The following examples are
all inspired by ideas in Oz Noy’s solo on
“Schizophrenic,” the title track off his 2009
album. The goal here is to introduce ideas
that dip into jazz territory while staying in
a funk/rock context. Some of the licks will
include the use of whole tone, diminished,
chromatic, altered, and bebop scales, and
we’ll also discuss devices such as octave
displacement and motific development.
The basis of the solo is a C tonality. Think
C Mixolydian, C minor pentatonic, or even a
C7#9 type of vibe. Most of the solo is over a
C root, but it moves to a C7-F7 progression
later on. Ex. 1 is based on a C minor pentatonic
with familiar passing tones inside
the typical box, but the three-note motif
sets up a slightly outside direction before
resolving back to a bluesy lick in C. Each
three-note motif moves from its starting
note up two consecutive semitones. The
first one begins on the b7, then the b3, natural
5, and finally the b7. It’s not a scale,
but the clarity of the three-note motif holds
the idea together.
Oz played bebop for years and has a
strong foundation in the vocabulary of
that style. The next couple of examples
will touch on some bebop-type sounds.
Check out Ex. 2, which takes the C blues
idea and stretches it with a C half/whole
diminished scale (C, Db, Eb, E, Gb, G, A,
Bb). This creates more tension, leading to
an idea that uses the C# Dorian mode with
a b5. The idea resolves with a lick in the C
bebop scale (C, D, E, F, G, A, Bb, B, C). Ex. 3
uses the same C bebop scale but with a b5
passing tone (C, D, E, F, Gb, G, A, Bb, B).
The next few examples are played over
the new C7-F7 progression as the structure
moves away from the static C tonality.
These ideas stay inside the harmony
with the exception of a few passing tones
for embellishment. Check out the use of
motific development in creating clear phrases
that connect common themes. Ex. 4 uses
a C minor pentatonic scale with a natural
3rd over the C7 and an F minor pentatonic
with a natural 3rd over the F7. Next, in Ex.
5, Oz uses a straight C major scale with
one chromatic passing tone (Eb) over the
C7 and moves to an F Mixolydian mode with a C# passing tone on the F7. Sticking
with a motif based on four-note groups,
Ex. 6 stays in C Dorian (C, D, Eb, F, G, A,
Bb) with the exception of passing tones on
the second note and a major 3rd (E) at the
beginning of the second bar. Ex. 7 begins
with a simple C major triad before going
off into a C altered scale (C, C#, D#, E, F#,
G#, A#), which really builds the tension.
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