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Help me invent key parts for The Chicken


marczellm

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So I've got this jazz-swing-occasional funky group and we're playing The Chicken. Original version on YouTube:

 

[video:youtube]

 

This has no keyboards in it unless my ears are wrong. So I invented this (IMO killer) clavinet riff:

 

 

(Yes we have acoustic bass. The sax plays the melody but for this quick demo I used a synth lead because sampled sax sux and whatever.)

 

All fine until last rehearsal the drummer and bassist tell me my clavinet riff is really killer, in the sense that it kills the bassline (or at least the way our bassist plays it) and I should totally get rid of it and invent something else. Now I could always hold chords on a Rhodes patch, but that's what I'm doing in the solo section and half of the other songs as well.

 

So what could I play instead that's still fun and does not mess with the bass? Looking for opinions.

Life is subtractive.
Genres: Jazz, funk, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symph pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G. SP6 at church.

 

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Oh damn, Soundcloud said this link should work for private tracks, but nevermind, I'll change it to public.

 

edit: couldn't. will retry.

Life is subtractive.
Genres: Jazz, funk, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symph pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G. SP6 at church.

 

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That tune is standard blowing fare here in the Bay Area - every loose funky jam I've been at recently seems to be calling The Chicken, Strasberg St. Denis and Solar.

 

The Chicken, I typically use B3, Rhodes, maybe a warm lead patch if I'm not going to blow on organ or EP. I usually double the head melody on organ, and comp in the spaces. No one's complained yet.

 

But my context is typically pretty loose and testosterone-fueled. No one is trying to be faithful to any recorded version.

 

Hope that helps a bit.

..
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I love this version! A band I played with wanted to do this... I had a hard time trying to transcribe the LH voicings of the interlude (starts at 1:45) he does. Really interesting post-Zawinul flavor.

 

Still have a hard time - glad to get any help from the sharp ears on this forum.

 

:)

 

Jerry

 

 

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I'd just check out the Maceo Version.

Take elements of the backing horns and B3 tracks to build your own part.

 

Rhodes and B3 are ideal for creating comp parts inspired by horn sections.

 

[video:youtube]

 

The clav part in your version is cool and quite happenin'... but it might be stepping on elements of the song that make it sound distinctively like The Chicken. Part of what makes this one seem funky to me is having the comping and the horn-hits (at least most of them) happening *not* on top of melody notes, but squeezing into the spaces in between. Restraint and space can sometimes yield more badass results than just balls-out playing at 100%.

 

I would save the tasty clav stuff you came up with and use it for something else where it'll really be able to shine - maybe as a break in the middle of a song (maybe even The Chicken) where the other players cut out for a bit, or as an intro to a different tune.

 

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Ummmm...does no one else know that The Chicken was originally a tune from the JB's?!?

 

[video:youtube]

 

I sure hope so!

I posted the Maceo version since it's got the same vibe (and mostly the same personnel) as the JB original but with B3 and slightly better recording quality, both of which I thought would be helpful for the task at hand.

 

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  • 2 months later...

I ended up using clav comping similar to the one in the Mats/Morgan version, and also transcribing his clav solo; you can find it here:

 

https://musescore.com/marczellm/the-chicken---mats-bergs-clavinet-solo

 

(The part when he slams on the keyboard is marked with a question mark.)

Life is subtractive.
Genres: Jazz, funk, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symph pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G. SP6 at church.

 

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