SOLO2 bb king-style, zaire 1974
No King performance would be complete without a slow blues or three. To rival King’s enviable arsenal of ideas, you need to be resourceful and think less about specific licks and more about managing your phrasing to create variations on the fly. BB is a master of organising his vocabulary in a musically logical and rhythmically flowing manner. Notice how each phrase is a complete musical idea, but also how each relates in some way to the preceding ideas. You’d be well advised to listen just as closely to BB’s singing
2 xxxxxxxxxx style. His phrasing is impeccable and highly sophisticated. Check out his use
B B KING - AFRICA 74 SOLO 2 of declamatory statements, often repeated; his use of questions and then the following resolution provided by the answer. We’re moving between E-form box shape action plus his trademarked ’BB Box’ that combines aspects of both major (R 2 3 5 6) and minor (R b3 4 5 b7) pentatonic scales, pivoting around a solid second-string root note. It’s likely that King doesn’t consider this like a scale at all, more like a landmark tonic with the other intervals that he’d like to hear at any given time floating a predetermined distance away, either above or below this fixed reference point.