Lenny Pickett – Oakland Stroke (Bass Day)

Here’s the last ‘Bass Day’ transcription. It has the same lineup as the previous ones, featuring the quartet of LP, DG, JT, and Rocco. This video looks somewhat ‘official’, perhaps a sponsor of DG? But please support Rocco by buying the DVD from the link below.

Here’s the YouTube video:

This is a pretty straightforward interpretation of the song, just with a smaller ensemble. There’s a quick presentation of the melody, then an eight bar drum solo. Then there’s a sixteen-bar sax solo by LP, which is actually pretty approachable from a technical standpoint. There’s no crazy altissimo, just two Gs and a Bb. There’s a four-bar stretch of alternate Es, which continues to elude me in terms of which alternate fingering he’s using.

I’m still recovering from jaw surgery, so no video from me this week (and for many more weeks), but I may come back and record one for this solo since it’s not that difficult.

Here again is the GoFundMe link to benefit David Garibaldi and Marc Van Wageningen’s recovery:

https://www.gofundme.com/Garibaldi-MarcVW-medicalfund

Enjoy!

@SDartSax

Lenny Pickett – What is Hip? (Bass Day)

Here’s another ‘Bass Day’ video featuring the quartet of LP, DG, JT, and Rocco. This time I was able to find a bootleg video on YouTube, but since it doesn’t look ‘official’, please support Rocco by buying the DVD below.

What is Hip starts around 1:50 in to the video

This time, LP has to cover the vocal melody in addition to the horn/organ parts – quite a feat but he handles it well in addition to turning in a fantastic solo. This is a tune that traditionally only has an organ solo on, so it’s nice to hear a horn player stretch out on it. I also love the way LP takes it up and up and up at the end!

 

Here again is the GoFundMe link to benefit David Garibaldi and Marc Van Wageningen’s recovery:

https://www.gofundme.com/Garibaldi-MarcVW-medicalfund

Enjoy!

@SDartSax

Lenny Pickett – Squib Cakes (Bass Day)

I apologize in advance since I don’t have a video to refer you to for this transcription. When I transcribed it I was able to find a recording on YouTube, but it has since been taken down. There’s a link to a DVD at the end, which I highly recommend.

The recording was taken from a ‘Bass Day’ performance in 2004 featuring Rocco (legendary Tower of Power bass player). Bass Day is a showcase for bass players, so the performance does not include the full ten-piece Tower of Power band. Instead it’s a quartet performance of some of their songs. I have transcriptions of several that I’ll post in the coming weeks.

LP is the only horn player, so it’s interesting to see which parts he chooses to play to represent the missing band members. The rhythm section include Rocco on bass (of course), David Garibaldi on drums, and Jeff Tamelier on guitar.

I’ve talked before about the special chemistry of the funk rhythm section and this concert shows it beautifully. Even without the organ, the interplay between guitar bass and drums creates a powerful groove for Lenny to solo over.

LP plays some section parts, and then takes a long solo. Actually it feels like he plays two full solos since he brings things to a logical conclusion with a long high note mid-way in to page three. But the rhythm section is still grooving so he re-groups  and starts a second solo after briefly re-grouping. It feels like a pretty loose jam so I’m not surprised it wasn’t more carefully orchestrated.

I’ve seen Rocco and Garibaldi play together many times and they both seem to go almost into a trance or meditative state when they play. There is very little communication between them – they are so locked in and can generally anticipate each others’ next move.

On a related note, you may have heard the news recently that David Garibaldi and bass player Marc Van Wageningen were both struck by a train on their way to a TOP gig on January 12. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help them with medical bills:

https://www.gofundme.com/Garibaldi-MarcVW-medicalfund

Enjoy!

@SDartSax

Lenny Pickett – Squib Cakes (Direct – Track #8)

Here’s the alternate take (previously unreleased) of Squib Cakes, this time from 1981’s Direct album. You may also find it as Direct Plus (re-released in 1997).

This is the same arrangement as the main track (transcription here). It starts off rubato with very loose time, and in fact the rhythm section drops out completely for an out of time cadenza.

It’s interesting to hear LP’s take on these two tracks. You can hear him experimenting with very different ideas and themes within the same framework. I can’t really say I have a preference for one take over the other. When you’re just looking at the sax solo, I find them both interesting in different ways.

I’ve got one more Squib Cakes transcription up my sleeves…stay tuned!

Enjoy!

@SDartSax

Lenny Pickett – Squib Cakes (Direct – Track #3)

As promised, here’s another LP transcription of Squib Cakes, this time from 1981’s Direct album. You may also find it as Direct Plus (re-released in 1997). This was Lenny’s last album with the band.

The squib cakes arrangement is quite a bit different here. After the trumpet solo, the band breaks down for an extended rubato saxophone solo that is almost completely out of time. The keys keep some pads going to provide some harmonic color for Lenny to play over for the first eight bars. Then he plays an extended cadenza with no time or chords. Keys come gently back in for a few bars until Lenny breaks into time and sets up the solo.

This time, the feel is swing with Lenny playing with much more a jazzy approach for about eight bars. Things start to build to a pedal section for the next eight bars which transitions into more of a funk feel. The last eight bars are the normal funk groove that we’re used to. Lots of high notes here!

An alternate take was released with Direct Plus. I’ll be posting that soon

Enjoy!

@SDartSax

December 2016 Playlist

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