Tuesday, May 24, 2005

cruise-control

Morning: I spent some time working on my Phillip Johnston licks from yesterday. It’s a challenging solo for me because of it’s speed and well, I guess just the speed. Some of the licks are very fast and have a lot of notes, and frankly, I’m not used to that. I could see this morning that my work from yesterday really paid off. Yesterday (and for several days before) I was working on how to finger some of the faster licks and then playing them very slow, over and over again, recognizing that it’s going to take my fingers and my brain to realize the pattern. Today I could play the licks faster and with more feel than before. I think I got a little while before I can bring it up to tempo and weave it into the entire solo, but it was great progress. I also spent some time looking at the last couple licks of the first chorus of Paul Desmond’s ATTYA. It’s sort of a saxophony trill that he does at the end that I’ve kind of ignored until now. That will probably come along just as the Johnston licks have.

Later in the morning I sat down with the So What solo and was happy to see that my work from yesterday had congealed. I’ve got two phrases that I’ve got to clean up. All in all, I’m having fun with my project and enjoying the results that I’m seeing.

Afternoon: more of the same. I’ve been doing this long enough to recognize when I’m doing it right and I think I’m cruising on the right track. It will just take a little while to get there. I spent some time with the Paul Desmond solo and the Phillip Johnston solo. I’m amazed at how close I can come to Johnston’s speed and dexterity of his lines. It’s coming along. I’m also really getting excited about the structure of what I’m working on. It reminds me of my 30-second tune project. It’s very matter-of-fact what I need to do and I get to see progress as its happening. It’s definitely a satisfying time in my development.

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