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					Essays of an Information Scientist, Vol:2, p.461-466, 1974-76    Current Contents, #17, April 26, 1976




                     April 26, 1976                                                                           Number 17

                         Last year I took advantage of your                 1844, in Paris. Berlioz himself conduc-
                      captivity as a C@      reader to gripe                ted. Ironically, the written music has
                      about the paucity of jazz transcrip-                  been irretrievably lost.
                      tions.1 SinceI am particularlyinterested                  The horror of lost musical transcrip-
                      in the role of saxophone in modern                    tions is a typical occurrence with jazz
                      jazz, my protest really concerned the                 compositions.    Indeed, many publishers
                      unavailability    of saxophone transcrip-             have disorganized piles of original sheet
                      tions.                                                music, recorded or otherwise, rotting in
                         In case you have forgotten the gist of             warehouses, It seems as though music
                      my argument, I pointed out that jazz,                 publishers are unaware, or indifferent,
                      America’s      greatest   conuibution   to            to the transcription problem. They even
                      music, is nearly without written docu-                seem reluctant to highlight or publicize
                      mentation.     Thanks to the invention of             the older jazz classics, Recently, I was
                      the phonograph,       we do have “aural”               browsing through the ptino music sec-
                      documentation.      However, these record-             tion of the Pacific Coast Music Shop in
                      ings are terribly   inconvenient   for usc in         San   Francisco   when   1 came    across   the
                      research. Imagine using recorded ver-                 “chart”    for Paul Desmond’s       “Take
                      sions of journal articles whenever you                Five. ” 2 This record is an all-time jazz
                      wanted to do research.                                classic, having sold more than one mil-
                         The educational value of the written               lion copies., when it came out fifteen
                      version in music is signflcant.         Of            years ago. It was cmkrlazoncd with Dave
                      course, a written transcription of jazz or            Brubeck’s name since it was in fact the
                      classical music cannot completely and                 sheet music for the piano score. As I
                      faithfully reproduce what you can hear                came to the last page, Desmond’s classic
                      and feel in a sound recording. Never-                 saxophone solo appeared- -like an after-
                      theless, the written version contributes              thought. It wasn’t even mentioned on
                      immensely to a filler understanding     of            the cover.
                      a piece in conjunction with a recdirrg.                  Unlike the jazz student, the student
                         Contrary to general belief, the saxo-              of classical saxophone is blessed with a
                      phone was not the product of the jazz                 large repertoire of written music. Pro-
                      or marching band eras. The saxophone                  fcssorJ.M. Londeix, a French saxophon-
                      was invented by a Belgian, Adolph Sax,                ist who tcachcs at both the University of
                      the son of a famous clarinet maker. The               Dijon and the University of Michigan,
                      first written composition for saxophone,              has compiled an annotated rcpc~ory of
                      F@nze       .hcr;, was written by Hector              pieces and educational literature cover-
                      Berlioz, and was later performed       in             ing 125 years of saxophone music. 3




                                                                      461
                GIANT STEPS
John Coltranc                         From Atlantic LP1311
Tenor Solo




                  O Andrew’s Musical Enterprises, Inc. 1973




                     462
   Although Lortdeix states that he ex-              Kobert MacBride and George McKay are
cludes jazz compositions from his work,              included. MacBride, a professor, corn.
he does include George Gershwin’s                    poser, clarinetist, and saxophonist, is
“Rhapsudy      in Blue”       and “Summer            cited for his compositions “on Ameri-
Time”     from Porgy & lie~~. I was                  can themes with jazz material. ” McKay
amused to note the inclusion of Jimmy                is the composer of pieces with such titles
Docsey ’s composition           “Oodles       of     as A mencan Panoram and A mencan
Noodles. ”      Incidentally,      Desmond’s         Street .fcene~. In their compositions,
“Take Five” is also included.                        McKay and MacBride may incorporate
   I can well understand the frustration             the jazz themes        heard     throughout
Londeix must have felt in preparing this             America in order to musically constmct
bibliography.     Apparently,     he couldn’t        an idea which exists in their mind’s eye.
resist including Earl Hagen’s “Harlem                But their complete compositions are not
Nocturne. ” I found the saxophone score              usually considered jazz.
by chance the same day I discovered                      McKay and MacBride could perhaps
Desmond’s      “Take Five. ” CC readers              bc compared to Dvorak or Copelartd in
who frequent Burlesque theaters may                  the classical music sphere. In Dvorak’s
remember this classic work as standard               New Wodd Symphony, various themes
accompaniment       for suip-tease artists.          evoke the image of a young, pioneering
   There is also an entry for Coleman                America, and yet, the totality of this
Hawkins, but instead of mentioning his               music is considered something greater
many classics, it turns out to be a                  than a mere medley of western tunes.
“warm-up book,” published by Music                   With Copeland’s El Salon Mexico, onc
Corp. of America. Publishers are always              hears familiar Mexican rhythms, but the
anxious to attach famous names to work               entire piece is more like a comment on,
books. This is like putting           athletes’      or a tourist’s introduction     to, popular
names on cereal box=.                                Mexican music. Copeland            composed
   Hawkins is described,       by Londeix, as        various jazz-oriented pieces, and it is in-
the greatest tenor sax player in jazz,                teresting to note his comment that jazz
“the uncontested leader of the instru-               was “an easy way to be American in
ment until the advent (’I’apparition’) of            musical terms. ” ~ Copeland         is saying
Lester Young. ”                                       that a composer can “borrow” musical
   In the forties. there was a series of              terms for purposes of identification,
original Coleman         Hawkins’     arrange-        such as his borrowing of Mexican music,
ments published.4          I was fortunate            Dvorak’s use of early American melo-
enough to buy one of these recently for               dies, or MacBride’s or McKay’s use of
sixty cents. This score and all the others            jazz tunes.
in the series ae now out of print. The                    I’ve made a point of going through
series contained ‘‘1 Cover the Water-                 the entire Londcix list because I had
front,”    “ As Time Goes By.” “Em-                   promised earlier that I would publish a
braceable You,”        “Night     and Day,”           list of whatever jazz transcriptions I was
 “The Man I Love,” “When                Day Is       able to locate. 1 did not intend that to
Done,” and “Body and Soul. ”                         include jazz piano transcriptions.If you
   Although “jazz” is not supposed to                are a jazz pianist you have been blessed
be included in Londeix’s book, he goes               with the availability of great quantities
well beyond the fine line which usually              of transcribed arrangements    including
distinguishes jazz from other music. For             Brubeck, Tatum, Peterson, and many
instance,     the     American      composers        others.




                                               463
     It seems that the method of teaching              mxophone,    C would be the Bb of the
piano is generally different from that of              piano. For the piano and saxophone to
teaching       saxophone.       A jazz piano           be in tune, one instrumentalist         must
teacher would consider it important to                 transpose. Since the sheet music is writ-
learn to play Art Tatum note for note.                 ten for the piano, it is the saxophone
Andr; Previn has said he studied Tatum                 player who usually transposes.
that way, But apparently,             saxophone            Thus, whenever the saxophonist sees
teachers expect you to memorize from                   an Eb note on the chart, he must play a
sound recordings. How else would you                   C, if he wishes to play together with the
do it anyhow?                                          pianist. Similarly, when hc sees a C, he
     Recently, the President of the New                must play an A. Indeed, when tuning
 England          Conservatory,         Gunther        up the sax the standard procedure is to
 Schuller, was interviewed in Downbeat                 tune to a concert Bb, making the saxo-
 and said, ‘‘I’d rather deal with authen-              phone tuning pitch a fingered G. The
 tic material from the past as an educa-               saxophonist will then have to move his
 tional instrument. If you can play Duke               mouthpiece up ot down until he is in
 Ellington’s      ‘Cottontail,’     that’s    like     tune. Unfortunately,      most amateurs and
 playing the Erotiw of Beethoven--it’s           a     even many professional saxophone play-
 real experience. You can learn by play-               ers cannot transpose automatically. This
 ing it because it’s great music. $*6 plaY.            is not as essential to their training as it is
 ing either “Cottontail”         or Eroica is an       for other       instrumentalists,   such as
 achievement t in itself, regardless of me-            French horn players.
 thod, but of course, the method of                        So, if you possess the sheet music for
 playing by ear is imposed on saxophone                 “Body and Soul” you can play the
 instruction by a lack of transcriptions.               melody, and even accompany the piano
      In discussing the availability of writ-          player and vocalist if you know how to
 ten jazz, one must distinguish between                 transpose, In the past twenty years or so,
 several forms of sheet music and tran-                with the growth of guitar popularity,
 scriptions. And, to add to the confus-                sheet music also contains the chord sym-
  ion, there are some in-betweens. For ex-              bols and thereby the so-called “chord
 ample, you can easily purchase the sheet               changes. ” Every jazz musician is sup-
 music for ‘“Body and Soul. ” This will                 posed to learn how to finger all chords
  give you, note by note, the melodic                   with speed and proficiency. What ac-
  line, It will also provide a standard                 tually happens is that they learn certain
  piano accompaniment.           Since standatd         very popular chords and chord progres-
  sheet music is intended primarily for                 sions. The same occurs with saxophon-
  piano accompanied         vocalists, it is, of        ists. You can drive any sax player up the
  necessity, written for key of C instru-               wall by selecting the rarely used keys.
  ments. Thus, if one simply wishes to                     With this information--melody        and
  play a solo on the melody for “Body                   chord structure--one should be able to
  and Soul, ” on any instrument,           it will      improvise. However, important as this
  suffice to obtain the standard             sheet      is, it has little to do with the objective
  music. Orrly a trained ear would realize,             of playing original improvisations        by
   if you are using an Eb alto saxophone,               jazz masters. So the one-half million
  that you are not playing the tune in its              tunes that can be found in sheet music
  standard key. Actually, when you play a               libraries are useless for this purpose.
  C on any Eb instrument,          you are play-        Well, almost useless. There is a vast
   ing the Eb of a properly tuned piano.                array of jazz melodies which are, in fact,
   Similariy, if you are playing a Bb tenor             original compositions.        They are not


                                                 464
merely improvisations        of popular or        prevalent, and the issue grew contro-
classical tunes. The American alto saz            versial, publishers        maintained        a low
genius, Charles Christopher Parker, Jr.,          profile. The National Music Publishers
known to the world as “Bird,”           com-      Association will be pleased if the new
posed       “Ornithology,”         ‘‘Groovin      copyright law reduces piracy of sheet
High,”     and     ‘‘Bloomdido,”      among       music.
others. If available,      the basic sheet            With all of my pessimistic talk about
music for these tunes would be valuable           lost transcriptions,      indiflerenr publish-
in introducing      musicians to melodies         ers, and fake books, what can 1 say
that were never intended for vocalists to         about jazz transcriptions              being pub-
sing. Among other reasons, this is why            lished tcday? In the great morass of
there has long been, and continues to             music        that     is     published         (over
be, a thriving, private mtuket in the             $200,000,000        each yb          in the U.S.
jazz world called “fake books. ” I have           alone) there are a small number of tran-
several in my possession, all of which are        scriptions. The most important                single
anonymous.      One is simply titled L@           source of jazz transcriptions             is Down-
Motsbw jazz. It contains the music for             beat magazine.         Recently, they spon-
200 jazz compositions unknown to most             sored the publication of@zz StyLes and
laymen. Some of them were obtained                Anafy~u. The first        volume is for trom-
from scores written down by musicians--            bone,7 the second volume for alto sax.8
somewhere,      somehow.       Others    were     JS%4 for sarr or trombone costs $12.50,
probably taken off recordings, or writ-            and contains over 100 transcriptions.
ten down as the musicians played them              Every well-known           artist,     and many
in jam sessions. Someday, we will be               lesser-known, is represented.
grateful that these jazz fake books wete              JS&A        begins      with        Cannonball
cteated in defiance of copyright law over          Adderley’s version of “The Way You
the objections of publishers who refused           Look Tonight”        and runs the gamut to
to meet the need.                                  Phil     Woods      playing        “Honeysuckle
   Other fake books are used by pro-               Rose” and ‘‘Stompin at the Savoy. ” By
fessional musicians who need an abbre-             using reduced print, much has been
viated version of the original sheet               packed into less than 100 pages of musi-
music in order to satisfy requests. Thus,          cal text--two standard sheers to a page.
the musicians at social receptions are             Lee Konitz’s verson of ‘‘I’ll Remember
able to “fake it” when asked to play               You,” written by Johnny Mercer, is six
that old familiar tune. In recent tirr@,           sheers long and is a transcription from
publishershave recognizedthe dii%culty              the Verve Album 8399 “Motion” made
of stopping these ‘‘pitated” books so               in 1961.
they have come out with “legitimate”                   By comparison      with the 200 Oztwik
fake books. In these, the otiginal com-             ofjazz, 9 edited by konard Feathet, the
posers or publishers have granted per-            J.S&A collection is a giant. When 1
missionto “abstract” the original music             ordered Feather’s work, I was misled
in a particular form--usually, without              into believing it was a collection of tmn-
lyrics. Music publishers today are usually          sctiptions. It is, in fact, a legitimate fake
preoccupied    with performance     rights.         book, taken from records released pri-
Greater attention is paid to policing,              marily by Prestige Music Co. While it
through ASCAP and other organiza-                   contains numerous &autiful tunes, it is
tions, the unauthorized    performance of           an aimless collection of jazz melodies. It
copyrighted compositions. Until photo-              certainly does not contain many of whar
copying of original material       became           one would call jazz classics. For many of



                                            465
the artists listed, the names of their                  put any CC reader in touch with him.
most famous recordings or compositions                    Recently, onc record company an-
are absent.    Charlie Parker,     among                nounced a ncw series of records in which
others , isn’t even included.      By no                transcriptions    arc provided. At first I
stretch of the imagination     are these                thought that perhaps the idea which I
“200 of the world’s       greatest   jazz               had previously expressed was beginning
themes.”;       However,     you    get    your         to catch on--that of releasing records
money’s worth since it includes such                    with their transcripts.        I was disap-
selections as Herbic Mann’s “Tel Aviv”                  pointed to discover that this announce-
and John Cohrane’s “Straight Street. ”                  ment proved to be a half-truth. Out of
   Speaking of Coltrane, there is an im-                seven tunes in David Licbman’s record,
portant     source of unpublished    transcrip-         Swee/ Hazuz”, only a small part of onc
tions. Every recording ever made by                     tune is transcrikd, and it is printed on
John Coltrane has been transcribed most                 the cover. The record company has ap-
 professionally   by Andrew      White    of            parcndy dccidcd that this is a gimmick
Washington,      D.C. Mr. White is pro-                 to help boost record sales. They fad to
 ficient on alto, tenor, soprano, English               realize the necessity for full transcrip-
 horn, oboe, piano and electric bass, the               tion.     Jazz       needs     professionally-
 last of which he has played for Stcvie                 produccd,      definitive  transcriptions    so
 Wonder      and The Fifth Dimension.                   that all of those who wish to study the
 During the past 20 years, he has taken                 variety of rccordcd jazz can do so with
 the time to document     the work of Col-              less pain. Someday, that fact will be
 tranc in the way it should be done for                 realized by some enterprising             music
 every major jazz artist. An illustration of            publisher.
White’s work is shown.101’11 be glad to




 1. Garfkld E. ‘Jasz Tranacriptioru Wfl Blow Your Min&. Cwmmt Contents@) No. 50,
           15 December 1975, p. 5-7.
 2. Deamond P. ‘“Take Five.” Decry Music Co., 240 Stockton Street, San Franciaco, Calif.
 S. Lozttk&z J hf. 225 Am de Mwt~w Pow Smo#one.          Park Alphonse Lcdue et Cie, 1971,
           398 pp.
 4. Colemara HauAim .$etie.rof .Srs%ophorre olos. New York: Harms, Inc., 1943.
                                            S
 5. ~k~          A. AS cited on Bemsteirr Coruiuets Co@mri. Columbia Records, MS 6S55,
           1%2.
 6. Schuller G. As quoted in Pahner R. “Guntkr Sehrrllm ‘On The American Musical
           Melting Pot’ “ Dormbea# 43:12-5, 58.12 February 1976.
 7. lhkez D. J= styles & Aaaly.srk:Trombone. Chicago: Downbeat Music Workshop Pub-
           Iicatiom. 1975.
 & Miedcma H. Jass Sty&x ~ Awdy.rir: Alto .%x. Chicago: Downbeat Music Workshop
           Publication,   1975.
 9. Featbcr L. 200 Omnibus ofjmz        Hanaen House No. 15, 1974.
10. CkAtrrtne J. “Giant Stepe.” Atlantic Recording#l311.  Trarucribed by A.N. White, 1973.




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