Till Brönner is an excellent contemporary improviser. Whether he’s playing solo with a big band, reimagining pop tunes with a sensual smooth jazz tint or applying his unique style to standards, he always sounds sophisticated and instantly recognisable.
Blue Eyed Soul is Brönner’s hip hop album, a collection of tunes featuring a laid back feel, soulful melodies and a heavy use of sampling which he then improvises over.
Here’s a transcription of the trumpet solo on Oscar Said. The track is based around an embellished Dm7 vamp that Brönner shifts in and out of effortlessly. One technique that is used to get outside of the chord is taking a short melodic motif and transposing it. This is very satisfying to listen because the motif remains recognisable even though the ear is dragged in an unexpected direction. Bars 14-15 (including the pick up) and bar 18 (also with a pick up) are good examples.
Brönner also employs ‘side stepping’, or playing a semi tone above or below the chord to get outside as in bar 24, beats 1 and 2.