2023 Jazz Port Townsend Transcription Project


Dear Centrum Jazz Participants:

Good news! Registration for Centrum’s 2023 Jazz Port Townsend is open! I wanted to remind you that I announced last year that you would have the chance to earn a scholarship by doing some transcriptions. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s true! Anyone who completes five transcriptions from the list here will receive a $200 tuition scholarship for this year. And if you complete three more for a total of 8, you’ll get an additional $100. That’s $300 for doing one of the most valuable things a musician can do—internalize great music.

This letter includes directions (at the end) for submitting your transcription. We just wanted to let you know now so you could dive in and get started.

We want to make sure everyone has a chance to be successful at this. With that in mind, our three audition levels—Beginner/Intermediate, Advanced, and Semi-Pro—have different requirements.

Beginner/Intermediate: Transcribe the melody

Advanced: Transcribe the melody plus one chorus of the solo

Semi-Pro: Transcribe the melody and the entire solo.


Note: Exceptions to the amount to be transcribed will be explained following the song title.

  • Bass players are encouraged to memorize solos but it is permissible to write out bass lines.
  • Drummers are encouraged to “lock in with the grooves” on the recordings. The directions/suggestions of Matt Wilson should be followed.
  • Pianists are encouraged to learn left and right hands, not just the right (although Tamir has done a great job of being specific about that).

Here is your “To Do List.”

  1. Choose your songs and begin transcribing. We encourage people to learn by ear and not write out anything.
  2. Submit your transcription recording of yourself playing along with the track. Take a few minutes to check for a good balance between you and the recorded track. We need to be able to hear you clearly! State your name at the beginning of each track.
  3. IMPORTANT! Submit your recording as an MP3! Other formats use up too much memory.
  4. Continue with the next transcription.

And That’s It!! We’ll send you a certificate acknowledging Centrum crediting you with up to $300 for your growth!




Your fan,

John Clayton
Artistic Director
Jazz Port Townsend


Here is the list of tunes with links to the recordings.



(Selected by Joel Frahm, Grace Kelly and Jay Thomas)

  • Cannonball Adderley- Waltz For Debby (From “Know What I Mean?” By Bill Evans.) (1:07 until 2:05, Beginner/Intermediate; until end of sax solo for Semi-pro)
  • Gigi Gryce- Sans Souci, Jay Thomas: “…is a nice one. It serves as double duty because it’s a contrafact built on Out of Nowhere melody and one chorus of the alto solo.” (begin until 1:46 for Beginner/Intermediate)
  • Salute the Band Box “is a great one,” according to Jay, “because it is also a contrafact on I’ll Remember April.” Melody and 1 chorus of the alto solo, begin until 1:58 for Beginner/Intermediate
  • Johnny Hodges- Things Ain’t What They Used To Be
  • Charlie Parker- My Little Suede Shoes (begin until 1:19 for Beginner/Intermediate)
  • Charlie Parker- Donna Lee (for Semi-pro)
  • Cannonball Adderley- Limehouse Blues (for Semi-pro)
  • Phil Woods- I Love You Just The Way You Are (2:59 until 3:33)
  • Cannonball Adderley- This Here (begin until 2:37 Beginner/Intermediate, entire solo for others)




(Selected by Joel Frahm)


  • Ben Webster- Lover Come Back To Me (Soulville record) (begin to 2:19/begin to 4:19)
  • Coleman Hawkins- Solitude (From “Duke Ellington meets Coleman Hawkins”)From 1:57 to 3:37/1:57 to end)
  • On A Clear Day– Stanley Turrentine (From “Let It Go”) (Begin to 1:50/Begin to 3:36)
  • Sonny Rollins- Moritat (Begin to 1:32/Begin to 2:19/Begin to 3:05/Begin to 3:53)
  • Gene Ammons- Exactly Like You (From “Jug”) (begin to 3:32)
  • Dexter Gordon- Willow Weep For Me (begin to 1:56/begin to 3:29/begin to 5:01)
  • Extra Credit- CHALLENGING Joe Henderson- Miles Ahead (From “So Near, So Far”)
  • Sonny Rollins- Without A Song (Semi-pro, Beginning to at least 2:02)




(Selected by Gary Smulyan)


  • Sophisticated Lady– Harry Carney (From Duke Ellington live at the Stratford festival in 1956):56-2:26/:56-3:29
  • Also a great recording by Pepper Adams on an early version with Donald Byrd and a great Garnett Brown arrangement for the Thad Jones and Mel Lewis band as a samba also featuring Pepper Adams.
  • Moanin’ from Moanin’ is Mingus. The original features Pepper Adams but, there is a great version by the Mingus big band featuring Ronnie Cuber.
  • Gerry Mulligan Quartet – Line for Lyons
  • Gerry Mulligan Quartet – Bernie’s Tune
  • Thanks for the Memory– Serge Chaloff
  • Tea For Two– Serge Chaloff Begin-1:15/Begin-1:53/Begin-2:32



(Selected by Terell Stafford and Jay Thomas)


  • Chet Baker – Chet Baker In New York (Remastered): Soft Winds (6:29)
  • Chet Baker – She Was Too Good to Me: Autumn Leaves (7:03)
  • Chet Baker – She Was Too Good to Me (40th Anniversary Edition): Tangerine (5:31)
  • Chet Baker Quartet – Jazz In Paris: Chet Baker Quartet Plays Standards: Summertime (4:16)
  • Kenny Dorham – Kenny Dorham Sings and Plays: This Is the Moment!: Autumn Leaves (3:09)
  • Kenny Dorham – Kenny Dorham Sings and Plays: This Is the Moment!: Where Are You? (4:34)
  • Miles Davis – Bluing: Miles Davis Plays the Blues: Bluing (feat. Sonny Rollins) (9:57)
  • Miles Davis – Bluing: Miles Davis Plays the Blues: Vierd Blues (6:54)
  • Miles Davis – Kind of Blue: So What (9:06)
  • Miles Davis – Kind of Blue: Freddie Freeloader (9:36)
  • Miles Davis – Kind of Blue: All Blues (11:34)
  • Miles Davis Quintet – Cookin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet: Tune-Up-When Lights Are Low (13:10)
  • Miles Davis Quintet – Steamin’: The Surrey With the Fringe on Top (9:07)
  • Miles Davis Quintet – Steamin’: Diane (7:52)
  • Miles Davis Quintet – Workin’: Four (7:15)
  • Miles Davis Quintet – Workin’: Trane’s Blues (8:35)



(Selected by Wycliffe Gordon)




(Selected by Sara Gazarek)


Songs to learn:


(Selected by Dee Daniels)



(Selected by Sachal Vasandani)





(Selected by Dawn Clement)


  • ALBUM – “Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk” PIANIST—THELONIOUS MONK TRACK – In Walked Bud TRANSCRIPTION -* Monk’s intro and fills behind the melody Monk’s solo at 2:16, 1st chorus only
  • ALBUM – “Monk’s Dream: Thelonious Monk Quartet” PIANIST – THELONIOUS MONK
  • TRACK – Blue Bolivar Blues(Tk 2) Monk’s intro and melody Monk’s first two choruses of comping behind Charlie Rouse’s solo
  • ALBUM – “Song for My Father: The Horace Silver Quintet” PIANIST – HORACE SILVER TRACK – Song for My Father TRANSCRIPTION – Silver’s comping on the head Silver’s solo, two choruses
  • ALBUM – “Miles Davis Four and More” PIANIST – HERBIE HANCOCK. TRACK – There is No Greater Love TRANSCRIPTION – Herbie’s comping on the head and behind the first chorus of Miles Davis’ solo Herbie’s solo at 7:21, the whole thing


(Selected by Tamir Hendelman)

  • Freddie the Freeloader – Wynton Kelly (Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue)
  • C Jam Blues – Oscar Peterson (Oscar Peterson’s Night Train)
  • Ceora – Herbie Hancock (Lee Morgan’s Cornbread)
  • Beautiful Love – Bill Evans (Bill Evans’ Explorations)
  • Autumn Leaves – Hank Jones (Cannonball Adderley, Somethin’ Else)
  • So Tired – Bobby Timmons (the melody and Bobby Timmons’ piano solo fom Jay Thomas)





(Selected by Dan Balmer)



Guitar Solos


(Selected by Miles Okazaki)



Minor heads:


Short Forms:


More Complex:



(Selected by Jon Hamer)


  • Jimmy Blanton – C Blues (C Jam Blues) (:00-:46), Barney Bigard and his Orchestra – The Jimmy Blanton Era
  • Paul Chambers – Trane’s Slow Blues (:00-), John Coltrane, Lush Life
  • Oscar Pettiford – Montmartre Blues (:00-1:29), Oscar Pettiford, Montmartre Blues
  • Sam Jones – Groovin’ the Blues (:49-1:39), Kenny Drew, Undercurrent
  • Ray Brown – Hogtown Blues (1:01-2:33), The Oscar Peterson Trio, Canadiana Suite
  • Richard Davis – Prey Loot (:52-), Lucky Thompson, Lucky Strikes
  • Milt Hinton – Housed From Edward (:20-1:50), Brandford Marsalis, Trio Jeep
  • John Clayton – Blues for Stephanie (:01-1:35), Monty Alexander, Reunion in Europe
  • Ron Carter – Blues for D.P. (4:29-5:46), Ron Carter, My Romance
  • Scott LaFaro – For Real (:00-) Hampton Hawes, For Real
  • Dave Holland – Pfrancing (1:27-), Joe Henderson, Musings for Miles: So Near, So Far


Bass solos





(Selected by Matt Wilson)


Time Melody and Orchestration Transcription

Transcribe the head orchestration and accompaniment of Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s solo

  • Tony Williams- Dolphin Dance Herbie Hancock Maiden Voyage Blue Note – Transcribe the ride cymbal during the melody


Solo Transcription

  • Max Roach- Jordu Clifford Brown & Max Roach Quintet Emarcy
  • Al Foster- Fungii Mama Blue Mitchell The Thing To Do Blue Note
  • Roy Haynes- Well You Needn’t Kenny Burrell Trio A Night at The Vanguard Argo



An alternative for drummers is to submit a “song map” for one of these tracks.  A song map is a single sheet of paper with the following remarks: Song title, Record label, Length, Band or ensemble, Name of players, The form of the piece (e.g. AABA), Format of the tune (e.g. Drum Intro: 8 bars solo, 2 bars groove; Band Intro: 8 bar vamp (kind of Mozambique groove); Head in (Time on A’s, stop time on bridge); 2 Choruses: Piano Solo (Swing); 1 Chorus: Drum solo; 8 bar vamp; Head out; Tag ending (quadruple tag)), Big Picture Impression (a narrative description of the work), and Notable details (observations about specifics in the recording or arrangement)

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