Friday, November 20, 2020

Transcription - Rubinho Barsotti, "No Balanço do Jequitibao"

So, I finally got around to that Rubinho transcription I promised ages ago, and it turned out to be a nice intro to playing samba in odd meters, something we've yet to cover on this blog.

Released in 1966, Zimbo Trio's album Volume 3, the album on which this track is found, came out at a time when odd time signatures in jazz, and especially samba and bossa nova, were still pretty novel.  I don't know of many before this.  So that could explain why there isn't a whole lot of improvising going on here.  Or maybe Rubinho was just holding it down and intentionally being understated.  Either way, the bulk of the tune is the same bar or two orchestrated just a couple of different ways.





Spending just a little bit of time with the four examples above should give you a pretty good grasp of a common samba feel in 5/8.  But if you want to play along with the recording, here is the transcription in full.  The track starts at 22:11, and the transcription starts after the intro, when the bass line comes in.




Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Philly Joe Jones - The Tympany Cross

Throughout the Covid era, the Drummer's Collective have been offering online workshops with some fantastic guests, including Jeff "Tain" Watts and, most recently, John Riley.  For me, one of the highlights of the evening was when John shared with us an exercise developed by Philly Joe Jones using the ubiquitous Saul Goodman timpani book.  Not only is it a neat little exercise, but it was in Philly Joe's own handwriting from his stint in London.


The gist of the exercise is that Philly Joe simply took some of the crossover exercises from Saul Goodman's Modern Method for Tympani and applied to the drumset.  The book is a staple of percussion study and has been used by countless students since it was first published in 1948.  I still have my copy sitting in a filing cabinet somewhere from the last time I played timpani, which was probably 15 years ago or more, so I might just have to pull it out and get some use out of it again.