improvisation Jazz Music Transcriptions

Wynton Kelly’s Freddie Freeloader

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.

Just a friendly reminder that simplicity is key.

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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