Rob Strait has been generous in sharing some excellent transcriptions with AllThingsEmily recently, enough so that we feel he has earned a space of his own. Rob will be a featured transcriber for us once or twice a year in order to offer Emily students and fans rare pieces that are not available anywhere else. You will find his work accurate, authentic and easy to comprehend. It is an incredible tribute to Emily's legacy and a wonderful addition to AllThingsEmily we know you will enjoy. As a bonus, Rob is also sharing jazz transcriptions from some of his other favorite players, knowing they too have a place in every players repertoire. We are truly blessed to have Rob's talents here and available to you. If you enjoy his efforts, feel free to leave him a thanks in the comments area.
Emily Compositions and Arrangements
Ballad For A Music Box
"Ballad for a Music Box" is a beautiful composition by the late, great Emily Remler which was recorded on her fantastic "East To Wes" album. I have transcribed the head and the guitar solo with every detail and nuance that I could decipher from the recording...every grace note, accent, and articulation. The fingerings are specific too, as well as the chord names above each measure (they reflect the tonalities of the moment which vary slightly during the tune). I did this because I wanted to get inside all of the phrasing idiosyncrasies that make Emily sound so fantastic, and to really represent this recorded work. However, it does make it difficult to read (don't worry, there is TAB included!), and for that reason I have included a greatly simplified lead sheet of the head. As a bonus, I've also arranged the piano intro for guitar.
Some notes and highlights from Rob:
I hope you enjoy these transcriptions.
I've learned a ton from listening to Emily so closely...she's a genius.
Blues For Herb
Waltz For My Grandfather
Robert's left arm, featuring the circle of 5ths with a crescent moon and star to symbolize New Orleans and the many pilgrimages there. On his wrist is a simple "Del Segno" symbol, courtesy of NYC.
Select Jazz Standards
Stella By Starlight and Big J
"George Benson is one of my favorite players, and his version of the popular jazz standard "Stella by Starlight" is tremendous. It can be found on his wonderful record with McCoy Tyner entitled "Tenderly". George plays the tune in the key of G, and his solo is unbelievably burnin'! It's really worth studying...there is so much to learn from this solo with lots of jazz vocabulary and harmonic soloing devices (i.e. superimposing the melodic minor scale over various chords). I've notated the tab to reflect how I might finger it, not necessarily how George would!Rob's faithful Telly and dog, Osito, Osi for short.
"Big J" is a tune from another of my favorite players, John Scofield. It can be found on his record "Works for Me" which features and unbelievable line up including Christian McBride (bass), Kenny Garrett (sax), Brad Mehldau (piano), and Billy Higgins (drums). It's a very challenging but harmonically interesting tune with a beautiful melody. Sco's solo is very melodic and restrained, but still genius!" - Rob Strait