The art of the solo…

I heard a conversation on football punditry earlier today.

In it, the presenters were discussing whether it was more difficult to make a point effectively if you had 5 minutes in which to do so or if you had 90 seconds.

And it reminded me of playing a solo in music, and a similar discussion I have had with many colleagues over the years – is it harder to play a solo in jazz, let’s say, where you have a longer time in which to do so, or in rock music for example, where you have 8 or maybe 16 bars and every bit has to be perfect?

I’m not going to answer that question today, rather I will treat you all to 5 of my favourite solos of all types from over the years in music – and maybe you will come up with some answers of your own after hearing them.

Oscar Peterson (piano) – from Hymn to Freedom (starts at 1:31 here)

Mark Knopfler (electric guitar) – from Sultans of Swing (starts at 4:58 here)

Mark Rivera (tenor sax) – New York State of Mind (starts at 3:19 here)

Elliot Randall (electric guitar) – Reelin’ In The Years (starts at 2:27 here)

Wynton Kelly (piano) – from Freddie Freeloader (starts at 0:45 here)

Photo by Harold Reynolds on Unsplash

I'm Kieran and I play piano. Actually I do a bit more than just playing - I teach others how to play, and I write music, arrange it and host/produce shows.