Jesse van Ruller´s solo transcription: "Secret Champ"

Hi guys!

Today I want to share a transcription I was working on it until a few weeks ago. It's Jesse van Ruller's solo on his own tune "Secret Champ". He recorded this tune in different albums, I did it over the one that's included in Circles (Criss Cross, 2003). By the way, is a really interesting album, featuring Seamus Blake (tenor sax), Sam Yahel (organ) and Bill Stewart (drums).

I first came up with a transcription of the theme that a friend showed me. It's a challenging one for the guitar, so then I decide to get into the solo.
The changes are quite simple, kind of I-VI-II-V with dominant chords (#9 or #5 mostly). Actually, he doesn't sound really worry about the changes as he sound more pentatonic and focusing in some interesting resolutions to the I chord.

Some interesting resources to check:
    -   Lots of Db triads over the G7 chord (bars 6, 18, etc)

    -   Rhythm displacements ( 3 over 4, bars 19-22)

    -   Melodic sequences (bars 28-30 and 84-86, as good examples)


Anyway, I'm more interested in the overview of the solo.

    - Register: from the F# in 2nd fret of the 6th string to the G in the 15th fret of the 1st string (in several moments). A typical problem of guitar solos is that we use to stay in the same zone of the guitar, usually the mid-register, and when we decide to take more extended phrases, they are usually long arpeggios, sometimes out of context. But in this case, Jesse uses the whole register of the guitar, going from the bottom to the top in a very melodic way, and taking advantage of long phrases.

    - Language: there are no licks and there are almost any cliches but you can even notice that lot of the phrases come from the Bop ideas. The difference is that they sound quite more modern, as they are changing the starting tones, the resolution tones, the approaches, and also putting some tensions or disonances in the strong beats of the bar. I think Kurt Rosenwinkel is also a really good example of this point, you can check most of his solos in the album "Intuit".

    - Speed / Phrasing / Relax: it's a challenging solo even when there are not lots of challenging phrases, and most of them sound really melodic, so it's easy for the ear to get it by heart. But it's amazing how he plays it, the relax he has and the importance that every single note's phrasing.


Below you can find the .jpg transcription.

Please feel free to comment, ask or reply my ideas. I'll be happy to have your feedback and maybe discover new interesting things of this solo.


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