Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Solo Transcription - Art Blakey, "Alison's Uncle"

Here is a solo by fellow Pittsburgher, Art Blakey.  The tune, "Alison's Uncle" appears on a reissue of Cannonball Adderley's album Somethin' Else.  If you have the record, the track might also be titled "Bangoon".  Many of those "Top 100", "Most Important Jazz Albums", or "1000 to Hear Before You Die" lists puts Somethin' Else right up near the top.


Besides Blakey - as if you need anyone else - it features Miles in one of his rare sideman gigs.  From the mid-50s onward, he mostly led his own groups, and didn't appear on many other musicians' recordings.  It also features bassist Sam Jones, and pianist Hank Jones.  The two are not related, but the latter is the big brother of drummer, Elvin, and big band legend, Thad.

Blakey plays through the end of most of the phrases here and into the first few beats, or even full bar, of the next section.  However, the same figure he plays at the end of the first bar - three up-beats, followed by a triplet - appears in the same place at the top of the bridge, and again halfway through the bridge, marking out the form quite nicely.

I'm not 100% sure of the stickings here.  Personally, I play the majority of the triplet figures as paradiddlediddles, but it could well be singles.  What do you think?

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