Rick Margitza Solo-“What is this thing called love?”

Here is a great tenor sax solo that I transcribed a couple of years ago.  It’s from Jeff Hellmer’s album “Peak Moments”. The tune is a standard called “What is this thing called love?” and features Rick Margitza on the tenor saxophone.

“What is This Thing Called Love” a great standard by Cole Porter that all jazz players should know. It’s a 32 bar AABA form and is pretty easy to learn.  It has some cool minor ii-V sequences in the chord progression and I think it was the first tune I learned as a kid that had minor ii-V chords in it.  Rick Margitza takes a killer solo in it.  When I first heard it I knew I had to transcribe it.  Rick plays a bunch of lines in it that really intrigued me and I wanted to see  what he was playing and maybe get an idea of how he thinks.

I would really suggest listening to it so you get the sound in your ear. Just reading it off the page won’t give you the big picture. What really attracted me to this solo were the flowing lines and the way that he uses tension and release. Check it out!

What is This Thing Called Love Margitza Solo

Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.


  1. Steve

    Thank you for the transcription! I am also really glad that you have a link to the source song. You have made it very convenient to purchase the song you transcribed.

    It is virtually impossible to transcibe every nuance in a solo, so listening to the the original song while reading your transcription provides maximum benefit.

  2. How exactly do you download or purchase the transcriptions…thanks

    FYI. I’m doing this on my iPad and don’t see a link for it


  3. Avatar Michael J. Smith says


    I don’t see a link. How can I get the transcription?


    • Hi Michael, Sorry about that. My download plugin broke. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I think I fixed it. If you go back to the page you should be able to click on the transcription and download it.

  4. Hi. I’ve looked up the Steve Hellmer album Peak Moments and the Rick Margitza solo is definitely not this one!!! Is there an alternate take or something?

  5. Avatar Cam McAllister says

    Thanks Steve.

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