Sunday, January 13, 2013

Transcription: Tony Williams — Hat And Beard

We do all the hits here— this is another very famous piece of drumming, by Tony Williams, on Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch. The tune is the very unusual Hat And Beard, which is in 9/4 with a couple of beats added/subtracted on the B part. This is a good example of the “jazz percussion” approach I spent a long time trying to get my head around. The rhythmic conception is extremely modern— he handles straight 8th and 16th notes in a way unprecedented in jazz— and there is little in the way of traditional vocabulary. Instead he plays sounds, treating the drum set almost as a multi-percussion set up.

The rhythms are written precisely— don't swing the 8ths. There is a deliberate difference between the dotted-8th/16th swing pattern at the beginning, and the triplet swing pattern he plays on the head out. I don't know what the hell Dolphy was talking about in the liner notes when he says “[The tune] opens in 5/4, but once the whole group is in, the basic count is really 9/4.”, because the whole thing is in 9, except for those couple of odd measures.

I've transcribed the heads in and out only; we'll see about doing the solos sometime soon...

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1 comment:

jack falco said...

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