Insane Sam Dillon “Cherokee” at 400bpm Tenor Sax Solo Transcription

Here is another insane tenor sax solo by Sam Dillon. Believe it or not, this is Cherokee at 400 beats per minute.  Yes, you read that correctly……. It’s just a fact of life that if you lock a jazz musician in a room in isolation or quarantine, they will not survive without a clear unfathomable goal and musical purpose.  For some unknown reason, Sam Dillon and the bass player Yosuke have decided that their purpose in life while in isolation is to play Cherokee as fast as humanly possible.  I will warn you now that if high speeds scare you, you might want to put on your seatbelt before pushing the play button on the video below (some motion sickness pills might help also…..).

The second page of this solo was especially hard to transcribe because Sam was laying so far behind the beat on some of these lines that it was difficult sometime to tell what note was “supposed” to be on one.   I think I came pretty close in transcribing it.  I had to really hone in on Yosuke’s bass notes and actually work backward for the last 12 bars of the solo.

Well done guys!   This pandemic better end soon or all these great jazz players in isolation will convert every tune from the great American songbook to 400+ tempos and random odd meters just to keep themselves entertained!

Sam Dillon-Tenor Saxophone

If you want to check out more from Sam Dillon you can read Sam’s bio here on his website.  He also has a great CD recently released called “Force Field” and an older CD of standards called “Out in the Open” that you can check out!  Also, do yourself a favor and go to this page from his website with a Slow Blues on it!  You can definitely tell Sam has studied the lines of John Coltrane right?  I also have a few other transcriptions of Sam Dillon’s solo here.

My wife always asks me why I have to practice so much?  Well, it’s because of young guys like Sam who remind us all that we need to practice!  Thanks for the great solo and inspiration!   Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments you might have in the comments section below this post after you pick yourself up off the floor!.  Steve

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Sam Dillon “Cherokee” 400bpm Tenor Sax Solo 

Cherokee 400bpm-Sam Dillon Bb PDF
Cherokee 400bpm-Sam Dillon Concert Key PDF

*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

If you love these type of solo lines, be sure to check out my PDF books “The Best Major II-V-I Patterns” and “The Best Minor II-V-I Patterns“, which includes 100 classic II-V-I jazz lines that I have written out in all 12 keys. These lines are the foundation to building a great jazz vocabulary!!


The Best Major II-V-I Patterns


The Best Minor II-V-I Patterns

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

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