Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Big band vs. small group

I got a request to discuss the differences between big band and small group playing, so I've recorded some musings on the subject.

As promised here's a couple of examples of "Big Band" vs. "Be-Bop" setting up of figures.

Here's Butch Miles playing with the Count Basie Band. Notice how during all the band figures on the + of 3 and 2 during the head he gives the band the quarter note beforehand. He sets up the band perfectly. Very clean and accurate (as well as swinging and extremely dynamic.)

Now here's Philly Joe Jones playing with Bill Evans. Notice how he sets up beat 2 on bar 11 of the head. The first time he plays the + of 3 preceding it. The second time through on the in head he plays beat 4. In both cases it requires that the person playing the melody feel those spaces as strongly as he does. Also on the way into the solos he ends his roll (on purpose) two bars into the form. He also sets up the melody on 2 with beat 4 on both times through the out head. Fantastic, beautiful, timeless, small group playing.

Anyway, I hope this was helpful. Regardless of the size of the band, play musically!

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