Mike Outram

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10 very good solos

Here are 10 random solos that I really like. Now that I’ve compiled the playlist I can think of many other solos that are equally great but this 10 will have to do. I’ll do another 10 soon. If you’re lucky enough to live in a country where Spotify works you can click on the link to hear the playlist:

The Electric Campfire – Playlist #7

Charlie Parker – Embraceable You
Parker’s solo on this is just incredible. He sounds so lyrical and free on it; every phrase is perfect. I made an album with Martin Speake and we used the solo on this track. We play phrases from Parker’s solo and improvise in-between them.

Emily Remler – Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
I love this arrangement of Softly. Emily plays the tune with harmonics and octaves, and plays an utterly burning solo full of triplety goodness. The CD that this is from, East To Wes, is a classic; every track’s a winner. One of my favourite guitarists. Here’s my transcription of her solo. The Hotlicks DVDs she made were great too.

Charlie Christian – Boy Meets Goy (Grand Slam)
I first heard about this solo because Jim Hall mentions it as being one of his favourites. The feel he gets is so powerful; he really lays into it. Also, the arrangement and ensemble playing are great too.

George Benson – The Cooker
Benson shredding right from the off here. Again, the whole record is classic; as is the other record from this period [It’s Uptown]. There’s so much to like in Benson’s playing but one of the things that grabs me about the way he plays on this album is how energetically he plays. Amongst everything else :)

John Coltrane – Satellite
Love this solo. It’s a trio of sax, bass and drums. The tune is based on How High The Moon and Coltrane uses his giant steps cycle thing on it, but in a way that’s more interesting to play over than Giant Steps. Also I like the trance-like intensity of it. And I love the way Elvin Jones starts every new chorus after the vamp.

John Scofield – Do Like Eddie [Eddie Harris]

It’s Eddie Harris that does it for me on this track; Scofield is no slouch either! The feel Eddie gets is great as well as how he can seem to split ideas up and carry them on at the same time. He’s all over the saxophone on this. Ridiculous. Check out these Eddie Harris tracks too: Is It In and Cryin’ Blues

Larry Goldings – Little Green Men [Peter Bernstein]
Peter Bernstein plays guitar on this. I love this trio and this album and this tune! This Bernstein solo is a classic; so relaxed and melodic.

Lennie Tristano – Line Up
I think this and East Thirty-Second are my favourite ‘8th-notey’ solos ever. They’re just staggering. They deserve an entire blog post really as there’s so much in them. Also interesting for when they were done and how they were done – will do that soon.

Pat Metheny – All the Things You Are
There’s so much good stuff in this solo. The phrasing is the thing, and how they mess around with the barlines/rhythm.

Wes Montgomery – D-Natural Blues
A total classic. Maybe it’s just because I’ve heard it a lot, but it the whole solo sounds like a song. Someone must have put words to it somewhere?

Right, I’m off to remind myself how to play them all. The whole playlist is an hour so it makes a great practice session to play all that lot. Much more beneficial and enjoyable than playing triads over bass notes :)

The Electric Campfire – Playlist #7

20 responses to “10 very good solos”

  1. Steve Lawson says:

    Great list – am going to have some fun with the playlist.

    I LOVE that version of All The Things You Are. Question And Answer was, I think, the first jazz album I ever bought (not counting the best of Stanley Clarke or best of Weather Report, which were just bass-indulgences at the time ;) ) – I really didn’t understand what was going on, but I’d read about Metheny, heard of Dave Holland so thought it was worth a punt… Wow, what an intro to the world of jazz.

    Shortly after, I bought a bunch of jazz vinyl in a market in manchester – Coltrane live in Europe, Bill Evans and the VV, Mingus Plays Duke… amazing stuff.

  2. Phil Wain says:

    Lovely stuff Mike!
    Some old favourites for me and some new sounds too. That playlist is going to be on rotate for me for a while.

  3. Phil Wain says:

    Yeah I had/have Question and Answer on cassette and ATTYA is the standout track – neat stuff. To my shame I was only familiar with Emily Remler’s name – she blew me away. Also, having not listened to George Benson for a while I’d forgotten how amazing his early stuff was. The Parker is one of my favourites too: a delight! Currently as far as the Larry Goldings…

  4. Mike Outram says:

    Question and Answer was one of the first jazz records I got into as well. I remember not having a clue what was going on too, but I still liked it so much I wanted to learn it. Steve Berry got me into Pat by making a little compilation tape with some fantastic stuff on it: Jarrett, Miles, etc. Funny those chance discoveries! A chap called Paul Walker, who was a teacher at college, brought in a bunch of records and gave us what he thought we’d like. I got George Benson’s Cookbook, Kind of Blue and Nancy Wilson w/Cannonball Adderly – All amazing records. Here’s the Metheny ATTYA if any use?

  5. Mike Outram says:

    Glad you like Emily, she’s mega. That album, East to Wes, is so brilliant :)

  6. paul says:

    love the tristano mike. do you know paul bley ‘live in soho’ has some lovely stuff. re great unreleased cds theres a band called inner noise and theres two recordings – live at the vortex london and live in bath and the guitar solos are just staggering – forget his name but he should be an international star
    hope you are well and hope to see you before feb 2.
    ps are there any churches near you who might be persuaded to put on an i n gig for an affordable sum?

  7. Wow, thanks Mike. These are amazing tunes, but I never heard of Emily Remler before – what a revelation!

  8. Mike Outram says:

    Hi Paul, don’t know that Paul Bley CD, will look out for it. Re those live tracks, you’re very kind :) I guess if Asaf thinks it’s ok I could put them up on Soundcloud as there’s no file size limit. I could just embed the whole gig. Great idea! Will ask the chaps.

  9. Mike Outram says:

    Yep, she’s often overlooked. Guess she died young; she was only 32. The All Things Emily website is the best place to learn more about her.

  10. paul says:

    good idea about the live stuff mike – re church i offered to sponsor an i n gig and a fancies a church gig – hence my enquiry – i suggested the vatican and couldnt believe the deafening silence from a!!!!

  11. paul says:

    sorry mike the paul bley album is called axis – its a bit scarce!

  12. andy says:

    Hi, mike, is “line up” baised on “all of me” and played left hand only? I like quizzes like this! thx for the playlist.

  13. Mike Outram says:

    Hi, Andy. Yes, Line Up is based on All Of Me. No idea what hand he played it with. I’d assume right hand. I guess some of the lines might use both hand, like the low C and the bit in octaves.

    It’s worth slowing it down to half speed to hear what it would’ve sounded like to him. [assuming that he slowed the machine down to half speed]

    Also, and I might be imagining this bit, but when you do do that I think I can hear a chair squeaking, like he’s getting up from his chair to operate the tape machine. Maybe a voice mumbles ‘now, that’s..’ too. But I think I might’ve just heard it so many times that I’m hearing ghost voices in the tape hiss. Anyway, it’s a monster solo.

  14. Mike Outram says:

    Paul, The Vortex gig uploaded to Soundcloud here: http://soundcloud.com/mikeoutram/sets/asaf-sirkis-live-at-the-vortex

  15. paul says:

    well done mike – it ll be in the hit parade in no time….. maybe an xmas no 1???. bought jaco compilation. john and mary ( i think it is) has always been a favourite of mine and word of mouth is a great album.
    another guitar great list is brewing …… bet you cant wait :-(
    happy xmas to you and family

  16. paul says:

    hi mike
    im still searching for churches. are there any other parker solos which caress your nuts? the parker solo on e u which ive got refers to the tune a little too closely for my taste – but he certainly squeezes lots in!!!
    max harrisons essay on bird is informative if you can get hold of it mike. i happen to love nows the time.
    happy xmas

  17. Jazz Licks says:

    Thanks for the list of great solos. I’ll definitely being looking for these solo online.

  18. lu says:

    What a great way to share the unending richness of jazz and in particular the songs and solos that mean something to you. Campfire has turned into an incredible wealth of information and ideas. I’m so highly honored to be associated with you, from the beginning. Thanks for the kind words and providing the link. And always, always for remembering Emily.

  19. Mike Outram says:

    Thanks for your kind words, Lu. Really glad you find the site useful :)
    Your site just keeps getting better and better. You’ve done a fantastic thing! Keep doing what you do.

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