Body & Soul

I’m listening to Chris Potter’s version of “Body & Soul,” first given life on October 11th 1939, by Coleman Hawkins whose improvised solo comprised most of the 3:00 minute take, soon to be a hit. That’s right! The first jazz hit, still released on a 78rpm disk. Unheard of!

Two music books arrived yesterday including the fully transcribed Hawkins take, one with a history and then transcription of many of the “Body & Soul” solos since, including Potter’s at the last. Potter also wrote the introduction noting how important Hawkins’s solo was to  open things up to be-bop, and how it is still considered a standard measure of excellence
 all tenor sax players, worth their salt, must achieve.

I’m obsessing but that’s ok, as this is research for my Listen,Here collection in the works.
I’ve been thinking about how it might “fit” and then I realized the manuscript could be sequenced like many a Conservatory piano book, say like the one I had for three years until I passed the Grade six piano exam; a commitment I made to my parents so I could start playing trumpet. Thanks to some tutoring by Verna Wiebe (nee Heinrichs), a Klassen cousin, I squeeked by on my third try, including the theory test; the ear training test was a trial for all of us. I should have understood this did not bode well for a future jazz musician.

I’m thinking “Studies” for now, and these poems would be about some specific moments, techniques in music of the 20th century like dissonance, new intervals, delayed resolution, and syncopation for starters. I will find a “Body & Soul” link to add to my story.

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