Watermelon Man

#1
Hi guys - I hope you're all tickety-boo. I've been learning Herbie Hancock's Watermelon Man recently, and I thought I'd come and listen to some of your renditions on the forum, but other than @Veggie Dave giving us a couple of mash-ups, :sax:I couldn't find any others.

Here's my attempt - who else would like to share the fruit of their labours with us?
Watermelon.
Fruit. :banana:

I'll get my coat.

View: https://youtu.be/wBIiTlAquvY
 

nigeld

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#2
Well done. Your tone has improved a lot. And you sound as if you are comfortable with the notes. Timing and tuning are fine.

So you can also concentrate on the style.
I think It's too polite, and not raunchy enough :mrcool
Let's hear a bit of badass sax playing.
 

Halfers

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#3
Agree with @nigeld, Chris. Play it funky man! It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing!

I did this a few Months back when I was with my Teacher and he had me play it straight and swung. It's interesting to hear the difference in the piece. Personally I much preferred it with a bit of swing.
 

spike

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#4
You're coming along great Chris - if I might be allowed to comment:

Have a look at the lyrics and either sing it or talk it.
When we communicate we use mostly our voice.
We use dynamics and tonal differences, some words run together and some are stressed or emphasised.
We use punctuation which adds space between the words and phrases.
We also use our bodies, hands, arms, facial expressions to add to what we're trying to express.
Try to use this idea into the way you play a melody to give it some colour.
Think of playing the horn as talking, speaking and conversing musically using timing, inflections, articulations, dynamics etc.
Tell a story and try to make it interesting. :sax:
 

Halfers

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#6
@nigeld @Halfers @spike Thanks guys - yes I do agree - I think I am concentrating so much on hitting the right notes, I'm not putting any emotion into it. I'll work on that.:cool:
I find the same, Chris. Especially when reading from sheet music. You're also putting yourself under pressure by filming yourself, which is good in some ways, but it's going to have an effect on your playing unless you know the piece inside out. Just keep going :thumb:
 

randulo

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#11
A piece of history! Herbie's and Santamaria versions are only a year apart but both were big hits. I'm not sure which I heard first.
from Wikipedia:
"A single of the tune reached the Top 100 of the pop charts. Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaría released the tune as a Latin pop single the next year on Battle Records, where it became a surprise hit, reaching #10 on the pop charts.[2] Santamaría's recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998."

"Hancock filled in for pianist Chick Corea in Mongo Santamaría's band one weekend at a nightclub in The Bronx when Corea gave notice that he was leaving. Hancock played the tune for Santamaría at friend Donald Byrd's urging. Santamaría started accompanying him on his congas, then his band joined in, and the small audience slowly got up from their tables and started dancing, laughing and having a great time. Santamaría later asked Hancock if he could record the tune. On December 17, 1962, Mongo Santamaría recorded a three-minute version, suitable for radio, where he joined timbalero Francisco "Kako" Baster in a cha-cha beat, while drummer Ray Lucas performed a backbeat. Santamaría included the track on his album Watermelon Man (1962). Santamaría's recording is sometimes considered the beginning of Latin boogaloo, a fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with those of R&B."
 

Keep Blowing

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#12
A piece of history! Herbie's and Santamaria versions are only a year apart but both were big hits. I'm not sure which I heard first.
from Wikipedia:
"A single of the tune reached the Top 100 of the pop charts. Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaría released the tune as a Latin pop single the next year on Battle Records, where it became a surprise hit, reaching #10 on the pop charts.[2] Santamaría's recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998."

"Hancock filled in for pianist Chick Corea in Mongo Santamaría's band one weekend at a nightclub in The Bronx when Corea gave notice that he was leaving. Hancock played the tune for Santamaría at friend Donald Byrd's urging. Santamaría started accompanying him on his congas, then his band joined in, and the small audience slowly got up from their tables and started dancing, laughing and having a great time. Santamaría later asked Hancock if he could record the tune. On December 17, 1962, Mongo Santamaría recorded a three-minute version, suitable for radio, where he joined timbalero Francisco "Kako" Baster in a cha-cha beat, while drummer Ray Lucas performed a backbeat. Santamaría included the track on his album Watermelon Man (1962). Santamaría's recording is sometimes considered the beginning of Latin boogaloo, a fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with those of R&B."
That's a great story, what a night that would have been!
 

Keep Blowing

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#13
I think they wrote a number of songs that we associate with other people, including Afro Blue, and I think they were the first to record Yeh Yeh, quite well known in the U.K as a song by Georgie Fame.
 

Alice

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#14
@nigeld @Halfers @spike Thanks guys - yes I do agree - I think I am concentrating so much on hitting the right notes, I'm not putting any emotion into it. I'll work on that.:cool:
I think you're doing alright. One thing that I read about on this forum ad nauseum is that people first get to know a tune until "it's under their fingers" which takes some people decades apparaently... and that's when you naturally start to embellish it. Watermelon Man is one of those old tunes that you have to perform all the effects with and those aren't easy straight away, especially when you're just starting to learn the notes themselves. You could just manage to get the growl and then find that the rest of the track has moved on, so don't worry. You can practice those techniques ... Pete has a whole article on TTS for growling and flutter tonguing and its those techniques plus your familiarity with the song which will set it on fire. You already like the tune, so you'll find you get more and more relaxed into it, the more you play it. I agree with Halfers that filming yourself at the same time can create more pressure but you are a lot more of a natural with that than I could be. I go to pieces just clicking "record" in Garage band.
 

Keep Blowing

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#15
I think you're doing alright. One thing that I read about on this forum ad nauseum is that people first get to know a tune until "it's under their fingers" which takes some people decades apparaently... and that's when you naturally start to embellish it. Watermelon Man is one of those old tunes that you have to perform all the effects with and those aren't easy straight away, especially when you're just starting to learn the notes themselves. You could just manage to get the growl and then find that the rest of the track has moved on, so don't worry. You can practice those techniques ... Pete has a whole article on TTS for growling and flutter tonguing and its those techniques plus your familiarity with the song which will set it on fire. You already like the tune, so you'll find you get more and more relaxed into it, the more you play it. I agree with Halfers that filming yourself at the same time can create more pressure but you are a lot more of a natural with that than I could be. I go to pieces just clicking "record" in Garage band.
I agree with you @Alice , I think @Chris Smith UK is doing brilliantly, I can growl and flutter but I don't remember specifically learning to do it, I just think it is something that evolves over time.
 
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