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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
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Discussion Starter #1
I know a few of you have followed my Transcribe This Lick and Jazz Sax Quick Tips series on YouTube, so I thought I'd let you know about a new series I've started called The Greatest Jazz Sax Blues Motifs. These videos are based on Blues motifs I'm transcribing from some of the greats. Let me know if you have any suggestions- and please subscribe to my YouTube channel! I'll add the vids here too as the series develops.

Thanks!

Randy Hunter
www.beginningsax.com - Beginning Sax & Jazz Improv Lessons
www.randyhunterjazz.vhx.tv - All access subscriptions to my complete lesson series

First up: A passage by King Curtis

 

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Good stuff Randy! Keep 'em coming...

"Back at the Chicken Shack" was one of the first blues instrumentals I learned, way back. It was used as a 'break tune' by the house band at an Oakland blues joint (Eli's Mile High Club) that I used to hang out in back in the '70s/early '80s. A 'must know' tune for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
"Back at the Chicken Shack" was one of the first blues instrumentals I learned, way back. It was used as a 'break tune' by the house band at an Oakland blues joint (Eli's Mile High Club) that I used to hang out in back in the '70s/early '80s. A 'must know' tune for sure.

Yes, JL, it's a fun blues head for sure. And Stanley kills on it in the recording with Jimmy Smith.

Got lots more of these on the way. It's giving me an opportunity to really examine the approaches that different players have to the blues. I think often we (and I mean me by that) think we have a good feel for the ways different players approach phrasing, whether it's the blues or just in general. By specifically looking at motifs, I'm learning about the consistency of each players approach. Some guys seem to have a tendency to make a statement then go right into development- others use more of a call and response approach- and still others use a sequencing type format. Of course, the great players often use a variety of approaches which often seem to evolve over their careers. I think one of the things that makes a player great is the ability to make a musical statement, then follow it with a logical storyline type development that takes a natural journey- chorus after chorus!
 

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Great job with that, Randy!
Love your videos.
Hope you and your wife are doing great.
 

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Thanks, Randy! What a great idea for a series. And, as always, you execute it so well!
All the best, man!
George
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks George and HeyJoe!- I am enjoying putting these together- and the research I'm doing listening to great players approaches. Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This one is a personal favorite of mine that I transcribed from a Sonny Stitt solo on a tune called Blues Greasy. Just a flat out killer motif that does everything you can ask for.

Randy Hunter
https://www.beginningsax.com - Jazz Improv & Beginning Sax Lessons
www.randyhunterjazz.vhx.tv - Access all of my lessons via monthly subscription

 

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Discussion Starter #13
This blues motif was transcribed from Dexter Gordon's solo on The Blues Walk. This tune is often associated with jazz trumpeter, Clifford Brown, although Dexter credits Sonny Stitt with the composition entitled, Loose Walk.

Randy Hunter
https://www.beginningsax.com - Jazz Improv & Beginning Sax Lessons
www.randyhunterjazz.vhx.tv - Access all of my lessons via monthly subscription

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Blues Motif #6 was taken from Buddy Tate's tenor saxophone solo on a tune called No Kiddin'. You'll find it on YouTube on the album called Tate's Date. Buddy Tate, one of the famed Texas Tenors, is probably best know for his work with Count Basie, but I particularly enjoyed listening to recordings of him with Arnett Cobb and also with Illinois Jacquet. One you might enjoy is a live recording with him and Arnett Cobb playing another blues composition by Tate called She Got It.

Randy Hunter
https://www.beginningsax.com - Jazz Improv & Beginning Sax Lessons
https://randyhunterjazz.vhx.tv - Access all of my lessons via monthly subscription

 

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Great stuff Randy, thanks.

Your site also led me to Jazz Fest 2020 at Emory which I somehow missed getting tickets, bummer.

Any openings for new (actually pretty old) students?
 

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Another good one, Randy. Thanks!

One cool thing about that Buddy Tate lick is you can mess around with it and come up with some nice variations. What I immediately heard, and would probably do with it, is at the end of the line slip in the chromatic passing tone 'B' between the C and Bb. Gives it a bit different sound without really changing the feel too much. I'm sure there are other possibilities. And of course it's great just as is.

p.s. Just went and listened to it on YouTube. Man, that solo of his is chuck full of great blues ideas. A masterpiece in the laid-back blues style! I'm going to have some fun playing along with it...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
One cool thing about that Buddy Tate lick is you can mess around with it and come up with some nice variations. What I immediately heard, and would probably do with it, is at the end of the line slip in the chromatic passing tone 'B' between the C and Bb. Gives it a bit different sound without really changing the feel too much. I'm sure there are other possibilities. And of course it's great just as is.

p.s. Just went and listened to it on YouTube. Man, that solo of his is chuck full of great blues ideas. A masterpiece in the laid-back blues style! I'm going to have some fun playing along with it...
Hey JL- I always enjoy your feedback! Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with you about the flexibility of the line and the sound and use of the chromatic passing tone between the root and 7th. I have a student that has just finished transcribing the entire solo. I helped him with a few of the passages, but in general, transcribing this solo is a great project in blues vocabulary and feel. I really love the sounds of Buddy Tate, Illinois Jacquet, and Arnett Cobb. Great players out of the same era that have complimentary similarities. I've got a Blues Motif video of an Illinois Jacquet lick I'll be posting soon. Arnett is on my upcoming list as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Great stuff Randy, thanks.

Your site also led me to Jazz Fest 2020 at Emory which I somehow missed getting tickets, bummer.

Any openings for new (actually pretty old) students?
So sorry to hear you missed out on the jazz festival at Emory. It was a true pleasure having Bob Mintzer as our guest artist. Of course, he gave a concert at the school on Friday, but last night was the big event with our big band and the Emory Jazz Sax Quintet. I'm the assistant director of the big band and the director of the quintet, so it was great having him perform with the students. I also got to play a number with him and our world-class rhythm section of Gary Motley, Emrah Kotan, and Kenny Davis to a sold out crowd. What a thrill!

Yes, if you're interested in lessons just drop me a note- randy(at)randyhunterjazz.com

Thanks!
 

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I really love the sounds of Buddy Tate, Illinois Jacquet, and Arnett Cobb. Great players out of the same era that have complimentary similarities. I've got a Blues Motif video of an Illinois Jacquet lick I'll be posting soon. Arnett is on my upcoming list as well.
+1. I love those guy's playing. Blues-drenched with tons of feeling and lots of great ideas. Looking forward to those upcoming motifs.

As to flexibility of various lines, it's always amazed me what a difference adding (or subtracting) only one or two notes can make, or minor rhythmic changes. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse! Gotta experiment...
 
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