The Most Transcribed Piano Solo

| Updated on February 21, 2021

Wynton Kelly’s solo on Freddie Freeloader from Miles Davis’ album Kind of Blue is a classic example of a jazz piano solo on blues. It is an opening solo on the first tune of probably one of the most popular albums in the recorded history of jazz.

Wynton Kelly’s solo is short, it is of two choruses of double blues form (24 bars – 12×2) but it gives a mood to the whole piece and the whole album which is one of the most influential jazz records of all times.

The Transcription

There is quite a few transcriptions available on the internet but this one is really taking my attention. It is probably the most detailed two-handed transcription of the solo. It is made by the keyboardist and educator from Los Angeles Joe Bagg. Joe is a very fine musician, piano player and he plays great Hammond B3 too. Joe did many fine jazz transcriptions and you should really check him out. He is on Instagram and he has his Patreon page.

Here what Joe writes about Wynton Kelly solo on Freddie Freeloader:

“Perhaps the most transcribed piano solo of all time. So why transcribe this? Well, out of the myriad of transcriptions out there (even those by heavy musicians that I respect a great deal), there are some tiny details and idiosyncrasies in Wynton Kelly’s playing that are missing. For example in m. 3 of the very last chorus of his solo Wynton plays a little grace note into a minor 9th. This is something he does a lot in his solos (and in his comping too), but I’ve always seen it transcribed as a double grace note octave Eb into an E natural octave. Little things like that and also some ghost note left-hand shells and single notes that add a great deal to the groove.”

Here is a transcription, click on “view full version” to open the full Soundslice Player.
Soundslice is a great learning service that allows you to learn the transcription with a live on-screen notation as you hear the music played back. It allows you to easily toggle, rewind and forward the music, loop, slow-down the music without changing the pitch, view an animated fretboard and piano keyboard.

I am glad to share this with you and I am sure you will enjoy this.

Happy practicing!

Alec is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and educator from Tel Aviv. He loves playing, writing, teaching and learning music. Alec has built his website and he loves sharing his knowledge, experience and musical ideas and content.

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