November 1, 2012

Scott Lerner blowing over Brecker Brothers' Sponge !!

1st  solo is Scott Jones.
2nd solo is Scott Lerner (1:45)

Back in 2004 or so, Scott Jones contacted me to collaborate with him on a bonus track for his CD release “Freedom”.    Scott sent me the track, the Brecker Brothers cut “Sponge” , with his solo already cut.  I had the daunting task of following his killer playing, especially his sick line at 1:40 that leads into my solo!   I used my Fuchs ODS100 for my solo.   I had recently discovered that the Dumble style OD really integrated with my playing style.    I always wanted an amp that had a “clean” OD and had hornlike qualities,  an amp that allowed picking nuances to shine through.    The Fuchs was my first amp of this type.   Since then, I have added amps from Glaswerks and Bludotone to my collection.    For me, Robben Ford’s Dumble exemplifies this amp quality I am describing.  On to the Collab…..

Scott Lerner: Fuchs ODS100

Sponge has a solo section that is F-7/Db7/C7alt.    Not being a super technical picker, I tend to concentrate on phrasing and tensions.    Over an F-7, in this type of progression, I would be thinking F minor pentatonic as a foundation.    I’d then use tensions and colors to create motifs and melodic ideas.   I’d consider the maj6 (dorian tension), the 9th, and the maj7 as possibilities.    I may also use scales like the minor 6 pentatonic to get a more angular sound.    Blues ideas would also work well here.
Over the Db7, the Lydian Dominant mode works well.   I may use a superimposed Eb triad to get the sound.   Or think arpeggio and alter notes to get the color I want, such as the #11.   Chromatic approach techniques work well here.     
The C7alt is a V7alt leading to a minor i.   In this setting, you can stretch things and take things pretty out.   Always remember though to resolve and land on your feet on the F-7.     In addition to altered scale, I like to use things such as the diminished pentatonic (string skipping angular sounds), symmetrical motifs, superimposed major triads such as C, E, and G# with chromatic approaches from below each root, chromaticism, diminished and augmented ideas, etc.    Point is the V7alt chord is where you can take it out and create that tension and release.
I’m always reminded of Scott Henderson saying that it doesn’t matter what you play to get from point A to point B as long as you phrase it, play it with conviction, and resolve it.     Tension and release.   Land on your feet.   Otherwise, it can sound like nonsense and that you are lost.   As a result, I always try and be aware of the harmony I am playing over so I can choose all the colors and tensions I like.    I try and develop phrases using both melodic and rhythmic motific development and permutation.     A nice blues lick can always bring the listener back to earth after some outside tensions.    Lastly, don’t rush the time.   Stay in the pocket and try and vary the phrasing with triplets and over the bar line ideas.    Think like you are breathing while playing.    John Scofield is one of my big influences for time feel and phrasing.   So relaxed!   Probably my favorite is Kenny Kirkland.   I just love his feel and and angular phrasing.  He’ll be missed!
I guess Scott Jones dug the collab since he asked me to play on another Brecker track for “Freedom”.   He gave me less than a day to get it done.    I wound up using an AC Boost into a POD XT on this one since I was rushed for time.   The track was a bit funkier so I used a more angular approach on Collab 2.    Hopefully, Scott and I do some recording soon.   We recently have been discussing it!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words Jan!! It is a real honor to be featured in your blog, a real required site for all jazz and fusion guitar fans. Keep up the great work and playing! Btw, I will be doing a complete website overhaul really soon.