About five years ago, I started working on a transcription of an incredible solo by Michael Brecker over “A Night in Tunisia” (Chaka Kahn calls it “The Melody Still Lingers On”). This is from a video on Youtube of Chaka Kahn performing a great version of this tune in 1981. This is classic early eighties Michael Brecker just tearing it up on the tenor saxophone. Here is the original video from Youtube (Brecker’s tenor sax solo starts at 1:58):
Chaka Kahn-A Night in Tunisia Video-(Michael Brecker Tenor Sax Solo Starts at 1:58)
I had only gotten one chorus of the solo done five years ago and up to this date, I have never gone back and finished the rest of the transcription. This week, I discovered that Magnus Bakken (a fellow Berklee alumni and tenor sax player who is now based out of Oslo Norway) had completed the transcription and posted a Youtube video of himself playing along with Michael Brecker with the full transcription scrolling on the bottom of the video. Magnus does an incredible job playing along with Michael Brecker! Check it out in the video below!
Magnus Bakken playing along with Michael Brecker on “The Melody Still Lingers On” (A Night in Tunisia)
I reached out to Magnus Bakken through his website at www.magnusbakken.com and Magnus was kind enough to send me a copy of his transcription to share with everyone. I did add chords to the transcription just because I like to see what harmonies the soloist is playing over as I am looking at the transcription. The chords basically follow the standard chords of “A Night in Tunisia” but there are a few unique deviations at the end. I did my best with trying to hear what was going on but also got some help on the last four chords of the solo from this keyboard video also.
Thanks again to Magnus Bakken for sharing his work with all of us. I’m very excited to dig into the rest of this great Michael Brecker tenor saxophone solo. You can stay connected with Magnus Bakken through his website at magnusbakken.com, on Facebook and also on Instagram. Thanks Magnus!
Thanks again also to Michael Brecker. The anniversary of his death passed a couple of weeks ago on January 13th. It’s hard to believe you have been gone for 14 years already. Your contributions to music and as a person are still having a lasting impact on those you interacted with and influenced as well as all those who have yet to hear your great recordings in the future. We miss you!
Audio of Brecker’s Solo on A Night in Tunisia with Chaka Kahn
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If you like these type of outside modern sounding lines like I do, be sure to check out my Devastating Lines for Jazz and Funk Soloing for Minor and Dominant Grooves. These two books are filled with great modern 16th note lines in all 12 keys that you can learn and use while soloing. Check out all the 5 star reviews! Steve