More Bob Mintzer solos from Mint Jam! I was hoping to get this solo done and recorded before my jaw surgery, but alas that was not to be. I got the transcription done and I was working it up, but it’s a pretty hard solo and wasn’t where it needed to be for me to record it. I’m confident I can work it up some day, but it will be a few months before I can play again, so I’m just posting as-is.
This is definitely the hardest solo I’ve transcribed from Mint Jam to date. Both in terms of the transcription and the performance. Lots of very fast passages, as well as some tricky altissimo.
There’s a lot of complexity in what the rhythm section is doing, and Bob plays off of it very well. For all that is going on, the track still manages to swing – what a killer band!
I plan on continuing to work through this album while I’m laid up. There’s an EWI track that I might even be able to work on while I recover, before I can play sax.
More Bob Monster solos from Mint Jam! This track has a bluesy, almost gospel feel to it.
The tune itself is pretty intricate. It’s a little down-tempo, which is always makes it harder since there are so many subdivisions. The form took awhile to figure out. The solo is basically ABABABCDD. I was able to find a lead sheet online that helped make sense of it (also why the chord changes are so detailed!)
The transcription wasn’t too hard to do, but learning it turned out to be way harder than I expected. The solo itself only has a few really tough parts (I’m looking at you high notes), but it is long with a bunch of medium difficulty stuff, which makes it hard to get one continuous take with no mistakes.
I haven’t done many saxophone solos from big band recordings, so I let my current Bob Mintzer kick lead me into his big band work. If you haven’t heard his big band recordings, check them out, I highly recommend them. The big band seemed like a vehicle to showcase his writing (which is excellent) and served as cheap marketing for his charts, which every high school in my area played when I was growing up. Bob got all of the top New York players to record these, so the section playing and soloing are all top-notch.
I devoured these recordings when I was in high school. Our band played many of these charts over the years, and even commissioned Bob to write a chart for us and perform the world premier together with our band. I thought that was pretty cool then, but I don’t think I fully appreciated it until much later.
Bob was super nice and of course a great player. I met him after a Yellowjackets show years later and joked that we had played a gig together. He thought I was serious until I told him that I was in the high school band he performed with. He thought it was funny, and remembered the band and my director from back then. He’s a real good guy.
This solo is great. It’s a cut time quasi-latin feel, very up-tempo. Lots of changes, and some of the lines are very tough. There’s a funky pedal section at the end of each chorus to break up the feel as well. The bari solo by Roger Rosenberg on the track is also very good (but very hard). I may get around to transcribing it some day as well. I’m overdue for some bari transcriptions!
I had so much fun doing the last Bob Mintzer transcription I decided to do another. I’m a huge fan of his playing. And I also love the Yellowjackets! I was big into them in High School and have a bunch of Marc Russo Alto transcriptions in my notebooks somewhere. I need to find those.
This track is probably my favorite Yellowjackets recording. It was recorded live, so it doesn’t have that ‘over-produced’ feeling that many of their albums do (sorry, just my opinion).
This track has a really funky groove and Bob’s playing is just killing on it. I wish I had a few more hours to woodshed this and get it more solid. It’s a lot of fun to play.
I have so much to say about this track! No, there is too much, let me sum up. I’m oddly obsessed with Jaco Pastorius. I listen to him more than I listen to some saxophone players. I wore this album out several times over. I had it on vinyl back in the day before it was released as a two-disc set.
I’ve always loved this track in particular, and this amazing solo by Bob Mintzer. I’ve met Bob a few times, the first was when he worked with my high school band. We commissioned a big band piece of his and he performed the premiere with us. I love his writing as much as I do his playing and have played many of his charts over the years.
I wanted to switch gears for the back half of tenor month and do a new transcription, something I had never worked on before. This fit the bill perfectly. The transcription flowed really easily since I knew the solo so well. But it’s quite hard for me to play!
I love Bob’s playing on this track – his sound is big and soulful. The solo is funky, yet has some beautiful jazz lines and phrasing at the same time.
As always, I get hung up on the altissimo, especially the stuff right over the break. But it’s getting easier. I really have to relax and try less hard (if that makes sense) to make it work.