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Little up: In the Solo Jazz Piano book from Neil Omstead, the 2-5-1.. the 2 in minor 2-5-1 is played RH as: 3,b5,7,1 with 1 as LH bass. Does anyone know why it isn't extended with a 9 or b9? Cause I'm used to playing the 2 with a 9 or b9.. this approach is new to me. In the major 2-5-1 the book tells u to play the 2min with 3-5-7-9 (so with the 9, as I'm used to do).
So for example in the book: A-7b5 = A-Eb-G-A
I don't understand why this is used for the 2 in minor 2-5-1 cause the book tells about extensions and applies it to the other chords.
Lost Woods, the information in books are maybe best described as guidelines based on what the author has found to be helpful. Sometimes what the author sees as helpful is something that can be described easily in the form of a rule. But rules, wherever they appear are just descriptions of common practice. As in "Bill Evans did it this way" or "Bud Powell did it that way."
Bottom line with all of this: Use your ear and experience! If books don't say anything about 9ths or other upper structures but your ear and experience tell you those things work and sound good. Well, in that case you've found real differences between learning from books and learning from experience. In the olden days, before all of the books we have now, learning from experience was the ONLY way!
I'm not at all saying that books aren't helpful or that learning from experience is the only way. Actually, if you look at a lot of books instead of only a few you'll start to see what's common to them all and what's unique to particular authors. And you may also start to recognise stuff that many authors omit. For one reason or another.
Maybe the best books of all are transcriptions of pianists. Because then, instead of reading someone's observations on Bill Evans or Dave McKenna or whomever (in the form of a rule or a guideline), you can just go right to the original source. Although in the olden days, those books didn't exist so anyone who wanted to learn this stuff transcribed it from records or stood behind a pianist to hear and see what they where doing (I was fortunate to be able to do that quite a bit with Dave McKenna and looking back at it, he never once asked anyone not to stand behind him!)
Jim McNeely explains how and why Dizzy Gillespie (and Barry Harris) advocate the natural 9 on top of a ii min7 flat5 chord. If you visit that page, do a search on Gillespie to find the passage. JM explains that DG heard ii minor 7 flat5 as a iv triad over it's 6th. So, in Cm, a D min7 flat 5 is an Fm triad over a D. For DG, that meant an E natural is/was THE note that sits on top of the F min triad (in C minor).
An example: Gigi Gryce's tune Minority where the melody note over ii minor 7 flat 5 is a natural 9th. And in John Mehegan's books (where so-called "A" and "B" voicings get their names), the natural 9 is in the ii minor 7 flat5 voicings.
There are also, of course, plenty of counter examples where a b9 and not a natural 9 goes over the ii minor 7 flat 5 chord. Almost always b9, if there, is part of a RH (or melody) line - rather than in a voicing.
So I'm w/Knotty: unless you go to an "old-style" source like Dizzy Gillespie or Barry Harris or John Mehegan, or unless you actually transcribe passages where this stuff exists (or get transcriptions out of a book) you're not going to get a "straight" answer! Actually, another place to look for answers is in the Charlie Parker Omnibook, which really is a Bible of what's possible.
That's some great information guys The reason why I asked is because I wanted to know if there was like a "standard" how to practice these 2-5-1's in a practice routine.. but looks like it depends, so gotta know all options. Think I'll just practice the (3,b5,b7,1) one day, next day with 9 etc. until I'm good with all of them.
Gotta admit though "just" practising 2-5-1's isn't really fun.. but well, gotta know them so it doesn't matter if it's fun or not, practise practise practise!
Some more detail, detail. The Gary Burton approach is interesting because it might be described as "old school" in the sense of "know the original way before you even think about modifying it." That puts it in league somewhat w/the ("old-school") spirit of the Gillespie & Harris idea of ii minor 7 b5 being a iv triad (F minor) over a sixth (D).
In What is This Thing Called Love for the first 4 bars, Cole Porter originally wrote C7 | | F min | |
But jazz practice turned those 4 measures into Gm7b5 | C7 | F min 7 | |
The melody for WITTCL doesn't include a natural 9 or a b9. So prior knowledge of the tune doesn't help in this case with a choice in this case. And then, often as not, the Gm7b5 gets turned into a dominant chord with extensions. When that happens the b9 IS usually there.
In the Bill Evans transcription of Autumn Leaves (the one that's available in a few books ... or if you listen to it) you'll find Bill either plays NOTHING in the LH where the Am7b5 goes. Or he sometimes plays a G and C (the seventh and third of Am7b5) or G, C, and Eb (which some might say verifies the DG and BH theories). Sometimes Bill turns the Am7b5 into a dominant chord w/alterations. So his practice suggests at least three possibilities. Further you look at the lines he plays over those chords, you'll see a lot of Bb (the b9 of the Am7b5 chord).
If you look/listen at Herbie Hancock's version of Autumn Leaves (transcribed by Bill Dobbins) you'll find some REALLY interesting variants. For some Am7b5 places, Herbie plays an F and Bb (from bottom to top) in the LH and D and Eb and G (bottom to top) in the RH. That's a pretty common HH sound from MD and Blue Note days - you'll hear that kind of approach with McCoy Tyner as well.
Continue through HH's Autumn Leaves solo and things get even more interesting. Sometimes he uses a blatant Am7 where the the Am7b5 would go - actually that's pretty common with HH. He'll frequently transform min7b5 chords into min7 chords. In that case the fifth becomes an E rather than an Eb and it makes sense to use the natural 9 rather than b9. Herbie does A LOT with those kinds of ambiguities.
I know this is a lot to write about two "little" notes ... B or Bb .... but there's a lot of interesting jazz practice stuff bound up in that tiny and sometimes inconsequential choice and some of that practice makes a huge impact on how your ear might ear this stuff and therefore what you might (or might not) play.
printer1, which version of Autumn Leaves was that HH transcription? I just saw HH last Tuesday and what he was playing were the same figures he used in a live version of AL I've posted frequently. I really would like to understand everything he does.
BTW I always tend to use natural 9 on half-dim unless the melody suggests otherwise. I think it has a more interesting sound/color. It's what I was taught. b9 tended to be used in the older styles of jazz. There's a little discussion of it in Mark Levine's book (he goes for Nat 9 as well).
Jazzwee, I'm gonna guess the Bill Dobbins transcription (published by Advance Music if you want that bit) is from a recording called "Miles Davis in Berlin" or from "Miles Davis at Antibes" or possibly from "Miles Davis in Tokyo."
Just a little more about that b9 vs. natural 9 thing. You say "b9 tended to be used in older styles of jazz." Well, you're probably right. But Dizzy G and Barry H, since the 1940's have that theory (Barry Harris has explained it in particular) where the 9 on iimin7b5 is natural and not flat. So that's going back pretty far to the time when upper extensions were becoming part of the common language.
Red Garland: on What is This Thing Called Love - he play Eb over one Dm7b5 and he plays E natural over the next Dm7b5. And he outlines the opening chord (which is most commonly Gm7b5) very clearly as a G min 7 (no flat 5).
Herbie, in Autumn Leaves (and really McCoy Tyner's style), where he voices a chord in 4ths including a b9 over the Amin7b5 - well, that modal approach to that chords w/ voicings in 4ths is very common.
It's worth pointing out that basic voice leading has a big role in all of this. Because the DG/BH school of "always the natural 9" or other approaches of "look at the source material to know which one to use" in my opinion treat chords and lines as static things over which other things get piled up. So-called chord scale theory is similar in in that sense ... ("put that scale over that chord or put this scale over this chord!")
But there is a sense of voice leading and counterpoint in jazz, just as there is in classical music. Through voice leading and counterpoint, any of the chords we're discussing are fluid , flexible and highly-changeable and subject to extensive alterations . Which means which notes get played for one chord or another depend on a larger sense of what's going on in the music than just a note over a chord according to some rule or another. A concrete example might be something like Bill Evans where the b9 shows up over the a iim7b5 because the larger context is b9 is a minor third in the overall key and the iim7b5 sort of points to a minor key and ....
One more (stolen) example ... from the Rite of Spring
Play the opening melody of What is this Thing over the example and try it perhaps w/a bass player. Its dissonant (and maybe it lives best in a Richie Bierach / Dave Liebman kind of style) but also ... (fill in the blank w/your own description). If you do fill in the blank be kind
LOL printer1, what you didn't answer was: what do you prefer? Either way can be justified by history.
In my case, as I've said, I prefer to use Nat 9 unless the melody calls for the b9.
A good example that comes to mind of a b9 melody is "Softly...". Now I do play Nat 9 there on a solo on occasion but usually I stick to b9. Of course it's easier to think of b9 since you stay in the same scale as the minor tonic.
Still I like Nat 9 for the color. My teacher before actually felt b9 was dissonant, though that's not something most people would think.
I guess I'm old fashioned because I find I play the flat 9 a lot on standards. I use the natural 9 when I want a more modern sound. I've been taught to use the Locrian #2 (I think that's what it's called), which is is used because it has the natural 9, whereas a normal Locrian has the flat nine.
The question of preference - and the reason I leave it open (and the reason I like Knotty's original comment about "no straight answers" is because if you approach this stuff with the idea of voice leading to fit style and context you don't have to choose one way or the other. And that's exactly what you find in Herbie and Bill Evans, Red Garland, etc. etc. Voice leading and context seem to lead the decision. Maybe the way to say it is a preference for voice leading?
And I'm totally with you about either way can be justified by history. BUT, if you're going to go down that road, post some history and examples (that we can put under our fingers!)
Well -- about posting history -- after listening to HH last week, clearly he can making anything go. A lot of what he was doing was the slide-slipping (half step scale move). Others he sounded like he only some of the notes where out. For example, perhaps he transposed the minor chords a fourth away.
Anyway, my point is, when HH plays "out", he does it with so much conviction and intent that it doesn't matter what he does. In which case, are we limiting ourselves by doing what's been done historically? After all, it's all about Tension and Release.
HH just kept the tension going a lot longer than most of us can stand. Given this logic, why even worry about "wrong notes", or worse yet in this discussion, worrying about a wrong note we can't even agree on? Frankly, he made me rethink a lot of what I do. The melodies become predominant. Not the scale. And only become conscious of doing a release.
In HH's case, he only released when he got to the tonic. LOL. He was out 80% of the time.
I say this because you tend to rely a lot on history as a basis for musical choice (per your words, since I don't know what you sound like). Given that my own past teacher didn't even teach me vocabulary, then it wasn't as important to him.
If HH can make it work with 80% of the time being in the "wrong scale", it should make us all think.
Jazzwee: I'm not sure HH is "out" that much of the time. I transcribed several choruses of one of his solos (One Finger Snap). He certainly uses a lot of altered notes, and has lots of passing chromatic passing tones, but generally his phrases were well within the written harmony. Every now and then you'll find runs that you know he had substitution in mind. He also uses sequences that clearly go outside the harmony, but are internally consistent. But I'd say that that stuff was less than 10% in the one solo I looked at. Of course, one solo does not a statistical sample make!
I'm telling you. Last week, you couldn't recognize the tune. These are pretty regular standards so I know them well. By out I don't mean always 1/2 step out. That would be always dissonant. I'm just saying that 80% of the time he was not in correct scale for the key, though there could be common tones. For example, he could sound major in a minor chord. And we're not talking about dominants here either.
What should make us think is when someone insists that 80% of the time they've heard "this" or they've heard "that." Yet despite that specific number - which is included several times in your posts - there's no hard evidence to support that assessment - only subjective description of what might or might not have happened in a concert.
How many times have we heard something once and then heard it again and realised in the second hearing we missed a lot in the first hearing? And then in a third hearing how many times have we had the impression of the second hearing? - that we missed stuff. And how many times do we go back to a recording many hearings later only to find that we're hearing it in a completely different way?
It's because of that that that a transcription is useful when referring to the specifics of someone's style. The transcription gives us common ground - and history - to which we can refer. If something's there in the transcription, well, it's there. It someone makes something up about what's in a transcription, well, that's there to see too.
A common musical vocabulary is helpful too. Musical vocabulary - jargon, professional language - whatever you want to call it: it's based on and comes from common stuff that musicians have long noticed and agreed upon. It's lets us speak more, specifically, than to say only that something is "out." Well, bebop was "out" to swing musicians. Ornette Coleman was "out" to the "inside" players of the 50s. But we have the means now to discuss how and why those impressions came to be and how why they eventually faded. So why not use all the tools we have? Why check some at the gate and admit others?
You mention in this discussion that you've never heard me play. Well, that's a two-way street now isn't it? Instead of going down that road, maybe the better question is: IS that relevant? If so, how? Why not just stick to discussing ideas about the music? So I'll be straight and to the point: Whether or not you've heard me play has nothing to do with the discussion at hand and I resent having to point that out.
Let's focus on the music. OK? There's a lot of expertise in this forum and we can all learn from each other. If you're short on vocabulary, well, then this is a good place to pick it up - in the same way that it's a good place to hear about your impression of a concert that no one else was able to attend.
I think you misunderstand me completely. You took more (including offense) that wasn't intended or did not exist. The comment about your playing was just a passing comment about what your style is in reference to being a stickler to the bebop vocabulary. I wasn't indicating in any way that you need to reveal your music in any form. You could just tell us in general.
You're obviously deep into transcription and definitely more so than my teachers before. So I was just thinking about whether this impacted being "strict" with vocabulary choices while playing. Now this related to the question of "can anything really be wrong?". Which is why I brought about HH.
What Herbie was playing was this:
I've posted this many times before. When you hear him go out, he just stayed there longer last Tuesday. But he's using the same exact techniques. Sounds exactly like it. I just happen to know because as you know I worked on documenting the different ways of playing out in my blog.
The only difference was that he did it more. It would be nice to see a transcription of "this" version. But in any case, you can probably hear the more obvious techniques like side-slipping, or some of the reharms.
The tunes played last week were regular standards so the form was very easy to follow. Heck, I played those same tunes just the night before
Now back to being strict with vocabulary. The issue then becomes, if HH can leave the current harmony, as he does frequently here, then are we being obsessive about note selection to the degree of b9 vs. nat 9 when more extreme examples abound?
My point was perhaps, as one gets more advanced, the bigger picture is more important and that's the balance of tension and release. Reminds me of the typical saying that if you hit the wrong note, hit it again, and again, and again (did that at my last gig, LOL).
Wouldn't you agree that the discussion of a b9 vs. Nat 9 pales in comparison to what HH is doing? Not a one note debate but a total departure from the original harmony?
It was just a thought. And perhaps this discussion is stretching beyond that simple observation.