Jimmy Raney’s polyrhythmic concepts (book preview part 2)
Continuing on from my earlier article, I mentioned that Charlie Parker and Stan Getz were among Dad’s strongest early influences. Parker was an influence on everyone including Getz. Getz was an influence on Dad on the bandstand from their several years touring together with the Stan Getz Quintet. Dad actually mentioned copying some phrases from Stan, including that trademark double-noted phrase of his. (Listen to Live In Tokyo’s “Darn That Dream” for reference).
In the late 40s, at Al Haig’s suggestion, Dad woodshedded Charlie Parker’s Dial and particulary the Savoy Sessions. He learned all the solos note for note, figuring out the appropriate fingering (which ofcourse at that time there was no true model for on the guitar-only him, eventually). The Parker solo “Koko” from the Savoy session because of its lightning speed and spectacular phrasing gained legendary status almost immediately after it’s 1945 release. Parker’s polyrhythmic and sometimes asymetrical phrases were in particular influential to Jimmy and Stan. The below excerpt is from the 2nd bridge of Parker’s solo to “Koko” and demonstrates how advanced Parker was rhythmically. The phrases are implied 7/4 phrases, beginning with a phrase of 6/8 followed by two 4/8 phrases (6 + 4 + 4 =14)
Getz and Raney picked up the polyrhythmic ball where Parker left off during the Getz Quintet in the early 1950s. The Getz solo quoted here is from the legendary Storyville Sessions on a fast paced “Mosquito Knees”. This particular solo is one of my favorites from Stan (or any artist for that matter) and it demonstrates ample use throughout of polyrhythmic grouping-both arpeggiated and scalar as shown here. These topics are referred to in the upcoming Jimmy Raney book.