This is a new series I'm starting where we look at a piece of vocabulary together and try to figure out what makes it so amazing. As you all know, learning the vocabulary of the master jazz musicians is a big part of becoming better improvisors ourselves. Learning vocabulary is a necessity. Even if we are never going to play it exactly as we learned it, studying these concepts and putting things in all 12 keys is essential.
Our first video in this series is a piece of vocabulary by the great saxophonist, Seamus Blake. This line is over a ii-V-I progression and really swings. Seamus uses chromaticism in a fantastic way to push his line forward and shows us some great devices in this line.
If you are someone who is trying to work more chromaticism into your playing, this is the line for you. Seamus does it in such a fluid and effortless way. You see, that's the thing about Seamus Blake, he uses some fairly simple concepts but has them so ingrained in his playing, they sound fresh and new.
Make sure you check out his full solo on 'Blues Up & Down' from the Sax Summit record. The whole thing is fantastic!