Sunday, May 29, 2005


Much of the same today… I moved forward on my Phillip Johnston transcription. It’s a hard tune to transcribe and I’m having a hard time with the last part of it. It’s very fast and sometimes the horn is a little out of tune and I have to make an educated guess on which note he’s using. Because I’ve transcribed the first 2/3rds of the solo I have a pretty good idea of where he’s going with his solo. He’s repeating a lot of his licks and using slight variations. I really feel it’s important for me to finish this solo because of this repetition. If I can see, hear and play the licks that he uses over and over than that means I have his sound in the bag. It’s this idea that keeps me working forward with this piece. Because it’s hard, it seems like a lot, but because I’m seeing results and imagining what will come, it inspires me to continue.

I spent a little time on some modal exercises and some scale playing, but I was pushed back to the Phillip Johnston improv. During this intermission I made the observation that I don’t practice scales or arpeggios any more. Looking at a player that plays so fast is reminding me of what I’m lacking (as far a speed is concerned). I want to take some time in the future and look at the some scales in a more regimented and disciplined way.

My last turn at the Phillip Johnston idea was to record myself soloing over his Eb Lydian b7 groove. I used my delay pedal for the groove and the loopsation for the recording. I think this was my first or second take. The phrasing I’m using intrigues me. It seems somewhat similar to PJ’s, and there’s one lick that I specifically learned from his solo. My time isn’t the best, but I like some of my melodic ideas and development (even if it’s a bit rambling). Regardless of how proud I am of the solo or not, I wanted to record it for posterity. I’ll try to record another example in a month or two, when I get a better feel for his playing.


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