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10 Tracks Every Horn Player Should Transcribe

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These are in no particular order but I decided to share my thoughts on some of the most informative playing i have ever heard and studied.

1. Tenor Madness(Coltrane/Rollins): This should be a give, Coltrane and Rollins combine for upwards of 20 choruses or so, and their contrasting styles will give you a lesson both in 16th note lines and melodic development.

2. Giant Steps(Coltrane): Another Trane tune, pretty much the definitive lesson in pattern playing.

3. Delta City Blues: Michael Brecker is a horn player everyone should check out and transcribe if they haven't already. If you haven't heard this tune check it out, and if you haven't transcribed it and learned it here's why you should. The intro and the melody are great for learning large intervalic leaps, as well as great for overtone practice (its interesting to play a melody with overtones). The solo is an uptempo blues that features Mike's standard 'out' style of playing.

4.Naima(Steve Grossman): I had to include something off of Steve Grossman's album Love is The Thing just because it is the album when his playing seemed to have an even mix of Coltrane and Sonny Rollins influences. This tune in particular has some very interesting lines in it. If you haven't heard of Grossman he's another guy to check out.

5.The Children Save The Children(Grossman/Liebman): Off of Elvin Jones' album Live at The Lighthouse, this is a really hard one to find a track for, and it's just as difficult to transcribe. Lieb is on soprano and Grossman is on Tenor. A true Tenor Battle with two legends trying to pipe each other. You can message me to get ahold of the track if you can't find it anywhere.

6. The Tortoise and The Hare(Bob Mintzer): I cannot say enough good things about Bob Mintzer's Playing. Simply Put he is my opinion the most melodic of the players from the Fusion era. This is off of the Yellowjackets Mint Jam album, it is available on Itunes, but if you want to check the solo out it is on youtube. I basically learned how to play straight 8's from transcribing this tune, and there is no better player to study than Bob Mintzer for straight 8th lines.

7. Cheesecake(Dexter Gordon): I chose this one because it was the first solo I transcribed and learned. If you are going to transcribe this do yourself a favor and transcribe the entire album, there is so much useful material on it.

8. This I Dig of You (Hank Mobley): It's from his album Soul Station, another one I have and would recommend transcribing in its entirety. He's called the middleweight of tenor players, with very even tone and very good time.

9. Cherokee (Sonny Stitt): Long Story Short, Stitt could play as fast as anyone (I'd put him above Parker as far as Bebop is concerned) and this is him at his finest.

10. Chromazone (Bob Berg): Bob sounded very Breckerish on this album, but it is an amazing solo nonetheless. I cannot remember which Mike Stern album this is off of, but it shouldn't be too tough to get ahold of. Uptempo jazz/rock tune, would be worthwhile learning the guitar solo as well.

Well that's my list. I would love to hear any additions people might have to this, as this is just one mans opinion.
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