James Moody & Mark Turner on "The Plain But The Simple Truth"

A gem from the '90s
Continuing the effort to post forgotten transcriptions from the past year, I finally finished up two solos that I'd started at the very beginning of the year: James Moody & Mark Turner on a Bb blues. 

Miguel had recommended the album, Warner Jams, Vol. 2: The Two Tenors, to me at the end of 2013, mentioning that I should check out the difference in time feels between Moody and Mark. It's a fascinating document of two great artists conversing across generations, and definitely worth digging up a copy if you've got the time and resources ("Satellite" and "The Man I Love" are also particularly memorable). At times, it's truly gravity-defying how much Mark plays behind the beat without dragging; Moody, as usual, sounds ebullient throughout. 

To my knowledge, there weren't any more Warner Jams after this one. The first volume was a mash-up of a bunch of second-generation 'Young Lions,' and I have yet to listen to the other Warner Jam, A Tribute to the Masters, with performances of "Ornithology" with Kenny Garrett and Brad, etc. Looks interesting, to say the least.

I'm always hesitant to transcribe contemporary players, especially players like Mark, whose stylistic gravity is so strong that I'm perpetually at risk of being caught in his orbit. But both of these solos are so confident and full of valuable information about feel, voice-leading, harmonic path navigation, and so on—I couldn't resist. Here they are:


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I had the honor of playing once with James Moody: during my senior year of high school, I played tenor in the Grammy Band, which included a gig at a restaurant called Spaghettini's in Seal Beach, CA, with Moody as a special guest. The saxophone section was featured on a pretty corny rhythm changes chart called "Sax Alley" (the title kind of gives it away), but hearing Moody play some of those trademark lines was really something.


  1. Nice post as your entire blog, thanks for that. I tried to find Warner Jam vol 2 impossible and i would like to listen this blues, vol 1,it's possible on spottily or on you tube. Have a nice 2015 year.

    1. Thanks for reading! You might have some luck on Grooveshark.


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