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Thread: Transposing tunes composed for horns

  1. #26
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transposing tunes composed for horns

    One can play jazz on any instrument, but some work better than others. (Please, no bagpipes, oboe, bassoon, french horn, or harp.) For me, 10-string blows away my violin or viola. Not only easier to amplify, it serves as a comping instrument, without piano or guitar.

    An associated question is, do you want to stay in the trad-jazz/swing genre of old stuff? If you want to join with the icons of jazz, Parker, Coltrane, Monk, Sonny Rollins, Miles, Bill Evans, Jm Hall, etc., and newer names like John Scofield and Michael Brecker, go electric, with a C course. Best, convert a 5-string to 10 for the richer tone.

    One genre that welcomes everybody blowing is contra dance. Instrumentation is ad hoc, often with winds like flute and saxophone. My contra band is piano, acoustic 10-string, violin, and flute. We vary the sound, sometimes unison, sometimes one solo, and sometimes a free-for-all. Tunes edge into rags and marches, but are mostly reels and jigs.
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  3. #27

    Default Re: Transposing tunes composed for horns

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Perfect example, the 6 7/8 String Band.

    There used to be others in the past, the 6 7/8 String Band was together for many decades and is well known.

    So what about all the Gypsy jazz players? They sure play string band jazz.

    Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti?
    With all due respect, David, I think the main question that Jim Nollman had was regarding "collective improv" or "simultaneous improv" whereby several instruments are playing solos at the same time. One hears that all of the time in NO jazz bands which have horns mostly (with comping banjo).

    I have listened to a LOT of gypsy jazz, and rarely if ever hear two instruments taking a solo at the same time. Or maybe not solos so much as different lines (e.g., a descending trombone line against an ascending trumpet line). If there is such a band (other than The 6 7/8 String Band), it seems that one of those instruments is a clarinet or other horn that plays flowing lines that don't get covered up by the "tinky tinky" lines of strings.

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  5. #28
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    Default Re: Transposing tunes composed for horns

    Quote Originally Posted by James Vwaal View Post
    With all due respect, David, I think the main question that Jim Nollman had was regarding "collective improv" or "simultaneous improv" whereby several instruments are playing solos at the same time. One hears that all of the time in NO jazz bands which have horns mostly (with comping banjo).
    We used to play collective group improv "New Orleans style" with strings. It may not be common but it can be done!

    Quote Originally Posted by James Vwaal View Post
    I have listened to a LOT of gypsy jazz, and rarely if ever hear two instruments taking a solo at the same time. Or maybe not solos so much as different lines (e.g., a descending trombone line against an ascending trumpet line). If there is such a band (other than The 6 7/8 String Band), it seems that one of those instruments is a clarinet or other horn that plays flowing lines that don't get covered up by the "tinky tinky" lines of strings.
    Point taken about Gypsy jazz....it is more of a soloists' style.

    I guess I don't hear jazz strings as "tinky tink"...that's not the way we were taught to play.

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  7. #29

    Default Re: Transposing tunes composed for horns

    I play mandolin in a string swing jazz band. Our lineup is upright bass, guitar, mandolin, violin, clarinet. We often have 2 or 3 instruments "soloing" at the same time. Usually mandolin, violin & clarinet. As long as we're all playing it pretty straight it works out well. We also have some sections worked up where everyone goes at the same time, but those are well rehearsed with specific parts for everyone.

    PS- to the OP, if you're looking for a specific piece of music to work on Bb, check out David Grisman's "Sea of Cortez". In his Latin - Book of the Dawg, he says he wrote it as part of a practicing Bb minor scale.
    Great song and well presented notation in the book.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Best, Stevo

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  9. #30

    Default Re: Transposing tunes composed for horns

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    I guess I don't hear jazz strings as "tinky tink"...that's not the way we were taught to play.
    Yeah, "tinky tinky" was my poor and off-the-cuff attempt to express how the timbre of stringed instruments is too similar to be clearly distinguished as opposed to the timbre of the different horn sounds. Your point is taken.

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  11. #31

    Default Re: Transposing tunes composed for horns

    Quote Originally Posted by stevojack665 View Post
    I play mandolin in a string swing jazz band. Our lineup is upright bass, guitar, mandolin, violin, clarinet. We often have 2 or 3 instruments "soloing" at the same time. Usually mandolin, violin & clarinet. As long as we're all playing it pretty straight it works out well. We also have some sections worked up where everyone goes at the same time, but those are well rehearsed with specific parts for everyone.
    Cool. Do you have any recorded examples for us to hear?

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  13. #32
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    Default Re: Transposing tunes composed for horns

    OK people … THIS is the kind of thread I like to run into. Thanks … carry on. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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  15. #33

    Default Re: Transposing tunes composed for horns

    Quote Originally Posted by James Vwaal View Post
    Cool. Do you have any recorded examples for us to hear?
    Our recorded material has mostly individual solos.



    When we play live it's looser with overlapping parts
    Best, Stevo

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  17. #34

    Default Re: Transposing tunes composed for horns

    Quote Originally Posted by stevojack665 View Post
    Our recorded material has mostly individual solos.


    When we play live it's looser with overlapping parts
    Wait a minute. I have listened to this before. Someone with the handle "colorado_al" posted a link to this back in January.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...-Coucou-New-EP

    Did you replace Al in that group, or are there two mandolinists in the band? Or are you and Al one and the same?

    The music, I like. But, as you said, it doesn't show simultaneous improv or simultaneous melody or contra-melody lines.

    Good gypsy jazz; the singer sells the style well. What I mean by that is by both dress and vocal style. While it might be okay to dress scruffily to play newgrass or "progressive" bluegrass, Gypsy jazz really requires good grooming (clothing and personal) to sell the style. You didn't see Django and Stephane wearing T-shirts and ripped jeans.

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