Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Sorcerer - Herbie Hancock

Great example of exclusive use of the Four Note Grouping technique in the opening of  Herbie's solo on "The Sorcerer", from the 1968 album,"Speak Like A Child". Herbie's harmonic and melodic depth back then was stunning. Some other nice techniques evident in this solo are Pentatonics, Upper Structure Triads along with Approach & Passing Notes  and great motivic playing. Gustavo

Here is the transcription:

The Sorcerer - Transcription
The Sorcerer - Audio

You Don't Know What Love Is - Joe Locke

An old transcription of mine of "You Don't Know What Love Is" played by the great Joe Locke. This is from Joe's 1994 trio recording "Very Early" with bassist Ron McClure and drummer Adam Nussbaum. Joe's playing has evolved immensely since then, yet he was playing at an incredible high level. Gustavo

Go here to visualize/download the transcription:

You Don't Know What Love Is - Joe Locke

Gary Burton on "Motivic Development & Dynamics"

Here is the audio & transcription of an improv clinic by Gary Burton in Argentina in 1985 dealing with "Motivic Development & Dynamics" on the chord changes to the standard "On Green Dolphin Street".

It's great to hear/see how Gary manipulates three different motivic ideas on "letter A,B & C" of the transcription. The rest is a demonstration on the importance of dynamic contour in lines. I put in some dynamic markings. You may want to plug in the chord changes once you've downloaded the file. Gustavo

Go here to visualize/download the transcription:

Gary Burton - Motivic Development & Dynamics - "On Green Dolphin Street"

Michael Brecker

Valuable example and information from a humble master. Joe hipped Gustavo and me to this clip of Michael. Inspiring. The quest for growth never ends. At least it shouldn't. Ed

2011 Berklee Percussion Festival

Berklee's Percussion Fest this year will be running from June 20-24th. Areas of study: drum set, marimba, hand percussion and vibes. In addition to guest clinicians during the week, the vibe faculty will include Dave Samuels, Gustavo Agatiello and myself. The days are filled with classes, ensembles, guest clinics and concerts throughout the day and night. Feel free to email me or Gustavo if you have any questions. Ed

Ed Saindon

Ran across this edited videoclip from an April 1st, 2004 Berklee concert for Gary Burton's retirement from the college. Talk about pressure - playing Gary's tunes in front of Gary. This is Metheny's Waltz. It's interesting how my playing has changed since I started incorporating the Fulcrum Grip in my playing. It has affected many things like sound, four mallet conception, ease of playing, etc. I can't imagine going back to the old way of playing. Ed

Tom Vandergled

I was fortunate to study with Tom Vandergeld (along with Gary and Dave) when I was a student at Berklee. I remember Tom had a nice touch and four mallet conception on the vibes. A very musical player. Unfortunately, I can only a find a few clips of him up on YouTube. He had some nice recordings on ECM in the 70's. It looks like there are some new recordings out. Some of the audioclips are available on his website. Ed

Here are two tracks from Tom's 1979 ECM recording "Path"

Tom Van Der Geld - vibraphone
Bill Connors - guitars
Roger Jannotta - flute, soprano saxophone, oboe

Keith Jarrett - Margot

Here's a transcription of Keith Jarrett playing his composition Margot from the recording "Life Between the Exit Signs" (with Haden, Motian - one of favorite Jarrett recordings). Everyone should listen to this track. The solo is filled with motivic ideas, rhythmic variety, pentatonic scale fragments, use of approach notes, over-the-bar line phrasing, etc. Ed

Here's the transcription:
Margot - Keith Jarrett

David Friedman

Beautiful playing by David and Peter on "Seresta". Found out today on The Vibes Workshop, a great site for vibists run by Tony Miceli, that it's David's birthday. David has been an inspiration to me for many years with his great playing, teaching, books and pieces. I remember listening, when I was a student at Berklee, to Dave Samuels and David jamming in Dave's studio. 

Mulgrew Miller

Hey guys, here's a link to a transcription of a solo by pianist Mulgrew Miller on the standard "If I Should Lose You" from "Gettin' To Know You". There's a lot of techniques that Mulgrew is using in this solo. Here are a few: nice use of approach notes, use of symmetrical diminished scale, four note groupings, anticipating the harmony, etc. We can discuss some of the techniques in the solo.

Here's the score:
If I Should Lose You - Gettin' To Know You

Take a look at this other transcribed solo of Mulgrew playing another version of "If I Should Lose You" from "Live At Kennedy Center". It's neat to compare both versions.

Here's the score:
If I Should Lose You - Live At Kennedy Center

Gustavo Agatiello

A beautiful rendition by Gustavo of a Bach Keyboard Partita. Listen to the clarity of the counterpoint as well as variations with the articulation all achieved by the variety of mallet dampening techniques. In my opinion, this is a facet of vibe playing that is often overlooked. Working on these kinds of pieces, along with the application of dampening techniques, is very beneficial in terms of solo vibe playing. Ed

You can download the score here:
J.S.Bach - Keyboard Partita No.1 - Prelude

Transcriptions Site

This is a nice site from sax player Charles McNeal. Loads of transcriptions from many sax players including Berg, Brecker, Bergonzi, Getz, Grossman,...There's also two books of Sonny Stitt solos that can be downloaded. Great stuff. Analyzing the lines of sax players is a great way to learn about improv concepts. Ed

Keith Jarrett - In Your Quite Place

Nice audioclip of Keith Jarrett playing his composition In Your Quiet Place from a 1975 performance in Munich. A beautiful composition and wonderful flowing lines from Keith. What else can you say? Ed

John Scofield

Here's the lastest post from an excellent site run by saxist David Valdez ( The site covers concepts dealing with improvisation. This post's topic was from a clinic by guitarist John Scofield and addresses playing arpeggios over the changes to Stella. John plays some nice lines via the use of approach notes, harmonic anticipation, tension resolution, ...Ed

Stella By Starlight - John Scofield

Vladimir Horowitz

Talk about the power of music. Here's a clip of Horowitz when he returned to Moscow after many years. It was a major event. This is a beautiful piece of music played by a master. I watched the whole video a few weeks ago. I get a lot out of watching and listening to classical pianists. Check out the emotional faces of the people in the audience. Ed

Four Note Groupings

Hello guys, here's a link to two articles on an improv technique called Four Note Groupings. The technique uses triads with a passing note as a means of generating lines. Here's a nice vid of Joe Locke playing two choruses of Stella (see last two pages of the attached article) with four note groupings. Feel free to post comments/questions here. Ed

Four Note Grouping Article
Vibist Ed Saindon's Home Page which includes information on recordings, lessons, concerts, and multimedia.

Gary Burton

Fantastic playing of Gary on Jobim's Chega De Saudade with bassist Mads Vinding in Denmark. This clip was part of a concert with pianist Thomas Clausen and drummer Alex Riel. There are quite a few more clips from this concert on YouTube. Ed

Chord Scale Theory

Here's an article on chord scale theory. We can use this page as a format for discussing issues related to jazz improvisation. This article might be a good starting point. If anyone has a comment or question related to this article, they can post here.

Chord Scale Theory Article

One thing I'd like to mention is the altered scales listed under the Dom 7th section. There are two altered scales listed. One with the #11 and one with natural 4 & 5. In many situations, I like to use the altered with the 4 & 5 versus the one with the #11. Sometimes, the #11 can be a tough note to use in a melodic phrase. Most often, it needs to be resolved to the 5th. Ed

Fred Hersch

Here's a gorgeous piece of music played by a master. Touch, nuance, control, feeling, dynamics,...Truly inspiring. Ed

Joe Locke

Here's a nice interview with Joe Locke and Geoffrey Keezer which was recorded during their performance at Dizzy's in NYC. Some great clips of Joe soloing (including a solo excerpt on the standard Makin' Whoopee). Very inspiring. Ed