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Thread: Nardis harmonic analysis

  1. #16
    Guitar edrowland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenlars99 View Post
    Em: natural minor
    Fmaj7: lydian
    (Emaj7): ignore
    B7: Phrygian plus major 3rd, but I might avoid the 6th as both 6ths end up being in the "melody"
    ...
    Also a favorite tune of mine.

    Agree with this pretty much, except an Alt scale is nice on the B7 (comped as B7#5#9, or B7Alt).

    This is the scale that figures prominently for me as the tonic pitch collection (if there is such a thing): E F G# A B C D# (no idea what scale that is). Same as Ed B's scale, but without the natural G, (which I agree SHOULD be in there, one would think). Adding it hides the really pretty little fragment at the heart of it, though: namely E F G# A.

    Also C# D E F G# A Bb is interesting.

    (Edit: one of the scales may be hungarian minor, if I could figure out what the root is (I sort of knew that); in any case, both are modes of the "Arabic scale" (I didn't know that). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_scale)

    There seems to be lots of interesting scale fragments consisting particularly of semi-tone/tone-and-a-half/semi-tone, but also semi-tone/tone/semi-tone (which can probably be attributed to mm scales in effect at various places). I'm not sure if I can account for all of them between the scales posted above, and mm scales in other places. In any case, I see that semi-tone/tone-and-a-half/semi-tone fragment as kind of a signature motif of the tune.

    There's something really interesting going on in that last chord of the B section. The chord I hve committed to memory is B7#5#9. Curious, because previous posters have suggested both Fmaj7 (Fmaj13Q?), and B13 as chords here. All the more curious, because I can see the internal logic of all three chords, and how closely related they are in that context.

    || Am9 - - - | F∆ - - - | Am9 - - - | F∆ - - - |

    | Dm9 - - - | G13 - - - | C69Q - - - | B7#9- - - ||

    B7#9, or B13 = V of Em. Easy to analyze. And interesting that Ed B says that FMaj functions as a dominant of Em. I get that, listening to it. I'm going to be playing a lot of more that bIImaj7 sound from hereon in. (Although I'm not sure I can totally give up B7#9 on that change).

    Fmaj13Q / B7#9 /

    Fascinating! Especially the way voices and roots move.

    Can you can expand on that relationship, at all, Ed B? (The bIImaj7 one). At the risk of belaboring the obvious. I learned something today, and I'd hate to leave crumbs on the table. :-P

  2. #17
    Jazz Artist, Author EdByrne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edrowland View Post
    This is the scale that figures prominently for me as the tonic pitch collection (if there is such a thing): E F G# A B C D# (no idea what scale that is). Same as Ed B's scale, but without the natural G, (which I agree SHOULD be in there, one would think). Adding it hides the really pretty little fragment at the heart of it, though: namely E F G# A.

    Also C# D E F G# A Bb is interesting.

    (Edit: one of the scales may be hungarian minor, if I could figure out what the root is (I sort of knew that); in any case, both are modes of the "Arabic scale" (I didn't know that). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_scale)

    There seems to be lots of interesting scale fragments consisting particularly of semi-tone/tone-and-a-half/semi-tone, but also semi-tone/tone/semi-tone (which can probably be attributed to mm scales in effect at various places). I'm not sure if I can account for all of them between the scales posted above, and mm scales in other places. In any case, I see that semi-tone/tone-and-a-half/semi-tone fragment as kind of a signature motif of the tune.

    There's something really interesting going on in that last chord of the B section. The chord I hve committed to memory is B7#5#9. Curious, because previous posters have suggested both Fmaj7 (Fmaj13Q?), and B13 as chords here. All the more curious, because I can see the internal logic of all three chords, and how closely related they are in that context.

    || Am9 - - - | F∆ - - - | Am9 - - - | F∆ - - - |

    | Dm9 - - - | G13 - - - | C69Q - - - | B7#9- - - ||

    B7#9, or B13 = V of Em. Easy to analyze. And interesting that Ed B says that FMaj functions as a dominant of Em. I get that, listening to it. I'm going to be playing a lot of more that bIImaj7 sound from hereon in. (Although I'm not sure I can totally give up B7#9 on that change).

    Fmaj13Q / B7#9 /

    Fascinating! Especially the way voices and roots move.

    Can you can expand on that relationship, at all, Ed B? (The bIImaj7 one). At the risk of belaboring the obvious. I learned something today, and I'd hate to leave crumbs on the table. :-P
    Hi Ed,

    I referred to the bII chord as a subdominant function, not dominant. It has its origins in the minor mode as a "Neapolitan 6," but has become a common SD chord in both major and minor modes; and it is now done in all inversions. Check out Piston's entire chapter on this chord (I just re-read it). It makes sense when you think about it, since it has both of the SD notes: 2 and 4. The chromatic lowering of the supertonic only increases its need to resolve, making it even more active in a subdominant way.

    Therefore, Fmaj13Q / B7#9 / in the key of Em would be SD to D. Indeed, in the key of C Major it would also be a SD to D cadence, since it would be IVMA7 to the leading-tone Dominant chord (or V7/iii, V7 of a Tonic chord).

    Regarding the chord oscillation || Am9 - - - | F∆ - - - | Am9 - - - | F∆ - - - |:

    Related to your observation about the characteristic harmonic minor-ish motive of the A section, perhaps Miles was trying to give momentary relief from that H- sound, since this is a "diatonic" phrase which temporarily leaves that behind. It seems to suggest this pc (however you term it): A B C D E F G A.

    Also, the progression is temporarily weakened (in tonal terms) by its root progression in thirds, rather than the stronger tonal fourths. This makes the direct modulation to the key of C all the stronger by comparison, with its straight-forward cadence and four-measure duration.

    Getting back to your motive:

    I too view it as the salient characteristic of the entire composition. Therefore, without caring what it is called, I start with developing that in etudes throughout the entire form--with possible exception of the "diatonic" section. This can be done by adopting certain of its notes to facilitate its incorporation into other contexts throughout the progression. This is the place where I begin to develop "pseudo improvisations" on the specific tune in the woodshed.

    With regard to chord scales:

    Also in the woodshed, I will learn to sing and improvise on all of these choices. But I prefer to do this separately on each pc at length, and to not worry at all about which chords they "go with" locally.

    Once I have them internalized, I start running choruses and they find their own--more melodic--ways of combining into lines in their natural course through the singing process. This is how I employ any new vocabulary, in addressing a specific tune. When you think about it, there are tens of thousands of ways that these scales or their subsets can be used. I find that a "left brain" intellectual process at this point is not only tedious, but (more importantly) that it impedes the improvisation process.

    Ed, given your observation of those alternate scales with similar motives, I view them all as living options in performance in the now. I feel virtually no need to justify any such choices. Moreover, depending on how they are actually sounded, many of those notes could function as mere non-harmonic tones as well.

    Therefore, these names of scales, while helpful in their identification in first learning them, are to be forgotten once internalized. They are meaningless in actual performance.

    Regarding "giving up" something: I never view the learning of new vocabulary as giving anything up: "Make new friends and keep the old. One is silver and the other, gold." Same thing goes for learning new methods or concepts: Your time was never wasted: you are just moving on. I once complained to Mick Goodrick that I had "wasted a month" working on something that ended up sucking, and he said: "At least you learned what you didn't like."

    Best,
    Ed

  3. #18
    Jazz Artist, Author EdByrne's Avatar
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    To demonstrate the employment of a single characteristic motive throughout an entire chorus of a tune, I wrote these two etudes on my blues riff, Riffraff (sound and Score):

    Riffraff:

    http://www.freejazzinstitute.org/sho...212844_EdByrne

    Here is the first motive, transposed throughout the entire blues form:

    http://www.freejazzinstitute.org/sho...121605_EdByrne

    This one is a variant, with an added passing chromatic non-harmonic tone.
    1st-Motive Etude (sound and Score)::

    http://www.freejazzinstitute.org/sho...54326_EdByrne#

    While I can improvise all night on a generic F blues, it adds great meaning to one's improvisations to address and develop the information found in the exposition.

  4. #19
    Jazz Artist, Author EdByrne's Avatar
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    Thumbs up LJI Hot Lines ~ Jazz Standards

    Here is my riff-like line, Avid Smiles, on Nardis, excerpted from my brand new book release (three days old), LJI Hot Lines on Jazz Standards. It's easy and cool to play on gigs (needs no rehearsing):

    http://www.freejazzinstitute.org/sho...072445_EdByrne

    More info on the book (contents and what it looks like, with music and sound):

    http://byrnejazz.com/product.php?id=18

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    The CM em relationship is "key"?

    Hi all,

    Been reading AAJ forums for the last couple weeks. I love so much of the analysis and advice on here. Ed Byrne, several of your posts have been huge eye-openers. Something about this Nardis thread spurred me to register and try a post. I still remember a jam session from when I was a green 17 year old in LA and this bad-ass drummer from out of town called Nardis and neither myself nor whoever the horn player was knew the tune so we played something else. The drummer blew me away and I remember not being able to think about anything except "must learn that Nardis song!" Since then it's become one of my favorites to listen to and to play - though I don't think I've ever truly mastered the thing. Reading this thread really made me think about the changes and conceptualize some things I've never thought very consciously about. Here's what I'd offer to what's already been said:

    I like to think broadly about the shape of tunes before working on finer details. My broad analysis goes something like this: The A section can be thought in two parts: question and answer. We can call them a and b of A: a: || E- F B7 C || b: || A- F E- E-|| b basically functions as a cadence, albeit an unusual one, with the bII Maj7 as the tension chord that resolves back to the i min. Ed and others have already pointed this out. the bII's got the tritone that resolves outwards, etc.

    I think what's more interesting is how we treat the (a) piece, the "question." What focuses the picture for me is that the C maj 7 chord can be thought of more like a Emin7/C bass note which equals a CMaj7#11. So then the B7 is almost like resolving to Emin but the bass note changes the harmony, and it's almost a kind of deceptive cadence. Then you throw in the concept of the Fmaj7 as a form of a tritone substitution into the mix, and you've basically got four chords in the a piece of the A section that are essentially alternating between the tonic and the dominant in E minor. Now this is not necessarily an analysis of the song I would commit to - I tend to agree with the way Ed has put it down - but it leads to some useful soloing concepts and lends itself toward melodic phrasing. The key point I want to emphasize is the relationship between the E min chord and the C Maj chord. That i -> bVI progression is so common in pop music, and I really do prefer to think of that Cmaj7 as a Emin with a C in the bass giving that nice #11 sound. This concept gets expanded in the...

    Bridge

    ...Where we've got an Amin7 moving to an Fmaj7: the very same movement as with the Emin to Cmaj! Where I would disagree with Ed here is in saying that we're still squarely in E minor here. Rather, I would argue that when we begin the bridge, the key is ambiguous. Here's the beauty of the thing: In the A section the Amin7 moving to Fmaj7 is moving us toward a cadence in E minor, resolving the tension of the first half of the A section. In the bridge Amin to Fmaj does the opposite: it sets up the tension which is released with the ii V I in C major. What's more, this is a true cadence to C major as compared with what I've called a deceptive cadence to C major in the A section. So the tensions in the A section are inverted in the B section:

    A section "question"/tension: E minor moving to C major
    A section "answer"/resolution: A minor to F major to E minor

    B section "question"/tension: A minor to F major
    A section "answer"/resolution: cadence in C major

    Really quite elegant song writing I think.

    I'm curious if anyone else notices some of this or if y'all think I'm way off.

    Also, Ed, you refer to Miles as the composer of this tune, when I'm pretty sure that is not the case. The story goes that he got the credit and royalties because he bought the song off Bill Evans, most likely when Evans was hard up for cash to feed his dope habit. This would make sense, since I think it's fair say Nardis is a sine qua non of the Bill Evans repertoire, and Miles never recorded the tune, nor performed it (to my knowledge). Can someone corroborate this?

    Glad to be here,

    M.K.

  6. #21
    Jazz Artist, Author EdByrne's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Beautiful observations, M. K. Welcome to the board! I agree with you, too. You have upped the ante by climbing deeper in your analysis that did I. At this point I admit that I perform this intuitively, since it is so rich with inherent musical simultaneities. Didn't know about B. E. writing that tune, though. Thanks very much for sharing. This is one hell of an elegant tune indeed.

    I see the bII, though, as a subdominant. Also, you must be presuming a flatted fifth to get that tritone on it (small points).

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    Ah yes. I'm kind of going intuitively myself - sitting at work means no instruments anywhere in sight to verify my stuff.

    But when we stick a bII Maj7 over a V chord we do get a kind of altered sub right? V7 with a b5 and b9 (no 3 hence no tritone as you mention). Or if we flip that, you could think of it from the other direction: playing B7 (altered) material over the Fmaj7 works, and Jerry's analysis of Evans' solo indicates that he either treats it this way or with an F7 altered chord - that very tritone sub. So what do you make of it? I'm not convinced of subdominant. Especially because it so heavily wants to resolve to that e minor I'm always thinking some kind of B7 altered thing there.

    Another thing I do love about this song is that, because so much of it gets reduced to a very simple pitch collection and this kind of back and forth between forms of the tonic and dominant, you really can't rely on typical scales and arpeggios, you are forced (or better "set up") to think more melodically. Since I like to use an E minor scale for both the E minor and C major (except in the bridge) measures and an A minor scale for the A minor and the F Major measures, it means I have to make the notes count - to make a melody that sings. The chord changes are built to push you away from running scales etc, if you let the song push you, which is what makes blowing on this tune fun!

    Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings Ed, it's an honor!

  8. #23
    Jazz Artist, Author EdByrne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizzle View Post
    Ah yes. I'm kind of going intuitively myself - sitting at work means no instruments anywhere in sight to verify my stuff.

    But when we stick a bII Maj7 over a V chord we do get a kind of altered sub right? V7 with a b5 and b9 (no 3 hence no tritone as you mention). Or if we flip that, you could think of it from the other direction: playing B7 (altered) material over the Fmaj7 works, and Jerry's analysis of Evans' solo indicates that he either treats it this way or with an F7 altered chord - that very tritone sub. So what do you make of it? I'm not convinced of subdominant. Especially because it so heavily wants to resolve to that e minor I'm always thinking some kind of B7 altered thing there.

    Another thing I do love about this song is that, because so much of it gets reduced to a very simple pitch collection and this kind of back and forth between forms of the tonic and dominant, you really can't rely on typical scales and arpeggios, you are forced (or better "set up") to think more melodically. Since I like to use an E minor scale for both the E minor and C major (except in the bridge) measures and an A minor scale for the A minor and the F Major measures, it means I have to make the notes count - to make a melody that sings. The chord changes are built to push you away from running scales etc, if you let the song push you, which is what makes blowing on this tune fun!

    Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings Ed, it's an honor!
    It matters little how we label that chord. Let's call it "Non-Tonic." or "active" . . . or dominant?

    Yeah, I just sing lines moving forward without a thought to chords on this one in particular.

    The pleasure is mine. I hope you stick around, M.K., and keep offering your astute observations.

    Best,
    Ed

  9. #24
    Guitar edrowland's Avatar
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    Ed,

    As usual, thanks for the thoughtful reply. Fertile stuff, that's driving some interesting things for me in practice. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by EdByrne View Post
    I referred to the bII chord as a subdominant function...
    It seems almost half-way between don't you think? Something about the power of that semi-tone movement in the root. And the semitone movement of maj7 of the bII (E in the example) to the maj3 of the V (D# in the B7#9). More than sub-dominant, but less than a dominant. :-)

    Kizzle makes a lot of the points that echo my current thinking about how the bIImaj7 and V7#9 seem to interlock in an interesting kind of way. (Welcome, by the way).

    I can't find my copy of Piston right now <cursing self>. I'm hoping it's at work. But I do remember my frustration and puzzlement over the un-jazzly idea of a chord that exists only in a particular inversion.

    Ed, given your observation of those alternate scales with similar motives, I view them all as living options in performance in the now. I feel virtually no need to justify any such choices. .... Therefore, these names of scales, while helpful in their identification in first learning them, are to be forgotten once internalized. They are meaningless in actual performance.
    S'funny. I actually discovered those scales (the hungarian minor/arabic scales) while learning to improvise over this tune, particularly. And I now use them a lot. Once I start on that semitone/tone-and-a-half/semitone path, the rest of the notes in the scale just seem to fall into place by ear. It was sometime later that I made the connection with hungarian/slavic minors . So for me, they lived in internalized space before they found names. (Names which haven't settled very well obviously).

    I entirely take your point about the internalized form being the important part of the process. Particularly given how dubiously useful most of the names seem to be.

    But for some perverse reason it gives comfort to know that those things that live in internalized space do have names. And, honestly, it's inspired me to spend some serious playing time to see if I can figure out the pattern in how the various "arabic modes" interlock with each other. And get them working more consistently and predictably in my playing.

    It also seems a bit ironic to downplay the importance of labels, given that I *know* that bIImaj7 label is going to drive interesting things in my playing, too. (e.g. I've been working through the idea of bIImaj13Q as an on-the-fly SUB for V7 today, which seems very workable). I remember going through exactly this proces with bVII7. Once my teacher named it, and pointed it out, I began to see the pattern in all kinds of places where I'd never noticed it before. And one I saw it, it all of a sudden became interesting to study as a piece of vocabulary in its own right.

    Maybe something to do with a personal need to have personal words that label the ideas that live on the fretboard whether they have standard names or not. It seems to bring them into focus, and give them a little bit of life that they don't have when they're entirely nameless.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizzle View Post
    Ah yes. I'm kind of going intuitively myself - sitting at work means no instruments anywhere in sight to verify my stuff.

    But when we stick a bII Maj7 over a V chord we do get a kind of altered sub right? V7 with a b5 and b9 (no 3 hence no tritone as you mention). Or if we flip that, you could think of it from the other direction: playing B7 (altered) material over the Fmaj7 works, and Jerry's analysis of Evans' solo indicates that he either treats it this way or with an F7 altered chord - that very tritone sub. So what do you make of it? I'm not convinced of subdominant. Especially because it so heavily wants to resolve to that e minor I'm always thinking some kind of B7 altered thing there.

    Another thing I do love about this song is that, because so much of it gets reduced to a very simple pitch collection and this kind of back and forth between forms of the tonic and dominant, you really can't rely on typical scales and arpeggios, you are forced (or better "set up") to think more melodically. Since I like to use an E minor scale for both the E minor and C major (except in the bridge) measures and an A minor scale for the A minor and the F Major measures, it means I have to make the notes count - to make a melody that sings. The chord changes are built to push you away from running scales etc, if you let the song push you, which is what makes blowing on this tune fun!

    Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings Ed, it's an honor!

    Hey M.K. ,

    Piston and Schoenberg and their followers consider it to be a subdominant. The "strength of resolution" that you hear doesn't mean that the relationship has to be that of the dominant-tonic function. IV chords resolve strongly into I chords all the time, as an example of the strength of subdominant function. The Neapolitan chord is a well-accepted principle in music theory, even if it took a while for it to be unshackled from its voice-leading origins.

    Further, just because a player might play notes suggesting a Neapolitan chord resolving to a tonic chord where the chart usually suggests a dominant chord resolving to tonic doesn't mean that Neapolitan function is dominant. Of course, Bill was doing the opposite of this - playing dominant (tritone sub) for Neapolitan. He was changing the quality of the chord, and in this case, necessarily changing the function of the chord.

    As Ed said, call it potatos for all we care, but the bII-I resolution feels a hell of a lot different to bII7-I. If you know that in your ear, that's all you need.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom R; June 3rd, 2009 at 04:13 AM. Reason: typo

  11. #26
    Piano/Compose/Arrange engelbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizzle View Post
    Also, Ed, you refer to Miles as the composer of this tune, when I'm pretty sure that is not the case. The story goes that he got the credit and royalties because he bought the song off Bill Evans, most likely when Evans was hard up for cash to feed his dope habit. This would make sense, since I think it's fair say Nardis is a sine qua non of the Bill Evans repertoire, and Miles never recorded the tune, nor performed it (to my knowledge). Can someone corroborate this?
    Regarding Miles and who wrote what, it's hard to know the truth, even from the mouth of one who was there.

    However, this is from Peter Pettinger's bio of Bill Evans.
    From Evans's point of view, the session [July 1, 1958] was important for the first performance of "Nardis," specially written for [Cannonball] Adderley and this session by Miles. The trumpeter [Miles] never recorded it, but Bill Evans took it over for life. Davis "came along to the studio with it," Evans recallled. "It was certainly different; it moved differently, and you could see that the guys were struggling with it. Miles wasn't happy either, but after the date he said that I was the only one to play it in the way he wanted. I must have helped his royalties over the years, because I have never stopped playing it. It has gone on evolving with every trio I have had."
    The session was the recording of the album Portrait of Cannonball.

    I find it interesting that while Bill may have played it the way Miles wanted, in soloing he did not stick with Miles's original changes.
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    I have played this tune alot over the years, and while I think many different approaches will work, you can just play C major over the whole thing, as long as you add the D# on the B7 chord and the G# on the Emaj7 chord (the one at the end of the A sections; I usually ignore the quick one in the 2nd measure).

    That way you get:

    Emin= E phrygian
    Fmaj7= F lydian
    B7= B alt. (replacing the E in the scale with a D#)
    Cmaj7= C ionian
    Amin7= A aeolian
    Fmaj7= F lydian
    Emaj7= this is the most interesting one: if you play a G# instead of a G, you get an A harmonic minor scale, which provides some interesting colors: the #5 (c), the b9 (f), over the maj7.....

    The bridge is straightforward; sometimes I'll alter the G7 or play Db7 instead.

    Fun tune to play on; I think of it as a modal tune that just needs 2 small adjustments in 2 spots.

  13. #28
    Jazz Artist, Author EdByrne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jofo View Post
    I have played this tune alot over the years, and while I think many different approaches will work, you can just play C major over the whole thing, as long as you add the D# on the B7 chord and the G# on the Emaj7 chord (the one at the end of the A sections; I usually ignore the quick one in the 2nd measure).

    That way you get:

    Emin= E phrygian
    Fmaj7= F lydian
    B7= B alt. (replacing the E in the scale with a D#)
    Cmaj7= C ionian
    Amin7= A aeolian
    Fmaj7= F lydian
    Emaj7= this is the most interesting one: if you play a G# instead of a G, you get an A harmonic minor scale, which provides some interesting colors: the #5 (c), the b9 (f), over the maj7.....

    The bridge is straightforward; sometimes I'll alter the G7 or play Db7 instead.

    Fun tune to play on; I think of it as a modal tune that just needs 2 small adjustments in 2 spots.
    Yeah, Joe, I'm with your thinking. I am always looking for ways to diminish the thinking in performance. It is liberating. I do all the anal stuff in the woodshed, and then try to lose it altogether. Then it finds its own way into the story. Often, though, that reduction process takes place over time and in stages.

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    whew!!

    there is a lot of heavy stuff in this thread.

    anyways, for "nardis novices" (and anyone else who may find any use in it), another way to navigate the A section of this tune--sort of like guide tones:

    | B D | E C | A | G | E G | A C | B G | E ||

    pitches, not chords, to hang a melody on (vary note values, use approach notes, etc.)

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    I know this is the music theory and analysis forum, but allow me to suggest the possibility that you are all way overthinking it? Bill Evans himself says that jazz is not an intellectual process. Also one of my favorite quotes, is Keith Jarrett saying "Music is the result of a process that has nothing to do with music".

    Anyways, E minor works for the whole tune, and if you play intentionally you'll know where you need F natural, G#, C#, D#, whatever. Haven't you guys heard of modal jazz? (btw, playing F# over a Fmaj7, or any note that is distinctly not in a chord, is not illegal, it could work well in the middle of a larger passage don't ya know?)

    I'll will add a technical thought to this thread that I didn't see though. I like to play the measure that is | B7 - - - | in the A section as | F#m7b5 - B7 - | sometimes. I find it smooths out the progression somewhat. The closest I saw to this, is someone said B13, which could be played with those two chords...
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