Transcription of Hal’s solo on “All The Things You Aren’t” from the CD “Rebop-” on Fabola Records

Most transcriptional analysis is done by analyzing the notes in the bar in terms of the chord symbol that is over the bar or phrase. However, this technique falls short of being accurate because true improvisers make up their own changes in reference to the original set. This is called super-imposition. They go wherever they feel their melodic line is taking them. Most of the great musicians I had the good fortune to work with over the years super-imposed.

We spend decades trying to learn how to play the changes. Once we’ve accomplished that, the next step is to then learn how to get free of the changes and have what is called “The Courage of Your Line.” In this situation the only accurate way to analyze a melodic line is by trying to divine what chord or scale the line has “spelled out.” Chords and scales are spelled out by the four basic chord tones (1, 3, 5, & 7) or three chord tones of super-imposed major or minor triads (1, 3, & 5), falling on “one” and “three” of the bar or on the beginning of each quarter note. Many solos combine both playing the changes and super-imposing them as in the above solo. I’ve noted the basic changes of the song above the bars but, at times, depart from them. For example:

Bar #4:The chord says Eb7 but the line spells out Bb-7,b5. Bar #5:The chord says Abmaj. but the line spells out Ab7.Bar # 7:The chord says G7 but the line spells out D-7b5.Bar #12:The chord says Bb7 but the 1st. four 1/8th. notes spell out the F-7.Bar #13: The chord says Eb7 but the last four 1/8th. notes spell out Eb7alt..Bar # 16-17: The chord says Gmaj.-Abmaj. but the line spells out Gmaj. for two beats, Db-7-C-7 for a beat each and Bb-7 for 4 beats in #17.Bar # 18: Spells out the D7 alt. chord (or the 5th. of an Eb- triad) and joins the Bb in bar #19, which most would analyze as the #11 of the Gmaj..

However, the melody that follows spells out a superimposed F#- triad.Bar # 23: The line spells out an Ab triad over the Emaj. as opposed to an Emaj.+5.