Transcription- Warne Marsh’s Solo on “Marshmallow” (1949)


PDF- One chorus (64 measures) tenor saxophone solo by Warne Marsh on the chord changes to “Cherokee.”
4 transpositions provided: C, Bb, Eb, Bass Clef


From a 1949 recording with Lee Konitz, a young (22 year-old) Warne Marsh unleashes this astounding display of motivic improvisation with seemingly endless lines that twist, turn, and propel themselves into new shapes and harmonies. Warne obliterates the constraints of the barline with his signature compound rhythms and odd-meter groupings and hemiolas, while creating an extremely coherent melodic statement over one chorus of “Cherokee” changes (Lead sheets of the head can be shared upon request). At times, it’s almost as if he is having a conversation with himself- there are some great examples of “antecedent” and “consequent” phrases (or call and response) in this solo.

Here’s a link to the recording:

Originally performed on Tenor Saxophone, the transcription is provided in Concert, Bb, Eb, and Bass Clef.