Art Blakey · Lee Morgan · Wes Montgomery

Moanin’ – Lee Morgan’s solo (alternate take)

Following up from my transcription of Wes’ solo on the alternate take of Moanin’ I thought it’d be good idea to post another transcription of a lesser known solo on these changes. This is Lee Morgan’s solo on the alternate take of Moanin’, issued with some of the latest re-releases of the album on CD.

The reason why I’ve chosen to transcribe some of these alternate takes is twofold: firstly, it seems that there are many, many transcriptions of the issued takes out there on the internet, most of them more accurate than I would likely be able to produce! Secondly, analyzing an alternate take lets us see just how much of the solo is improvised, both in the case of stylistic licks which a player may regularly use (see the lick at the start of the second chorus in the Wes solo, also used in the solo to ‘Four on Six’ on the ‘Smokin” album) and the parts of a solo which are likely pre-planned and arranged by the band.

For example, the end of the issued take of Moanin’ by the Jazz Messengers features a lick played by Morgan at the very end of his solo picked up by Benny Golson on tenor and developed for the start of his solo. If you only listened to this take this would likely be seen to be pure improvised group interplay – however, the alternate take also features this same lick used by Morgan to end his solo which is then developed in the exact same way by Golson! Thus it is not reasonable to assume that this was planned by the band as opposed to improvised on the spot. Composing in this way is a great example to make solos seem like seamless Music as opposed to just individual sections.

On a slightly unrelated note I am moving up to Christ Church in Oxford this weekend to begin my Music Degree at the University. For the time being, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the frequency of my posts may unfortunately slow down while I work on my degree. I’ll still aim to post at least one transcription a week though.

That’s probably enough from me. Enjoy the transcription!

Moanin’ (solo) – Full Scoremoanin-solo-full-score-page-001moanin-solo-full-score-page-002moanin-solo-full-score-page-003



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