Very famous lick here by Wynton Kelly, coming off the track “Freddie Freeloader”, recorded on the album Kind Of Blue. The simplicity of this line is what really makes it great. He isn’t doing anything fancy here, just focusing on swingin’ his butt off!

In the first measure he starts on the fifth of the Bb7 chord, the note F, and plays a sixteenth note approach back to the F. Just a note here, most transcriptions will write a triplet, but if you listen closely I hear another note being played in there. What do you guys think? Can you hear the fourth note or am I imagining this? (Leave in the comments)

I love his second and third measures as well. He continues his F to Bb motif that he used in the end of the first measure but simplifies it slightly in the 2nd and third measure by adding little grace notes before each phrase and flipping the phrase in the third measure so it’s going up.

In the fourth measure he still resolves to the root again but this time he approaches a Bb triad starting from the fifth and simply goes down the triad.

His LH is great too! It really shows how simply your LH can be while improvising. All he is doing is playing shells, while adding in a little F-7 chord in the fourth measure to bring him to the Bb7 and resolve to the Eb7 which would be in the 5th measure.

Points for practicing this lick:

  • Play simply melodic motifs
  • Focus on the swing
  • LH can be simple shells while soloing


Picture of Brenden Lowe

Brenden Lowe

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