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Jazz Roots Music

Title: Now’s the Time

Year Recorded: 1945

Record Label: Savoy

Personnel:
Alto: Charlie Parker (aka ‘Bird’)
Trumpet: Miles Davis
Piano: Dizzy Gillespie (he’s also a great trumpet player)
Drums: Max Roach
Bass: Curley Russell

Assignment 1
Solidify the melody on your instrument. Do this by singing with the track and putting it on your instrument by ear. Work on one phrase at a time. Aim to be able to play along with the recording.

Track:
Now’s The Time (feat. Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie-pno., Curly Russell-bs., Max Roach)

Assignment 2
a) Keep working on the melod:y – aim to be able to play it alongside the recording. Try and do by ear (but failing that, memorise from the cheat sheet below).

b) Practise and memorise the bass tones (see below) and play under the melody and solos in the recording (remember play one note per bar / as semibreves).

c) Keep singing along with the solos, giving the first twelve bars of the Miles Davis solo (1.42 – 2.05) particular attention. We will be learning this solo soon. And if you are looking to do more, try and then put a phrase or two of the Miles solo on to your instrument.

Good luck!

Bass progression (concert pitch)
F | Bb | F | F
Bb | B | F | D
G | C | F | C

Melody Cheat Sheet (concert pitch)
C FF G C F X2
C FF G C FF G C FF G C F
C FF G C F Bb
FF G C F B
FF G C FF G C FF G C F
Ab F D B D
G F G F Eb C C

– Trumpet / Cornet / Clarinet players, put everything a tone up, so…
F=G, Bb=C, B=C#, D=E, G=A, Ab=Bb
– Alto players, put everything a minor third down, so…
F=D, Bb=G, B=G#, D=B, G=E, Ab=F

Assignment 3
It’s important that you can play assignments 2a & b with confidence before you tackle assignment 3. Learning the melody and bass tones are fundamental when training your ears and mind to hear this music correctly.

a) Keep listening to and singing along with the first twelve bars of the Miles Davis solo (1.42 – 2.05), until you can sing each of the three phrases with confidence.

b) Put each of those three phrases (from Miles’ solo) on to your instrument. Take it one phrase at a time, one note at a time. Use your ears and your voice to help you, and DON’T WORRY IF YOU GET WRONG NOTES! It’s just important that you go through the process and try your best. Even if you just get the rhythm, and all the notes sound awful – THAT’S FINE! And just keep practicing until you can play along with the recording – good luck!

c) Explore and enjoy the F major pentatonic scale (F G A C D – concert pitch). Practice making up phrases using the notes, and play your own solos along with the track. You can also add in an Ab, which creates what some people call the ‘Major Blues Scale’. This is your first bit of jazz vocabulary, explore and enjoy!


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