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Donna Lee Instrumental

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Marc Decho, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. Any of you cats heard a guy/gal pull off the solos for Donna Lee on upright ? I thought Brian Bromberg did it at one point in time...? think i'm wrong though
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    What do you mean by "the solos for Donna Lee"..? :meh:

    I've heard Charlie Parker and Miles Davis playing this and have played the tune myself at jams - it's a fairly typical bebop head - slightly more difficult maybe...? :confused:
  3. I mean Parker's horn lines in the first 32 bars of the tune
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You mean "the Head" ...?
  5. I sure do
  6. in digging around I found a Lynn Seaton solo version of How Hight the Moon/Ornithology, but no Donna Lee yet....we all know some guy named Jaco did it :meh: but what about the doublebass
  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    NHOP did it.
  8. which album ? i've heard him do other Parkers but not that one
  9. Sean Smith does a nifty unison line with Bill Charlap on "Piano and Bass".
  10. brutuscheezcake

    brutuscheezcake Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2003
    Bodega Bay
    hey guys,

    gee, i have the donna lee head and applicable (mine) solos at about 160bpm on upright and probably 220bpm on slab. its taken time though.

    quite frankly, i bet most bop friendly bassist have this head.

    i have worked on the electric version for 4 years. easily.

    i have worked on the upright version probably 3 months so far.... it needs time, and more work. although i am ready to play it out now. just not that fast.

    so i just asked my teacher the same question a few months ago, and he grabbed my bass and proceeded to play the head, a solo and the head out.

    for me (on upright), it all came down to the opening phrase and its positioning. i basically had to relearn it for upright. that just gave me the excuse to tighten all the phrasing up. it worked for scrapple, orni, blues for alice (this is in original position for me) so far.

    i just started on working out charlie's solo (at :33s into it) from the omnibook. thats going to take a while to pull off.

    in my opinion, a nice "indiana" quote on the way in and maybe on the way out oughta be tasty.

    gotta love Donna!

    she is the "Girl" of bebop!

  11. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I didn't want to be the one to say it, but yes, I think so too. The head to "Donna Lee" is often on the audition list for places like the Monk Institute and Juilliard's new jazz Artist Diploma program, auditions usually taken by young bassists. Not all, but many of the bass students I knew at the various schools I've been through have worked it up at some point in their schooling. I think it's a great idea to work on ALL of those bebop heads, and you can throw them in and play along with the melody instruments on a gig every once in awhile.

    This is not to say it's easy to play "Donna Lee;" it's certainly a good workout, but the principles on which it is based (basic bebop ideas of melody and ornamentation) should be familiar to anyone devoting serious study to the music.

    Also: I think there's a recording of Michael Moore playing "Donna Lee" with his bow. I'm sorry I can't remember it at the moment, but I think it's out there somewhere...
  12. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    It was a duo with Martial Solal, don't know which album.
  13. Speaking of the omnibook, I'm attempting to play Yardbird Suite from it (including Parker's solo) with a bow in thumb position. Has anyone done this before (on any Parker tunes) and if so any tips on how to play it effectively. How can I "sound" like an agile alto saxophone?

    Thanks for the input
  14. tww001


    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    check out the Oscar Peterson "The Paris Concert" Album with Joe Pass and Neils Henning-Orsted Pedersen (it's a double-album). "Donna Lee" is on the second disc, Neils plays it in unison with Joe.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - if you don't know the difference between : "the solos" and "the head" - I think this is something you need to address, before virtuoso,flashy, playing , for example...?
  16. sorry man, what I meant was the solos in the head.....should have been more clear.......

    and yes I do know the difference ;)

    it's hard not to come off sounding sarcastic on the computer :help: we should have a sarcasm button of sorts, otherwise it's friendly all the way!
  17. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    As far as I can tell, what you're referring is just the head. I don't think you're referring to actually soloing on the tune, right?
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's OK Marc - no sarcasm detected!! ;)

    So - I go to Jazz jams each week and over the years have played hundreds of tunes and occasionally Donna Lee comes up and we've played it..

    But the Horns play the head (32 bars) and then we do solos over the form - so, as bass player, you play a walking line while the horns play the head and then I've maybe soloed over the chords for a chorus or two... that's generally how it works...

    Unless it's specified/specially written, bass players don't tend to get to play heads in Jazz - so, for example I remember an arrangement of "Fever" where it was written for the bass to play the head/tune while horns played accompanying, slightly dissonant parts for "atmosphere"!! ;)

    Of course if you like a head, decide to learn it and then say to the other players - let me play the head - then that's OK and nobody will really object or be shocked!! :D
  19. Alain Caron does a version(doublebass) on UZEB's World Tour '90 double album. It's one of my favorites as the band is totally acoustic(guitar, DB, snare drum).
  20. Chrix


    Apr 9, 2004
    There's also a pretty cool version of him doing Donna Lee with the Danish Radio Big Band. The album is called 'Ambience" and NHOP is the featured soloist.