Shape Up – Jon Gordon
Intricate, enticingly contemporary and rhythmically complex; many parts come together harmoniously.
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- Recording: Jon Gordon - Currents
- Recorded on: February 10 & 11, 1998
- Label: Double-Time (DTR CD 136)
- Concert Key: No key center
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Even 8ths
- Alto Sax - Jon Gordon
- Guitar - Ben Monder
- Piano - Ed Simon
- Bass - Larry Grenadier
- Drums - Bill Stewart
Notes about the parts:
-- The Concert Condensed Score is recommended for pianists and drummers. Some other interesting instrumentations you could try:
-- C treble clef 1st part:
violin [only two low Fs which you would play up an octave]
guitar - play everything an octave higher where practical
-- C bass clef 2nd part for trombone
could be interesting for violin/cello
From Jon's notes regarding this title, we learn that this piece, along with Contemplation and Bloom is "based on the pitch cell D-E♭-F, through not strictly. They were written while studying with pianist/composer Jim McNeely. Shape Up was a challenging piece to play and record. The form is intro, A, B, C, blowing section (AB), second blowing section (D), to intro and A to end."
An eight-page in-depth drum transcription of Bill Stewart's drumming on Jon Gordon's Shape Up
-- vamp set-up (with lots of room for drum fills)
-- melody is shown above the drum staff
-- everything Stewart plays behind the in melody
-- drum solo (over vamp) clip
-- everything Stewart plays behind the out melody
One of the grooves Bill Stewart has become known for is this funky straight-eights groove demonstrated here. Through all the odd-time signatures and complex rhythms, he still gives this track a danceable quality. Even during his drum solo, the pulse and feeling of this song is never lost. This is one of the reason Bill Stewart has been one of the most in-demand drummers of this era. He allows music to dance, breathe, flow and move, all while throwing his signature sound on top of it.
What better way to understand this than to jump into a transcription of it? This transcription is great for those interested in seamlessness flowing between odd-time signatures, as well as those interested in understanding the modern "straight-eighths" groove that many composers are writing. The drum solo provides a great example of how to solo over a vamp, going between complex solo ideas and simple groove ideas.
For those interested in learning how to play complicated and specific music while never compromising on an individual sound, Monder's performance here is an excellent study.
Our guitar part (second part) is written in the appropriate octave to replicate Monder's performance. However, if you would like to play the first part, you can read the C treble clef part an octave higher. This could make for an exciting two guitar arrangement.
born on December 23, 1966
Modern alto saxophonist and composer Jon Gordon is a driving force in cutting-edge jazz. A native New Yorker, he began his musical exploration at the age of ten, encouraged by his musical family. He attended Performing Arts High School and studied saxophone privately in his teen years and showed significant promise, winning numerous awards at a young age. His love for jazz began as a teenager after listening to a Phil Woods record; not long after, he began to study with Phil Woods himself after sitting in with Eddie Chamblee at Sweet Basil. Jon studied at Manhattan School of Music, during which time he worked with Roy Eldridge, Leon Parker, Doc Cheatham, Larry Goldings, Al Grey, Eddie Locke, Red Rodney, and Mel Lewis. Read more...