Happy Holidays Everyone!! Here’s another new transcription I have been working on. It’s Christmas Eve, the wife and kids are in bed, the presents are under the tree, not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse, when down from Steve’s office arose such a clatter, the sound of Michael Brecker……that was the matter……….
This is the first 8 choruses of a burnin’ Michael Brecker solo over the standard “Blue Bossa” from the Roppongi Pit Inn in Tokyo, 1985. This was taken from a grainy video camera recording that is on youtube. I have included the video below for you to enjoy.
Michael Brecker in the 70’s
This solo might rattle your brain a bit if you are the kind of person that believes life…… and jazz for that matter, should be played by the rules. That we should color within the lines if you will……….One of the things I always loved about Michael Brecker was the total freedom he had while soloing. You don’t have to look far in the PDF before you notice certain anomalies. If you were to just see them on paper you might think “This guy isn’t playing the right notes” or “He doesn’t know what he’s doing” but that is far from the truth. Brecker used these “outside” note choices to create exquisite tension and resolution throughout the lines of his solos. These amazing lines are what drew so many of us to his concerts and recordings.
One very cool concept you see Brecker using in this solo is the use of the B melodic minor scale and E7 sound over the Bb7 chord. Measure 12 outlines B minor. Measure 28 has a E Major vibe to it. Measure 44 starts with the remainder of the F minor line from the previous measure but on beat 3 he surprises us by not going to F but to F# and then outlining B-7. Measure 60 is all B melodic minor (also known as Bb altered scale). Measures 75-76 sound like a strong E7 line. He’s thinking of the tri-tone sub of Bb7 and playing it right through the whole ii-V would be my guess. He even carries it in to the Eb Major bar a bit. He does the same thing in measures 92-93. Delaying the resolution of the Eb Major chord………Same thing with 108-109.
There are many other melodic “gems” and concepts in this solo to dig through and try to understand.
This is pages 1 -4 and includes the first 8 choruses. I will put up the other 12 or so choruses of the solo as I complete them. Some of these sections are pretty hard so I will do what I can with no promises…….. I hope you enjoy this part of the solo. Let me know what you think or if you have any comments below (although I don’t blame you if you feel speechless after watching the video………….) Enjoy, Steve
If you want to learn more about using the melodic minor and altered scales for a modern sound while improvising, check out some of these great video lessons: