A comparative analysis of improvised solos based on the popular songs "Body and Soul", "Night and Day" and "Out of Nowhere" as performed by selected jazz tenor saxophonists representing different styles

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Music Performance

First Committee Member

Gary Keller - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Whitney F. Sidener - Committee Member


The purpose of this essay was to transcribe and analyze the improvised solos of selected jazz tenor saxophonists playing selected popular songs. The songs Body and Soul, Night and Day, and Out of Nowhere were transcribed and analyzed as played by three different saxophonists representing different styles. The improvised solos for Body and Soul were by Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, and Michael Brecker. The improvised solos for Night and Day were by Zoot Sims, Joe Henderson, and Jerry Bergonzi and the improvised solos for Out of Nowhere were by Stan Getz, Sonny Stitt, and David Liebman. The analyses examine how each saxophonist interpreted the selected compositions as to melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic content.Jazz musicians have typically transcribed and analyzed the improvised solos of recognized jazz masters in order to better understand the jazz language. Dozens of transcription books exist; however, most deal with either a single jazz artist or single song form. This essay offers the student of jazz music the opportunity to study a comparison of these improvisations and how the selected jazz saxophonists interpreted them.



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