Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Embraceable You

Another Charlie Parker transcription. This is probably the best solo I've ever heard. I never realized just how much was going on in Charlie Parker's ballads until this.

This is a ballad played at a slow tempo. There are a few solos before this one. Everyone is playing swing eights, taking it easy and melodic. Bird comes in, and everything is taken to a whole new level. Swing 16th are the new rules. Pick up the track from to see what I mean. Parker still keeps a ballad feel throughout, he's just re-inventing how to play them, right there and then. I cannot imagine having to solo after Bird that day.

Despite the slow tempo, I had to slow this down considerably to hear the individual notes. My teacher tells me him and Lennie used to learn Bird's solo on a record player set up at half speed, with everything an octave down. This is basically it.
I dropped the usual sax voice in favor of the good old acoustic.

More Parker to come. For now, this is
Embraceable You

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