September 18th is that most special day once a year to reflect on the musical legacy of Emily Remler. There are many favorites to be shared and requested throughout the day. Be sure to send your most loved selections to a friend or station and be part of the bond that connects us all to her memory.
We are grateful to Rob Strait for preparing the head transcription of Waltz For My Grandfather in honor of Em’s day.
And a remembrance from Rob Dyer who met and played with Emily while in New Orleans.
chance passages held tightly in hand
how could we know
candles brightly arranging our lives
how could we know
the soft harmonies of the dirge
how could we know
they say the good die young
when she passed, I knew I would live forever
~ R. Dyer
Just a thank you for the recognition given to Emily here. We met and played a few times in New Orleans in ’78 & ’79, Hank Mackie was a local teacher (World of Strings) and I worked with his younger brother. As fate would have it, my mentor, Steve Smith was taking lessons from Hank and during a visit he recommended I come to an open jam at a little smoothie bar place.
I recall we covered Great Stream (Pat Martino) and I was petrified at Emily’s calmness and skill…her gigs with Lil’ Queenie (Leigh harris) were nothing compared to her jazz chops.
There I was on a small stage with Emily and her 330, Johnny Vidacovich on drums and maybe 6 people listening including Hank, it was one of my most cherished jams. I was blessed to have had a short meeting with her and so many who have, surely feel the same way.
All Things Emily is blessed to have a global community of fans, friends and fellow musicians who have shared so much over the years to honor the memory of Emily and her music. It ensures that her legacy thrives for every generation. Fanfare for her music is of particular importance and leads so many of you here looking for her songs, her warm and wonderful phrasing, those basslines, that groove, so you can share in her joy through the notes. It is why we are proud to introduce a special page of Emily’s music from transcriber and Emily enthusiast, Robert A. Strait.
Rob generously shared Blues For Herb in June, and was reminded of how nice Ballad For A Music Box was and transcribed it too. That earned him a page of his own and we have enlisted Rob to help us showcase more of Emily’s unpublished works as a special feature in the future. You will find his work painstakingly accurate to Emily’s every nuance with extra care given to each grace note, accent and articulation. This is an incredible tribute to Emily’s life works and a brilliant addition to AllThingsEmily we know you will enjoy. Visit Strait’s Corner to check out the latest additions and you may even find a few jazz standards from his other favorite jazz guitarists there as well. Play on, my friends, play well.
Students of Emily’s work will be thrilled with this detailed transcription of Remler’s tribute to Herb Ellis from musician, Robert Strait of New York. It includes exhaustive notation with wonderfully accurate fingerings, articulations and accents. Rob put his heart and soul into ensuring its authenticity to Emily’s style and to also make it comprehendible for all levels of inspiring guitarists.
” I’ve always loved Emily’s playing, but never really stopped to figure out why. She just seemed to have that THING…that special thing that makes you love a player but seems elusive when you try to categorize it. Since I’ve been transcribing, it’s really become apparent to me how my favorite players have a quality of phrasing that is truly special and can never be transferred to the written page. Emily has that. She was a master of phrasing, rhythm, and time and she did it all at will, effortlessly, the same way the greatest of players do. In addition, she had tremendous melodic and harmonic sensibilities and a wonderful sense of invention.
The tune “Blues for Herb” has all of that. The first time I heard it, my jaw hit the floor. The head is so classic AND inventive. Her solo is incredible…it has soul, feeling, tone, and unbelievable phrasing and timing. It’s harmonically simple AND incredibly complex. Emily also executes melodic tension and release in this solo with a master’s touch. She uses chromaticism, chord substitution, and other devices to take the solo really outside at times but she NEVER loses her connection to the melody. Transcribing it has been challenging because her rhythmic phrasing is often impossible to get on the page. It’s definitely up there with my favorite jazz blues solos of all time. There is a lifetime of study to be had from this one solo. Listening and studying her music has been an enlightening and essential endeavor.”
Emily's friend and student, Jane Miller has recently released, Three Sides To A Story featuring 15 standards and pop tunes on jazz and acoustic guitars. A savory collection for solo guitar enthusiasts. Learn more at Jane Miller Website
Check out the new page, Strait's Corner, for hard to find transcriptions of Emily's work from musician, Robert A. Strait.
Rob will be a feature transcriber for us in the future. For now you can find his transcriptions of Emily's Ballad For A Music Box and Blues For Herb, with many options to choose from including head and solo only, full transcriptions and even large print and lead sheets. As a bonus Rob has included the head and guitar solos for a couple of his other favorite jazz guitarists.