Alright, all, below is my transcription of John Coltrane’s solo on “Giant Steps” – all 11 choruses (but not the two chorus he does after Tommy Flanagan’s solo before going back into the head – sorry, you’ll just have to settle for 11). This time, it comes with a small amount of analysis. You’ll notice that Trane relies heavily on pentatonics and arpeggiation (one has to at such a quick tempo). As an improviser, I find it very reassuring that Trane repeats several licks, in whole or in part, in numerous places, and he by no means played 176 bars of completely original material at ~300bpm. Examples of repeated licks can be found:
- Measures 22-23 = 38-39 = 102-103 = 134-135
- Measure 41 = 47
- Measures 18-20 = 50-52 = 66-68 = 114-115
- Measures 25-27 = 73-75
- Measures 54-56 = 115-117
This is by no means an inclusive list, just one meant to highlight some patterns that Trane worked out that move very nicely through the changes. Well, enjoy!