Chris Farr – Tenor Madness

Here’s the second Chris Farr post. It’s a transcription of one of his Eastman Endorsement videos. I’ll be honest – it makes me want to try an Eastman sax! Of course I’m not on the market for a new horn and don’t have the money for one, but that’s never stopped me before! ­čÖé

This is an acapella solo, and there’s so much to love about it. Tenor Madness is such a staple jazz blues song that beginners all learn on (I know I did), but he turns it inside out. The solo starts simply enough – melodic and lyrical. He outlines the changes beautifully, and keeps increasing the complexity with each chorus. The voice leading is beautiful, and then he gradually starts adding substitutions that break the barlines and patterns. I’ve never been able to pull off this kind of vertical playing very well, but he nails it.┬á

There are no real pyrotechnics. No altissimo or flashy technique, just beautiful harmonic progression phrased perfectly.




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