Wilton Felder’s Street Life Solo Transcription

Here’s another great solo transcription from John Blevins.  John has graciously sent me a number of his transcriptions this last week and given me permission to share them with the sax world on my site here.  This is a great sax solo by Wilton Felder who was the cofounder of the Crusaders.   The tune is Street Life and hit #36 on the Billboard charts.   This album was released in 1979 which would have made me 12 at the time.  I’m not sure how many times I heard this tune but even now when I hear it I feel like I’m 12 years old riding in the back of my parents car! Even now 36 years later this tune still rocks!

Wilton Felder’s tenor sax solo is a classic. It’s obvious while looking at the transcription and listening to the solo that Wilton Felder was no slouch on these changes either.  He could have easily taken the route of just playing over the chords using the G blues scale like so many players do but Mr. Felder does a great job of nailing the changes on this solo.   Check it out!  The solo starts at the 5:28 minute mark of the video.   For those of you interested, I read that Wilton Felder played a King Super 20 tenor sax with a Berg Larsen  105/0  mouthpiece.   I hope you like it and thanks again for John Blevins in taking the time to transcribe this great solo.

Street Life-Wilton Felder-Tenor Sax Solo Bb PDF
Street Life-Wilton Felder-Tenor Sax Solo Eb PDF
Street Life-Wilton Felder-Tenor Sax Solo C PDF

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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. Avatar Graham Snell says

    Thanks for this Steve, ‘Streetlife’ has been in the set of the band I play in for years so I’ve attempted to play this hundreds of times and not always successfully. The challenge for me is trying to relax and let it flow and not to rush it. As you have mentioned it’s not that straightforward a solo.A lot of bands seem to play a straight disco like beat when they play this tune but it’s more like a sort of shuffle.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing one of my favorite solos. Is there any chance you have it available in Eb? Just curious (and a little lazy) !!


  3. Thank you Men !!

  4. FYI – Solo starts at 5:28.

  5. Yes, I wrote that in my comments about the solo…….

  6. Avatar John Blevins says

    For Joe Hrbek:
    I transcribed the solo using Sibelius so I can transpose it quickly. The problem would be in the lower range of the solo. Any notes below low Eb on the tenor transcription would have to be played an octave higher for alto, perhaps making it awkward to play smoothly.

    If the key is not important I would suggest inputting the chord changes listed on the transcription into Band-in-a- Box or iReal Pro (or a similar program) and transposing it down a Perfect Fourth. That would give you the experience of playing the same tenor fingering patterns on alto. I’ll try the alto transposition and see how it works when I get a chance. If you can send me your email I can send the alto version to you.

  7. Avatar Daveweno001 says

    Hey John, great solo , is there any chance you can transpose it for C instruments?

  8. Avatar John Blevins says

    Sure! If you can send me your email, I will send you a PDF. Or…..
    Steve, is their a way to give him my email without it being posted? You have my permission to do so.


  9. John, if you can do it could you send me the pdf and I can post it on the same page if others want it also…………..

  10. Avatar Daveweno001 says

    Thanks for the post, much appreciated

  11. Avatar Craig James says

    oh yeah baby, god bless you!

  12. Amazing! Have loved this solo since I was a child and now I get to play it, thank you!

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