Benny Carter blessed us with an amazing solo on the 1938 recording of his composition “Blues in My Heart.” The entire performance is miraculous, but one four-bar passage in particular knocked me out, prompting me to shed that phrase in all 12 keys. Here’s the lick:
Benny’s rhythmic vitality propels the piece, his melodic contour is unique in all of jazz literature, his harmonic inventiveness is preposterously original, and his crystal clear tone is infectious. Here is my transcription of those amazing four bars.
Here is a slowed down recording of that phrase in all 12 keys:
If you want to play it yourself, click the “continue reading” button to see a complete chart.
Click below to hear the entire 1938 Benny Carter Orchestra recording. The arrangement is wonderful, and all of the players are top notch. Notice in particular how Benny quotes W. C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues” at the beginning. I want to especially thank Dr. Gordon Vernick for his exceptional program “Jazz Insights” where I first discovered Benny Carter’s “Blues in My Heart.” You’re show is somethin’ else, Dr. Vernick!