Phil Woods – Just the Way You Are

Phil Woods passed away this week, so I thought it would be fitting to take a break from the Maceo transcriptions and share one of his most iconic solos.

While he was a jazz legend, I chose this pop recording since it is so famous. When was the last time you heard a saxophone solo in song on the top 10 chart for pop/rock? The 70s were a different time…

This solo deserves the praise that it gets. Phil didn’t dumb down his playing for a pop audience, or resort to gimmicks. He just played a simple, beautiful solo that has some great jazz lines in it, and subtle use of dissonance, tension, and harmony.

I had the pleasure of seeing Phil Woods live only once. It was around 1990, shortly after his phenomenal appearance on David Sanborn’s amazing “Night Music” show. I saw him at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago. What a player.

RIP Phil – you’ll be missed!

Phil Woods - Just the Way You Are

 

Enjoy!

@SdartSax

Maceo Parker – Uptown Up

This is a relatively easy track to play. It’s a great song to practice for tone and phrasing. The melody is so simple and strong, and Maceo delivers it with such authority! The solo is in the pocket right from the start – I just love the opening line. I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of the rap breakdown at the end, but I understand what Maceo’s trying to do by getting his material to appeal to a more modern audience.

Maceo Parker - Uptown Up

 

Enjoy!

@SdartSax

Maceo Parker – Rabbits in the Pea Patch

This is a fun track to play. A little more difficult than last week, especially those quick pops up into the altissimo register! I need to work on my intonation and consistency up there. This is a long track, with several sections and key changes along the way, so I let myself do 3-4 takes and pull the best sections from each take. Still, there are plenty of mistakes to find. I never promised perfection on this blog!

Maceo Parker - Rabbits in the Pea Patch

 

Enjoy!

@SdartSax

Maceo Parker – Blues for Shorty Bill

This is a nice, relatively easy transcription to play (despite my mistakes). It’s often one of the first transcription assignments that I’ll give students who are new to jazz saxophone transcription. It’s well-recorded, and not too technical. It’s also loads of fun to play, but as you can see from my flubs, it’s harder than it sounds 😉 But it’s a great transcription for working on phrasing and delivery. The lines are simple, but Maceo really sells them!

Maceo Parker - Blues For Shorty Bill

 

Enjoy!
@SdartSax