Rooster_Ties

The head to B. Harper's "Capra Black" - crazy!!

31 posts in this topic

OK, this really isn't a "musician"-only topic, but it is technical, in terms of notation. I'm a musician, of sorts (I'm just a "choir-geek" :g ), and I can't transcribe musical notation worth a damn - particularly complex jazz rhythms.

I've been listening to various versions of Billy Harper's tune "Capra Black" lately (perhaps best known in the version on Lee Morgan's last studio album, a.k.a. "The Last Session"). Harper's covered himself a couple times too, for Strata East at the very least (that's the one other version I know).

Anyway, I'm trying to get my ears and head around the 'head' of the tune, rhythmically speaking. I don't really need to know this for anything (I'm not a jazz musician), but just for my own curiosity.

Does anybody have a "real-book" type lead-sheet for "Capra Black" – and could you post it to this thread?? (Or perhaps scan it, and e-mail it to me.)

I swear I’m hearing "3 against 2" stuff going on, but the off-beat accents are really tricky, at least to my untrained ears (at least they're untrained for this sort of thing). Then, when the 'head' gets faster, I get totally lost.

Frankly, I'm less interested in exactly what all the notes are (where they are on staff), and I'm more interested in how the main melody looks in rhythmic notation, metrically speaking (including where all the bass-line notes are dropped while the melody is going on, since I don't remember them being exactly on the beat either). [bUT, I might add, I'm betting the rhythm will be easier to 'see' (and follow on paper) - if I have the notes on the staff too.]

What a bitchin' tune!!! B) Wonder what it would sound like done-up Organissimo style?? :g

Also, are there any other versions of this tune (by Harper, or anyone else - for that matter), besides the one with Lee, and Harper's own recording of it on Strata East in '73???

The AMG doesn't list any, but then again, it doesn't even list the Harper version on Strata East. :rolleyes:

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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I've transcribed some of Billy's tunes, but not this one. I agree it's one of his trickier structures. My mother-in-law is visiting :rolleyes: otherwise I'd get on this right away...

Those are the only two recordings of it that I know of, but he's got a few things that I haven't gotten yet, earlier things, so maybe he does it on one of those.

Why don't you e-mail him? billy@billyharper.com

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Perhaps I'll consider e-mailing Harper, though my reasons for wanting the music are less than typical. Would any of the other musicians here on this board be interested in getting an arrangement of Capra Black -- and then could you share a copy of it with me??

I mean, how weird is it for some non-jazz musician to be interested in seeing the music for a tune, without any real interest in playing it. (I don't even have a good academic reason for wanting to see it either -- just plain old curiosity.)

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Just say, "Hey Billy - really dig this tune. How much you want for a lead sheet?" He doesn't have to know who you are or what you want it for. Hell, he might even GIVE you one. But don't count on that.

Plus - how cool would it be to have the REAL lead sheet, straight from the pen (or Xerox) of the composer his ownself? WAY cool, I'd think!

I did this w/Zappa back in 1970, wrote & asked for a lead sheet to "America Drinks & Goes Home". This was before email, obviously, so FIRST I had to write Local 47 to get a directory (Noooo problem!). To see the addresses and phone #s of EVERY major musician in L.A. right there for anybody to access was a real mindfuck. Of course, now I realize that some of those contacts were no doubt for personal management, but when you're 14, what do you know about that? Anyway, I wrote a little note saying that I dug the song and would like some music for it. Got a photocopy of Zappa's handwritten lead sheet back from Herb Cohen. VERY minimal, but it was THE REAL DEAL!

I think my Mom threw it out w/my baseball cards, though...

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Great tune, always sends shivers down the spine here.

The version on Morgan's Last Session is timeless of course if only for the awesom bass work. I got Billy's "own" version on Strata East some time ago. A killer tune is a killer tune! These non-musician ears hear a lot of tension and release in there, the thing builds and crumbles, builds and crumbles, loud and soft, dense and sparse, rasp and smear. Absolutely marvellous.

HELLYEAH! :tup

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Well said, cow. HELLYEAH! - indeed. ^_^

And that's why I wanna see it on paper.

The 'head' to the tune tumbles and rolls, and bobs and weaves so much, but in such subtle ways -- that I really wanna see how it works technically. It can't be THAT complicated (we're not talkin' Zappa's "The Black Page" here, with it's triplets that are each further subdivided into 5, 7, and 11 notes each -- EEK!!! :excited::g ), but there has to be some beautiful and musically-logical way that "Capra Black" weaves the spell it weaves.

Maybe I will send Billy an e-mail after all... :w

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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A friend of mine tells me he managed to scare up a lead-sheet for Capra Black, from some sort of Billy Harper fan club (the "official" one, I'm told), direct from the president of the fan club. (Who knew there even was an "official" Billy Harper fan club??)

Haven't seen it yet, but I probably will sometime next week.

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Go for it, Tom!

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Well said, cow.  HELLYEAH! - indeed. ^_^

And that's why I wanna see it on paper.

The 'head' to the tune tumbles and rolls, and bobs and weaves so much, but in such subtle ways -- that I really wanna see how it works technically.  It can't be THAT complicated (we're not talkin' Zappa's "The Black Page" here, with it's triplets that are each further subdivided into 5, 7, and 11 notes each -- EEK!!!  :excited:  :g ), but there has to be some beautiful and musically-logical way that "Capra Black" weaves the spell it weaves.

Maybe I will send Billy an e-mail after all...  :w

I was just thinking about transcribing some of the tunes Of the last session, but if you already got a lead sheet on capra black, I would love to have a copy.

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I did get it - a couple months after I started this thread (it took that long for my buddie and me to hook up), but I'll have to hunt around the house for it now. Had forgotten I'd started this thread.

Meant to make a copy for Free For All too -- in the hopes he could get a group he's in (or in sometimes, anyway) to take it on - perhaps the Westport Art Ensemble?

Lard, where did those copies get too?? (dig, dig, dig...)

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I did get it - a couple months after I started this thread (it took that long for my buddie and me to hook up), but I'll have to hunt around the house for it now.  Had forgotten I'd started this thread.

Meant to make a copy for Free For All too -- in the hopes he could get a group he's in (or in sometimes, anyway) to take it on - perhaps the Westport Art Ensemble?

Lard, where did those copies get too??  (dig, dig, dig...)

Thats great!

Let me know if you find it.

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A transcription of it is available on Scribd. 

On 3/17/2004 at 11:25 AM, JSngry said:

I've transcribed some of Billy's tunes, but not this one. I agree it's one of his trickier structures. My mother-in-law is visiting :rolleyes: otherwise I'd get on this right away...

 

Those are the only two recordings of it that I know of, but he's got a few things that I haven't gotten yet, earlier things, so maybe he does it on one of those.

 

Why don't you e-mail him? billy@billyharper.com

Jim,

What tunes have you transcribed, out of curiosity.  Equal curious as to what your axe is  (spend most of my time on the BFT thread and was not aware of this).

 

Also, to the OP, you might have luck contacting him.  For awhile he was offering to sell his arrangements on his website (I have a BH fetish and tried to purchase a slew of stuff, but it never materialized).  I've lobbied him a couple of times about putting out a book of his material, but to no avail.  He seems a pretty private guy.

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I've done "Priestess", "Croquet Ballet", "Soran Bushi B.H." and some less-involved ones like "Calvary" and "Thoroughbred". I'd like to have the time to do them all, they're magnificently detail pieces.

When I play, I play tenor.

 

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I have a chart for Croquet Ballet (that blew my mind, and showed how bad my transcription sucked!).  I've learned Priestess, but never wrote it out.  Another great tune.  That guy has magic when he writes.  

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The Cookers (w/Billy, of course) do Capra Black on the "Warriors" album. Most of their albums have at least on classic BH piece.

Croquet Ballet ("Cast the First Stone)
Quest ("Believe")
Dance Eternal Spirits Dance ("Time and Time Again")
The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart ("The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart")

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1 hour ago, BFrank said:

The Cookers (w/Billy, of course) do Capra Black on the "Warriors" album. Most of their albums have at least on classic BH piece.

Croquet Ballet ("Cast the First Stone)
Quest ("Believe")
Dance Eternal Spirits Dance ("Time and Time Again")
The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart ("The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart")

WHICH, I might add, makes them half-worth their weight in gold -- and is half the reason I think I own every single Cookers release on CD.  Billy's playing is still as good as ever, and I'd argue he's probably the best working tenor-player alive today (by my estimation).  Yeah, there's Wayne -- but Billy's a lot more active -- and Wayne hasn't played enough tenor most years to really quite go head-to-head against Billy (in my mind, at least).

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5 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

WHICH, I might add, makes them half-worth their weight in gold -- and is half the reason I think I own every single Cookers release on CD.  Billy's playing is still as good as ever, and I'd argue he's probably the best working tenor-player alive today (by my estimation).  Yeah, there's Wayne -- but Billy's a lot more active -- and Wayne hasn't played enough tenor most years to really quite go head-to-head against Billy (in my mind, at least).

There are many high points to those wonderful Cookers albums besides the Harper contributions, but I agree those are the highest of high.  And that Harper continues to be excellent in his tenor playing!

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Seeing them again (for the umpteenth time) at SFJAZZ in the middle of the month. ;)

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Saw him only once, with the Max Roach Quartet. I liked the Roach Quartet with Billy Harper and Reggie Workman more than the later replacements Odean Pope and Calvin Hill. With Harper and Workman it was a warmer sound. 

And I remember the only Billy Harper composition I am aware of was "Peaceful Heart". But I couldn´t figure out what measure it is......

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1 hour ago, Gheorghe said:

Saw him only once, with the Max Roach Quartet. I liked the Roach Quartet with Billy Harper and Reggie Workman more than the later replacements Odean Pope and Calvin Hill. With Harper and Workman it was a warmer sound. 

And I remember the only Billy Harper composition I am aware of was "Peaceful Heart". But I couldn´t figure out what measure it is......

Both Pope and Hill are excellent players but the combo with Harper and Workman was definitely something else ....

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15 minutes ago, soulpope said:

Both Pope and Hill are excellent players but the combo with Harper and Workman was definitely something else ....

Yes, I wouldn´t say, Pope and Hill are not excellent Players, but Maybe I had to get used to that strange bassoon like Sound Pope has on Tenor, and the somehow colder more Electric sounding bass amplifier Calvin Hill used. I think I heard them on a later Occasion also, then Calvin Hill was replaced by Fender Bassist Tyrone Brown.

Now back to "Peaceful Heart"...….. some idea in what measure it´s written ? 

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Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart is, I believe, written in 10/4

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15 hours ago, tkeith said:

Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart is, I believe, written in 10/4

 

15 hours ago, tkeith said:

Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart is, I believe, written in 10/4

Thank you ! Well never heard there exists a 10/4. I like that composition and the way the Max Roach Quartet Plays it, but I tried to Count it and couldn´t. First I thought it´s 7/4, then I thought it´s 9/4. Such weird measures are apt to throw me......

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I'm counting 9, not 10? 9/8, actually?

That's a tricky freakin' 9, though, breaks down all kinds of ways, in the melody and the rhythm both,I see why I backed off from this one when trying to transcribe Billy's tunes back in the day.

Billy Harper, man, you talk about somebody who has yet - yet - to get their full due...nothing but substance. Nothing but substance.

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Correct, Jim.  I was going from memory and added a beat at the end.  It is in 9.  My bad.

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