Transcription of Jason Rebello Funk Piano Solo on “Why Not”

Transcription of Jason Rebello’s Piano Solo on Chris Botti’s “Why Not”, with brief theoretical analysis on superimposed chords and scales.

Jason Rebello appeared as a special guest on Chris Botti’s concert, playing some mean piano solo improvisation on the tune Why Not. Here’s the video :

Did some transcribing on the solos. Here is the free transcription in PDF format:

jason-rebello-piano-solo-on-why-not

The transcription is from 1m03s until 2m05s of the video.

The harmony during the solo is modal, with the bass basically toying around with the C dorian scale, or implying the Cm7 chord. But Jason Rebello did a tremendous job on superimposing chords and scales, bringing an interesting twist to an other wise straightforward modal harmony.

Let’s see in detail how this is achieved, here’s a cutout of bar 7 to 14 of the transcription.

with-left-handcircled

The left hand voicings used can give us a good idea of the superimposed chord of each bar. Here are the chords for each different color circle.

Red – Bbmaj7
Blue – Dbmaj7
Green – Ab13
Black – Cm9

Cm9

The Cm9 is just an extension of Cm7 chord of the original harmony, with the C dorian scaled used. Due to it being closest to the original harmony, it has a more “resolved” sound when compared to the others.

Bbmaj7

The Bbmaj7 can also be considered as a further extension of the Cm7 chord, turning it into a Cm13. With the same C dorian scale, it is still comparatively close to the original harmony. However, note how Jason focused more on the chord tones of the Bbmaj7 in is right hand melody, especially in the first bar of the cutout.

Dbmaj7

During the Dbmaj7, the corresponding scale used for the right hand improvisation is the Bb dorian, consisting of notes as shown in the figure below.

bb-dorian

The notes circled are the important chord tones of the Cm7. It can be seen that they are all found in the Bb dorian scale. Thus, the improvisor can apply this scale without much concern of over dissonance of any particular note.

Ab13

During the Ab13 , the scale applied in the right hand is the Ab mixolydian, consisting of notes as shown in the figure below.

ab-mixolydian2

Notice that the chord tones of Cm7 are also present in the scale, as circled.

It is advisable to practise these superimposed chords and scales on all twelve keys, and experiment on applying them melodiously over a modal tune.

Have fun and Enjoy …. :D

12 Comments

  • piano learning guide

    Reply Reply August 19, 2009

    i will try this chord on my next piano lesson…
    i hope i can play it properly…

  • KCLau

    Reply Reply August 19, 2009

    Nice transcription .. you really amazed me with the ability to listen and transcribe the fine details of a masterpiece.
    Well done! and thanks!!

  • Nicole

    Reply Reply November 1, 2009

    Hi Rewsnat,
    Kudos to another great piano solo transcription and analysis! Makes a great lesson for my students learning modes and modal improv. Thanks!

  • mihmus

    Reply Reply December 30, 2009

    Great!!!
    Thank you VERY MUCH!

  • Mads Baerentzen

    Reply Reply January 6, 2010

    A great learning tool, thank you!

  • rewsnat

    Reply Reply January 9, 2010

    Glad you guys love it… currently working on a few other chick corea and kenny kirkland piano solo transcriptions, will try to post it soon. thanx for support.. :D

  • legitum

    Reply Reply February 4, 2010

    Nice transcription and analysis. I’ve not heard this particular piece but having played the transcription through i’m keen to hear it in full. Well done. I’ve a Kenny Kirkland transcription as a downloadable pdf on my own site which you might like to check out. All the best.

  • monsterjazzlicks

    Reply Reply February 29, 2012

    J is playin’ really superb in this video. Some very hip lines and outside scale stuff goin’ on.

    Great solo and posting.

  • Jud

    Reply Reply March 28, 2013

    Great explanation about Jason’s solo. Pity that the links related to the analysis are not visible or not working. Could you please send them on. Thanks a mill!

  • Pim

    Reply Reply August 25, 2013

    Great stuff ! If possible, could you send me the PDF and jpgs that are not accessible from this page (page not found) by email ? Much obliged..

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