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Discussion Starter #1
Hey! It's me again! Thanks all for voting for the BITOTM, which this month will be a snappy number (allegedly) from Miles Davis: Solar. Alleged, cause some say Miles stole it from a track called Sonny by Chuck Wayne!

In any case, it's a classic, and one that frequently gets called at the jazz jams around Manchester here in the UK, so I'm hoping a fair few of you will know it and able to do great stuff with it. Despite being 12 bars long, it's not a blues. Instead it's a sequence of II-V-Is, starting in C minor, moving through F, Eb, Db and back to C minor. Note that the song should end on the first bar after the ascending phrase in bar 12.

A couple of Aebersold backings in the dropbox location, along with Bb and Eb lead sheets; I'm going to try and do a few BBIAB backings as well at various tempos, both faster and slower than the Aebersold. Bear in mind one of the Aebersold recordings is volume 7 so it's a bit.... naff. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vnryspnxuzylxkf/AABH2mKdrWCqv6OG3XlUKG9Ka?dl=0

Here's the original from the album Walkin' with David Schildkrautz on alto:-


Chris Potter doing what he does best, with just drums for the first minute and a half ish:-


Brad Mehldau pulling it all over the place with his trio (I really wish Brad played the sax, I'd love to hear what he'd do!)


Lee Konitz live.


Phil Woods, with Jackie McLean


Have fun! And don't forget, even if you don't have time/equipment or the urge to post a track, feedback for everyone is always very welcome!

Matthew
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A tenor take with some quirky experimental phrasing on the heads.

https://soundcloud.com/saxy-in-san-diego/solar-1
Good job against a quirky backing, I enjoyed this and how you clearly went fir it. Nice strong tone.

I think the main thing to focus on would be time and really getting locked in to the feel, especially when playing swing quavers, sometimes it feels like you're tripping yourself up a bit. But good job!
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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More thread filler :

Solar Soprano

Mostly tuneless drivel flitting from chord to chord ... no comments needed ... :bluewink:
 

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A tenor take with some quirky experimental phrasing on the heads.
https://soundcloud.com/saxy-in-san-diego/solar-1
Yeah ..cool ! I love that theme around the 2:18 (and then later at the 2:50) mark ! Excellent ! :mrgreen:

Here is my up-tempo version (Aebersold Vol.7 fast). Backing track is really much too long for me to do a coherent solo, so I did what I could and then faded-out .........
https://soundcloud.com/saxy-in-san-diego/solar-aebersold-v7-take1
Really cookin' in the solo. :bluewink:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here is my up-tempo version (Aebersold Vol.7 fast). Backing track is really much too long for me to do a coherent solo, so I did what I could and then faded-out .........

https://soundcloud.com/saxy-in-san-diego/solar-aebersold-v7-take1
I know what you mean about the backing being long at that tempo, 12 bars goes around pretty fast.

I like the way you're trying to play with sequences a lot, and moving them through the changes. The changes of Solar really lend themselves to that style of soloing and I think this is a really good effort!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
More thread filler :

Solar Soprano

Mostly tuneless drivel flitting from chord to chord ... no comments needed ... :bluewink:
1. Stop being so harsh!
2. Need a bit of focus on intonation on the soprano. Don't we all? Hehe.
3. At times, you get a tone like an accordian, which is actually pretty cool!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Had a productive afternoon in the garden, carrying all the recording gear out there; such a lovely day seemed a shame to stay inside! Hopefully not too much spill from the birds, car alarms, neighbours dog etc.

Anyway, here's Solar, with soprano, alto and tenor.

https://soundcloud.com/matthew-darwin/solar

EDIT - realised I've somehow cut the ending off, so I'll re master it as soon as I can with the ending!
 

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Anyway, here's Solar, with soprano, alto and tenor.
https://soundcloud.com/matthew-darwin/solar
What a terrific trio - love the arrangement.
(next time call me and I'll come by with the bari .. :mrgreen: )

Your alto and tenor tones are quite similar, and the soprano was very non-accordion like :bluewink: :mrgreen: :bluewink: !

Now off for a re-listen as I really enjoyed that one. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What a terrific trio - love the arrangement.
(next time call me and I'll come by with the bari .. :mrgreen: )

Your alto and tenor tones are quite similar, and the soprano was very non-accordion like :bluewink: :mrgreen: :bluewink: !

Now off for a re-listen as I really enjoyed that one. :)
Cheers! I'll send you the raw files and you can scribble in a Bari part and send it over to mix in! One thing I do like from making multi horn recordings is that it keeps the soloing a little more defined; 5 and a half minutes of one solo would be tedious.

Still working on the soprano tone; and my alto isn't quite where I want it (sounds a bit too farty to me), plus it needs a bit of loving, it's a shade leaky at the bottom at the moment. Keep just picking out the warts when I listen back yet!
 

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Had a productive afternoon in the garden, carrying all the recording gear out there; such a lovely day seemed a shame to stay inside! Hopefully not too much spill from the birds, car alarms, neighbours dog etc.

Anyway, here's Solar, with soprano, alto and tenor.

https://soundcloud.com/matthew-darwin/solar

EDIT - realised I've somehow cut the ending off, so I'll re master it as soon as I can with the ending!

Really, really nice! I don't hear any birds, car alarms or neighbours' dog and I look forward to hearing the ending.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Really, really nice! I don't hear any birds, car alarms or neighbours' dog and I look forward to hearing the ending.
I'm amazed how little spillage there is on those recordings!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
HI all, hope everyone is well, my B&I TOTM version,

"Solar"
Nice phrasing at the start of your solo, I like the clipped short rhythmic patterns.

A couple of things to work on though: blowing through to the end of a note; especially in the head. There are times where it sounds like you're really fighting the instrument to keep producing a sound, so make sure you support from your diaphragm and try and focus on consistently keeping the airstream goung all the way to the end of your note. A good excercise I've used for this is to get out a metronome, set to a slowish tempo, and play long notes for 12 beats with the first four a consistent mf (medium loud), the middle four a consistent p (quiet) and the last four a consistent f (loud). If you have a tuner have that on as well, and try to keep pitch wobbles to a minimum. The aim is to try and keep your note sounding consistent and steady at each volume, as if you'd just turned the volume knob up or down (though its ok if you go into a subtone for the quiet beats, so long as it's steady). If you get bored, try doing the middle four as an fp with a crescendo, aiming to have the crescendo nice and even as if someone was just rolling up that volume knob.
 
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