John Devitt

Dear John,

I listened to your playing and loved it .

Best wishes,

Sir James Galway.

John is an Irish born flautist who studied at The Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, and also at the Rotterdam Conservatory. He now lives in the Netherlands, where he writes and records his own music and has taught flute at Kunstwerk! in Zevenaar, De Nieuwe Muziekschool in Druten, and privately at his own Fluitstudio Oost.

His arrangements of the Complete Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach for flute & piano, and for flute trio (concert, alto & bass) can now be ordered at MUSICANEO & Sheetmusicplus

Listen on YouTube, Spotify, Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, etc.

Also, do check out my photography on 500px and Instagram.

Jazz Flute transcriptions

The files below are transcriptions John has done of jazz flute improvisations by the Jamaican born sax and flute player Harold McNair. He was a very passionate player who hasn't left a large legacy of recorded work, and which mostly has only been available on LP. However, the pieces featured here are now released in a double album entitled 'Flute & Nut' and are available for download as mp3 at ,iTunes & Spotify

Another CD has been released of an album of his entitled "The Fence" featuring Harold's flute work on a number of tracks including "Scarborough Fair"

These files are free to download for private study purposes and may not be used commercially.

The first piece, "Indecision" is an original of Harold's based on the "Doxy" chord progression by Sonny Rollins.

The second piece,"Lord of the Reedy River" is an improvisation on a theme by the singer/songwriter Donovan.

The third piece, "The Cottage", is another original. My thanks to jazz pianist Henry Botham for checking out the changes.

All three pieces are originally from the 1972 album "Harold McNair", on the B&C Records label nr. CAS 1045.

If you open the MIDI file with your sequencer (assuming it does notation of the various tracks!) you should be able to find a usable transcription of the solos.

Otherwise you can open the PDF files and save them to your computer.


"Harold McNair was one of the unsung heroes of the second generation of British modernists. His Parkeresque alto, Rollins-influenced tenor and truly unique flute playing astounded the London Jazz scene in the early '60s. His tenor saxophone was heavily featured on the original 1962 soundtrack theme from Dr. No. Also, In addition to playing flute on most of Donovan's 1960s albums, he was a founder member of Ginger Baker's Airforce. In fact, the roll-call of his associates represents a golden age of musical interaction. Davey Graham, Blossom Dearie, Jon Hendricks, John Martyn, Magna Carta, Don Partridge, John Cameron and Alexis Korner all benefited from McNair's versatility until 1971 when his career was cut short by lung cancer at the age of just 39."

(Courtesy of the CD Universe website.)

For more information on Harold visit:

Wikipedia on Harold McNair

1. Indecision.mid Indecision.pdf

2. Lord of the Reedy River.mid Lord of the Reedy River.pdf

3. The Cottage.mid The Cottage.pdf