Joel Frahm “All the Things You Are” Tenor Sax Transcription

Here’s another solo by another great tenor saxophone player and incredibly nice guy, Joel Frahm.  Joel has commented on quite a few times over the years and his passion for everything to do with the saxophone is very obvious. (I imagine we could spend a few hours in a bar talking about mouthpieces very easily……..)

This is a solo on the jazz standard “All the Things You Are” from a gig at Small’s jazz club a couple of weeks ago. (I’m not sure who else was on the gig or who’s gig it was but if someone has that info I would love to add it to this post……. )

This solo caught my attention because of Joel’s use of hemiolas during the first chorus. A hemiola is a rhythmic pattern that can be superimposed over a given time signature to create interesting overlapping rhythms.  In this case,  Joel is playing rhythms in 3/4 time against the 4/4 time signature.  ( I jokingly titled the transcription “All the Hemiolas There Are”…………

I was first introduced to this hemiola concept in lessons with Jerry Bergonzi back in the early 90’s and interestingly enough he had me work on it over “All the Things You Are”…………

Years later, I  also recorded a video lesson for on this subject called “3 Against 4 Hemiola Lesson” in which I teach and talk about this same concept that Joel is using here and even demonstrate how to practice and use hemiolas over “All the Things You Are” on the alto sax.


Joel Frahm 

Here is a short bio about Joel Frahm from Joel’s website in case you don’t know about him:

Joel Frahm’s May 1st release, We Used to Dance, places him in the company of master musicians Kenny Barron (piano), Rufus Reid (bass), and Victor Lewis (drums).  Frahm more than holds his own in showing both the chops and lyricism that has made him an irreplaceable part of so many sessions in his two decades on the jazz scene.   Surrounded by jazz legends, Frahm makes this recording a true “coming out party” for his maturing artistry. It is his most ambitious CD to date,  featuring six of his original compositions that come to life in beautiful and variegated ways in the hands of this remarkable band. “It was an honor and a watershed experience to make this record with these incredible musicians” he says. Having made a name for himself through his associations with singer Jane Monheit and boyhood friend,  pianist Brad Mehldau,  Frahm hones his own voice on this breakout recording. Joel has also worked with a vast array of musical peers and jazz legends including Maynard Ferguson, Betty Carter, Matt Wilson, Larry Goldings, Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Andrew Hill, Ben Allison, Pat Martino, Ingrid Jensen, Dena Derose, The Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Kyle Eastwood and many others. Born in Racine, WI in 1969, Frahm attended the Mason Gross School for the Arts and earned his B.A. in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music. He released three highly regarded CDs on Palmetto: The Navigator, Don’t Explain (with Mehldau), and Sorry No Decaf. Don’t Explain, his latest, was the number one jazz release for radio play in the United States for two consecutive weeks in 2004, according to airplay chart and also reached number one on college radio for one week, according to College Music Journal’s airplay chart.  Joel was also recently selected in DownBeat Magazine’s Critics Poll as a Rising Star in the category of tenor saxophone.”

This is only chorus 1 of the solo but I thought it would be a good solo to transcribe because of the hemiola concept being used.   Be warned about the run during the last 7 bars of this  transcription.  If you try to read it and play it exactly as written you will probably fail miserably.   Joel is basically starting this run in triplets in measure 31 and then in measure 32-36 he’s speeding up the line just slightly (It actually comes out to 3.25 notes per beat which x 4 beats is 13 notes over 4 beats!) Good Luck on that one……………. Enjoy!!

PS.  Make sure you buy Joel’s recordings!  I have most of them and they are terrific!

Joel Frahm Solo on All the Things You Are-Chorus 1 Bb PDF

Added chorus 2 below,  the 5th line is 8va as labeled.  Also, from measures 24-to the end of the chorus Joel is playing a line in triplets.  Although measure 24 starts out with two sets of triplets, in measure 25 onward he changes the articulation of the triplets to mimic eighth note articulation.  The triplet pulse is still constant although the new articulation gives the line a floating feeling over the time.   For more on this subject you can check out Playing with a Triplet Pulse Lesson in which I walk you through how to use this concept…………

*If you would like to support me here at, you can do so on the support page of my store by debit or credit card.   Any support is appreciated and will go towards keeping this site running, saxophone reeds, mouthpiece patches, coffee, and towards justifying the many hours I spend on providing free transcriptions to the saxophone community!  Thanks,   Steve

Joel Frahm Solo on All the Things You Are-Chorus 2 Bb PDF
Joel Frahm Solo on All the Things You Are-Chorus 3 Bb PDF

Joel Frahm Solo-All the Things You Are 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


  1. I haven’t had time to transpose it to C yet but will post it on here when I do……………

  2. Avatar Jared Jackson says

    Killlin it!!!!

    Great transcription work, Steve!

  3. Avatar Michael Favreau says

    Thanks for another great transcription from a great player. These are greatly appreciated.

  4. Thanks Steve, just making this gig my New Year’s Day listening.

    • Happy New Years Dan! May 2016 be the year we all get a little closer to the Joel Frahm’s and Chris Potter’s of the world…………..

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