Local Auckland band ‘Blue Train’ plays Nick’s Tricks, an original composition by Steve Sherriff.
In this line up ‘Blue Train’ are Steve Sherriff – Tenor Sax, Alan Brown – Piano, Cameron MacArthur – Acoustic Bass, Jason Orme – Drums and Dixon Nacey – Guitar.
Had a great time jamming with these guys – complex tune and I had to memorise this melody by heart and still failed getting it all as I’d practiced it heaps slower, HA! Happy with the solo though; my focus, which I can still recall now a couple years on, was on playing thematically through the changes, trying as best I could to navigate the harmony correctly / respect the changes etc but also develop ideas that connected or added continuity to the modulating sections.
Whether I was totally successful in doing this is questionable (HA!) but I have made it a goal of mine to try and treat faster bebop tunes with lots of changes, especially unfamiliar modulations as with this tune (see the attached lead sheet), with a more organic approach – as in ‘how would I play if there were NO changes’! This didn’t mean I didn’t practice at faster tempos / how to connect chords – it was more about de-emphasizing the tonic of each chord (starting my lines in different parts of the chord, for example from the 3rd / 5th etc) and tying all the chords together more cohesively.
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