Wynton Kelly is definitely one of the most interesting jazz musicians out there. His improvisational vocabulary is fairly traditional, yet his ideas are very innovative. What I just said might be strange to hear if you’re not familiar with his work, but that’s why I like this solo so much! It really embodies Kelly’s spirit, and we could learn a thing or 20 from it. As always, the full and free transcription will be at the end of the post. Make sure to follow the blog on Instagram @thejazztranscripts !
This is a fairly common resource to use in a blues: major and minor blues scales all around, then boom: #11 (the A on Eb7) on the dominant 4th degree. In this particular instance, it’s being delivered inside a Db augmented triad. In moderation, this is a very sharp and colorful degree to use over a IV chord in a blues, especially if you’ve been using a lot of the blues scale like Kelly did.
Another thing that always gets me everytime I listen to this solo is the way Kelly Starts it.
Four melodic ideas intertwined and the four of them end in a Bb. The way Kellly accomplishes any sort of gravity here is not through melodic complexity, harmonic changes or difficult rhythmic concepts; he mainly accomplishes this through registry. He’s alternating between diferent Bb’s, thus creating this simple melodic response between measures. Once again, less is more.
Since this is a short solo, I don’t wanna give any more examples. I want you to find your own! As promised, here’s the free full PDF.
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