Monday, August 08, 2022

Transcription: Jack Dejohnette - Gentle Rain

This tune shows you one way of opening up a Bossa Nova groove, in a modern jazz setting. It's Jack Dejohnette playing on Gentle Rain, from George Benson's album Beyond The Blue Horizon. I'm listening to a lot of CTI records lately. I like the cymbals sounds, and the music. 

This is the first part of George Benson's solo, starting at 1:38. He mostly stays in the original 8th note bossa groove, taking it in a rather funky direction at times. This is largely about cymbal and bass drum. Early on he plays some isolated 16th, later he gets denser— on this part he doesn't fully double time it, on the next part he goes into a more double time post-bop feel. The organ keeps the bass line in the original groove. 

The bass drum here is a rather high and dry sound, so it's nimble enough to do all the stuff he's doing by just touching it. Note that he plays a tresillo-type rhythm on the bass drum sometimes— to my ear that's suggested by what the organ is doing. The written accents are subtle— just a suggestion that the groove has some dynamic shape within itself you might not expect. He's using a narrow range of sounds here— one cymbal, rim clicks on the snare drum (sparsely), and bass drum. If he's playing the hihat, it's mostly inaudible. 

Things get busy in part two, I'll post that whenever I get around to doing it. 

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