Wes Montgomery’s solo on Satin Doll

Here‘s a Wes Montgomery solo I transcribed about a year ago on the jazz standard “Satin Doll”. (scroll down for the solo.)

There’s all kinds of great jazz licks in this one.

I could write a 10 page essay on everything that I like about this solo but I’ll just mention 4 things here:

4 Wes Montgomery Ideas

1. I especially like the first 4 bars how he plays very simple in the pocket ideas based off just minor 9th chord tone ideas.

2. The major arpeggio idea that Wes end’s the A section on is very simple but very unique. (By the way if you want to learn more ideas you can use to solo over a major 7th chord check out this jazz improvisation lesson.)

3. The pickup approach pattern idea he plays leading into the bridge is just a wonderful connector idea to lead into a new line.

You should add that into your playing right now!

4. There’s also a great II-V-I lick on the first 4 bars of the bridge.

You can click on the solo and open it in a new browser window to print and/or study more closely.

If you enjoyed this transcription be sure to also check out this Barry Harris transcription on the jazz standard Green Dolphin Street.


Steve Nixon