jeudi 25 novembre 2010


30-11-18 : I've transcribed most of Art Tatum's After You've Gone.

16-11-18 : some new transcriptions : the leadsheet of Tahiti by Milt Jackson ; the (long !) leadsheet of Polliwog by James Farm ; and some Palestinian music with the score of Sama-Sounounov by the Joubran Trio !

12-11-18 : I happen to have a bunch of new transcriptions, that I'll post when I'll have the time ! First of all, I've been working a long time on a Fats Waller transcription : his 1937 version of Tea For Two.
I've also transcribed some Étienne Daho (French icon of the New Wave) songs : Tombé pour la France and Week-end à Rome.

12-07-18 : another Mary Lou Williams' tune : Fifth dimension, a blues based on a great riff ! And a nice waltz by Armel Dupas, Petite Bretonne.

09-07-18 : I have some new transcriptions to share : Nines by Dan Tepfer, from his duet album with Ben Wendel ; the leadsheet of Chronos by James Farm ; and n°5 of Mary Lou Williams' Zodiac Suite Leo !

29-04-18 : a new Brad Mehldau transcription : Always August, from Nearness, with Joshua Redman. You can find the leadsheet here !

31-03-18 : and here is Aries from Mary Lou Williams' Zodiac Suite !

mercredi 24 novembre 2010

Pierre de Bethmann

Pierre de Bethmann 4tet, songs from his 2012 album Go :
On Change
This tune is, like many other Bethmann's compositions, really complex and hard to play. I've notated the theme in 7/4 6/4 7/4 5/4, you could write it in 13/4 - 12/4 or another strange thing, it seemed right to me this way...

Another complex tune in 5/4 and 3/4. You can find the leadsheet (and some samples) on his website. The solo is uncomplete, but you can have a good idea of how Bethmann approachs this tune.

Pardi : Leadsheet and transcription
Same here : beautiful song, strange chords and odd metrics.
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Pierre de Bethmann trio, songs from his 2015 album Essais, vol 1 :
Based on Gabrie Fauré's song for cello and piano.

Stefano Bollani

Theme only.

Guillaume de Chassy

From his amazing Piano Solo album :
Valse Dombelle
Slava, based on Prokofiev's first violin concerto. Impressive, beautiful, worth checking !

Steve Coleman

From Motherland Pulse (1985)
Wights Waits For Weights
The Glide Was In The Ride

From On the Edge of Tomorrow (1986)
Little one I'll miss you
Theme of this beautiful song, as sung by Cassandra Wilson.
Nine to Five

From On the Rising of th 64 Paths (2002)
Round Midnight
Beautiful live version of this marvellous song that you can find on a bonus track of the On the Rising of th 64 Paths album. Sax and guitar version.

From Weaving symbolics (2006)
Ritual trio (earth)
Fantastic mystic song, based on a simple but irregular structure (that makes it complicated...) Main theme and beginnig of the solo (2:50). Score in Eb and C.

Marc Copland

From Bookends, with Dave Liebman (2002) :

From the solo album Time Within Time (2004) :
Rivers Run

Laurent Coq

From Live at Duc des Lombards, with David el Malek and Olivier Zanot
Act up
Piece for 2 saxophones and piano.
Act up - Solo 1
Still incomplete, but...

Chick Corea

Armando's RhumbaSolo piano : Originals
Impressive solo version of this great tune. 100% complete...

Bill Evans

IsraelExplorations (1961)
Wonderful version of this minor blues.

The two lonely peopleAlone (1968)
This song is on the bonus version of the album. It's a work-in-progress version : each song of the "official" record is made of different recordings edited together. The two lonely people is one take, in-progress, and wasn't meant to be heard like this, and yet it's really interesting – and beautiful.
I've transcribed the theme and the first solo, and they're just perfect.
The second solo is really different : it seems that Evans was throwing up ideas for and edited version. Then he just dashes the theme...

Tigran Hamasyan

Two transcriptions from his solo album A Fable :
Someday my prince will come
The Spinners

Yaron Herman

Libera MeVariations
Wonderful version of this Fauré piece (from his Requiem)

Duke Jordan

From his 1975 album Flight to Denmark :
No Problem : transcription and lead sheet

Stéphane Kerecki

From Focus Danse, Stéphane Kerecki Trio, w/ Mathieu Donarier (sax) and Thomas Grimmonprez (drums) (2007)


Biréli Lagrène

Body and Soul
From the 1992 album Standards. There are only the first 16 bars, but it's still fine.

Brad Mehldau

Live in Marciac :
Lithium - The Nirvana song. This is how you make a piano rock ! (complete)
Dat Dere
Secret Love
It's Allright With Me

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Live in Tokyo :
Things Behind The Sun
Nick Drake song, Live in Tokyo version + intro of the Live in Marciac version !

50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
Paul Simon cover, you can find the leadsheet of the wonderful original song here !

Monk's Dream
Obviously an amazing Thelonious Monk cover.

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10 Years Solo Live :
Waltz for JB
And I Love Her (Beatles song)
Knives out (groovy Radiohead cover)

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Other :
Hey You
A very symphonic rendition of Pink Floyd's classic (from a radio show, see here)

Crazy QuiltModern music, with Kevin Hayes and Patrick Zimmerli
Transcribing a 2 piano stuff is rather hard...

O Que SeraBrad Mehldau trio : Live
I haven't transcribed all the solos, but the main parts are here. Wonderful 2 hands counterpoint in here ! Notice the strange whole-tone modulations : Fm – Gm – Am – Bm – C#m etc.

TheloniousLive at la Villette
Amazing cover of the Thelonious Monk song. Listen to the original here.

Trailer Park GhostElegiac Cycle
Theme and beginnig of the solo

TeardropJazz à Vienne
Massive Attack cover, as seen on Jazz à Vienne 2010 video.


Always AugustNearness, with Joshua Redman
A wonderful Mehldau tune, you can find the leadsheet here.

Giovanni Mirabassi

NY #1 - Live at Blue Note Tokyo
Theme only: Great tune.

My Broken Heart - Live at Blue Note Tokyo
Solo and theme. Beautiful Evans-like waltz.

Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk is a genius. And he's an interresting pianist, with some real interresting licks, and an amazing tempo. Good luck for playing this, it's really not that easy...

From the fabulous solo Paris 1954 recording :
Well you needn't
Off Minor
On this last one, I love how simple most of his chords are (exept for the Bb7/D7 endings), and how swingy they sound. Notice measure 63, when he makes a lick in a 12/8 time over 4/4.

From Solo Monk (1964) :

Sweet and Lovely

From Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants (1959)
The Man I Love
The story of this recording is famous : Miles and Monk didn't got along that well. Some even say they fought, but I don't believe skinny 59' Miles would ever fight Thelonious « the mountain » Monk – nobody would. Anyway, in this tune, Monk plays a strange solo, fooling around the theme melody, with a lot of silence. And then, he stops playing, for an eternity (mes. 29 to 40). Miles enters (mes. 39), as if he were saying « what the hell are you doing, are you lost ? ». Then Monk swings like hell, saying « I'm not lost at all, damn you ». A fun moment, also fun to transcribe :)

Pop, Rock & Co

Here are some various transcriptions that aren't "jazz", but that can become jazz (in Mehldau's way, for example).
I'll post some simple lead sheets, some stuff with indication of the original arrangement, and some other things I did arrange on my own !

Blind Faith
A short but great band, with nothing less than Eric Clapton, Steve Windwood, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech.
Had to cry today (arranged for piano)
Try to improvise in Bozan Z's way on Full Half Moon or Hometown, with strong powerchord in the left hand, some modulations...

Étienne Daho, the French icon of the New Wave
Tombé pour la France
Week-end à Rome.

The Dø
Simply some of the greatests songs of the moments, why don't you try and play those ?
• From Both ways open jaws
Dust if off (with some lyrics !)
The Wicked and the blind (leadsheet + bass)
• From Shake shook shaken
Despair hangover & ecstasy (leadsheet)

Jimi Hendrix
Freedom (my own arrangement, some parts re-harmonized)

Shelter song (arranged for piano)

Martial Solal

En trio
Aigue Marine (Jazz à Gaveau, 1962)
A beautiful Solal theme

Jazz Frit – (Martial Solal Trio, 1965)
The name of this tune is a joke about free jazz ("frit" and "free" have the same pronunciation in french ; "jazz frit" means "fried jazz")
Solal never really liked free jazz, he likes harmony and rythm too much for that. But it doesn't mean that he can't improvise freely (meaning with a great liberty). Impromptulm (see below) is a good example, solos 2, 3 etc of Jazz Frit are another :)

Navigation (Longitude, 2008)
Great tune composed by Martial Solal. Rather complex rhythm inside. Theme + unfinished transcription of the solo

Piano Solo
Impromptulm (Best of live, 1985) A "free" improvisation (it's not free jazz, just improvising freely !)

Que reste-t-il de nos amours/I whis you love (Jazz 'n (e)motion, 1998)
Charles Trénet' song, as played by Martial

On green dolphin street (Live at the Village Vanguard, 2008)
I LOVE Solal's playing. I'm rather suprised to see how close he is from the theme, both melodically and harmonically, and how inventive he is in his way to play standarts.

Lick from Parisian thoroughfare (Martial Solal and Stéphane Grapelli, Happy reunion, 1980)


Fats Waller
Tea for Two
A perfect solo piano by Fats Waller. Great arrangement !

Art Tatum
Not complete, but well, 4 pages is fine... Great Tatum song.
After You've Gone
Also incomplete, but as I think I'll never be able to play the fast part, I think it's enough :)

Teddy Wilson & Lester Young
Piano stride is hard but so much fun. I love the 1956 Pres and Teddy album (but who doesn't ?), and most of all Louise.
Louise 1 (only Teddy Wilson's solo)
Louise 2 (with Pres's theme)

Henri Texier

From Izlaz (1988)
Idemo : I love Henri Texier. This french double-bassist always writes great melodic themes, and this is one of those.

From An Indian's week (1993)
Mâshala : a Bojan Z tune, as played by Henri Texier.
Laguna Veneta
Amazon Blues Theme and the bass solo
Simone Signoret
Don't buy ivory, anymore !

Baptiste Trotignon

From the 2003 album Solo
The Dream is Gone

Fantastic song, rather hard to play... some nice rythm stuff inside. I believe this transcription is my masterpiece...
You can check out this video to have an idea of how he plays it live. Impressive...

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From the 2005 album Solo II
Como tu me voi – Nice Nino Rota waltz.  
Love me tender – Marvelous cover of the Elvis song. Just the theme.
Home – Another long and beautifulcomposition, starting like a ballad, and moving to a 6/4 ostinato.

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Al admat IsraelFool time, with David el Malek
Nice 7/8 tune.

Sunday the 13thFool time, with David el Malek
Beautiful theme, very inspiring...

Mary Lou Williams

I've discovered the Zodiac Suite, by the great pianist, composer an arranger Mary Lou Williams. Written in 1945, the suite contains 12 parts corresponding to a sign of the zodiac and to musicians born under that sign. The suite was recorded in trio format, then played in concert with a big band (Ben Webster was guest soloist) and with an orchestra.
The trio format is fascinating. The music is very avant-garde, sounding like the 1950's third stream ; the harmonies are very modern for 1945 ; tempo changes all the time, alternating between a tempo and rubato...
I'll try to transcribe the entire Suite (eventually...) But I must say that there might be some minor mistakes in my transcription, due to poor recording quality : some voicings are really hard to recognise, as you can't really hear some of the notes...

1. Aries (dedicated to Ben Webster and Billie Holiday)
The tune starts with a nice swing theme, in the cycle of fifths. The you have some cool call and response with piano and bass, and an improvisation on a Db7 ostinato. The ending shows a very quiet tone (Bm/Cm), then some big chords on a C pedal.

2. Taurus (dedicated to Duke Ellington, Ellis Larkins and Mary Lou Williams herself)
There's almost no improvisation in this tune in trio format – but it's still jazz to me :) Check the great b9 chords you can see in measures 14 or 34, and the nice sounding 13h chords meas. 31 !

3. Gemini (dedicated to Benny Goodman, Harold « Shorty » Baker (then Williams' husband) and Miles Davis)
Here a more playful one. It begins with two bass lines : a descending Dm arpeggio overlapping an ascending CM arpegio. I love the way Williams plays with the melody (a simple CM scale in thirds), adding a note each time it's repeated. Then there's some boogie woogie !

4. Cancer (dedicated to Lem Davis)
Another one without improvisation. It's a duet with bassist Al Lucas, with a beautiful dark and sad theme in Ebm. I love the chords played at the end of the theme (mes 4 to 6, for example).
Measure 23, the theme is played in tempo with the bass. The first times the theme is played, it's played rubato : it seems that the rythmic notation needs to be a little different, so I choose to write it as i hear it (hence the weird 3/4 notation).

5. Leo (dedicated to Vic Dickenson)
This tune is a kind of march, with a middle section with wide chords.

6. Virgo (dedicated to Leonard Feather)
Lead sheet version
This tune swings a lot (sometimes it even looks like early bebop). Written parts alternate with "classic" improvised ones, so I decided to make a leadsheet (well, a simpler version of the score) so you can have fun with it !
Have you seen the wonderful ending chords ?

7. Libra (dedicated to the "dearest friends, Dizzy, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Monk)
A solo piano song, with a lot going on. It's hard to tell how much it's written, how much it's improvised. I love the Scriabin-like part meas. 41.
I've indicated the new sections by a doubled bar line, you can pause a little there.


Other tunes :
Fifth dimension
This one is a blues, based in the first section on a great riff (MLW has a gift for great bass lines). The next section is more common; I had trouble transcribing the left hand, as it's nearly inaudible, but I'm sure you can fill the blanks by yourself :)

Bojan Z

From his solo album Soul Shelter (2012) : 
Sweet Shelter of Mine 
Here we have some serious stuff... The intro/outro is in regular 4/4, the theme is in 5/8. I've notated it in 5+5/8 : for example measure 10, you have two 5/8 bars with the same chord, it seemed easier to read if it was in 5+5/8. It's not that hard if you start to play slowly, counting 3+2+3+2/8.
Then the solo is mainly in 5+4/8... here it gets really tricky. But don't worry, he's making mistakes too :) (measure 76 or 96, he "forgets" a 8th, sometimes he adds one or two...)
Good luck however ! 

Full Half Moon 
Simple and beatiful tune, love the melody on this one. It really develops further than I transcribed (try figure it out yourself !) 
A rather simple tune (it's 4/4, but the 6/4 part can be tricky....), originally played with piano + Fender Rhodes, arranged for a solo piano.

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From Transpacifik (2003) : 
Set It Up 

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From his solo album Solobession (2001) : 
Who's Bob 
The opening tune of the album, based on two chords. Great to warm up :) 
Don't Buy Ivory, Anymore ! 
Beautiful song by Henri Texier, as played by Bojan. 
Multi Don Kulti


Bill Carrothers
In the wee small hours of the morning

Armel Dupas
Petite Bretonne
A nice waltz.

Edouard Ferlet
A la suite de Jean 

From Edouard Ferlet's wonderful album Think Bach, in wich he doesn't play Bach but play with Bach. It's based on the famous Prelude from the 1rst cello suite. The theme is really beautiful, and it's followed by a free-improvisation. You can hear another improvisation in this video.

Stan Getz
I love this ballad, and I love Stan Getz's version :
Here's That Rainy Day - Bb - Eb
Leadsheet - Bb - Eb

Aaron Goldberg
Theme and solo, from his wonderfu 2015 album The Now.

Gigi Gryce : Social Call
I live this Gigi Gryce song, sweet melody, inspiring harmonics, and beautiful lyrics by Jon Hendricks. This transcription is based on the instrumental version from the 1955 album When Farmer Meets Gryce.
Lead Sheet
Gigi's solo

James Farm
From the amazing 2011 album of this supergroups (Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman, Eric Harland).

Milt Jackson
Tahiti (from Wizard of the vibes, leadsheet)

Joubran Trio

Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh
Topsy - only solos

John Lewis
From his fantastic piano solo recording, Evolution (2004)

Michel Portal
Dolce. Theme, from Bailador (2010)

Dan Tepfer
From his great duet album with Ben Wendel.

Jacky Terrasson
Try To Catch Me
Nice tune, alternating an atonal riff and a fun latin-feel part !