[Dixielandjazz] Transcribing Solos

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Tue Sep 26 16:52:01 PDT 2006

> Craig I. Johnson at civanj at adelphia.net wrote: (polite snip)
>> I love Louis' ability at times to really swing with a paucity of notes. Far
> better than other, frequently more "modern" > players who overwhelm their
> solos with far too many notes  Practicing his solos has improved my own
> ideas of how 
>> fewer notes do the trick.
> Not only that, but Louis' ability to swing from his earliest recorded works
> even when the band doesn't. Note how he varies his own "time" with
> instrumental and vocal passages. That is hard to write out, but easy to
> "hear". That time variation is an integral part of swinging (IMO) and a
> reason a band needs a metronome rhythm section like the one Basie had. They
> enable the other players to play around the beat which creates swing if done
> in that relaxed manner Artie Shaw spoke about.
>> Bix Beiderbecke ( and for that matter, early Red Nichols) included fairly
> intellectual things in his (their) solos --
>> especially Bix's use of advancedharmony and 12-tone scales. These are useful
> for me to expand my  concepts of
>> what fits harmonically, though I may never repeat what I play of his actual
> solos in tunes he recorded, yet it allows
>> me a Bixish interpretation of my own. (Exception: I'll play I'm Coming
> Virginia close to what he did - I concicer it a
>> beautiful interpretation (besides my trumpet teacher taught it to me as the
> very first jazz-style song/solo that i ever
>> played. That man "Dick Naylor" used as his theme song Bunny Berigan's "I
>> Can't
> Get Started" complete with the
>> high ending note at the end. I never ceased to be thrilled hearing that from
> either him or Berigan. - It kills me that I
>> can reliably play the note right below it, but can never count on my hitting
> that one reliably more than once it 15
>> tries. That in itself is worth practicing his solo.
> And regarding "I Can't Get Started"; You might listen to Dizzy Gillespie's
record of it.. Stunning and, according to its composer, his favorite version.
Certainly some interesting comparisons to be made there.<

Dear Steve,
If you mean the version made in New York on 9 Jan 1945 for Epic with
Dizzy Gillespie, t; Trummy Young, tb; Don Byas, ts; Clyde Hart, p; Oscar
Pettiford, sb; Shelly Manne, d; then I have to agree with you.
Based on your comment I dug it out for another, long overdue, listen.
Playing it now.
I'd almost forgotten about it.
But which composer?
Vernon Duke, music or Ira Gershwin, lyrics.
Kind regards,


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