Peter Bernstein's Lyrical Up-Tempo Soloing - "Never Will I Marry"

solo by Peter Bernstein, as heard on Trio (1999, Criss Cross Records)

I'll be heading out to Corpus Christi for a gig Friday night, so this will be the last transcription of the week (I'll have a new resource to post tomorrow), and also the last transcription I have on tap from Sam Yahel's album Trio. This is one of the oldest transcriptions in my archives, and as such it's missing a few elements (grace notes in particular).

Bernstein's solo development here is concise and smooth. Within the first 16 bars, he gracefully moves from half-note-based rhythms to quarters, with rhythms borrowed from the melody, followed by upbeat quarters, culminating in an eighth note line at the end of the phrase. The entire solo revolves around the interplay between downbeat-focused lines and lithe eighth note runs.

In addition to the contrasts in note length, the directionality of each line in a phrase contributes to the overall feeling of tension. A majority of Bernstein's lines in this solo are upward-moving, setting up a moment of release at the top of the phrase, where he plays a downward-moving line. The descending tail-ends of those phrases also decrease slightly in volume, adding to a feeling of resolution (or at least a release of tension).


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