Claudio Roditi on Giant Steps

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The Brazilian trumpeter Claudio Roditi has become one of my favorite trumpeters as of late because of the fluidity of his tone and playing. The rotary trumpet provides a slightly different take on the traditional jazz trumpet sound, and in my opinion produces a rich and warm tone.

This is my first transcription of the tune Giant Steps and my first adventure into explore the sophisticated chord progression in depth. While I have played the tune before I haven’t really spent much time analyzing it or transcribing to see how others approach the changes. The first thing that jumps out to me about Claudio’s solo is the repetition of ideas over certain chords. There are some ideas that just work well (i.e. what he plays over F major or the ii-V in C#).

The second is the rhythmic variety he gives in the unpredictability of the eighth note triplets sprinkled throughout these three choruses. I’ve seen this before in bop solos, but this compositional device definitely helps to break up the constant eighth note lines to make the solo more interesting. Lastly, the fluidity of Roditi’s playing at this tempo is absolutely masterful. This transcription forced me to get more comfortable with chords I normally cringe at (the ii-V in C#) and to incorporate the use of notes like E# into my playing rather than simply thinking of C# as Db. They are two different keys, and I appreciate the challenge that John Coltrane created in this tune many years ago.

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