Ronnie’s Solo on “All The Things You Are”

Notes accompanying the transcription:

These are the three choruses, which I transcribed from the live recording on “All The Things You Are” which is one of the seven pieces. I chose to not include chord symbols, since the harmonic language used by Ronnie is very complex and would need complex notation to really show what he is doing. I leave this to the devoted student, to dig in and analyze. This would be worthwhile, because the solo is a real marble and among the most beautiful I know on this great and important tune in Jazz history. Ronnie starts out with a quote of Kenny Dorham’s “Prince Albert” before exploring the tune on his own. There are a lot of melodic and harmonic devices that refer to the immortal Charlie Parker recording of the song “Bird of Paradise”. The tempo is a great bouncing medium one as opposed to Bird’s more ballad-like approach. But one can clearly see the influence of Bird’s language in Ronnie’s playing here. There are occasional spots where it was really difficult to hear acoustically what Ronnie is playing because of the poor state of the recording.   I tried to fill in as tasteful as possible what the notes could/should be. What is interesting guitaristically is that he plays mostly in the higher, more alto register of his non-cutaway guitar. I find this a specialty of his sound that has a lot of presence and cutting power.

Ronnie’s language is really special in the way that besides all the harmonic and rhythmic complexity he is able to develop his ideas with a great beauty and feel. His phrasing is marvelous, his taste impeccable. It is difficult to put in words; it seems that there is a strong melancholic side to his playing as well, which shines through his concentration and precision. Lennie Tristano liked to make a distinction between “emotion” and “feeling”. If I understand correctly what he means, then Ronnie’s playing is the perfect example for music invented and played with feeling.

(click on the thumbnails, in the top right corner in the new bigger frame, you can expand the scans.)