In A Mellow Tone Transcription Project – Javon Jackson

Javon Jackson is one of many amazing New York players that few outside of the USA have heard of, but we should have!

I first heard of Javon when a students Dad, (a MAJOR jazz) fan used to arrive at my door with his son, saxophone and a handful of CDs (this was around 2008) for me to listen to.  What I loved about Javon’s playing was his understated, clean tone and a wonderful clarity of ideas. I could listen to Javon all night and try and emulate his approach to standards.

In this transcription project we are going to be looking at one chorus of Duke Ellington’s ‘In A Mellow Tone’.  The harmony is relatively simple, but really rich and you will get some fantastic Dominant 7th lines down if you give this course the application it deserves.



In A Mellow Tone – Lesson One

We’re taking the break into the solo and learning these fantastic opening lines of Javon’s solo. Remember, transcribing is much easier if you have some software to help, either Transcribe on your computer, or AnyTunePro on your phone.

In A Mellow Tone – Lesson Two

Clips 3&4 are quite contrasting clips. In clip 3 Javon seems to keep it quite ‘straight’ and inside the scale of Bb major, whereas in Clip 4 he explores more of the chromatic enclosures that are often found in Bebop.

In A Mellow Tone – Lesson Three

In this lesson we will be dealing with Clips 5&6 and in the video lesson, I will be going into much more detail than usual, (it’s a long one, so get a drink and settled!)

In A Mellow Tone – Lesson Four

The fourth and final lesson in our ‘In A Mellow Tone’ transcription project.  In this lesson we will cover clips 7&8 and show you how to record your version of the project.


Dan Forshaw

I'm passionate about creating inspirational experiences through music and other arts. A life changing experience under the influence of the music of John Coltrane lead to study in New York and London. My thesis was on the Theology of John Coltrane as expressed through A Love Supreme. I perform across Europe with various jazz groups and teach through my innovative website, I'm a total Apple Geek, Cricket, Rugby, F1 and Football fan and I'm learning to listen opinions before giving my own!