Playing for Real

Reading Mark’s post prompts me to write that the bebop workshop is doing something similar: Andrea has been working with us to play together—to interact musically with the other musicians, to think about what we can do to support the soloist, and to make one’s solo, background or whatever, a meaningful contribution towards building an entire coherent musical experience. Our workshop has evolved from an opportunity to play a solo with a live rhythm section into what playing jazz is all about: creating music spontaneously through shared interaction.

This week we concentrated largely on Bouncing with Bud, a great Bud Powell tune for horn players to work on their eighth-note articulation and improvising through a variety of chord changes: half-measure step-wise moving minor chords, a long minor II-V, and some altered dominants moving in a cycle of fifths.

Here’s a link to a transcription of Bud Powell’s solo on the tune from the album The Amazing Bud Powell, and a link to a transcription of Sonny Rollins’ solo on the tune from a 1948 recording, when he was 18 and already a master.