Moose the Mooche

I’m transcribing and learning a jazz standard each month of 2023 to try and get better at internalizing jazz language. For the month of April, I went back to bebop and learned Charlie Parker’s Moose the Mooche, a song about Parker’s favorite drug dealer. I picked the version that’s in the omnibook to have a reference to check my transcription against, and while the omnibook is probably more accurate, my transcription is a bit simpler and amenable to guitar. How Aebersold & Slone hear all of those eighth notes in the middle is beyond me.

The first time this tune grabbed me was probably when hearing the version on Joshua Redman’s Wish and I just liked the syncopation and chromaticism on the head. That version is recorded as a trio with bass and drums and so has a bit more space, while still managing to bring the intensity.

And here is me playing Parker’s head and solo. I stumble a bit around bar 14 where there is a fast position shift but overall it sounds OK, I guess.

The transcription: