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switching between bossa and swing feels

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Peter McFerrin, Sep 2, 2002.

  1. So I'm finally getting off my butt and auditioning for one of the Cornell Jazz Ensembles. I'm going for a small group because my reading (highly necessary for big band, obviously) is somewhere between "ass" and "go back to Tabcrawler." Simple enough--all I have to do is walk a couple choruses of "What Is This Thing Called Love?" and solo over a chorus.

    What's tricky about this chart is that the director has the A sections in a bossa feel, but the B in conventional swing. Going between bossa and swing is tricky. Any tips from the resident jazzoids as to how to make this transition somewhat smoother? My solos are sounding like ASS.
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Listen to "Blue Bossa". The "A" section is bossa - ish while the "B" section is swung. Best of all, it's not too hard. I'd play that song a bunch of times. Better yet, make a recording of a rehearsal and play to it. Also record yourself to keep track of your development.

    I wish I were more useful.
  3. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    Usually, when I am going from a Latin feel to Swing, I alter my line (not too much) a couple of measures before the change over to Swing. During the last measure before the change, I will use a walking line.

    Hope this helps.
  4. That's a very good idea.

    BW, I'm listening to the original "Blue Bossa" right now (the one on Joe Henderson's Page One), and I don't hear a swing feel anywhere in the B section. I'm fairly familiar with the tune (it's one of the first jazz tunes I ever learned)...Idunno.

    I'm sure I'll figure something out by Thursday night. I have tomorrow afternoon off (my only class on Tuesdays and Thursdays is History of Jazz, at 11:15 :D ).
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Thanks Peter, now beer is burning my nose because I'm laughing so hard!! :D

    The advice of starting to swing in the last measure or two is good, and the drummer should help you out on this. Otherwise, it's pretty straight forward. Lean on the drummer, if he's worth his weight, he'll help you out.

    And if he does, and you get the gig, buy him a beer later.
  6. Update: any technical problems have been resolved. I played along with a McCoy Tyner/Joe Henderson version that a friend sent me (the arrangement that Cornell's director is using is similar to McCoy's) and more or less nailed it.

    I'm gonna spend some more time shedding tonight, a couple hours tomorrow afternoon, and hope and pray that I don't choke at the audition.
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Listen to "Mary Ann" by Buddy Guy. It has the coolest meter change twice in the middle of the song. Neither bossa nor swing, but cool, nonetheless.
  8. Update: I think I nailed the audition. After some equipment hiccups (my FBB's preamp is set to HOT HOT HOT and I was deafeningly loud when I first plugged in), I played an excellent solo and did some excellent walking/bossa playing on the tune.

    I'm stoked. I find out officially if I made it tomorrow, but based on the shortage of bassists, I'm pretty sure I'm in.
  9. Lipis Roman

    Lipis Roman

    Mar 5, 2002
    Cool beans Peter, I hope you get the gig.

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