#TTmusic #6: Slide Serenade
from Sex Mob’s Dime Grind Palace (2003)
composed by Steven Bernstein
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Click the image below to see the PDF. .mus and .xml, and PDF all zipped together here: Slide-serenade
Listen & Buy:
Wow! Where to start with this tune? It’s another awesome example of what makes Steven Bernstein and Sex Mob so rad! First I’m going to talk about Steven Bernstein’s articulations and sliding (again…), talk about how the band sounds together, and then a little about how this piece is structured.
So! Steven Bernstein’s slide trumpet playing is super expressive. So much so that it is too much of a pain to write it into the digital score. What I suggest you do is follow along with the head and take note of all the ways the notes are bent, shaped and articulated. Bend-wise have a listen to how he plays the long bends in measure 1 and 4, and the super long bends in measures 16 and 20. For great staccato articulation listen to the end of every 3-eighth-note figure, like in the pick-up bar, mm 3, 8 and 10 — They’re all slur 2, staccato 1. Super clipped! Check out the way they shape the notes in measures 14 through 21. They’re almost falls, almost bends, almost embellishments. I love love love how Steven Bernstein is able to take the slide trumpet and make it sound like a soul singer. Breathtaking! Listen to his solo to hear more of that side of his playing.
Another thing that really blows me away is how well Briggan Krauss is able to follow the slide trumpet’s bends. Have a listen to all those bends again, and notice how awesome the saxophone is at bending and matching the slide trumpet. Listen to the tight groove that the drums and bass have, and how they hit all the shots and entrances together (except measure 12, where the bass jumps in a sixteenth-note earlier than everyone. Super dope).
A few notes about the composition itself. There’s a 5 bar phrase, followed by a 3 bar phrase, the same 5 bar phrase again, an 8 bar bridge, then the same 5 bar phrase again. Did you notice all the odd phrase-lengths when you listened? I sure didn’t. I think it’s a testament to how well contoured the writing is and how well the band plays it that these odd phrase-lengths go unnoticed.
Finally, I know I haven’t included the solo, but check out the energy arc of the whole piece. The trumpet solo and band have an amazing build followed by a super tight break.
Other Transcription tuesdays:
Other Transcription tuesday peeps:
Obviously, all this music is (c) Steven Bernstein & Sex Mob. The purpose of this lead sheet and blog post is to help myself and others gain further understanding of the music. The commentary and images are (c) Craig Pedersen