Wes Montgomery

Blue Monk – Wes Montgomery’s Solo

I’ve transcribed lots of Wes solos but haven’t put any up here yet. As most of the ones I’ve transcribed have been done much better by other people I’ll instead focus on my transcriptions of some more obscure Wes performances: in this case, this transcription is from a rare broadcast of NPR’s ‘Jazz Workshop’ recorded while he was in Europe in 1965, featuring Wes alongside a great band featuring Johnny Griffin and Ronnie Scott on tenor. This recording is rather rare but I think there are a couple of versions on YouTube. If not, leave a comment and i’ll be happy to share my version of the recording.

This is obviously a fairly straight forward Eb blues. The head is taken at a fairly leisurely 72 beats per minute, and by Wes’ solo the band are playing with an obvious double time feel (listen to the hi-hat on 2&4 to see what I mean). Rather than transcribe the solo at this double time feel I’ve instead written it out at 72 beats per minute as, at least to me, it looks easier to read. Thus the semi-quavers have the swing feel as opposed to the quavers. There are some great licks during the first chorus, including a typical Wes ii-V phrase at the tail end of bar 9 – 10 and a great line cliche over the turnaround. The second chorus is all played with octaves and is a great example of this technique.

Blue Monk (Solo) – Full ScoreBlue Monk (solo) - Full Score-page-001.jpgBlue Monk (solo) - Full Score-page-002.jpg

 

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