There’s a lot going on here in just over a minute’s worth of music. But I’ve managed to unravel and transcribe the complexities of this very cool instrumental, that some consider their favorite TV theme of all time.
I can’t help but love the 1972 “cop drama” minor-key of this piece; the rapid fusionesque drum and percussion rhythms that take us back to Dirty Harry, the syncopated wah-wah guitars of the era, the free sax fills, the uber-cool walking (sprinting!) jazz bass in the bridge, the French Connection-style dissonance from the trumpets, the frantic French horn lines that sound like they’re struggling to keep up, and the anchoring “blat” of the low trombones.
I remember when this TV show first aired, my Dad, a Bay Area native, would frequently identify and call out San Francisco street names and landmarks as he recognized the many on-location scenes. A fond memory.
It certainly felt very special to be able to demystify and transcribe this piece, then to record it with some of my favorite musicians.
- The Streets of San Francisco Bandhub collab video.
- The Streets of San Francisco trumpet, flugelhorn, alto sax, and trombone charts.
Transcribed by me and free for you to use.
What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.