Ken Wiley

Solo Recording Artist / Studio Musician

Ken's Jazz Lounge
 
 
 
 

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We used the Miles and Milt Jackson version as a reference for this track. If you have a chance, check out this track (Bags Groove/Miles Davis-Prestige 7109), and listen to how the players play. Although it was recorded over 50 years ago it is great jazz and a virtual treasure of jazz phrasing and musical ideas. Note that the melody is in 3 parts and any can be considered as the Iead'. That is one of the beauties of this song.

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Try to get a hold of the CD “Backlash” to see how Freddie plays this. It is a great example of a relaxed and easy tune with a real chance to “stretch out” and try many modal ideas.

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Another great tune, this one from the jazz master Miles Davis himself. A blues with a slight twist at the end. The album “Kind of Blue” that contains this tune is considered by many to be the greatest jazz album ever produced. It is a “must have” for any jazz player. Please purchase it and enjoy jazz at it's finest.

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This is a great 'rhythm tune‘ by Sonny Rollins. It is based on the form of the Gershwin tune "I‘ve Got Rhythm" and is the basis of very many jazz and other pop tunes. If you have the technical means it is a good idea to slow down or speed up the track and play it in other keys as well. You can never be too familiar with unusual keys in jazz. The Ken Burns,“Best of Sonny Rollins”, has this tune as well as “Sonnymoon”.

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This is a wonderful ballad and many folks love playing it and singing it. We have transposed this song to a key more suitable for the French Horn. If you are playing it live with a band be sure to bring this book with it so that the rhythm players have it in this key. It is usually played in G concert.

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Another song by Miles Davis from the “Kind of Blue” session. This is in 6/4 and a bit unusual. It is worth being familiar with though as it is very popular with the public and a common song to play at jam sessions.

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A great song by Claire Fischer. This wonderful piece of music was chosen for it‘s pure charm. Though it seems to have many chords it stays for the most part close to the key center of Bb minor. Play the melody many times to become familiar with the song and it will be much easier to solo on. I recommend “The Latin Side” CD for this tune.

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This is from the pen of the saxophone master John Coltrane. It is only a blues in C minor concert. Note that during the middle of the blowing the rhythm section plays the “head”. Don‘t let this perturb you but just solo over it. They just play the head for contrast.

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Here is a classic Bossa Nova. This is a great example of the distinctive chord progressions of Brazil. If you listen carefully you will be able to solo by ear. Be sure to play the melody many times and to become very familiar with it.

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Here is a real easy Bb blues that you can stretch out on. Anything goes on a blues and that is why it is favored by jazz musicians. Check out this tune on the Blue Note release, “The Best of Sonny Rollins” or the Ken Burns Jazz Collection which also contains “Oleo”.

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This is the original Eddie Harris version. Listen to Eddie's CD “The In Sound”. There are some slight differences in the notes from the way Miles Davis played the song. Also, we left the break between the melody sections(the Miles version). The Miles version is easily the most popular but this original version has a marvelous charm and we are sure you will enjoy it. Explore excursions into other keys while playing this. The band ‘thinks' in 8 bar segments and you will notice this if you listen carefully. No need to keep track of the number of choruses you can tell when the melody (head in jazz) is happening if you listen for the notated drum fill and hear the change to electric piano.

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This is a real jazz ‘chestnut' that you must know. There are very many different versions of very popular jazz tunes and you can expect variations when you play these songs - especially those by Charlie Parker. Charlie himself played the songs differently on different recordings. Here Trey Henry, a very fine bass player, plays a triplet on the first beat of bar 3. This is a little different than you may hear in other situations. If you check your ‘fake book‘ you will find other, perfectly acceptable versions of the same song.