Monday, March 18, 2024

Groove Transcription - Steve Gadd, "Lenore"

This is one of the first Chick Corea tunes I ever heard.  As a clueless 18-year-old jazz studies major I was told I should check out Chick Corea.  So, I went out and got Verve Jazz Masters 3 - Chick Corea, a greatest hits collection featuring "You're Everything", "Spain", and a number of other Chick classics.  I remember really loving "Lenore", but it wasn't until many years later that I realized how hip the drum grooves were.

In the A section Steve Gadd plays open-handed, with his left hand on the hi-hat, much like he does on "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" and other signature grooves of his.

A few times later in the tune he drops his left hand down to the snare on the & of 3, which makes a nice variation.

Now, even the most cursory of searches will show you that I'm not the first person to transcribe or write about this groove, not by a long shot.  But most people seem to focus solely on that first part and fail to talk about how super hip the groove is in the next section.  It's pseudo-linear, with hard-driving accents on the pulse.

Towards the end there's considerably more improvising, but as it builds in density we hear something more like this.

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