Sunday, May 26, 2024

Transcription: Billy Higgins - Blackjack

Billy Higgins playing on a funky vamp with some kicks in it, on Blackjack, from Donald Byrd's album of the same name. It sticks with the rhythm figure all the way through, and Higgins plays a lot of different stuff over it, rather than a repeating groove, so we get to see how he handles that. 

The transcription starts at 1:50, with the trumpet solo, ends at the piano solo. Tempo is 174, but the vamp suggests a half time feel. 

Here's the rhythm figure he's playing off of, usually filling to set up the syncopated accents starting at the beginning of the second measure, or on beats 4, 3, or 2 of the first measure:

It can make you kind of tense vamping relentlessly like this, if you don't vibe your way into some kind of groove with it. Which is not easy to find all the time. 

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