Friday, August 24, 2012

Simultaneously Soloing with Tom Harrell and George Robert

© -  Steven A. Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

Having two “horn” players solo at the same time is one of the most difficult challenges in Jazz.

Not only does each soloist have to follow his/her own thoughts while creating an improvisation, but this has to be done in such a way as to blend into what the other soloist is offering to avoid the whole thing sounding like a jumbled mess [aka – a cacophony].

Performing together over a long period of time may help in pulling off simultaneous soloing, but it is not a guarantee.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

You can’t do it for too long or you’ll more than likely lose the listener’s attention, and, no doubt, your own sanity.

When it works, it’s akin to a musical miracle. When it doesn’t you can chalk it off to the fact that it probably wasn’t a good idea to try it in the first place.

To give you idea of what brilliant simultaneously soloing sounds like, the editorial staff at JazzProfiles has created the following video featuring Tom Harrell on trumpet and George Robert on alto saxophone performing George’s original composition Vikings' Theme.

The song structure of George’s tune is a bit unusual in that it follows on ABAB pattern with each section made up of 16-bars.

The simultaneous soloing kicks in at 1:00 minute and finishes when Tom and George restate the “A” theme at around 2:00 minutes to take the tune out.

A 2:16 minute blazer that probably had everyone shaking their head in delight [and relief] when it was over.

Joining Harrell and Robert are Dado Moroni on piano, Reggie Johnson on bass and Bill Goodwin on drums.