Danny Walsh Chameleon Tenor Saxophone Solo Transcription

Here’s another great solo transcription from a Youtube video that I started working on a few days ago.   This is from another terrific tenor sax player, Danny Walsh.   I believe Danny went to Berklee College of Music and left shorty before I got there in the mid 80’s.  I’m not sure I have ever heard him live although the summer before I went to Berklee I remember hearing an ensemble behind a closed door and the tenor player was playing a killing solo which sounded like Michael Brecker to me.  I always wondered if that was Danny playing………

I haven’t heard too much from Danny since the 80’s but when I heard he had released a recording called “Entering In” I was one of the first to buy it.  This is a great CD! Danny’s sound on both tenor and alto saxophone is beautiful.   One of the aspects I love the most about Danny’s playing is his ability to take a solo “outside”.  It seems effortless to him and his lines just flow whether they are “inside” bebop lines or “outside” Brecker type lines.  It is obvious that Danny Walsh is very talented and has spent his time in the woodshed that is for sure.  You can hear the Coltrane and Brecker influence on his lines that is for sure!

If you have never heard of Danny Walsh before, check out his CD and any future projects he plays on!

Chameleon Solo starts at 5:29

This was a harder solo to transcribe.  When you look at the transcription it can be a bit intimidating with all the 32nd notes and flying 16th note triplets.  The important thing is to watch the video clip and then try to pick out the lines and concepts that you want to work on.   There is a 5 measure section towards the end of the solo that is all alternate fingerings which I didn’t attempt to transcribe.  Enjoy!

Chameleon Solo-Danny Walsh

This is Danny Walsh’s last recording.  Check it out!!

Danny Walsh “Entering In” Itunes

Danny Walsh “Entering In” CD Baby

Here are a few more “live” youtube clips of Danny Walsh playing to checkout:

DevastatingFrontCoverSmallAdDevastating Minor Lines for Jazz and Funk Soloing

If you like these types of modern lines like I do, be sure to check out my jazz video lessons and books for some great resources!  Here are just a few on a variety of modern improvisation topics.  I have 11 jazz improvisation books out now and over 500 30 minute+ video and audio lessons to choose from……..   Steve

Modern Improv

Here’s some reviews:

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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. Hi Steve

    I really like your site! I have also read your riveting “Funny as a brain tumor”.

    I went to school with Danny in Boston and have to say back then he was the hottest player around. He had everything: great Lines, amazing speed, beautiful sound, Humor and Lyricism.

    That was the time when people like Greg Osby, Dave Kikoski, Jeff Watts, Donald Harrison, Doug Webb, Terry Lynne Carrington, Dave Douglas, Kevin Eubanks, Branford Marsalis or Tommy Smith were studying there. But somehow, Danny blew them all away. He was a legend on campus. Wa all hung out quite a bit, played sessions and went to gigs together.

    Back then one could hear Joe Lovano, Mike Stern, Bob Mover, Jerry Bergonzi, John Scofield, Ralph Moore and lots more on a regular basis at Michael’s, 1369, Ryles or Pooh’s Pub, those were the days!

    I saw Danny a few years ago in France when he played a gig with my good friend and killing guitar player Jerome Barde. Great as always.

    Keep up the good work and all the best!

  2. Thanks for sharing this performance. Danny Walsh is fantastic here. Live jazz at its best in spite of barroom clutter (maybe because of it–authenticity). I hate overproduced, over-engineered commercial recordings!

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