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Nir Felder Transcription, Lick from “Principle”

Lick comes in around 1:20

A typical Nir Felder line, taken from the song “Principle”, off of the “9 Levels” album by Greg Osby.


Nir is one of my favorite players right now, and snakey chromatic lines like this are his calling card. A harmonic analysis would be pointless here. I’d file a line like this under what Tim Miller would call “Chromatic Density” playing – these are the moments when players ignore the harmonic framework of a tune and just plays stuff because it sounds good.  What is of note is Nir’s use of triads – major, minor, and especially augmented. The line occurs over a piano/bass ostinato pattern that leaps to a distant key at measure 6; if I had to put some chords to this I might say that the first 5 bars are over Fm7 and the last 7 bars are over Emaj7.


I couldn’t find a link to this song online, so unless you have the album you’ll have to make do witha cheesy ol’ MIDI clip.. Doesn’t do it justice of course; one of the cool things about listening to Nir’s playing is where he places his accents.



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