Friday, January 16, 2015

Transcription - Elvin Jones, "Zoltan"

Somehow this blog has gone it's first full year without doing an Elvin Jones piece.  What's that all about?  Let's remedy this situation right now.

Here's a "Latin" groove from the Larry Young album, Unity.  Now, those of you who are regulars to the blog know that generally I don't care for the term "Latin", especially when referring to a very culturally specific type of music.  But Elvin gets a pass here.  A. Because he's Elvin, and B. because the groove he's playing isn't really idiomatic to one specific style.  We can certainly hear the influence of certain Afro-Cuban styles.  Elvin hints at cascara and Mozambique patterns but this truly is what I would consider "Latin Jazz".  There is a unique swing to it that will take some time playing with the recording to develop.

The groove begins at around 0:28 after the march intro.

While you're getting this under your hands, there's another great track that you can practice with.  I recently came across a Grant Green album that I wasn't previously familiar with.  Again, Elvin is on drums, and Larry Young is on organ, and this album also features Bobby Hutcherson on vibes.  The album is Grant Green's Street of Dreams, and the tune is the beautiful Charles Trenet classic "I Wish You Love".  The groove isn't 100% the same, but it's close enough to work on the "Zoltan" groove, and is helpful as it's slower, and doesn't go back and forth between the Latin groove and swing section like "Zoltan" does, so you have almost 9 minutes of constant groove to work with.

The whole album is absolutely killer.  I generally advocate buying CDs, but if you're in a crunch for space, or trying to save a few bucks you can get it on iTunes for only $5 and it comes with an extended digital booklet with a lot of nice stuff in it. 

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