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Here is the second in our series of transcriptions on Eddie 'Cleanhead Vinson.' Another blues in Bb, this time focussing on the lower register of the alto saxophone, 'Just a Dream' is a showcase for Cleanhead's laid back feel and full sounding low notes.

This solo features further vocal inflections applied to the saxophone, as well as some key rhythmic elements and phrases that were developed by the next generation of alto saxophonists, including Charlie Parker and Cannonball Adderley.

Blues Vocabulary

This classic 12-bar blues melody features the use of the classic blues progressions IV-IVm, as well as the classic blues harmonisation of bIII diminished in bar 8 of the form - the precursor to the VI7(b9) chord that later became standardised in the bebop movement. Cleanhead showcases some beautiful blues vocabulary over these stylistic chord sequences, including the phrase at bars 9-10 on the transcription, which was later developed by Cannonball Adderley in a bop context.

Cleanhead beatifully outlines the IV-IVm progression with melodic and idiomatic voiceleading in his phrases, such as at bar 12 and 13 on the transcription sheet. Take a look at the timeless chromatic voiceleading in this line. You could reduce the core content of this line to E-Eb-D-C#-C-B. This timeless melodic progression can be used to reform unlimited blues lines. Practise this voiceleading line and try embellishing it diatonically to produce new melodies.

Rhythmic Subdivisions

Triplets and 16th Notes

This solo marks the transition away from the more traditional 6/8 based rhythms from the Bembe tradition, and towards the use of double-time 16th notes that became the feature of slow tempos in the bebop movement. Just a Dream was recorded in 1945. Compare the rhythmic vocabulary in this solo with Parker's Mood in 1948, where Parker developed this further where triplets still exist but mainly the 16th notes dominate. Likewise in Parker's K.C. Blues, the lyrical nature of these 16th note phrases are directly comparable. Compare bar 6 of the 'Just a Dream' transcription with the D7 phrase in the second chorus of the Parker solo. We will be transcribing and analysing this solo in due course so do keep an eye out for this.

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