Thursday, November 13, 2008

Funk/Disco Horn Chart transcriptions

Here's a review of the first horn chart transcriptions book that I got (Funk/Disco). Watch this space for others.
Funk/Disco is a collection of 15 horn charts, transcribed from the original recordings in their original keys. Very high-quality for cover bands. I don't see how they will sell more than 10 or 20 of these unless they start a horn-section revolution, but anyway, it's a great resource for players.
The rhythms are readable, but with only 4-9 measures per page, each song is laid out over about 16 pages. This means memorization or other additional work to be able to play this in any situation. Also, if you're going to play just a single sax, you may have to borrow from the other parts to have it sound right. Having the vocals lined up with the other tracks is very helpful for being able to figure out exactly when to play if your counting skills aren't the best. And of course, you can play right along to the recorded versions, which is the same key most cover bands will play the tunes in, so it is a quick way to get up to speed. Chord progressions appear above the vocal lines, so Bass and Guitar should be able to pick it up from that.

Web ads seem not to even list all the songs in each of these books, so as far as I know, this post is the only source on the web for this information:
1. Brick House by the Commodores: vocals in C (A minor?), Trumpet 1,2, Alto, Tenor, and Trombone parts.
2. Disco Inferno by The Trammps: vocals in Eb (ending in C), Trumpet 1,2,3, TBone 1,2,3
3. Dr. Funkenstein by Parliament: vocals (spoken, song in D), Trumpet, Alto, Tenor, TBone - but solo not transcribed
4. Fire by The Ohio Players: vocals in C (to Db), Trumpet 1,2, Tenor
5. Give It To Me Baby by Rick James: vocals in E, Trumpet 1,2, Tenor 1,2, TBone 1,2
6. Hold On I'm Comin' by Sam and Dave: vocals in Ab, Trumpet, Tenor 1,2
7. Lucretia Mac Evil by Blood, Sweat and Tears: vocals in G (then F, then Gb), Trumpet 1,2, Alto, TBone
8. Papa's Got a Brand New Bag by James Brown: vocals in E, Trumpet 1,2, Alto, Tenor, Baritone sax
9. Pick Up The Pieces by Average White Band: vocals in Ab, Tenor 1,2
10. Serpentine Fire by Earth Wind & Fire: vocals in C, Trumpet 1,2,3,4, Alto, Trombone, Baritone sax
11. Superstition by Stevie Wonder: vocals in Gb (Bb minor?), Trumpet 1, 2, Tenor 1, 2
12. That's The Way (I Like It) by KC & the Sunshine Band: vocals in Eb, Trumpet 1,2 Tenor, Baritone sax
13. What Is Hip? by Tower of Power: vocals in E, Trumpet 1,2 Tenor 1,2, Baritone sax
14. Y.M.C.A by Village People: vocals in Gb, Trumpet 1,2,3, Tenor 1,2 Tbone 1,2, Baritone sax
15. You Should Be Dancing by Bee Gees: vocals in Bb, Trumpet 1,2,3,4, Tenor 1,2,3,4