Category Archives: Transcription

Chris Potter plays Pat Metheny’s “New Year”

Pat Metheny has always been one of my heroes. With Michael Brecker as a saxophone hero in the 90s, you really couldn’t miss Pat, as he was on many of Brecker’s albums, and vice versa. Well, as I’m sure most … Continue reading

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Paul Desmond plays “Take Five”

Here’s a very famous solo from Paul Desmond, being played with Dave Brubeck. I know this one is a cliche, and that there’s many purists who scoff at the idea of this tune, but I love Desmond and had this … Continue reading

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Chris Potter plays Confirmation

Its been awhile since my last transcription post, but that’s not to say I haven’t been busy…my most recent project has just been a beast. For those who follow Chris Potter, you may be aware that he offers lessons through … Continue reading

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Lester Young Plays “Lester Leaps In”

Bob Brookmeyer hipped me to Lester Young. A few lessons into my studies with Bob, he pointed out that my improvised lines were chordal, jumpy and relatively undeveloped – another way of saying vertical and disconnected. He prescribed a steady … Continue reading

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Phil Woods plays “Goin’ to Chicago Blues”

It’s my birthday today, but you get the present! Here’s a Phil Woods transcription from Oliver Nelson’s More Blues and the Abstract Truth. Phil Woods is possibly the greatest living bebop saxophonist, and the definitive disciple of Charlie Parker in … Continue reading

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Chris Potter plays “The Source”

Today’s transcription is the modern tenor giant Chris Potter’s tribute to 60s tenor giant John Coltrane. “The Source” comes from his album Gratitude, which is loaded with dedications to Potter’s heroes. This is the first of a few tracks I … Continue reading

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Lee Konitz plays “Subconscious Lee”

In the late 40s and 50s, Jazz was going through a bit of an identity crisis. The Big Band Era was over and Bebop hadn’t caught on in the mainstream despite the best efforts of Dizzy Gillespie. Older musicians seemed … Continue reading

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Michael Brecker & Bob Mintzer play “Giant Steps”

I’m in the weeds right now, so here’s an oldie! I picked this solo back at NAU in 2000. It comes from Bob Mintzer’s tribute record to the Tenor Sax, Twin Tenors. This is a killer 90s record that showcases … Continue reading

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Bob Brookmeyer plays “Stella By Starlight”

In my second year at New England Conservatory, I had the honor of studying with Bob Brookmeyer, the wonderful composer, pianist and trombonist. Much of our time was spent talking about thematic development and finding ways to play more freely … Continue reading

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Clifford Brown plays “Joy Spring”

There was a point, while I was at New England, where I became aware that I was playing the same clich├ęs that all sax players play, all the time. This became really obvious as tempos increased. Think about the last … Continue reading

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