Thursday, January 23, 2020

Solo transcription: Philly Joe Jones - Sub City

Here's a drum solo played at a bright tempo with brushes by Philly Joe Jones. The tune is Sub City, by Bud Powell. The form is 32 bars long, and he's basically playing two choruses, but there are a couple of wonky things on the second chorus. The tempo is about quarter note = 245. And the solo starts at about 2:45 in the track.

I've included some sample stickings in the earlier part. A lot of them will be rudimental stickings, but in the fifth line you may want to alternate. 

Note that he never hits a cymbal during the solo. It's mostly played with the hands, with a HBHB (hand/bass) lick frequently used as a connective— as in measures 11, 13,16, for example. He does a few other things with the bass drum:

The other major activity includes the syncopated meter-within-meter lick in the second line and last line of the first page, and also the quarter note triplet lick on the second page.

The second chorus gets shorted four bars, and there's a rough patch three lines before the end— at the 6/4 bar. I think I resolved the discrepancy correctly as Philly Joe was perceiving it, because of the strong down beat on the measure after the 6/4 bar. And you can see that in the following measure, measure 53, he plays a lick that he also plays in measures 10 and 31. The most logical place to account for the missing four bars is on the first A of the second chorus— 33-36.

It also ends a little roughly, with Powell jumping in aggressively, without Jones setting it up— it sounds like Jones wasn't expecting it. For a moment he plays the cymbal accents backwards, on 1 and 3, when it should be on 2 and 4. He corrects it after a couple of measures. He never loses momentum during any of that.

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