Friday, May 20, 2005

Phillip Johnston is so cool. I spent the majority of my time today working in "Hemline." I transcribed 16 bars of his solo on the tune (about 1/3 of his entire solo). It’s a neat tune, a fun solo and a piece that I’ve liked for a long time. I was delightful to transcribe his solo and see what he was doing. I’ve been singing his melodies for years now, it’s nice to bring them to my instrument. It’s also a neat contrast to ATTYA. It’s a modal vamp that he’s improvising over and it’s a relatively unfamiliar scale: Lydian b7 in Eb. I spent time playing his solo, and improvising over it. After a while I went to the loopstation and plugged in the bass line and improvised over it for a while. It was neat, again mostly because it’s a modal tune and there’s so much more I can do with phrasing. Rhythmicly I was freed up as well, and after a while I picked up on a couple of his signature licks. After that I moved to playing over ATTYA changes and was intrigued by the results. I was playing faster and using some of the modal ideas from Johnston over the changes. Because of this work I’m also noticing the phrasing and rhythmic nuances of Paul Desmond. It’s pretty neat. Later in the evening I worked on some of the harder licks, playing them slow and giving my hands a chance to get a feel for them. I put on the newshour and gave my fingers a bit of work out and a little bit pattern training. I already noticed a difference from yesterday, I’m interested to see how my agility is tomorrow.

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