I recently completed a recording project of which I am really proud. It’s a jazz quartet recording with guitarist Tom Wolfe, bassist Chris Kozak, and my wife, Beth, on percussion called Suite Tuscaloosa. It is very much in the style of the old Pat Metheny Group, and it was inspired by the resilient spirit of the city of Tuscaloosa, which was devastated by a tornado last April. All proceeds will go to tornado relief.
An important jazz-solo concept is soloing over a band figure, and on a few of the tracks on this recording I do solo over band figures. Ex. 1 is a figure from the recording, and Exs. 2–6, are typical jazz-solo figures that I use in teaching at UNF. You can start by playing the figure each time, and soloing between the figures. And then eventually solo by thinking of the figures as a guide, but without playing them.
Danny Gottlieb has played with Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, the NDR Big Band, and is currently a member of Gary Sinise’s Lt Dan Band (ltdanband.com). He is an associate professor of jazz studies at the University Of North Florida. dannygottlieb.org