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Virtuoso jazz pieces -- ways to deal


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Yeah, I guess everyone can play "Donna Lee" while walking bass like Don Patterson and "Candy/Perdido" and so forth.


But there are a couple that I'm having a hard time getting down technically.


They belong in a special category than stuff like "Tempus fugit" where it's just a fast tune, and hit the leading tone whenever you want when you're improvising.


Even different category than "Un Poco Loco," which after twenty-plus years of playing I can't see the reason to really do it.


More like "set pieces" like "Bud on Bach" and Phineas Newborn Jr.'s "Blues for the LH alone" -- I've never in my life heard a piano player do one of those and be like "yeah, it's a thing."


Anyway, while I'm getting back to back through movements of Bach's suites, the Sinfonias, some of the Variations of Goldberg, remembering these tunes made me want to put on some headphones and learn that shit off the records.


Anything to add?

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Absolutely. Like, doing an ostinato bass, it's all effort.


I've just never heard anyone talk about those two pieces, the Newborn and the Bud Powell one.


Sure, there are things like generic "virtuoso" pieces, like a weird Rhythm at high tempo, like the one with the Bm-E7 Bbm-Eb7 bridge...the Rollins and Stitt one, or Coltrane changes, or all that, where the idea is just to burn when you play it, and take the whole village with you.


I just thought the kind of static nature (I guess) of those two pieces was kind of unique (don't even start, grammar police). Obviously, improvise whatever on them, but they kind of have that feel of being set pieces.


ETA oh yeah, in penance for posting while on the hard drug of Franzia boxed wine (....I can't really explain it...don't ask....man card still intact....shut up) I'll put up a transcription of "Bud on Bach" if I write it down, and I probably will, just so I can remember it. Maybe the Newborn one too, but that one will take a few days to get the notes down, I think. Of course, handwritten -- Nick Nolte's going to show you kids how to write in pencil, while on GHB and whatever else you can think of! :)

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Whoops. After trying for a few minutes to write out the first bit of "Bud on Bach," it appears that's actually a solfeggietto by CPE Bach.


The swing time part doesn't need writing out, but that beginning little bit could use a little practice. Damned fast.

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