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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ethan Iverson (pianist with The Bad Plus, Billy Hart quartet, etc...) has transcribed a fantastic never-before-publicly-available 1938 two-chorus Lester Young solo on Tea for Two, from the Savory Collection of recordings at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, in concert key, available here:

http://dothemath.typepad.com/dtm/2013/12/two-for-tea.html

I've transposed it to B flat for us tenor tyros who don't routinely play concert key transcriptions, edited a bit based on the second-chorus audio streamable online, and made it available on my blog, where I also blather a bit about how great the solo is (it's REALLY GREAT!:)):

http://winephysicssong.com/2014/01/...useum-in-harlem-transcribed-by-ethan-iverson/

Audio of the second chorus streamable here:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/08/17/arts/music/savory-collection.html

Hope y'all find this enjoyable and/or useful.

Howard
 

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Thank you Howard! Great stuff!
 

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Thank you. When you say you edited it, what exacly do you mean?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you. When you say you edited it, what exacly do you mean?
I explain it a bit on my blog (buried in the verbiage, perhaps:))... since the audio is available for the 2nd chorus, and since Iverson mentions having found "a few tiny wrong notes" on playing it along with his source, I checked the second chorus with the audio and made a few small changes based on that. The only one I really recall thinking is a correction is in measure 38... the shake notated by 16th notes. I also put in notes where Iverson has a glissando in measure 41... I now think I should have made the B (tenor key) in that bit natural [edit: I just did that in the file], though. Notes in place of a gliss here is a matter of notational taste, and since I'm not that sure of the notes Iverson's notation might have been better... I thought the contrasting rhythms in the parallel upward jabs here and on the first beat of the next measure were worth notating, if approximately, though. Since I checked the rest of the 2nd chorus by ear, I probably would have changed anything that disagreed with EI's notes, but I don't think there was anything. Slurs in measures 42 and 45 were added to emphasize the phrasing there, but shouldn't be taken to imply nothing else is slurred... I didn't try to introduce any other notation for articulation.

I'm working on another transcription (Dexter Gordon) myself which I'll put up when done... it may be a month or so though...

Glad there is interest in this... I'm really grateful that NJMH bought this collection, and that Ethan transcribed it for us.

The snippet of Hawkins (end of a Body and Soul improv) on the NYT website linked in the first post sounds promising too...

Howard
 

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I explain it a bit on my blog (buried in the verbiage, perhaps:))... since the audio is available for the 2nd chorus, and since Iverson mentions having found "a few tiny wrong notes" on playing it along with his source, I checked the second chorus with the audio and made a few small changes based on that. The only one I really recall thinking is a correction is in measure 38... the shake notated by 16th notes. I also put in notes where Iverson has a glissando in measure 41... I now think I should have made the B (tenor key) in that bit natural [edit: I just did that in the file], though. Notes in place of a gliss here is a matter of notational taste, and since I'm not that sure of the notes Iverson's notation might have been better... I thought the contrasting rhythms in the parallel upward jabs here and on the first beat of the next measure were worth notating, if approximately, though. Since I checked the rest of the 2nd chorus by ear, I probably would have changed anything that disagreed with EI's notes, but I don't think there was anything. Slurs in measures 42 and 45 were added to emphasize the phrasing there, but shouldn't be taken to imply nothing else is slurred... I didn't try to introduce any other notation for articulation.

I'm working on another transcription (Dexter Gordon) myself which I'll put up when done... it may be a month or so though...

Glad there is interest in this... I'm really grateful that NJMH bought this collection, and that Ethan transcribed it for us.

The snippet of Hawkins (end of a Body and Soul improv) on the NYT website linked in the first post sounds promising too...

Howard
Thank you for taking your time to explain this in such detail.
 

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Thank you - I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Branford Marsalis back in 2005. When I asked what I should do before I saw him again he told me to 'transcribe every Lester Young solo, then I've nothing more to say :)'
 

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Beautiful playing by Lester — thanks so much!

By the way, catch that last chorus of "Body and Soul" by Coleman Hawkins on the N.Y. Times site — I love it when the Hawk goes atonal!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you - I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Branford Marsalis back in 2005. When I asked what I should do before I saw him again he told me to 'transcribe every Lester Young solo, then I've nothing more to say :)'
Glad people are enjoying this. Cool to hear this from Marsalis... whose playing I definitely dig. When I worked hard on getting a Lester solo down fairly well (Oh Lady Be Good) from a transcription, I felt like I was getting a lot of key things into my head and fingers... Lester is foundational, no doubt about that. Suggests that after I finish the Gordon, I should set myself a Lester solo to transcribe...there's no doubt in my mind that learning to play a solo from an existing transcription, and transcribing it yourself, are both great ways to learn a lot, but working on doing a Dexter transcription mysefl I've noticed I definitely get things out of it that I wouldn't from just playing it already transcribed.

Cheers,

Howard
 

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I guess I should do this via private email, and may later, but I wanted to inquire if Ethan would be willing to transcribe a Herschel Evans solo from the Savory collection. Jan Evensmo, from Jazz Archeology, who documents all the great swing era solos has recently updated Herschel's page to include the Savorys.

http://www.jazzarcheology.com/artists/herschel_evans.pdf

He speaks of Star Dust-

Blues Solo 24 bars. (SM)
Rosetta Solo 32 bars. (FM)
Dinah
Solo 64 bars. (FM)
Stardust Solo feature for HE
’s tenorsax
:
Solo 64 bars to long coda. (S)
"This discovery is unique, it represents HE’s last farewell only a few weeks before
he passed away of a fatal heart attack. He plays two rather modest blues choruses on
“Blues”, and does his best to swing “Rosetta” and “Dinah” in uptempo. It is
obvious that he has problems with breathing, his usually big sound is much thinner
than usual. Not that this matters very much, as we are most taken in by the historical
occasion.
Finally however, we have one of the BS collection’s greatest and most
important findings, a full version of “Stardust”, nobody to interfere, except from
some soft ensemble backing at the end. This treasure shows what this great
saxophone player could do with a ballad, and there is nothing like this with Basie,
“Blue and Sentimental” included”. He plays so sadly that one is deeply moved, listen to
how he starts the second chorus, as crying for help. Without trying to be after-wise,
it seems that he knew his days were numbered. “Stardust” is a great performance,
one of the greatest treasures of jazz tenor saxophone of the vintage era, and a
worthy goodbye from one of its greatest performers."

It would seem Herschel was working on Star Dust as a sequel to his hit record Blue and Sentimental but Basie's recording session a week later only had 2 records instead of the usual 4 as if Hershel was too sick to pull off a suitable version, as it happens leaving the door open for Hawk not Herschel to make history and record the great tenor ballad.
You can hear a snippet of Herschel's recording here.-

http://www.newsweek.com/audio-exclusive-eight-never-heard-clips-americas-jazz-greats-71755

You have to scroll down to track number 4.

I don't know if the powers that be at the Harlem Jazz Museum would allow Herschel's work to be transcribed. They probably see his solos, especially Star Dust as the crown jewels of their collection, and so they should. Herschel lovers before were the fortunate few who would scrutinize 4 bars here, a note here, a cry there, but now there's two dozen solos on a silver platter for all to take in if only we could hear them. It's been 4 years now and still nothing. That suggestion to play Evans before Congress and have him declared a National Treasure, never happened. Here's more from Jan Evensmo-

"The Savory Collection of music from the late thirties, including many of the jazz greats. However, I believe that the Herschel
Evans discoveries possibly could be the most valuable of all, considering how littlewe have of this magnificent tenorsax player."
"The BS collection from one single week of October 1938 gives us some of greatest
tenorsax playing captured by the great Herschel Evans!! When I heard “Rosetta”
the first time up in Harlem, I wrote ‘my god’ in my notebook. When I came to
“Russian Lullaby” I almost fainted. When I woke up, I got a magnificent
“Limehouse ...” straight in my face. Adding a “Moten ...” and “Texas ...” did not
make things better! And finally, to have a full
broadcast version of “Blue And Sentimental” , truly incredible. Not that he plays so very differently from the 78
version, but just to hear his heavy sound pushing this lovely tune through, vow!"

Oh man. Just kills me I'll probably never get to hear all this. But not just me. I already know Herschel's music and that nobody including Lester and Ben could express feelings thru music like Evans, but he's one of your greatest cultural treasures and nobody knows about him. Holy cow.

If Ethan could transcribe him I could throw in a hundred or so to help cover expenses. Thanks.
 

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the "Ethan" who did the original transcription is Ethan Iverson is the piano player with the Bad Plus, the Billy Hart Quartet etc... and a real scholar of the music. He has done a lot of transcribing of Lester Young for an article he did on his blog celebrating Lester's Centenial. I rather doubt that he visits SOTW. You can follow him on twitter @ethan_iverson or read his blog http://dothemath.typepad.com/ which some times has open forums where he takes suggestions etc.
 

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Are any of the Savory recordings available yet? Thank you for the link, i went there and listened to several of the clips. i would love to buy these things, if and when they become available.
mascio
 

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Are any of the Savory recordings available yet? Thank you for the link, i went there and listened to several of the clips. i would love to buy these things, if and when they become available.
mascio
They don't seem to be available to purchase.
 

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Thanks to Guido for the Ethan info. I guess I was thinking Ethan had made the transcription for the OP PowerofSoul to put up on his blog, and I should ask him if he would ask Ethan if he could do the Evans. Plus with the name PowerofSoul he might appreciate having Herschel to go along with Lester as bookends, since they were together in their careers, and that Count Basie described Herschel as 'the last word for Soul in those days'. I'll email him if he doesn't hit the thread, then try Ethan next I guess.

As for the release of the Savory collection, I think it won't be legal for another 70 years according to copywrite laws. The Harlem Museum does allow for appointments to listen if you're in New York, and it appears Loren Schoenberg tours some of the music to Jazz Appreciation Clubs and student groups. But I've never heard of any plans for any release any time soon. Mosaic was mentioned with some kind of pool to divide among estate claims, but that seems to have died away as did any attempts to get Congress to change copywrite laws. Even if I don't get to hear the Evans stuff I'm amazed it exists for posterity and kudos to Loren for rescuing this stuff. On the other hand Mike Zirpolo, the author of the Bunny Berigan biography just discovered and released in Scotland some airchecks of Bunny, bang zoom, just like that, so it can be done. But maybe not on the grand scale that the Savory would require. But still, Herschel would only take one cd, and that would be a worthy mission for the museum to finally give him his due and place him on an equal playing field with Lester and Ben and Hawk and Chu. If that could happen I suspect old Liam will be having a new favourite. ha ha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks to Guido for the Ethan info. I guess I was thinking Ethan had made the transcription for the OP PowerofSoul to put up on his blog, and I should ask him if he would ask Ethan if he could do the Evans. Plus with the name PowerofSoul he might appreciate having Herschel to go along with Lester as bookends, since they were together in their careers, and that Count Basie described Herschel as 'the last word for Soul in those days'. I'll email him if he doesn't hit the thread, then try Ethan next I guess.
Hi guys---

Before I posted this on my blog, I asked Ethan, via one of the occasional (but not very frequent) "forumesque" discussion sessions on his blog Do the Math (DTM), for permission to transpose and post the solo, which Ethan originally posted on DTM, to B flat for those of us who don't routinely play tenor from concert key music. Ethan's transcription of it occurred around the time of a concert he was involved in where some of this stuff was played live, perhaps as part of the preparation for the concert, I don't know. About the Herschel Evans material, I'd guess it's not that simple for him to just transcribe and post whatever he wants of the Savory stuff (there may be copyright issues even with solo transcriptions, I'm not sure). For one thing, he'd probably have to go up to the museum to do it. The museum is high on my list of things to do next time I'm in NYC, but again, I'm not sure what their policy would be on publicly posting (or even doing) a transcription. If they're cool with it I'll do it, but it could be many months before I get to NYC again. I dig Evans, for sure...

Howard
 

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That would be so great if you could transcribe and post up Star Dust. If it is ever to rival Hawk's Body and Soul as the great moody tenor ballad of the day, it looks like it's going to need another hundred years or so to do so, so it would be so nice to at least see it on paper, and maybe risk a lightning strike and doodle with it a bit. I'm down with throwing in some scratch to help with expenses. If they wouldn't let you do Star Dust maybe one of the other Herschel's would be great. That one where Jan says he almost fainted when he heard it sounds interesting.
 

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Unbelievable playing! His playing never gets tired, its always a revelation every time you hear him do his thing. What a crazy genius.
 
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