Thursday, February 05, 2015

Transcription: Al Foster — Pannonica

Oh, what the hey, hot on the heels of our Frankie Dunlop transcription of Pannonica, here's Al Foster playing the same tune, the way I like to play it, in the original slow 4. It's from the McCoy Tyner album 4x4, and the transcription is from the piano solo, starting at 1:54 in the track. McCoy plays it a little slower here than Monk recorded it.

Foster is playing in a functional, modern mode here. He tends to accent the & of 2 and & of 4 pretty strongly, a la Elvin Jones, and maintains a triplet-based swing feel all the way through. McCoy and then Bobby Hutcherson do play some fast stuff over it, but almost all of it with a triplet foundation— little the soloing is actual double-time. During the more complex passages he will play straight triplets on the ride cymbal, which builds the intensity, and is a good way to keep from breaking the groove with that stuff.

Also noted that he likes to accent with the crash cymbal by itself— with no snare drum or bass drum to support it. And much of the comping— the things that are not obviously interactive, or marking a phrase— is for texture, and to keep the groove together.

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