Saturday, May 20, 2023

Transcription: Roy Haynes - Bad News Blues - 01

Roy Haynes playing Bad News Blues, from his album Cracklin'. We'll be seeing more of this one, there's a lot of interest in this recording. Playing a tune like this some people might simplify and slam out the groove. A bandleader calling something like this might ask for a shuffle— which Roy is decidedly not playing. He sketches out a shuffle at times; generally he's playing very loose and modern, and he absolutely swings.

...we saw something like this with Idris Muhammad awhile back— a groove situation where he was playing with a lot of freedom. We have more freedom than we may think, so long as the groove is there. 

I've just transcribed the head in and out— the tune is just a two bar riff over a 12 bar blues form. 

The important accents there are the & of 4 / & of 1, which Roy only hits a couple of times. When he does play them, he sets up the & of 4 with a little fill. But mostly he hits the 1 and the 4 in the first measure— often the accent on 4 is held through the 1 of the second measure. The last two beats of the phrase are usually some kind of fill.  

The transcription: 

Play that 16th triplet lick as singles.

I think of Roy generally as an economical drummer, in the sense of being “non-independent.” I'm accustomed to seeing lots of unisons, lots of linear things, not a lot of layered independence. That's mostly the case here, but there are a couple of spots where things layer in an unusual way— see the end of bar 8, and bar 11. 

In measure 19 there's something happening with the left hand that probably falls pretty naturally with traditional grip; matched grip you'd have to contrive some kind of push pull thing to play that. Which would be stupid, because it's really nothing. The important thing there is the accents. 

Get the pdf 


David Shaffer said...

Love this Todd, your taste is impeccable and so is your accuracy! I love your "here's what he played on the head in, and on the head out"...I'll check out the rest for sure! I first saw this on twitter, I'll keep watching.

Todd Bishop said...

Thanks David! Working on the rest of it now...