Vibraphonist, arranger, bandleader and master transcriber Charlie Shoemake lives on the
California coast halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. As a performer who also teaches, he is known in the jazz community for the accuracy and detail of the solos that he transcribes. He trains his students to transcribe recorded solos as a means of ear training and harmonic development. Those who have studied with him include saxophonist Ted Nash, trombonist Andy Martin and pianist-bandleader Cecilia Coleman. He sent the following message yesterday on Billy May’s birthday:
We’re having an Indian Summer here in Cambria and since today is the birthdate of the great Billy May, I thought I would share this with you. I recently purchased a book called Sessions With Sinatra by Charles L. Granata. The author stated that though the 1967 recording that Sinatra made with the Duke Ellington band had a few problems (due to the bands laissez faire attitude toward intonation, reading and rehearsing). He also emphasized that it produced one true classic. It was Billy May’s fantastic arrangement of “Indian Summer,” complete with stunning performances by Sinatra and Johnny Hodges. Don’t know if you have the recording but here it is. I even transcribed Billy’s intro as it really knocked me out. The harmonies he came up with are from another planet.