1. #1

    User Info Menu

    When I was in college my teacher had me sing a bunch of Bird solos. I could pick them, but he asked me to consider the Massey Hall concert, as my teacher felt this was some of Bird's greatest playing. It only took me 20 years before deciding to actually write a few of them down to share.

    Bird on Perdido - Full Score.pdfI've attached a PDF of my transcription. This is an interesting solo for a couple reasons:
    1) Bird leaves way more space in the music than he customarily does. Not sure if this is him fussing with his horn, or an intentional decision. Because he leaves so much space, you can really hear how he pushes and pulls the beat. He starts tons of phrases just slightly before or after the beat, in a way that's very difficult to notate.
    2) There's a couple of very distinct whole tone runs that aren't super common language for Bird.
    3) Because he takes 3 choruses, there's a real sense of drama and building to a climax. He leaves a lot of space on his first chorus, by the end he's double timing furiously.
    4) This is by far the "easiest" solo on Massey hall to play. It lays quite well on guitar, for a Bird solo.

    I'm sure I've made mistakes in my transcription, this isn't easy music to notate and I'm far from perfect. Corrections would be most welcome!

    Here's a recording of Bird's solo on Perdido



  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    are these sorts of posts useful? I've never sightread too many transcriptions, but I find the act of making these transcriptions super beneficial. Just wondering if I should share future transcriptions, if folks find them useful, or if they are just noise?

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Thanks, I don’t often sight-read transcriptions but find them useful from time to time in checking difficult passages and to follow along with the transcribed recording. So keep them coming!

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    oddly, bird was using a plastic grafton sax at massey hall!!



    cheers

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Live Bird is soooo good, and it's a minor tragedy that so many of those recordings have such terrible sound quality. He stretches out so much, he's almost like a different player.

    St. Nick's, Birdland, Rockland Palace... imagine if you could hear all those clearly (not to mention the pitch issues). But at least it's more than what we have of live Charlie Christian.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I've heard Bird play that descending major 3rd/whole-tone figure before but can't place its source. I'm pretty sure it's a musical quote as the performance is full of them: Johann Strauss's Blue Danube at bar 9, Arthur Schwartz's tune, A Gal in Calico at bar 49, Louis Prima's, Robin Hood at bar 65...

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald
    are these sorts of posts useful? I've never sightread too many transcriptions, but I find the act of making these transcriptions super beneficial. Just wondering if I should share future transcriptions, if folks find them useful, or if they are just noise?
    They are very useful! I'm a new member and was hoping to find gems such as your post. I sincerely hope to see more of these in future. Thanks for your efforts!