Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 4

Our fourth installment on Bob Mintzer’s “I Start With The Blues” solo is a discussion of the crucial chord on bar 8 of a typical jazz blues. Almost always this is a vi chord – so in an F Blues like this one, it’s a D7 ( D dominant 7). In Letter A Bar 8 finds a D7 #9 chord which leads beautifully into the following bar 9.

We’ll go over the line Bob plays and how if we play an “F” on top, it becomes a super bad Half-Whole Diminished lick. I play this Diminished Scale too for you but keep up, because this is a fairly complex harmony and I promise I will do a more in-depth look at Diminished Scale Theory later!

I’ll show you a couple of different fingerings for that line at bar 8… Plus, I give you an example of how to take that one lick and turn it into a cool fill for a 16th-note Jaco style funk groove over a static D7. Pretty cool that we can take vocabulary from this solo and apply it to other areas…

Download the transcription and follow along with the video.

Okay, so that concludes this super intense look at Bob’s first 12 bars of his solo. Please let me know what you would like to study next. We can do more on this solo, or on just one idea within it – or indeed a look at the Diminished Scale in jazz improvisation. Let me know!

Rufus Philpot is a performer and educator living in Los Angeles who has performed and or recorded with everyone from Scott Henderson, Allan Holdsworth, Virgil Donati and Tony MacAlpine to Randy Brecker, Tom Scott, Gary Novak and Marvin "Smitty" Smith. For more, check out his website.

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