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Second Half of My Solo Over the Minor-Key “Blue Bossa”

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Continuing where we left off last month, here’s the second half (bars 17–32; see FIGURE 1) of a two-chorus solo entitled “Minor Bossa,” which I composed over the chord structure to the popular Latin jazz standard “Blue Bossa,” a fairly simple instrumental tune set to a bossa nova beat and written 50 years ago by trumpeter Kenny Dorham.

As I mentioned previously, among jazz musicians “Blue Bossa” has become a perrenial favorite vehicle for soloing (or “blowing,” as they say).

The tune has been recorded by many great artists over the years, such as saxophonists Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon, trumpeter Chet Baker, trombonist J.J. Johnson, pianist Chick Corea, guitarists Kenny Burrell and George Benson, vocalist Bobby McFerrin and many other musicians.

Remember too that while “Blue Bossa” is rooted in the key of C minor, my solo is played in the more guitar-friendly key of A minor. I chose that key to make the piece more accessible to rock and blues players who are interested in exploring jazz, and to tie it in with the keys and chord changes we’ve worked with in previous lessons.

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Over the past 30 years, Jimmy Brown has built a reputation as one of the world's finest music educators, through his work as a transcriber and Senior Music Editor for Guitar World magazine and Lessons Editor for its sister publication, Guitar Player. In addition to these roles, Jimmy is also a busy working musician, performing regularly in the greater New York City area. Jimmy earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Performance and Music Management from William Paterson University in 1989. He is also an experienced private guitar teacher and an accomplished writer.