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This is Key - Take a Look!

Discussion in 'Score Study Resources' started by Mike Verta, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. #1 Mike Verta, Sep 26, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
    I first heard this as a kid. I still think it's the most efficient demonstration of how to structure a good composition I've ever heard.

    Bob Mintzer, "Solo Saxophone" from his album Spectrum.
    Max Fabian Juras and Hank Stone like this.
  2. Beautiful tune. Thanks for sharing Mike! Great example of how solid structure can lead to such clear & lasting musical communication (and gotta love Mintzer's gorgeous tone).
  3. I love listening to solo sax like this. It sounds so intimate being able to hear fingers pressing down on keys and the pads underneath clicking against the sax. The reverb is very beautiful and tastefully done as well. Oh, and the development is nice too. :)
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  4. Transcribe it!!
    Hank Stone likes this.
  5. That is one of the things I love about this place. I check in to feed the internet addiction and procrastinate and BOOM ...... a question or challenge that hooks me. I can finish it tomorrow as I really could only slack off for about 15-20 to get the party started. Apologies for the Sibelius sounds, but here is stream of conscience take down of the first 30 seconds. I like the "Sakura" of the D min(ish) section from the B.

    Cool.... never heard before. I am getting a little flash back to my year at Musicians Institute in the 90's. There would always be a electric (often fretless) 6 bass player who looked like he just killed a redwood tree standing in the background to play like two notes that go "Wha" a la Allen Parsons.

    Is this a field recording ?

    Thanks for sharing it !!

  6. Whoa dude..... someone get this guy a cold shower.
  7. Ha! Well, sax will do that to you.
    Hank Stone likes this.
  8. My engraving's a bit slapdash, but here's a transcription of the piece. I'm a little new to the forums but have recently been enjoying a handful of Mike's masterclasses and for what little I know this song seems to capture the spirit of Mike Verta, including that beautiful chord movement - first inversion I chord to the IV... sigh :)

    Attached Files:

    Mike Verta likes this.
  9. When I was 14, my high school commissioned Bob Mintzer to write a composition for our top Jazz Ensemble. It was a fantastic track called "Heart of the Matter," which he later recorded with his own band and it's on this same album, Spectrum. I was a huge fan of Bob Mintzer's writing from then on, and it is doubtless that some of his influence is in my work!
    Marty Brueggemann likes this.
  10. Whoa !!! Bravo ! The quick or the dead around here. Nice one !

    You know, these days I think the rhythmic aspects are the hardest with transcribing. It used to be the pitches. Unlike with pitch, being the most accurate is not always productive. What I mean is no one wants you to write out a "swing" and same with Rubato..... then some singers are just "Floating" so you "round up"

    Not intending to be a douche bag (I'm just good at it) but I think the rhythmic aspects are much simpler for this solo.

    This is what I had for the mp3 I put up.
    Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 4.12.55 AM.png

    I did not -- could be wrong - hear a G in measure 7.

    It looks like you had a "battle" with Sibelius. Most likely you are creating new time signatures and then hiding them (but are you really hiding them?) as we get ....what... 6 beats in measure 7. That measure in particular looks like a barline is missing.
    Looks like you tried 5/4 in 15..... Sibelius will become a pain with the beams in these measures.

    I know that is not the point ! Again, bravo for the fine and speedy work.
  11. The notes, at least, I'm sure of...

    Attached Files:

    Torsten Kamps likes this.
  12. Totally agree. Tried to articulate 'exact' rhythms as sort of an exercise, but not a very good sheet to put on a stand (and definitely hid some of the time signatures, trying to cadenza-fy some of the stretched out phrases - again, probably a silly idea). You're right about that measure 7, sloppy typo on my part (b-e-f, not b-f-g). Cheers!

    Listening this morning - whew, too good.

  13. You did a great job ! It was not a typesetting contest. Well done, and thanks for sharing your work.
    Marty Brueggemann likes this.
  14. Sensei...... I bow in honor.

    It sure looks better transposed ! I only spotted one difference, and that was a brain fart on my behalf. There is clearly a D (concert) at the end of the riff in 7 for that min/maj ...... I heard it at the time.... just forgot to put it in.

    Two small Sax questions for anyone:
    1. What is the highest note all professional players can get ? Like high notes on the trumpet, I seem to get different replies from
    player to player.

    2. Do sax players actually prefer the aesthetic of the "Real" or "Fake" book handwritten font ? I know what it stems back to, but
    I ask as I see so many jazz musicians still using that font style.

    Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 11.14.13 AM.png
  15. The altissimo (or overtone) register can extend the range quite a bit, but I'd say it's more of an advanced technique. If you think of Lenny Pickett's tenor playing (SNL) he makes pretty signature use of it. Playing without altissimo, each sax (relative to their key) goes up to F above the staff, unless they have an F# key.

    As for that Inkpen jazz font, you do seem to see it everywhere but I don't know if I'd say it's necessary or even makes for a better read, just may read aesthetically 'correct' for some. Kind of like how most jazz players say 'cat' all the time (regardless of speaker's whiteness/suburban location) it's part of the musical culture passed down in most jazz education. At least that's been my experience. Big band charts are often in something like Inkpen, though it varies. I think all of the Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington charts are all set in a more straight noteface and those are pretty ubiquitous. Either option should be A Ok :) And on the film side I don't think you'd ever see it - it's not like Dan Higgins' parts on Catch Me if You Can would have been typed in Inkpen (a little goofy perhaps).
  16. He did stop before talking about sounds of the breath and sweat on the forehead.

    You know..... rambling here.......... solo sax has never done a thing for me. I love the section sound, and sax players are awesome to work with.
    They are SO GOOD. I just find it really hard instrument to emotionally connect with (thanks Kenny G). Not the great musicians..... Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, mid era John Coltrane all transcend the instrument for me. Bari sax kicks ass and so does bass.

    The only time I recall being swept away emotionally by a sax line was during my year in LA. It was 95, going to M.I. I lived on Hollywood Blvd.... and..... is it La brea ? I can't recall. I just remember it was actually a pretty shitty place to live. This was before Disney invested there and that Mall etc.

    I smoked a fair amount of pot that year, and after a joint and listening to Axis Bold as Love I got hungry and walked down to Ralphs on Sunset.
    It was late.... like 2 am or something, but man..... Peanut Butter Captain Crunch was calling my name (I did not have much $ back then)
    I recall getting the shopping basket and starting to get worried if people would figure out I was stoned for making a 2 am Captain Crunch run (I am sure it did not require sherlock holmes to figure out)

    It was when, reaching for that box of cereal, I heard the greatest sax riff ever play. (mp3 midi riff below. I just wrote this out by memory) I was instantly hypnotized.

    Starring into Captain Crunches eyes I began to question everything about myself and my life. "God dammit Doug........ what am I doing with my life...... why did I fuck up so badly....... What about her ? Fuck man........ what is wrong with you...... how could you do that to her......what the fuck ...." Then BOOM.... like someone clapped their hands in front of my face I thought "Do I need milk too ?"

    Ahh, yes. Now I have fooled the cashier. Not stoned if I have Peanut Butter Captain Crunch AND Milk thank you very much. My ruse worked perfectly. I left un-detected.

    As I walked up the hill (yes, it fucking sucked. It really is a hill and I could not afford a car) I began to think about all I had done wrong to that poor girl, when I remembered "Oh,.... I'm a 19 year old virgin. That song was not about me."

    Me and Captain Crunch laid in bed together all the next morning.

  17. #17 Mike Verta, Sep 27, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    Okay I did not see "Careless Whisper" coming... that was great. Good story and the Ralph's is still there; not sure about the peanut butter Captain Crunch. If so I guarantee it's peanut-buttery-er.

    As for the Jazz font, we are just so steeped in the tradition of it that outside of orchestral or film contexts it legitimately makes a difference and most professional charts are notated that way.
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  18. OK, we need to make a youtube channel of puppets telling @Doug Gibson stories ala "Gloove and Boots" because this was better than any movie I've seen in the last 4 years. I think we can all agree that the real issue here was that 19 year old Doug just needed to get laid.

    Smokey sax, smokey voice. Made me feel some kind of way on the '84 (I was 8). I understood it way better in '92.
    Doug Gibson likes this.
  19. Ha !!

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