JCOL recording project no.2 - May 2020

So Danco Samba - Misty ('A' section) - When The Saints

The idea of this project is to have some fun recording yourself playing a solo on any (or all) of these pieces. I am also going to encourage you to explore using some jazz language over specific sections of each chord sequence (see further down the page for various lick sheets).

All the sheet music and the mp3s can be downloaded (right-click on PC or control-click on Mac)

Here are the Bb Eb Treb and Bass clef parts

So Danco Samba


Misty ('A' section only)  and When The Saints


Our first selection So Danco Samba  uses a classic chord sequence for the 'A' section. These chords can be found in many Jobim tunes including The Girl From Ipanema  and also some swing tunes like Take The A Train  and Exactly Like You. The bridge of So Danco Samba  explores the II V I chord sequence (in two different keys).

  • So Danco Samba - Antonio Carlos Jobim
  • So Danco Samba - backing only

For So Danco Samba  you may like to focus on the melody to begin with and play along with the vocal. Don't worry too much about trying to get all the rhythms right. Just enjoy the general feel of the piece.

When you're ready to do some improvising you may prefer to use the backing track without the vocal. It is possible to improvise over most of this piece using just one scale - see below.

  • Bb instruments - D major scale
  • Eb instruments - A major scale
  • C instruments - C major scale

However, playing in just one scale means we miss some of the detail in the chords. If you examine the chord sequence you will find this piece is full of "pairs of chords" (minor seven going to dominant seven). In section A, check out bars 3-4 and then 5-6 (also 11-12 and 13-14). In section B look at bars 1-2 and then 5-6. Section C is like A again.

Check out the Round Midnight lick  sheet. See if you can find the "chord pairs" you need.

Our second selection is the Erroll Garner composition Misty  but I'm only using the 'A' section.
I'm not really interested to use the melody of this piece (beautiful though it is).
I want to focus on the chord sequence and use a simple guide tone line.
This backing has a lovely "double time feel" (Jamey Aebersold playalong volume 49).

  • Misty - backing  (I'm suggesting you do two 'A' sections for your solo but this track actually covers four 'A' sections and then a sneaky bridge ... )

To start with on this chord sequence, I recommend using the guide tone line (see the sheet music). It is also possible to improvise over most of this piece using just one scale - see below.

  • Bb instruments - F major scale
  • Eb instruments - C major scale
  • C instruments - Eb major scale

As mentioned earlier, playing in only one scale means we miss harmonic detail from the chords. This chord sequence once again contains many "pairs of chords" (minor seven going to dominant seven). Look at bars 3-4 and then 7-8 (also 11-12, 13-14 and 15-16).

Now revisit the Round Midnight lick sheet again and see if you can find the "chord pairs" you need.

Our third selection is one you all know very well. When The Saints  provides an excellent opportunity to improvise with the melody, adding your own embellishments. The blues scale from a minor third below the key can sound effective on this piece too (see below for which scale). You may also wish to investigate the chord sequence. I am particularly interested in bars 9-12 - these four bars contain a very similar harmonic progression to bars 1-8 of our slow version of Misty.

  • Bb instruments - key is G major - try E blues scale
  • Eb instruments - key is D major - try B blues scale
  • C instruments - key is F major - try D blues scale

Here is a version of When The Saints  played by the wonderful group Tuba Skinny which then turns into a backing track for you to solo over. I'm going to suggest you do two choruses (two times 16 bars) but you could do more if you want to. I've also put up a recording of Louis Armstrong which is in a different key but I thought it might provide some additional inspiration.

  • When The Saints - Tuba Skinny then YOU ...
  • When The Saints - Louis Armstrong (in G concert)






Copyright © Mark Bassey