Here are comments from Dan about the tunes we’re learning for next time:
When approaching the tune Equinox by Coltrane, the first issue is identifying the form. All players should listen to Coltrane play this tune before any other work is done. Many will be able to hear the form from the recording. This tune is a 12-bar minor blues. The fact that it is a minor blues helps steer us as players in a specific direction. We have many choices in terms of directions to take our improvisation. For less experienced players, I suggest using the melody as a point of departure, and then stick mainly to the blues scale to develop ideas. (1, b3, 4, #4, 5, b7). Players with more experience should transcribe a small portion of Coltrane’s solo and experiment with that in conjunction with using the chord progression to develop ideas. An added bonus in studying this tune would be to practice playing it in different keys as the melody is only five different notes.
Please note this tune is in C#minor but to make it easier we’ll be playing it in Cmin, same as the Real Book.
All players should treat themselves by listening to the album Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins. Especially in the tune St. Thomas, we hear one of the greatest masters in developing an extended improvisation based on a small motif. Much of this solo can and should be transcribed as it is largely accessible to less experienced players. This tune also allows one to either think in a general key area, or explore the individual chord changes. When working on this tune be aware of the form, and how it relates to the melody.