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Feb 2018: Song of the Month: Sweet Emma

rhysonsax

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The song I have chosen for this month's recording thread is Nat Adderley's "Sweet Emma". He recorded it with his brother in a nice slow, gospelly version, but it can also be done as a medium tempo funky one, sort of in the vein of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" or "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free". I have also heard it done in big band, New Orleans style and as a vocal.

A few versions from YouTube:



I have made a Band In a Box file and used it to produce backing tracks at a slow tempo (79 bpm) and a medium tempo (104bpm). There are also Bb and Eb lead sheets to download from: Sweet Emma - Box

Remember that it is played with straight quavers (not swung) and the funky feel is helped by articulating short and long. The song has "pushes" in several places where the chord change comes a quaver before the beat and this helps the feel too.

Looking forward to hearing some great versions. If you would like longer versions of the backing tracks then just ask.

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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I have uploaded two longer backing tracks - 6 choruses each at the slow and the medium tempos.

There is a small prize for the first person who identifies the well known song that "Sweet Emma" is based on. No clues .....

Rhys
 

mrpeebee

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Nice song Rhys and thanks for all the time you did put for preparing all the stuff. :)

A new song for me, hope to come up with something later this month.
 

rhysonsax

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Congratulations @rhysonsax a song mrpeebee hasn’t recorded :clapping:
You’ve done it !!

Like the tune, also not heard it before

The original live recording by Nat and Cannonball is well worth listening to, but I can't find it on YouTube.

This is the arrangement that our big band plays. I need to work out a good solo for the 16 bars I get in the middle when the bari sax follows the trumpet.


The big band chart is in concert Bb (good for saxes), but the Adderley recording and some others are in C. My backing tracks and lead sheets are in concert Bb, but I may do some more for concert C as well.

Rhys
 
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rhysonsax

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Well it's quiet here - too quiet.

Here is a version I just recorded at the slower tempo with me playing alto and tenor, taking alternate choruses and with the tenor playing the harmony line on the head.

I have even given you a strong hint to the quiz question if you listen through to the last solo chorus.

Sweet Emma slow funk Rhys duet V1a.mp3 - Box

I'm hoping for some more contributions before the end of the month. Remember you can download my BiaB file and make your own backing track if you have Band in a Box. Feel free to play around with tempo, key, number of choruses or anything else.

Rhys
 

Ivan

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Thank you for hosting this month and picking this song! I like the idea of the duet, works good with this song.
I don’t have a clue about the song you’re referring to, so no prize winner here.

For this song, I did some attempts. Counting is not my strongst point. But to keep the tread alive, here it is:
Soundcloud
Timing seems great to me

You could experiment with mic position to alter the recorded tone
 

rhysonsax

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Now I'm not lonely any more. I enjoyed both of those versions,

@TenorMadness counting not bad (fine if you are the only horn) and the solo sounded good too.

@bflateflat very good on the head and then very relaxed and confident on the improvisation.

Keep them coming !

Rhys
 

Ivan

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Like buses....

Not my finest hour... got lost and started the ditty to soon at the end. Bumnotes galore, but when I re-recorded it simply got worse so that's my lot

Thanks to @rhysonsax for hosting a great tune and other thanks to @majordennis for supplying the rather fine Pillinger NYT 8 mouthpiece that I bought off of him last week... like my other Pillinger mouthpieces, it plays itself (apart from the bumnotes, obvs)

Link for anyone not getting the like buses thing: Sweat Emma.mp3 - Box

Typo accidental but apposite
 

rhysonsax

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Like buses....

Not my finest hour... got lost and started the ditty to soon at the end. Bumnotes galore, but when I re-recorded it simply got worse so that's my lot

Thanks to @rhysonsax for hosting a great tune and other thanks to @majordennis for supplying the rather fine Pillinger NYT 8 mouthpiece that I bought off of him last week... like my other Pillinger mouthpieces, it plays itself (apart from the bumnotes, obvs)

Link for anyone not getting the like buses thing: Sweat Emma.mp3 - Box

Typo accidental but apposite

Nice one @Ivan - had your bus been fitted with a turbo ? I think the tune works at that faster tempo too.

Really great sound and recording - I'm very impressed. And the bluesy feeling and tone are excellent.

Really cooking now. No wonder Emma's sweating !

Rhys
 

Ivan

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Nice one @Ivan - had your bus been fitted with a turbo ? I think the tune works at that faster tempo too.

Really great sound and recording - I'm very impressed. And the bluesy feeling and tone are excellent.

Really cooking now. No wonder Emma's sweating !

Rhys
Did I speed it up?

I wrestle with Ableton Live, which has a habit of choosing the tempo if I let it
 

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