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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm really loving the soul-jazz style and I was just wondering if you guys had any hints and tips about how to get to grips with this style. My improvisation is good enough to cope with most major and minor chords, but if the extensions are any more than 9th I fail :( I listen to alot of Hank Crawford and Cannonball Adderley as it is, so please does anyone have any other ideas (phrasing/articulation etc) that would help.
Cheers.
 

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Just a few ideas:

Learn to play the blues in all it's styles. Work extensively on tasty riffs/licks you can generate from the BOTH the maj & min pentatonic/blues scales. There is a lot more to using those particular "pools of notes" than most players realize. The 'soul jazz' players took it to another level, so listen to how they play and phrase using a blues scale, in addition to playing the changes and using chromatics. Above all, keep it simple and rhythmic.
 

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good advice from JL. & I own the first book that modman recommended, it's not bad.

I love soul jazz too.. probably my favourite thing to play. Is there a particular tune or progression you're having trouble with? I have advice but it might be overgeneralizing a bit.

I'd say for starters don't worry too much about catching all the 11ths & 13ths etc right now.. the strongest chord tones are of course the 3rd and the 7th. if you're hearing those & making them happen, you're off to a good start. extensions used to confuse me a lot too, so I'd rewrite changes for myself with more basic chord qualities. Obviously this can get you in trouble if you're consistently blithely ignoring a flat 13 or something, so it may not help everyone.. that's where you just need to use your ears. Soul jazz especially tends to be pretty intuitive though.. lots of nice satisfying chord resolutions. I'd say the most important thing is playing melodically and simply and hearing where the changes are going. This style is often really singable.. if you can sing a melodic line over it, you probably understand it well enough. No need to overthink.
 

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Transcribe and copy Cannonball's playing. See what he's doing and how/why.

Clark Terry: "imitate, assimilate, innovate".
 

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...who else would anyone describe as soul-jazz??
.....
Any tenor sax player who played with one of the Hammond B-3 players...

I think a lot of what's called "hard bop" would fit the category pretty well. Get some stuff by Brother Jack McDuff. In a slightly 'jazzier' vein, Horace Silver's bands would certainly qualify.
 

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*sigh* yeah.. but you know.. if you spend a second looking through it & checking people out, you can figure out who does what. But that may prove to be too much work for people who can't be bothered to google in the first place. ;)
 

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Listen to Gene Ammons or Stanley Turentine. They wrote the book on this style...
Also Grover Washington JR played in this kind of Soul jazz style.
Alto wise... Hank Crawford, and of coarse the great Lou Donaldson. (Blues walk)
and the greatest Blues and soul jazz altoist of all time...

Earl Bostic
 

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I was interested, in what peoples thoughts were as the whole genre" of soul-jazz could be fairly wide in its description, but to me certainly the hammond B3 sound of the 60s,n,70s would be in there.
And horace silver too, thanks ..
 

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Rusty Bryant and Billy Butler!
 

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Just a few ideas:

Learn to play the blues in all it's styles. Work extensively on tasty riffs/licks you can generate from the BOTH the maj & min pentatonic/blues scales. There is a lot more to using those particular "pools of notes" than most players realize. The 'soul jazz' players took it to another level, so listen to how they play and phrase using a blues scale, in addition to playing the changes and using chromatics. Above all, keep it simple and rhythmic.
Always good advice from JL. What strikes me about the soul jazz idiom is how guys like Bryant and Person would play really fast blues licks with lots of repetition, and with really strong articulation. I'm not sure I can describe it, but it's different from the way Gene Ammons would do it.

Also, IMHO, to really catch the flavour of soul jazz, you have to be open to the extreme cheesy-ness of it. It's like the ripping-est blues you've ever heard followed by a cover of "Close to You." Although both styles have the whole "down home" greasy thing going on, I think Soul Jazz has a very different feel from 60s hard bop. For me, listening to Rusty Bryant cover "Sunshine of Your Love" with Boogaloo Joe Jones is very different from listening to the Horace Silver Quintet or Lou Donaldson. Junior Walker, was, I think a huge influence on the soul jazz tenor players.
 

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Although both styles have the whole "down home" greasy thing going on, I think Soul Jazz has a very different feel from 60s hard bop. For me, listening to Rusty Bryant cover "Sunshine of Your Love" with Boogaloo Joe Jones is very different from listening to the Horace Silver Quintet or Lou Donaldson. Junior Walker, was, I think a huge influence on the soul jazz tenor players.
There are plenty of common denominators IMO, e.g. Wilton Felder
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Transcribe and copy Cannonball's playing. See what he's doing and how/why.

Clark Terry: "imitate, assimilate, innovate".
I'm assuming that when you say this you mean: play some transcribed solos, steal some licks, make some stuff up in a similar style?

And thanks for the help everyone :D
 

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Songs listed in the wikipedia article:

Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder :
Herbie Hancock's Cantaloupe Island :
Horace Silver's Song for My Father :
Ramsey Lewis's The In Crowd :
Cannonball Adderley's Mercy, Mercy, Mercy :

Enjoy!
-John
 

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I've got tickets to see the David Sanborn Trio with Joey DeFrancesco on the 18th of February... I'll see if this shoe fits the thread.
 
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