(Blues Theme) For Left Hand Only – Tutorial
Performed entirely with the left hand (with bass and drum accompaniment), Newborn begins with a soulful and free introduction that leads into a tuneful blues melody that is harmonized with two voices. The tempo is slow and bluesy at q.n. = 88 The second chorus of the head adds four-note open voiced chords that answer the melody, creating a full two-handed sounding texture. The first solo chorus is relaxed and soulful, with sparse chords answering blues-based melodic lines that seem to harken back to Newborn’s days of growing up in Memphis, just a few short miles from the Mississippi Delta. The second solo chorus launches into quadruple-time bebop phrases of increasing gravitas, while remaining playful with interspersions of laid back blues-based phrases. The third and final solo chorus serves as a “shout chorus,” with a higher-ranged riff theme that is answered by four-part closed chord voicings, with interjected exciting blues-based melodies played in octaves. After the return to the head a coda emerges in bar 11, as Newborn works the opening thematic motif through four different keys and a blues-filled break. This transcription will aid in developing strength and independence in the left hand and provide the player with some of the most soulful blues material ever recorded.
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Composed & Recorded by Phineas Newborn Jr.
Released June 18, 1959 on Piano Portraits by Phineas Newborn Jr.
Roulette Birdland SR 52031.