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bluesForBartok

The teachings of Mobley solos on Rhythm Changes

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Years ago when I was a student at Berklee, everyone said, if you wanna learn Bop, dig into Sonny Stitt. I did a bit of that and there's no question, Stitt is one of the great codifiers of the bop language. But! I've been spending some time digging into Mobley's solos on the Rhythm Changes form of which there are many. He clearly LOVED these changes going so far as to use the A section for "Old World, New Imports" and "Three Way Split" w/ different bridge changes for each. 

Here are the solos I've been working on:

The Theme (April 59 w/ Blakey) - https://photos.app.goo.gl/KJ1WDTwv9oAUu7N98

Tenor Conclave (Sept. 56) - https://photos.app.goo.gl/tV1x64oLrUAx64oS8 *I also have the 2nd player's solo (Zoot?) and I'm aiming to grab the Cohn & Coltrane <-YIKES in the near future. 

Please note these are practice videos so you'll see lots of mistakes and me still working out the kinks so while I'd love any advice / critique on where I can improve - i.e. lay behind the beat more, lighten up on the picking more etc. - Just please don't be cruel :-)

W/ regard to the information I'm learning from Hank's lines. Holy fucking wow! This is a man who keeps it simple and the beauty of the line takes precedence over what hip notes or subs he could slip in. However, there are also some very hip ideas that he slips in (Flat Major subbing for V Chord coming out of the bridge leading into the last 8). 

In summary - I feel like I am really learning the bop language far more fluidly by studying Hank's playing. IMO, he should be positioned at the forefront of essential players that should be studied (following Lester, Wardell & Bird) for students going through the journey to learn the foundations of the bop language. I don't think his name ever came up in any classes I took as a source. Unfortunately, they jump from bop to Coltrane which becomes its own universe. However, if you don't learn this foundational stuff first and leapfrog straight to the advanced harmonic stuff Coltrane was architecting it feels a bit abstract to grasp. 

Looking forward to thoughts. 

 

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Not the response you are looking for, but I must say I LOVE the sound of the guitar and the tenor sax playing those lines together!  

As a response to the "Music Minus One" series, maybe you can launch a "Music Plus One" series. ;)

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Just now, Teasing the Korean said:

Not the response you are looking for, but I must say I LOVE the sound of the guitar and the tenor sax playing those lines together!  

As a response to the "Music Minus One" series, maybe you can launch a "Music Plus One" series. ;)

Haha! In all seriousness, these solos are really best-in-class examples of how to play this music. I thinking of starting a YT channel to break down and teach but have a feeling 0 people will give a shit. 

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1 minute ago, bluesForBartok said:

Haha! In all seriousness, these solos are really best-in-class examples of how to play this music. I thinking of starting a YT channel to break down and teach but have a feeling 0 people will give a shit. 

Seriously, great work!  It sounded like the solo where you were sitting down was more relaxed than the other.  Had you been playing that one longer?

I used to spend a lot of time transcribing solos, and I found it fascinating.  There is so much rhythmically you can't capture with traditional western notation.  Also, it was interesting to study the beats on which lines began and lines ended.  

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Thanks!

The "Theme" solo I've been playing longer actually...  I'm not even bothering to write these out on manuscript. Right now, I'm internalizing a these licks, mixing/matching and working them into my own lines. 

 

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There's a reason why Hank still appeals!

When you feel like it and if you want to do it, check out the other Sonny's Rhythm changes solos, beginning with "Newk's Fadeaway"...him and Hank were both personalizing the Bird Language, and there was a lot of overlap in harmony, but a lot of difference in rhythm and inflection. So much to learn, and, seriously, that OTHER Sonny (Stitt) is fine if all you want to do is learn the licks. Not sure who I would advise to REALLY study him except somebody who just wanted to learn a lot of licks in a hurry too be able toi stake a claim on some gigs.

Not a knock on Stitt, of course, just the use to which he has been put. I love the guy, but not like that!

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20 hours ago, JSngry said:

There's a reason why Hank still appeals!

When you feel like it and if you want to do it, check out the other Sonny's Rhythm changes solos, beginning with "Newk's Fadeaway"...him and Hank were both personalizing the Bird Language, and there was a lot of overlap in harmony, but a lot of difference in rhythm and inflection. So much to learn, and, seriously, that OTHER Sonny (Stitt) is fine if all you want to do is learn the licks. Not sure who I would advise to REALLY study him except somebody who just wanted to learn a lot of licks in a hurry too be able toi stake a claim on some gigs.

Not a knock on Stitt, of course, just the use to which he has been put. I love the guy, but not like that!

Yeah I LOVE Stitt as well. And "Newk's Fadeaway" - Yeah I was working one that one about a year ago. ...gonna pick that one up again!

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On ‎3‎/‎31‎/‎2021 at 10:02 AM, bluesForBartok said:

However, there are also some very hip ideas that he slips in (Flat Major subbing for V Chord coming out of the bridge leading into the last 8). 

Meant to say "thank you!" for hearing this in terms of changes instead of scales...you can do it either way, but imo, thinking of changes gives you a better feel for the overall shape and movement of the statement, its archtechture. Thinking in terms of scales on stuff like this is just too..bionic or some shit, not quite fully human, misses the point.

 

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18 hours ago, JSngry said:

Meant to say "thank you!" for hearing this in terms of changes instead of scales...you can do it either way, but imo, thinking of changes gives you a better feel for the overall shape and movement of the statement, its architecture. Thinking in terms of scales on stuff like this is just too..bionic or some shit, not quite fully human, misses the point.

 

Absolutely. I've spent years post Berklee and just plain living in that world of what scale / mode is the player thinking...

I've gone back to thinking (speaking) like a child and working on trying to hit chord tones and tell a story. Another revelatory moment was working through this Konitz Tenor solo on Indiana - https://photos.app.goo.gl/xMaMMz9avuAAhEnb8 - and marveling at how he plays w/ the rhythmic nuances of the lines across the bar and STILL hits the chord tones where it counts. 

THAT'S WHERE IT'S AT FOR ME

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Scale thinking is ok if you're deciding what color to paint the house.

Change thinking is where you figure out what all shapes the house has that you're going to paint...and maybe what other shades you can use to do it.

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Scale thinking is ok if you're deciding what color to paint the house.

Change thinking is where you figure out what all shapes the house has that you're going to paint...and maybe what other shades you can use to do it.

Cheers to that

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