Michael Brecker’s playing on Mel Lewis & Friends has been some of my favorite of his for years. It was an inspiration for me back in my early days at Berklee College of Music in Boston – so much so, that I spent a fair amount of time transcribing them between semesters.
Back in the early 1980s, Superscope cornered the market on variable speed tape recorders for transcribing. I remember taking the long walk along Mass. Ave. from Boston, across the Charles River to Cambridge and Harvard Square. There was an electronics store well-known to Berklee students where I purchased a relatively expensive Superscope tape recorder.
Prior to owning a Superscope, slowing a record down and dropping the needle in the approximate spot was the only way to transcribe. Clearly, the Superscope made a huge difference in my productivity.
Most recently I found these untitled transcriptions among old notebooks and couldn’t identify them at first. With the help of others, I discovered they were Sho’ Nuff Did and Ain’t Nuthin’ Nu. Wanting to check and preserve my old work with more mature ears, I entered them into Sibelius. Once into the computer, I used the app Transcribe by Seventh String to aid in the process.
The two transcriptions now have been rewritten and further edited. You can compare the old with the new below. The alternate fingerings are indicated, however I admittedly need to sit down with the horn to check as of this writing. The changes to Sho’ Nuff Did and Ain’t Nuthin’ Nu are basically a Blues in F and a C minor Blues with a bridge respectfully. I relied heavily on the bass lines to get the basic changes. You can hear Hank Jones on piano takes great liberties with his reharmonizations and catching all of that would certainly be another complete project!
The next step for me is to learn how to play these again! I am certain others will find them useful as well.
If you are a transcriber yourself – GREAT! If you don’t have the ears, time or inclination – Please check out my Transcription Service and the FREE Transcriptions Page.
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Ain’t Nothin’ Nu Brecker Mel Lewis

Sho’ Nuff Did Brecker Mel Lewis