all the synth hits at the beginning.