Eddie Daniels solo 2

Eddie Daniels – After You’ve Gone Solo

Check out the above-posted solo by Eddie Daniels, on the chord changes to “After You’ve Gone.” The other Daniels transcription I posted before is over the same chord changes.

…You can use the two transcriptions/recordings to compare/contrast how Eddie addressed these chord changes in 2006 (the solo I posted before) versus 1992 (this solo, click on the link above). The solo above is from “Benny Rides Again,” which had Mulgrew Miller on piano. I believe that Miller’s presence on piano is what made Eddie play some of the most modernistic stuff he’s ever recorded. For example, measures 36-41 of the solo posted above show an interaction between Eddie and Mulgrew where sustained diminished vocabularies are used over this traditional form (with these solos, as well as with the other solos I’ve posted here thus far, I have transcribed the actual in-the-moment voicings qualities and root movements used by the ensemble). Eddie uses diminished vocabulary on the 2006 recording as well, but he uses it in a more traditional fashion. In general, the more recent solo is more patterned and stepwise than the older one, but there are a lot of similarities of course as well.


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Buddy DeFranco solo 2

Buddy DeFranco Solo!!!!

I’m posting another solo by Buddy DeFranco. This one is from much earlier in his career and shows that he was already using a lot of modernisms very early on. For this one I also transcribed the bass and drums, and wrote the actual chords played by the accompaniment. It is a Concert Key score (Bb insts, such as clarinet, will need to transpose up a WS).


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Jimmie Noone solo

Jimmie Noone

I’m going more retro and posting a solo from the 1920s by the great Jimmie Noone. Well, some of it is actually more like his ensemble playing but well worth checking out. Click on the link “Jimmie Noone” above. His tone, articulation, and use of the clarinet registers for certain purposes influenced a lot of clarinetists after him, including most noticeably Benny Goodman I think.


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Concerto for Clarinet overdub

Concerto for Clarinet, by Joseph Howell, for Clarinet Septet

I’m posting an overdub recording I recently did. I’m playing clarinet, times seven, on this. It’s a clarinet choir arrangement of my piece, “Concerto for Clarinet.” Click on the link above to hear it.

The piece uses a lot of the Bb 9-note augmented scale for inspiration, although the remaining 4 pitches (coming then to all 12, thinking in octave and enharmonic equivalence) are included sometimes also. In any case, the harmonic stackings and sounds are inspired by the rich sonority types available in this scale: for example Maj7th chords with raised 5th and raised 9th degrees, with or without added notes that then sort of cancel out the stability of the bottom chord. The scale is symmetrical and was one of Messiaen’s modes. The symmetrical construct, horizontally, is “whole, half, half” or (1, 1/2, 1/2). Vertically, it is Bb+ over B+ over C+ (+ means simply augmented triads here). To learn more about how to use scales like this, consult a few of my earlier posts. In this piece, I simply used my ear to freely find pleasing yet colorful, moving sonorities.

Rhythmically, the piece is inspired by various groove musics and by some of Bergonzi’s exercises. In this rendition the articulations of the written sections have been tweaked toward the classical (staccattos etc) to give some of that usual clarinet choir character. The articulation and sounds loosen up in the improv section of the piece, which happens in the middle. The influences on my particular uses of avant garde clarinet sounds, which also take place moreso in the solo section, are mostly: my friend and virtuoso clarinetist Brian Walsh, Kari Krikku, pieces by William O Smith and others, and John Carter.

The idea of mixing groove rhythms somewhat with a written piece was a return to something I had already done with the piece “The Pot Melts” aka “Doom Groove,” which seems to be dug by a lot of people (to my surprise!)…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx9FYisCZyc This earlier piece was more explicitly dissonant/atonal, using almost exclusively minor 9th and major 7th intervals (not chords) for constructs, over a pedal-point, hip hop inspired groove. With all the encouragement I got for that piece, I wanted to try something like that again but with other colors. I think one can hear a lot of influence from pieces like the Magnus Lindberg concerto for clarinet in this new piece, as far as how it is a little happier and arguably more toward the melodic. The idea to mix clarinet musics with groove musics is probably due to recordings by Don Byron (I repeatedly listened to his solo on “Alien,”on the CD “Nu Blaxploitation” when I was in high school) and some of David Krakauer’s mixtures of klezmer with hip hop.

When composing this piece, I started by composing an unaccompanied piece for clarinet ala all those fantastic pieces in the contemporary classical realm. I think the clarinet solo part strictly uses the concert Bb 9-note augmented scale’s pitches. Then I composed a complimentary piano part using any sonority that sounded pleasing to me. This became a piece for clarinet and jazz combo, and now I’ve transcribed my own piece for clarinet choir by using the voicings in the piano part, and the original bass part, for the clarinet parts.

As a composer and conceptualist I do still enjoy being a painter of dense color with sound. I hope you enjoy this piece!


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Tony Scott solo

Tony Scott’s Solo on “I’ll Remember April”

I’m sharing a transcription I did in 2008 or so of Tony Scott’s solo on “I’ll Remember April.” The solo is pretty wild, though in a more controlled manner than on some other recordings by Scott. He displays his high register mastery with a few altissimo (transposed for Bb clarinet) B’s, C’s, and D’s (he ends the arrangement, at the very end of the track, with an altissimo E!!!!!). On some of these more-studio-ish recordings, one can hear some similarities between Scott and the other bebop clarinet giant of the day, Buddy DeFranco. You can hear that they both had classical training behind their jazz pounding including a virtuosity encompassing the altissimo register, and they both were influenced by a mix of both swing and bebop era influences. However, their focuses in this kind of  medium/up to up tempo tunes were different: Buddy’s burning was focused on controlled, clear melodic/harmonic vocabulary played in eighth note lines, while Scott was more focused on impact, physicality, swirls of unclear/ghosted notes (almost more like swirls of color than distinct melodies/lines), piercing high notes, etc. They were both great at playing beautiful ballads as well, but also in very different ways. In general, I’d say that DeFranco’s take on bringing the clarinet into modern music was Apollonian and Scott’s was Dionysian. They were two sides of the same coin and it would have been great if they had played/recorded together more during their prime (the 1950s and 60s) and therefore perhaps, even accidentally, influenced each other that way. The clarinet seems to be such as to inspire most players to focus on one or the other of these mannerisms.

Here is a link to where you can pay a dollar to have/listen-to the recording of the above transcribed track (track 15 on this particular compilation): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007DKG2CU/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp?ie=UTF8&qid=1394593746&sr=8-2

(the free audio sample of the track plays Scott’s melody chorus and just the very beginning of his improv chorus I’ve transcribed here)…

The same track/album is also on Spotify if you have it.

The track is originally from the following album: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Tony-Scott/dp/B000027S8C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1394593884&sr=8-2&keywords=complete+tony+scott


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Jazz Clarinet Heritage: bluesy and low players


Let’s discuss some ‘bluesy’ clarinetists and/or deep low register players! Here goes…

1. Tony Scott – I like that Tony Scott was a modern jazz era player, classically trained and so forth, who still incorporated into his jazz the spirit of abandon, and some of the timbral/microtonal effects, of early jazz clarinetists. While his focus on hyper physical energy (especially on uptempo tunes) is sometimes a weak point, his blues and ballad playing is some of the best ever. Check out this link for sure! 

2. Edmond Hall – I started my love affair with jazz via earlier styles. I heard Benny Goodman, Johnny Dodds, Sidney Bechet and others before I heard Hall…but Hall’s playing is REALLY what got me excited about the instrument! His playing is so fiery and I was only hearing the very delicate side of clarinet at school. His playing with Louis Armstrong’s All Stars on the album “Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography” in particular is AMAZING! It’s clarinet like never before: the instrument is matching the power and brassiness of the brass instruments it’s playing with! Explosive at times, and warm/subtone at others. Check out his playing on this track (start at 02:16 or slightly before): 

2. Albert Nicholas – Another clarinetist deserving of more attention. Somewhere between Barney Bigard and Sidney Bechet in tone/approach. Huge low register and a sweeping high register with a touch more sweetness in the tone than some early jazz clarinetists. Sample his huge low register on the melody choruses (starting at the beginning of the track, with Sidney Bechet playing soprano saxbehind him) and his higher register on his solo chorus (starting at 01:18) on the following track. Sidney Bechet also takes some killer blues choruses starting at 2:31 (Nicholas joins him again at 03:07!)! This is BLUES clarinet!

3. Sidney Bechet – the king of wild bluesy clarinet and fast vibrato! He plays with Earl Hines on this one, coming in at 1:06:

4. Barney Bigard – Bigard is, to me, the king of sensual low register clarinetistry. He could also play fast, as he also later does on this track, but check the mood set on this example:

5. Johnny Dodds – Dodds is the quintessential EARLY early jazz clarinet sound! His wide vibrato, wild tone, and bluesy microtonal inflections—and an almost pre-swing/Armstrong, more ragtime-ish rhythmic feel (compare his feel to Armstrong’s on any recording where they play together)—defines that sound, I think, to a lot of people.

6. Pee Wee Russell – I have mixed feelings about Pee Wee. In any case, his style is one of the most eccentric of earlier jazz players, using weird sounds and rhythms. He also played with Monk, etc. Listen to his strange blues solo, starting at 1:23 on the following clip:

7. Jimmy Giuffre – Giuffre is the master of soulful yet quiet low register playing. Listen to his wonderful solo starting at 0:27.

8. Evan Christopher – I know Evan, and he is a master of the blues on clarinet! He knew Tony Scott (and Kenny Davern, etc) and his approach to the blues, though uniquely his own, hints at a nice mix of Scott with Evan’s other early jazz faves (Bechet, Hall, etc). Listen to this!


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In and Out examples

Here are 2 recorded takes of me playing with a I-vi-ii-V play along, wherein the concept was to mix the usual jazz chord/scale vocabulary with more angular/out/exotic approaches to pitch (and a little to rhythm). I tried to experiment with finding ways to make the transition natural and to create solos that flow/build (at least some) even with a play along. The more exotic/outside approaches I’m using here are very specific to a few concepts that I’ll be posting a lecture video about soon (probably next week). …So, this week’s entry serves as a preview for that coming lecture video!

I guess in some ways, the out things begin to sound a little Dolphy-ish, but on soprano clarinet. When I studied with George Garzone, he said that would be a cool direction to check out. Lately, I’m actually more devoted to bebop/swing as a listener but it’s always good for me to come back to this esoteric/exotic stuff too. Really, I dig any jazz that swings (from the 1920s to now). When I think back to what made me attracted to the music in the first place, it was the feeling of swing. As I get older, and farther divorced from my days as a jazz college student, I realize that more and more. So, anyhow, I don’t see any reason why the most “in” and the most “out” can’t be used in swinging settings.

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Diminished Scales masterclass

Here’s a little impromptu lecture (edited with the delete button a little for length, etc) about the diminished scales. So this one isn’t necessarily exclusive to jazz clarinetistry but, after all, some of the best modern jazz clarinetists have used lots of diminished scale vocabulary—perhaps even moreso than the more usual modern jazz instruments in an attempt to be sure everyone knows they’re modern too, in spite of the clarinet’s baggage. Buddy DeFranco comes to mind as having used lots of diminished scale vocabulary. Eddie Daniels uses it as well. It would be hard to be considered modern or contemporary in jazz without some diminished scale vocabulary I think.


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Buddy DeFranco solo 1

DeFranco Solo

Here’s a transcription of bebop clarinet master Buddy DeFranco.


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Eddie Daniels solo 1

Eddie Daniels Transcription

Here’s an awesome Eddie Daniels solo.

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Don Byron solo


Above is my transcription of a Don Byron solo (click the underlined link,”Solo”).

This post of the solo is intended for educational purposes and I strongly encourage you to buy the album and pay to see the artist live!

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Review of my CD, “JAZZ CLARINET NOW” in The Clarinet (vol 39, no 2)

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