Chris Potter Transcription of Cherokee in 10 Keys

So check this out!  About 10 days ago,  I was on SOTW (Sax on the Web)  looking through various posts about saxophone stuff when I ran across a post by a recent member from Spain I didn’t know named”ffjay” that read:

Hi all!
Guess you’d listen one of the stunning Chris Potter’s solo playing Cherokee in 10 keys. I’d just transcribed his first solo chorus and I figured I cannot do the whole¡ what if we do it altogether, one solo chorus each one of us and share it for All fans of jazz music? Could be an international project. We have two saxophone collegues on board but we need more people! Are you in?

I have to be honest, about a year or two ago I asked the same thing on SOTW about another solo that I wanted to transcribe and it was like a ghost town after that post.  You could hear crickets!  I don’t think one person responded.  Now, a year later as I read ffjay’s post my first thought was “Good Luck buddy! I doubt you’ll get anyone on here to help…….”  I closed my browser, left my computer and got on with my day.  As I went about the stuff I had to do, I kept thinking about ffjay’s proposal.  Man, If he could get a bunch of guys with good ears and transcription skills we could get this huge solo done in record time!  As I got excited about that thought and the idea of working together with guys around the world that I didn’t even know to accomplish this task, I came back to my computer and posted that I would volunteer to help.  If you’re not part of the solution then your part of the problem. There’s no I in TEAM. You know the drill…………….

Ffjay (whose name is Artem Zhulyev) ended up finding 6 guys to help including me.  We all took different choruses and started to get to work.  It was cool to hear updates from Artem as he reported different choruses being completed.  I quickly finished the second chorus I had volunteered to do and by that time I was hooked.  I had to see this project completed.  I volunteered to finish a couple more choruses as well as combine, proofread and help edit the solos.  Artem did an insane amount of work transcribing as well as entering many of the handwritten transcriptions in Finale before sending them my way.

The transcribers were Artem Zhulyev, Dimitri Safronov, Scott Dart, Andei Pobozhi and Denis Zolotih. I have no idea who these guys are or where they are from but they worked hard to accomplish this task in less than 10 days.  Six people from around the world cranking out a huge transcription in 10 days!   Very cool!  Take a look at this 28 page transcription and I think you will be impressed also.

This solo is from a Masterclass that Chris Potter did in Akron Ohio on 12/4/15.  I posted it on the site here in December.  As usual, Chris Potter plays an a cappella solo of a jazz standard that is incredible! There is so much material in this transcription that as Artem was emailing me the final choruses today I was thinking I should take a 6 month sabbatical and just practice this solo for the next 6 months…….(It would be nice)

Enjoy the solo!  Thanks to Chris Potter again for all the inspiration and great playing.   Thanks to Artem (ffjay) for pulling this together and cranking it out!   I get the impression from him that he would have finished this by himself if no one had ended up volunteering anyways.  It’s great to work with other sax players around the globe that have a similar passion and love for jazz. Enjoy!

Cherokee in 10 Keys-Chris Potter-Final Version Bb

*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

And for those of you who were spoiled in the past when I transposed the Bob Mintzer Blues solo in 12 Keys all to the key of C.  Here is the Potter solo all in the key of C.  I had to mess with the octaves at times to still keep it in the range of the tenor saxophone.

Cherokee Solo all in one key-C-Chris Potter

Cherokee Solo-Chris Potter-Concert Key

PS.  I saw on Facebook that Charles McNeal was undertaking this entire solo transcription by himself. I believe I saw his post around the same time that I read Artem’s post on SOTW 10 days ago.  Believe it or not, Charles posted today that he would be done with his version of the transcription today or tomorrow which totally blows my mind.  I’m amazed that us 6 guys cranked it out but Charles is doing it by himself!  In the same 10 days none the less!  Charles has a great website with hundreds of transcriptions  for you to check out also!


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. Steve, I get an error message when I try to play the video you posted here. I recently posted at the forum linking to my own humble website and have not had any responses. My website is about the twelve tone system as taught by the late Don Raffell. It’s a bit different in approach than a lot of teaching methods but my students all improved greatly which was a nice feeling. Potter can really play! He’s a real monster. Cheers.

    • Hi Rob,
      What does the error say when you try to play the video? It plays on my Mac and on my iPhone. It’s just linking to Youtube and playing the video from there. Do videos on Youtube work for you?

      As far as the twelve tone system, I’m not sure I remember checking that out or seeing the post. Can you remind me what the url is? Steve

  2. Hi Steve,
    When I click on the video it says error #2035. Yes, Youtube does work for me so I’m not sure what the problem is. I’m using a PC with Windows 7 via Comcast. I’ve watched other videos on your site with no problem before. Hmm, I just checked some other videos on your site and I get the same message. I’m guessing it’s a problem on my end and not with your site. I’m afraid I’m not very savvy regarding computers. Maybe some of your other readers might pitch in and see if it works for them? Here’s a link to my post:

  3. Steve, I just checked the video with a different browser and it works fine so it’s a problem with my Firefox browser. I think I’ll download Firefox again and see what happens so it’s a problem on my end, not yours.

  4. Avatar Charlie Walker says

    Once again, you have outdone yourself. This is a remarkable solo, but to transcribe it was masterful.

    Thanks so much for all your effort.

    There is a lifetime of study here.

    Charlie Walker
    San Diego

  5. Amazing work! Should be f# in measure 43 concert version over gmaj7

  6. Muto obrigado por postar este material maravilhoso!

  7. Hello!

    Any chance of getting this in bass clef?


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