Here is a Ukulele adaptation of a music by Miles Davis in 1959 : Freddie Freeloader.
Perhaps if one were to have only one jazz album in his pocket, it would be Kind of Blue.
A musical bomb in those golden years of jazz, it is clearly a pillar album. Freddie Freeloader, track 2 of this album is personally my favorite track.
Why this song.
I’m in a period where I want to play blue with the Ukulele. As I mentioned when I chose the Jelly Roll last November, I love being able to place bends, slides and other pentatonic bits on the instrument.
I find it exhilarating.
A blues in 12 bars with 3 chords. The simplest and most standard blues form. Far from the blues largely enriched of the bebop period of Charlie Parker.
Miles Davis masters and knows perfectly the bebop. Anyway, I believe that his great strength is to detach himself from it and even to position himself in opposition. Indeed, Miles Davis is undoubtedly the one who takes the jazz scene of the time on the path of modal jazz.
Note however that on the first 12 bars of the theme, we do not end on the first degree as expected but on a kind of 7th degree flat. I do not know if it is relevant to try to analyze the degree of this landing. What is sure is that it is an unexpected arrival!
Each track on Kind of Blue is like that: a blues structure that contains a detail that I find sharp and singular.
Then, about the key of the song, Freedie Freeloader is in Bb on the original version. I chose to transpose the piece in C. Indeed, the trumpet and the tenor saxophone are transposing instruments in Bb and playing a piece in Bb is for them equivalent to playing in C. In this spirit, I don’t have any reason to play this piece in Bb since I am not accompanied by a trumpet player or a tenor saxophone.
Finally, for the solo, I largely copied the plans of Wynton Kelly by adapting a little for the range of the ukulele.
Score and tablature.
If you wish, my adaptation is available in pdf format just below this text.
This is a non-commercial sharing.