I was in New York last week, I recorded at a new improvised duo album, FLUX, with my composer/guitarist friend Taylor Brook at the Columbia University Computer Music Center. It’s a super awesome sounding disc, and we made a super limited run of 10 with really awesome hand-painted cases. I’ve already sold most of them, so there are only 3 left. It’s 20 minutes of super intense music.
We’re selling them for $20 + shipping. I will personalize it for $30 + shipping. Email me at email@example.com if you would like a copy.
Without any ceremony, here are 3 lead sheets of John Zorn tunes. I have little to say about them that I haven’t already said about Masada: As always, I’m amazed at how the band makes so much out of so little and inspired by Greg Cohen’s patient bass playing. I really love how Zorn works with odd meters, or switches meters to suit his needs. I’ve chosen to put these tunes in these time signatures mostly because of what the bass is doing. Please enjoy, and share!
Follow on twitter with #ttmusic. Please share to your friends using the share links at the bottom. Leave a comment if you have any thoughts, questions, concerns, edits, etc. I can almost guarantee that there is a mistake in one of these parts!
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Obviously, all this music is (c) John. The purpose of this lead sheet and blog post is to help myself and others gain further understanding of the music. The commentary, transcription and images are (c) Craig Pedersen
For those of you who don’t know, I have a super special physical mailing list, where I mail things I have made to fans, friends and family. (Read about it here.) On Mondays I post photographs of things that I have sent out. I forgot to take pictures of some of the early mail-outs, so if you don’t see something you’ve received, please send me a photo. If you order a CD, you’ll probably get something cool, too.
This week I mailed out to someone who ordered a CD in Greece: It includes the header from my last transcription, a colour study watercolour (1/12), a button and a card stamped with the empire state building!
Where to start? This project took up all my transcription time for the last few days. I just want to touch on a few things – first about the way the vocals are sung, a bit on Dave Douglas’ trumpet solo, as well as the saxophone and piano solo, a little bit about the bass playing, then the recording itself.
You’ll probably notice that the rhythm I have written for the vocals is approximate. This is not the first time that I’ve lifted vocal lines and I inevitably come to the same conclusion: keep the rhythm simple, and include the words. I’ve always found that what makes a great singer like Aoife O’Donovan stand apart, is how she articulates words to dictate the rhythm, character and feeling. Even when the melody is the same, the beginnings, middles and ends of words have a different characters and rhythm, depending on the word and meaning of the text. Follow along with the music and listen to the lyrics to see what I mean.
Next! There is something really captivating about Dave Douglas’ short trumpet solo, right near the beginning of the piece. What I really love about it is how precise his rhythmic choices are. His opening line solo line in mm 16 is a great example of using a dotted-quarter note feel to phrase over the bars, and land perfectly on beat one of mm 19. Look also at the quarter-note triplets in mm. 28. What is so remarkable about it is that when I plugged it into finale, the rhythm was dead on to what he was playing. This is serious rhythmic precision. Yet, at the end of the day, it’s not only intellectual. Listen to the singing bluesy line in mm. 33! What a great balance of intellect and feel.
This is also what I like about both Jon Irabagon’s saxophone solo, and Matt Mitchell’s piano solo. They’re simple, with just the right balance of intellect, groove, feel and sheer virtuosity. I know I’ve missed a few notes in the piano solo, so please let me know if you fix them!
I really love Linda Oh’s bass playing on this track. It starts simple, and builds intensity by only one or two degrees. I have so much respect for that kind of restraint, while still managing to provide a solid groove. The tone is beautiful, and I love the way she plays pick-ups on the bass and uses open strings to add colour.
You’ll note I didn’t have much to say about the drums. They’re great, but I didn’t really dig into them on this transcription.
Finally, the recording quality: It’s beautiful, rich and warm. Joe Ferla really nails Dave Douglas’ trumpet sound again. I especially love the bass sound and the brushes on the drums.
Whew! This was a big big one! Please let me know your thoughts, any edits and SHARE with your friends!
1) There are a few mistakes, mostly things I couldn’t quite figure out. If you find one, please email me!
2) The transcription include all the vocals, trumpet, sax and bass, plus the piano solo. The piano solo written is in on the vocal line.
3) Both the vocals and the piano have some octave displacement.
4) I wrote the sax out as an alto part. I’ve always seen Jon Irabagon playing alto, and I didn’t even notice he was playing tenor until I was already done!
5) You’ll notice that in the concert score the bass part is down the octave. That’s Finale’s fault!
Obviously, all this music is (c) Dave Douglas. The purpose of this lead sheet and blog post is to help myself and others gain further understanding of the music. The commentary, transcription and images are (c) Craig Pedersen
Trumpet playing performer-composer-educator-cooldude from Ottawa. Somewhere at the intersection of free-jazz and feminism and heavily invested in the avant-garde. Curator of the Improvising Musicians of Ottawa / Outaouais Series (improvisedmoo.com)
"…His songwriting is sharp…" - François Couture (Monsieur Deliré)
"…reminds this listener of the halcyon days of the 1970s when the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Julius Hemphill and Henry Threadgill first entered my consciousness" - Richard B. Kamins (Step Tempest)
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"Since his arrival a few years ago to Ottawa,
trumpeter Craig Pedersen has jolted the city's creative music scene with
both his energetic playing and organizing." - Peter Hum (Ottawa Citizen)
"He is a calm, thoughtful trumpet player with the technique of a studied traditional brass player and an ear for all the fresh sounds that are coming out of the improvised world." - Petr Cancura (Programming Director, Ottawa Jazzfest)
"Les quatre prochaines années seront bien dures sur la colline parlementaire, heureusement Craig Pedersen veillera. Trompette en main." - Douze Pouces (CiSM radio, Montreal)