I have more on Barry Harris and 6th diminished chords/scales coming, but before that I wanted to write a bit more about transcriptions. Nearly every player and teacher will tell you to transcribe, and I can see why. I use the Transcribe! software--inexpensive and powerful. What you are "discovering" is a musical idiom in practice, and that, of course, is what you are trying to play in the first place. Yet I find the process of transcribing becoming an end in itself. Once I start one, I really just want to finish it. And then I want to start a new one. The process of putting down solos, note-by-note, rhythm-by-rhythm really is enlightening. It clarifies, and in many cases, demystifies, the process of improvisation (at least in the bop and post-bop idioms). But the real value, I am realizing, is the process of incorporating material from the solo into my real-time playing. So I went back to Hall and Stella to see what is there. So what did I find? Here are two small ideas that I want to fully integrate into my improvisational toolbox:
This is just the beginning. I also want to get under my fingers the nice pedal-like figures he plays in measures 21–23. Sounds very modern, but with a clear reference back to Charlie Christian, a guitarist who often played these kind of intervallic-pedal type figures.
Back to the woodshed.