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Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players

Posted By: jazzwee

Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players - 01/12/10 11:46 PM

Hello guys and gals, this will be the Grad school thread where learning Jazzers at the Intermediate to Advanced Levels can ask questions, blog, learn, share ideas, post music, discuss more advanced Jazz concepts.

If you're an expert and are beyond learning, and have a Jazz Grammy or think you deserve one, then you don't belong here.

I'm hoping that more advanced players can pop in and share and critique. Just to be clear, I'm not going to be the 'expert' here providing information. I'm just learning too and will use this to blog about my progress and hopefully others will too. So the goal here is that learning together perhaps we can learn from each other.

I'm starting this thread in the Adult Beginner's Forum because it's a lot friendlier here and it is assumed that we're all learning. We don't care how many years you've been playing Jazz. As long a you think you're still learning, you're welcome here.

If you're at a beginning level and want to ask more beginning level questions, please see this thread:

Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 12:05 AM

Credit to Wizard of Oz for this fantastic link:

Bill Evans Interview - McPartland Jazz
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92185496

Here he talks about Rhythmic displacement as something he specifically worked on.

To me Evan's Rhythmic displacement is just grouping the notes with accents. For example, when I learned this before, in a 4/4 tune, one would group notes in accented groups of three.

But what else is he doing here? This is not the same concept of Brad Mehldau's Rhythmic displacement I think where ideas cross over the barline to a different chord (ahead or behind). Or at least I couldn't hear it the first time if it's there.

Maybe you sharper guys can point out specific points in the recording to listen to.

BTW - the quality of the recording is fantastic. One really gets a sense of Bill's control over the piano. His tone is amazing.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 12:14 AM

Evans notes above that he always has a 'structure' (theoretical) figured out for his tune. He pre-plans the concepts.

A very 'anti-Gyro approach' wink

Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 12:31 AM

Good idea jazzwee. All musicians learn until the day they die.

Right now I'm working on 2 things:

1) Playing with singers.

I'm doing rehearsals with a singer, and I don't have much experience playing accompaniment. I'm so used to playing lead where I play the melody and dictate the pace.

With a singer, I need to be listening to where she is is going with the tune, and not dictate the pace. I've found timing to be very important, you can't use rubato as liberally.

I'm going to also be jamming with an opera singer, just meet up and see what happens. That should be interesting!


2) Playing modal pieces.

I'm playing some Wayne Shorter tunes right now, Nefertitti and Infant Eyes. The melodies sound great, but the harmony doesn't follow standard jazz progressions. Shorter throws in these non-functional chords that shift the tone of the piece. Infant eyes uses sus chords alot and resolves by going down a semi-tone major 7th.

What I have most trouble with is balancing the harmony, because say G sus to Gb major 7th isn't used too often as a progression.

Herbie Hancock's Dolphin dance is another I love. It uses more pedal points that don't resolve normally.

I find I need to go over small chunks of the song and really drill into my mind the progressions. You can't just wander aimless on a 2-5-1 over these things.


Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 12:38 AM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
Good idea jazzwee. All musicians learn until the day they die.


Agreed -- but I figure we should be exclusionary of anyone with too big of an ego smile

BTW - Dolphin Dance is one my faves and maybe I can try recording where I am with that one of these days. We can compare notes.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 12:42 AM

One other thing I'm working on (as if I have enough time), is to learn about McCoy Tyner type of stuff from Roger (Lot2Learn). Great stuff. Once you follow the logic of his voicings, it's pretty simple. I jammed on it a little last night.

Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 12:51 AM

Would love to hear your version of it jazzwee. Marian Mcpartland herself played it on her show, the one where Christian McBride was the guest.

Big egos are all too common with musicians, just look at some rock stars and the way they act.

Miles Davis was known to be a gruff. Most of the jazz giants seem quite humble. Herbie, Chick, Evans, Oscar, when you hear them talk they respect the music.

Keith Jarrett on the other hand needs to lose the attitude, esp his insistence on complete silence and no flash photos from the audience. One cough and he'll stop playing mid song. His outburst at the Umbria jazz festival a few years back was infamous. These are the very people who are making him rich.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 12:57 AM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
Would love to hear your version of it jazzwee. Marian Mcpartland herself played it on her show, the one where Christian McBride was the guest.


Wiz, I thought we were buddies. Now you put me in the same sentence with Marian McPartland. Am I supposed to play Dolphin Dance at her level? ha smile
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 12:58 AM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
What I have most trouble with is balancing the harmony, because say G sus to Gb major 7th isn't used too often as a progression.


I don't understand what it is you don't understand. Understand?

Balancing the harmony with...?

Ok, I actually found one in the Mark Levine book...but there is no Gsus to Gbmaj. Was it the Gbmaj to Fsus you are talking about in bars 5 to 6? In any case, have you tried looking at the chords as groups rather than independently? What strikes me is that one voicing can be used for about two or three chords at a time, with the notes of the chords changing functions depending on what the bass is doing.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 01:15 AM

Wiz, if I see | Gsus | GbMaj7 | then I'd assume it's chromatic and look for the common tone, which in this case would be F right? The rest I just imagine the chord tones a half step away.

There's a tune I used to do. Along Came Betty (Benny Golson), which had a lot of these chromatic chords and it's good to focus on the common tone to connect ideas.

That seems to simplify it for me.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 01:26 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Wiz, if I see | Gsus | GbMaj7 | then I'd assume it's chromatic and look for the common tone, which in this case would be F right? The rest I just imagine the chord tones a half step away.

There's a tune I used to do. Along Came Betty (Benny Golson), which had a lot of these chromatic chords and it's good to focus on the common tone to connect ideas.

That seems to simplify it for me.


+1
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 02:14 AM

Ok, I've got something else: Scale theory! Seriously though. Try this.

Forget the number thing I was talking about for a bit, and look at the notes F, G, Bb and C on the piano. That's your scale until you get to the A7 chord. After that A7 Chord, which is the transition you will use the notes Eb, F, Ab and Bb as your scale notes.

If you play your melody with only those notes on the Infant Eyes changes (until the pedal section which is another set of stuff) you'll get the quartal melody stuff you may be seeking. But maybe that wasn't your question?

Then you can put the numbers back in and see how they fit if you like. wink
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 03:00 AM

I haven't really done Wayne Shorter much, maybe because he's not a pianist. I love his compositions too, though Footprints is probably the only one I know well (will have to change that...).

Is Wayne Shorter into quartals too? I know his music is Modal, but for example, Maiden Voyage is clearly quartal in nature with all those Sus chords and of course the voicing.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 04:39 AM

There's nothing new under my jazz sun, apparently!

Word just in: "...jazz musicians think of scales, or modes, when they improvise, because it's easier than thinking chords." Any guess who, among others may have said this? initials ML, pg. 59, para 3. TJPB, if anyone knows this guy.

I got this book probably over 20 years ago when it was first published, and only now do I come to realize what he is talking about!

So it turns out I'm not nuts, or even original (not that I thought numbering notes was original.)

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Is Wayne Shorter into quartals too? I know his music is Modal, but for example, Maiden Voyage is clearly quartal in nature with all those Sus chords and of course the voicing.


I'm still not sure how others play Waynes Infant Eyes, but it really works as a with thinking about entire sections of bars with one set of melody notes. But in the Mark Levine example that got me interested in playing this tune, it appears that it may not have been intended that way.

Anyone else know?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 05:22 AM

What you are talking about with trying to use the same melody notes within several bars is exactly the "theme" idea I was talking about with your numbered notes thread. It's what my teacher calls a step above thinking of modes, scales, or even chord tones.

It requires some thinking of the structure of the music in advance (exactly what Bill Evans was saying in the video above). Searching for common tones and such. Dolphin Dance would be a great example of where this is applicable because the jumps in the chords and modulations will make you forget where you are. Now I don't seem to get lost in Dolphin Dance and the melodies are in my ear and not in my fingers anymore.

Wiz -- I haven't had time yet to record but I tried playing Dolphin tonight and apparently I can still play it. So I'm shooting for some free time to do it.

You may want to record where you are with it. I spent quite a bit of time studying the voicings to use in it and my teacher with the bionic ears picked it out from the recording, hopefully exactly (where practical to use in solo piano).

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 06:04 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

What you are talking about with trying to use the same melody notes within several bars is exactly the "theme" idea I was talking about with your numbered notes thread. It's what my teacher calls a step above thinking of modes, scales, or even chord tones.


I see. Ok, then let's take the discussion from there when I am talking about this scale theory thing. It has occurred to me for a long time that the only successful way to move through changes was to find that 'hidden scale' or the theme as you call it. If this isn't somehow prevalent in the soloing, then it can sound like one is really just moving between different scales.

As for planning ahead, I think that is how it must have happened for me, too. I had to play through Infant Eyes a few times to see if I could help Wiz, and the notes just kind of floated up as the structural basis for why the chords were there. I'm not sure I have ever really done it on songs that I've played a billion times. I think this is because I become programmed to wanting to sound good, rather than to look for a superstructure and deal with how the whole song really works.

I'm finding it harder these days too, NOT to sound like the people I'm listening to. In some ways this is pretty cool, but in other ways I don't like being called or thinking of myself as a poor imitator of someone. I don't even want to be a good imitator, and have never sought that.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

...and my teacher with the bionic ears picked it out...



How unfortunate. Both ears?!? Was it some sort of industrial accident? I've read about things like bionics, but have never met anyone that actually has them.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 10:30 AM

hey guys...good discussions here. If I could play Dolphin Dance 1/10th as good as Herbie I'd be very happy. And McPartland is quite the player herself. I love her enthusiasm for jazz, it shows in her interviews. She does a special improv for certain guests, called "A Portrait for..." when she's in the mood. Totally improvised and cool.

As for Infant Eyes, I saw it first from the Levine book too, then heard the recording. Beautiful song. Yeah it's the Major7 to Sus progression, I forget the exact chord as I didn't have it with me.

What I find hardest for these types of songs is memorizing the chord progression. Especially DD, the melody is in my head, but sometimes the left hand takes a second to react as I'm trying to remember where it goes.

sceptical...I think I finally got your numbering system, it was just a different way of saying it. Thinking of melody first and foremost. I sometimes envy those horn players who only need to think of 1 note at a time while playing, Miles had it easy!!

I need to buy a recording device. I borrowed my friend's for my older songs but don't have it now. That's my excuse so I want to hear you play it first! hahha...kidding.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 10:45 AM

I just finished listening to a killer version of Dolphin Dance, Herbie's trio with Jack D and Dave Holland.

You can get it here:

http://urge2burge.wordpress.com/2007/11/25/hancockhollanddejohnette-montreal-2662003/

btw, that site is like being a kid in a candy store. I did some recordings from the public radio here and sent him some, he's got pretty much anything you'd want to hear.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 04:50 PM

Wow -- great site Wiz! Listening to that version of DD. Nice to be able to get an MP3. Very different from his other DD versions. They're all great.

The original version though is almost delicate in it's simplicity.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/13/10 09:35 PM

I just found a version of DD done by Bill Evans, on his album I will Say Goodbye. Never knew he did a cover of it. I'm going to try and have a listen.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 01:52 AM

Who wants to talk about how upper partials have changed their lives? I do!!!

And no, I don't want to hear your denturist stories. I'm talking about the other ones.

Anyone use these in all 12 keys? I'm just beginning to realize their potential just very recently.

I have a question for those that already do use them: How do you think about improvising over them? Do you assign one scale ie the half diminished scale, or a melodic locrian, or do you actually look at the notes in the upper partial and go from there?

Thoughts?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 04:58 AM

Go Sceptical! Now what do you mean by upper partials? Is that the same as extensions and "Upper Structure Triads"? (using Mark Levine's terminology).

Tell me how you use it. I know about it from Levine but I've not used it. The reason is that I have used alternate shapes than triads, but the concept is the same.

Talk about how it changed your life...
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 05:08 AM

Hey Wiz, how far along have you gotten with DD? Sorry I haven't gotten the time to record. Dolphin is pretty long too so it's pretty hard to do a "Red Dot" recording without screwing up.

One thing that is the hardest with it is maintaining the form. Now that I haven't played it in awhile some parts of it got a little rusty.

Sceptical, you play Dolphin Dance? Want to share a version too?
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 06:15 AM

Hey guys,

re partials: yes, upper structures! I've found a new love! How do I use them? I don't know yet. I've been using a number of them in the past thinking that 'theory ain't of no importance' and looky at me how creative I am, only to discover last night upon searching for a version of Infant Eyes, and finding it in Mark Levine's book, that what I read about upper structures must have sunk in a wee bit about 20 years ago and I adopted one or two of them in a few different keys.

But what I rediscovered yesterday for whatever reason became clearer to me about what I have been doing, but also that there were three more that I neglected to be using. I was mostly using the #4 upper structure and the minor #4, but only in probably 4 or 5 keys. I know realize how much I didn't know, and within the last day have changed my sound tremendously.

You talk about using shapes, and this is similar to that, but the amount of shapes that my hands fell into ie the #4 and minor #4 and sometimes the 6 weren't used across the board, so to speak because I probably wasn't conscious enough about what they were or how to use them. Now I'm working on getting movement between them with exercises like Mary had a little lamb completely using upper structures. It's really hard in most keys for me, because the shapes (as you say) aren't there yet.

What I've sadly realized is that the 48 shapes I might have been using (2 chord structures in two positions in 12 keys) is only one sixth or 1/12 (how do you spell 12th?) of what I could be doing. So, now I have some definite practice plans to get these shapes under my fingers. Then the next step is to be able to move them around in whole tones, thirds, etc. Fun stuff, but I think it's going to drive the family crazy.

And DD? I don't play it because it's a bad tune, and I'm far better than Henry Hancock (I think that's how u spel it. I ROCK! Ok. Sorry. I regressed to my misspent youth for a second. But no, I don't play it, but I'll look into it, and if I like it enough to take me away from the other tunes and concepts I'm playing with I'll post something.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 06:30 AM

Why don't you give a specific structure that you use (on one key)?

The thing about upper structures, at least as far as Levine uses them, it's primary for voicings. I don't know about you but unless I'm soloing, I'm using two handed voicings most of the time, so I can clearly define my extensions without having to worry too much about structures. If I have to play the melody as the top note, then there really is no opportunity to sneak in an upper structure.

Wiz started a thread sometime back about "shapes" and how you move diatonically within the scale. That specifically uses upper structures but undefined as to the shape (sort of make your own shape). That's partly where I experimented with the stuff in the Mary Had a Little Lamb shape. And partly it was already a shape I used.

So just to be clear, Levine's shapes are Triads. And if you read it closely, depending on where you start the triad, you get a certain chord quality and voicing. I haven't messed much with Levine's versions but anyone can really develop their preferred shapes without relying on Levine's shapes. It's trial and error finding your shapes.

One shape I use for example is an augmented triad. Another is a Tritone + Fourth.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 06:33 AM

Hey Sceptical, do you still play a lot of Jazz or you quit that a long time ago?
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 07:42 AM

hey jazzwee, I was working through some transcriptions of DD, figuring out chords and such. It's still very raw right now, wouldn't sound too great. I'm looking at the chords to see what Herbie was thinking when he wrote it.


I've tried some experimenting with upper structures, mainly I think of them as an extension of the chord.

For example: G / F A C E , could be called G/ Fmaj7th, but really is a G7 with the 9th, 11th, 13th added on.

Same thing as a slash chord, just worded differently.

I picked up one chord I really like in DD, it's F/B, or basically F7 b5 b9, played with D on top as the melody note and you get a really cool dissonant sound.

I found another young jazz prodigy, she does a nice version of Dolphin Dance. It's 3rd on the myspace list.

What's more amazing is that she's blind, and also plays flute. Check out the video of one song where she plays flute and piano at the same time!!

http://www.myspace.com/rachelflowersmusic


Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 07:46 AM

hey for augmented triad do you mean something like C E G# B? And tritone and 4th, C F# B.... I use that sound alot, picked it up from Mr. Hancock himself.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 08:44 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Hey Sceptical, do you still play a lot of Jazz or you quit that a long time ago?


A long time ago as in hours ago? No, I started long ago, but did it the Gyro way for a length of time, all the while I was gigging as a jazz player, but never really thought to put myself to the test again and reexamine what it is that I thought I knew. I do know quite a bit, but there's quite a bit more that I'm now getting a chance to look at with fresh eyes.

A bit of history about me: Like most pianists I started with classical lessons, did the levels (ARCT in Canada.)But from the beginning I always liked 'fooling around' on the piano and had some fake books of pop songs that my father had laying around for the organ. I learned enough about chords from the classical lessons to sound mediocre when I was playing from these lead sheets. Yes, I could play by ear, and enough so to get gigs and such, but I wasn't ever THAT great. I even took 3 or 4 lessons when I was 15 to learn how to play jazz. I lost interest because at the time I didn't realize that it was blues that I wanted to play. I really didn't like the music of Herbie, Keith, Miles, etc. So the jazz lessons didn't stick.

Got to university, studied classical piano and percussion, met a few amazing musicians. Started listening a bit more to jazz, picked up the Levine book but still improvising and developing my own sound, which in retrospect I could say sounded 'jazzish', but not really there.

Fast forward about ten years, moved cities, found lots of gigs, but mostly with singers and still really didn't look at theory too much more than picking stuff up along the way. Fast forward to this last year, got a new piano and was so enamoured with the sound that I started recording improvisations on it, but with chords and spacing to hear the sustain and overtones, and bass (which I'm still grappling with to like from day to day.) Fast forward to about a week ago, woke up again and realized I'd better get back to studying jazz because of the 12345 number pattern thing made me want to reexamine melody in the jazz context.

So there we be. Now I'm looking at upper structures again.

An example of something I'm playing, and had played before, but the 'shape didn't fit my fingers before is the A7b913 or reading from the bottom A, G, C#, F#, A#, C#. I played that one, but in two, three keys, but in all 12, and kind of forgot that I could do it elsewhere. Laziness I suppose.

And you're right, Levine's upper structures are based on triads over a tritone. I'm not sure if what you say about making your own shapes though falls under what appears to be an upper structure. With the shapes it may become hit and miss. I really have done the shapes for a long time, but I suppose that I always fell back the ones that I became comfortable with. This wouldn't have been such a bad thing if I never discovered that I'd missed a great deal of voicings, especially in the keys that kind of dictate certain shapes.

And your background guys? Not that you asked for mine...
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 08:58 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

The thing about upper structures, at least as far as Levine uses them, it's primary for voicings. I don't know about you but unless I'm soloing, I'm using two handed voicings most of the time, so I can clearly define my extensions without having to worry too much about structures. If I have to play the melody as the top note, then there really is no opportunity to sneak in an upper structure.



Yes, they are two handed voicings, but there is no reason you can't use them as the support of the melody. Perhaps not on every eighth note, but perhaps on every beat. But what do you mean by clearly defining the extensions? If the melody note is the top of the extension as in the C# (see above post) going to a D do you see this as something other than an upper structure?
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 11:26 AM

I find upper structures useful in all aspects of improvisation. Essentially all they are is subgroups of notes derived from a certain scale, so it is easy to use them any context whether doing single line impro, block chords or accompanying a melody.

For instance a couple of upper structure triads you could use over a D7 sharp 9 are Bb major triad, Ab major triad and B major triad. The first 2 of these are derived from the dimished whole tone scale (ie Eb melodic minor ascending) and the last from the diminished scale (half whole). So, for instance, if you had an Eb in the melody you could use either a B maj triad or Ab major triad in the RH (voiced with the Eb at the top) with the D7 sharp 9 shell voicing in the LH.
And when doing a single line impro using the different arpeggios give a different flavour.
I find these particular triads very useful for creating moving inside voices inside a single chord,. For instance if there is a bar of D7 sharp 9 then you could play in the RH the Bb triad on the first 2 beats and then move to the Ab triad for the 2nd 2 beats. This provides some harmonic interest in a static chord and using just the inner voices can add another level of beauty.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 04:01 PM

beeboss, although I don't use triads in a memorized way as upper structures, I think I do something similar but not thinking necessarily of a specific triad interval.

The similarity is my constant visual overlay of a diminished scale over any dominants. Then I find some intervallic pattern over it, rather than a scalar movement. In essence it turns out usually to be sort of triad shape, though not necessarily that exact interval (sometimes it turns out to be an augmented triad).

I've been working heavily on Chick Corea's Matrix the last few weeks, and Chick uses this kind of approach heavily in his dominants. Chick also has some interesting whole-tone shapes and then he weaves in and out from that back to diatonic tones. That's probably the inner voice movement you're talking about. His moves are rather unpredictable.

Of course the approach is different with minor 7 chords, where I typically will limit myself to diatonic shapes or quartal shapes. In major chords, I will do quartal shapes too or some #11 shape.

Neat stuff. I can't say I can do it comfortably in all keys though.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 04:09 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by jazzwee

The thing about upper structures, at least as far as Levine uses them, it's primary for voicings. I don't know about you but unless I'm soloing, I'm using two handed voicings most of the time, so I can clearly define my extensions without having to worry too much about structures. If I have to play the melody as the top note, then there really is no opportunity to sneak in an upper structure.



Yes, they are two handed voicings, but there is no reason you can't use them as the support of the melody. Perhaps not on every eighth note, but perhaps on every beat. But what do you mean by clearly defining the extensions? If the melody note is the top of the extension as in the C# (see above post) going to a D do you see this as something other than an upper structure?


It least in the Levine context, you place the upper structure triad on top of the LH voicing. When I'm playing the head, there's sufficient time (since this is something one can do in advance and is not improvisation), you can already choose your specific extensions that you prefer and within the limits of available fingers. So there's no need there to think of upper structures.

I think the Levine upper structures were meant as quick comping voicings, that's why the specific use of an easily memorized triad shape. But those upper structures, as Beeboss says, are actually more relevant in a soloing setting since it gives you some visual for looking at possible lines.

So how do you use it? Voicings or soloing shape?
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 04:39 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
.

The similarity is my constant visual overlay of a diminished scale over any dominants. Then I find some intervallic pattern over it, rather than a scalar movement. In essence it turns out usually to be sort of triad shape, though not necessarily that exact interval (sometimes it turns out to be an augmented triad).



The beauty of the dimished scale is its symmetrical structure that makes the conception of the upper structure chords very easy to manage, any shape (chord or melodic) is immediately transposable in minor 3rds will work fine. This leads to a real lot of possible upper extentions.

Over a C7 for instance you can play ...
Eb major triad, A major triad, F sharp major triad
C minor triad, Eb m triad, F sharp m triad, A m triad
Eb7, F sharp 7, A7
Cmin7, F sharp min7, Amin7,
All of the above with b9 or sharp 9 additions
etc

This leads to an exceptional number of voicing possibilities and an exception number of possible juicy single note lines.

I don't think you can extract any augamented triads from the diminshed scale though, although you can find some in diminished whole tone scale and obviously theres a lot in the whole tone scale.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 05:38 PM

Beeboss, that is VERY EASY to remember for me. A lot easier than any Levine structure. I use a lot of diminished cycle shapes and I can add this one to my list. Thanks!

So to clarify for others, these triads create the following extensions:

For a C7:

Eb Triad = #9
F# Triad = #11 b9
A Triad = 13 #9

which are basically triads moved a minor 3rd apart and starting from the root. If you stay long on a C7 chord and comping, you can create moving voices while remaining on the chord.

You're right about augmented triad being in whole-tone when used in dominants. I was taught to use that in dominants and as a maj/min sound in Minor 7 chords. I never really worked out where it was derived from.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/14/10 06:08 PM

Spectical, I'll repeat my background here since this is a new thread...and to encourage everyone to do the same.

I've been studying jazz and piano for a little over 5 years so far. I've had a teacher 100% of the time during this period and have been with my latest teacher over 3 years. I'm been lucky to have a Jazz master as a teacher and it has really accelerated my development. Sometimes it got a little frustrating (like at the 3rd year of Jazz), as it felt like an impossibility. And now I realize that certain skills needed time to develop and when it clicks, things move VERY FAST. So, I'm at a pace of geometric improvement this year.

One usually gravitates to a teacher based on a desired style, and in my case it's been Modern Jazz. So that's my bias.

Now my main problem is that I don't have much of a setlist because I've always worked on more difficult tunes first and they take much more time. My teacher's idea of a "basic" tune is All the Things You Are. So bring on tunes like Dolphin Dance, Very Early, Windows, Stella, Invitation...but I'll need a leadsheet on A-Train and Satin Doll.

Right now, top development issues on the active list are: soloing on the LH, and being more in the pocket.

My main focus for the short run is Chick Corea (Matrix, Spain) and in some ways connects to McCoy Tyner after seeing Chick's intriguing use of quartals. So that's my Jazz story.

I have played Guitar for 40 years though so I'm not exactly new to music...
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 01:03 AM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
hey for augmented triad do you mean something like C E G# B? And tritone and 4th, C F# B.... I use that sound alot, picked it up from Mr. Hancock himself.



Augmented Triad arpeggio would only be the C E G#. For example, playing an Eb7, I will use an augmented triad arpeggio of Eb B G (this is played going down from Eb); Bb7 played Bb F D. Also on a minor 7th chord, let's say Fm7, I will play Ab E C (played going down -- same shape). These are the first three chords of ATTYA. When used on a minor chord, it gives a Maj/Min sound. On dominants it implies a whole-tone sound and a modernish 2-5-1 pattern.

Now the Tritone+Fourth interval, like C F# B (exactly) is a voicing interval I use and you move this around the diminished root cycle (minor third movements), starting with the 3rd of the dominant7. So the first voicing (E Ab Eb) will be a #9, next is #9, #11, next a 13, last is b9. These become alternate voicings for a C7.

This is pretty similar to what Beeboss was talking about, except it's just a different shape.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 01:24 AM

Ok everyone,

I'm questioning this shape concept now. I use(d) it all the time, especially with things like C F Bb, or the tritone E Bb Eb, as well as using other shapes too, such as as 2nd and a 5th or fourth ( C D G, or C D A) but what I neglected for much time was the real upper structures of a major or minor triad in the root and inverted positions. Once I started playing them consciously, yes they begin to appear as shapes rather than 'Im playing a D over C7 now'. But it took me the realization that the shapes I was choosing ala Chick or McCoy made me sound too much like them. This is perhaps why I don't always like listening to them--I find that I'm not hearing things that make me go wow.

So, if you play by shapes, do you also consider the shape between your thumbs? That is kind of where I've taken myself back to because of the upper structures need this consideration.

Whenever I just want to play without thinking too much I'll use the shapes, and I'll continue to sound a certain way. But when I try to include the upper structure theory I'm now eager to hear what comes next as I play.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 01:33 AM

sceptical, I'm not too reliant on the shapes myself because I actually think of what it is, i.e. #9, b9 #11, b9, etc.

Again it depends on what it is you're doing. Are you soloing with the structures or using them as voicings?

Depending on one's use, these could expose some areas to address. As comping voicings, they provide moving voices so one is not stuck to a plain vanilla rootless chord.

But when I solo, I've learned to rely on my ear a lot so these shapes become more of a vocabulary source, I find.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 01:50 AM

jazzwee, interesting use of the aug triad. I tend to think of them more as a Cmaj7 #5 chord. For dominant chords, I've worked out a way to think of the altered notes as it relates to the key, rather than the chord.
Actually, I've worked on that tritone + 4 shape enough so that when I play, my hands gravitate toward the shape without me thinking of the chord name. I just know the sound. Kind of like what Taylor Eigsti was talking about.

I find when improvising, I don't want to be thinking chord names and progression, but the sound that is coming out.
I tried playing Dolphin Dance in another key today, to get away from the preconceived chord voicings I was using in the normal key. Came up with some unusual sounds but it was fun.

btw, did you check out that young girl's version of DD?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 02:28 AM

Wiz, that augmented pattern cannot be overused, the way I use it as it has a particular sound. And typically it cannot be used with the head because the Major/Min might clash. But it's just an example of the "shape" searching we were doing on that other thread.

Typically on Major7 and Min7 chords, I'd be thinking more along the lines of Eigsti's diatonic shape movement, like triad or inversions. So this is a variation away from that.

Yeah that Tritone+Fourth pattern is also pretty embedded in my playing now and can do it as a moving voice. All I really think about is that when I use that shape, I think of a H-W diminished as my scale.

Quartal shapes are still excellent of course of Major and Minors. In that Roger (Lot2Learn) video, he plays the Cm chord by starting the quartals on the root, then the 9th, then the minor 3rd. That was a new application to me (never really studied McCoy much before).

I really liked your Shapes thread as it makes you keep an open mind on these. I just have to build up my "shapes" collection. Beeboss, just added one to my list. When you did your shapes thread, we didn't really discuss specifics so at least now we have a few here.

But I know that this is filler too so one can't over-focus on it. In the end, IMHO, it's still the solo lines that count.


Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 02:32 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
sceptical, I'm not too reliant on the shapes myself because I actually think of what it is, i.e. #9, b9 #11, b9, etc.

Again it depends on what it is you're doing. Are you soloing with the structures or using them as voicings?

Depending on one's use, these could expose some areas to address. As comping voicings, they provide moving voices so one is not stuck to a plain vanilla rootless chord.

But when I solo, I've learned to rely on my ear a lot so these shapes become more of a vocabulary source, I find.


Ok, I'm confused. What distinction are you making between soloing and comping? Are you talking about solo piano, or quartet setting or...?
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 02:33 AM

Speaking of lines, this guy has some real "tasty" lines, puts a smile on my face:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KzlfdxcHCg

Peter Martin, very underrated player. Backs up Dianne Reeves and Chris Botti.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 02:40 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by jazzwee
sceptical, I'm not too reliant on the shapes myself because I actually think of what it is, i.e. #9, b9 #11, b9, etc.

Again it depends on what it is you're doing. Are you soloing with the structures or using them as voicings?

Depending on one's use, these could expose some areas to address. As comping voicings, they provide moving voices so one is not stuck to a plain vanilla rootless chord.

But when I solo, I've learned to rely on my ear a lot so these shapes become more of a vocabulary source, I find.


Ok, I'm confused. What distinction are you making between soloing and comping? Are you talking about solo piano, or quartet setting or...?



Comping - structures are used to create moving voices while staying on the same chord. Great for ballads since there's a lot of time spent on each chord. Also modal tunes.

Soloing - the structures are used as starting points for playing ideas (i.e. incorporating the specific notes of the structure in the solo, although not necessarily in any particular order).
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 02:45 AM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz

btw, did you check out that young girl's version of DD?


You keep posting these and I'll have a phobia of posting my version smile She's great!
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 02:53 AM

Wiz, you must know DD pretty well if you can play in different keys. I know I can't do that because some of the voicings can be a bit unusual.

So are you going to post where you are on it?
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 02:55 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Soloing - the structures are used as starting points for playing ideas (i.e. incorporating the specific notes of the structure in the solo, although not necessarily in any particular order).


I see. What I'm doing is actually opposite of this. The melody is dictating the upper structure, or at least that's how I'm trying to approach it. When I do it the other way around the the solo ideas take a much different turn. It is really just changing my mind about what comes first. I realized that the chords were coming first before, and the limited chords I knew may have kept me soloing in a certain way ie quartal chords make me do things in my solo that I may not be hearing in my head. But now that I'm concentrating on the solo, the chords will have to follow that. So the +11, b9s etc will just be melody notes and the chords all of a sudden say 'Hey! I'm not really that useful as just a Dominant, I can actually help the melody if I include the accompanying upper structures!'

Then the melody and the chords lived happily ever after.

I think I'll post a recording tonight to illustrate if you like.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 03:05 AM

Scep, I didn't realize you're composing. I was of course thinking in terms of playing a Standard. I don't think any of my commentary applies to composing. It would be too limiting.

It's from searching that you discover these shapes (like the augmented-triad).
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 03:11 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz

btw, did you check out that young girl's version of DD?


You keep posting these and I'll have a phobia of posting my version smile She's great!


Haha! Just remember it's not a competition. If I had to play some classical stuff now I'd sound like a complete beginner. I get inspired hearing these kids really digging jazz.


I wish I could post right now but I don't have a recording device. Looking to get a high quality one soon, but as the holidays have just ended I'm tight on budget.

scepticalforum... Would like to hear your songs and what you're working on. Got any jazz ballads that you know well to try it on?



Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 03:15 AM

I am composing, but I was actually talking about improvising over changes in a standard. I think you'll see what I mean when I say iii vi ii v I: What voicings/extentions do you use where and why? The basic changes are there, but depending one what you are wanting to do will dictate the type of iii, ii, v, etc. Sorry if I wasn't clear about that.

But now I'm even more curious. "It's from searching that you will discover these shapes..." How is that different than hunt and peck? I don't think you mean that do you?
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 03:19 AM

I know the melody to DD well, but just play it starting in C major, as it's a key that I am very familiar and can throw in lots of stuff. If I had to do it in B I'd be lost.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 03:50 AM

Ok. I've decided to post a recording of me fumbling through some upper structure stuff, and how I'm trying to have the melody (and improv) guide my chord choices. Don't expect a performance here. It's just me playing some chords and then explaining why.

http://www.box.net/shared/4hpndsjpaf

And, no, this isn't indicative of a finished piece. But how do you like the tuning of the piano? Just freshly tuned about an hour ago!
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 03:55 AM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz

btw, did you check out that young girl's version of DD?


You keep posting these and I'll have a phobia of posting my version smile She's great!


Haha! Just remember it's not a competition. If I had to play some classical stuff now I'd sound like a complete beginner. I get inspired hearing these kids really digging jazz.


I wish I could post right now but I don't have a recording device. Looking to get a high quality one soon, but as the holidays have just ended I'm tight on budget.

scepticalforum... Would like to hear your songs and what you're working on. Got any jazz ballads that you know well to try it on?





I know nothing anymore, unless you want to hear me play something without upper structure stuff. I could post some recordings that truly are mediocre, but really, you'd want to hear something that I'm not thrilled about? If so, I will because it's almost as if I'm now divorced from that part of myself. The trouble is I'm not at that new level yet, just peeking into the possibilities.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 05:17 AM

Dolphin Dance

So here's my one-shot try here...it's massively full of errors and that's screwing up my time. Also much too fast. That's the effect of the "Red Dot". This thing is so difficult that if I don't play it a lot it can really mess me up.

http://www.box.net/shared/02jhkp6bmb

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 05:28 AM

If we were posting perfect stuff, we wouldn't be in this thread. So guys, the point is that were not Jazz masters and it's from sharing that we can get to test our skills and move to the next level.

So bring it on -- whatever it is.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 05:58 AM





Where are you using the upper structures then? I thought you were incorporating them into standards. Or are you trying out the new sounds and seeing how they can fit? That's always the first step, I need to work out new voicings and such before I put them into songs.

That's the fun part and experimenting with new sounds and what you like or don't.

btw, your link isn't working.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 06:09 AM

jazzwee, nice playing! Clean lines and I like the harmony. I'm going for a much freer interpretation, where the melody is interspersed into some improv. I've heard some versions of Herbie playing it where you could barely recognize it but then he'd throw in a line and you knew it was DD.

Are your voicings worked out from a lead sheet or your own?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 06:17 AM

Wiz, thanks. Actually this tune really works with a free form solo piano approach like what that girl does. I'm really rusty with this tune but you've encouraged me to clean it up. Played slowly it could be good for a gig.

Leadsheets don't give you any clue to the voicings here. So long ago, my teacher used this tune as a platform to investigate these voicings. I vary it a little bit since we did it kind of big picture. But I liked the lush voicings for solo piano. As you can guess the harmony here is quite complex.

But before you set aside playing this the standard way, make sure you've listened to the original Herbie version (Maiden Voyage album). His solo was so simple but so poignant. It's such a classic.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 06:24 AM

The link is working again, but I'm taking it off tonight, because it was a demo of what I was doing, and some things I'm trying now, but they're not successful yet...so I didn't want this out there for too long.
http://www.box.net/shared/4hpndsjpaf
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 06:26 AM

And Jazzwee,

Nice stuff there. I love the piano sound too. Are you adding reverb? You use an H4 don't you?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/15/10 06:33 AM

sceptical, that recording is great. Don't remove it. That Georgia solo sounded fantastic! You'll have to explain that some more, like maybe show the chords, and some sample upper structures you're playing with.

Recording -- I just plugged in my H4 directly into the outs of the Yamaha P155. Yes there's reverb, to cover up the deficiencies of the piano. It just doesn't compare to the Steinway.
Posted By: Mark...

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/16/10 02:59 AM

I hope this has not been posted. I love this guys playing and though you jazz fans might also. Very high quality stuff:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLk412W9gwQ&feature=sub
Posted By: jotur

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/16/10 03:10 AM

Originally Posted by Mark...
I hope this has not been posted. I love this guys playing and though you jazz fans might also. Very high quality stuff:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLk412W9gwQ&feature=sub


I don't know about the jazzers, but I loved it.

Cathy
Posted By: Mark...

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/16/10 03:19 AM

Originally Posted by jotur
Originally Posted by Mark...
I hope this has not been posted. I love this guys playing and though you jazz fans might also. Very high quality stuff:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLk412W9gwQ&feature=sub


I don't know about the jazzers, but I loved it.

Cathy


If you liked that one:

http://www.youtube.com/user/7notemode#p/u/14/UuIxiuDO4FM
Posted By: jotur

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/16/10 04:56 AM

Whooo - terrific!

Cathy
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/16/10 05:16 AM

Kewl! 7Notemode is quite a resource on Youtube. Thanks for the post!

Look how steady his beat was on Georgia...that's exactly what I need to do. I can't do it with a metronome.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/17/10 04:03 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
sceptical, I'm not too reliant on the shapes myself because I actually think of what it is, i.e. #9, b9 #11, b9, etc.


I've also come to realize this is something that I'm not doing with many progressions. I do know extended chords, but now I question if I really know what sounds good after a +4 or #11 chord, and can precede what type of 13 or aug chord. I think I've just been playing shapes for too long, and have neglected to expand the repertoire of possible shapes.
Because yes, I can sit down and play through fake books, I can compose tunes, I can talk about the theory, BUT I'm coming to realize that talk is one thing, and deep understanding is another.

So, I'm back to the drawing board, and although a bit discouraged about where I find myself, I'm more excited now to work my way through standards and improvisations with a whole new set of expectations for myself.

It's both liberating and a bit debilitating though because now I am super conscious when I play about whether I am falling into old patterns, or really practicing and trying to expand my playing abilities.

Anyone else come to similar points in their development and care to share their stories?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/17/10 06:14 AM

sceptical, whatever you think you know, what came out of Georgia sounded fresh to me. So I was wondering what you were thinking when you were doing it. From what I gather from what you said before that your Jazz side was self-taught?

There's things you probably do that don't have a theory label but is the same sort of thing.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/17/10 06:32 AM

Because of the discussions in this thread, I focused today's practice on an Augmented triad shape, basically using augmented triads on my ii-V's. I practiced trying to use it on every ii-V I encountered.

I'll try to record what I accomplished. It's a different sound for sure and is one I've had in my theoretical vocabulary but not really utilized much. So intentional practice of this should really help.

I also tried integrating the diminished cycle triads that Beeboss introduced me to. This has some interesting modern sounds.

I have not tended to use shapes much when I play my solo lines but they are useful because it opens up the range of sounds, particularly when you use these shapes intervallicly.

I should talk about Intervallic playing. Because of my teacher's influence (Modern Jazz), I tend to play more intervallicly instead of the stepwise and chromatic movement more typical of bebop. I've been working on Chick Corea's Matrix, both technically and theoretically. Stylistically, I found Chick using a combination of intervallic playing (particularly quartal based shapes), and bebop style chromatics. It is sometimes hard to imagine his creativity when he recorded these masterful works at such a young age. It's totally inspiring.

There's a lot to learn in jazz. Although in theory it's all explainable as scales, it's different in execution and I'm enjoying the discovery of how some things are applied. I could probably write a Thesis on the little Chick-isms that one finds in his playing. If I can execute 1% of it, I'll be playing pretty well. I'm not trying to play Matrix at tempo. I'm analyzing it much more slowly. Although, admitedly I'm trying to execute the lines at tempo more as a technical exercise.

From Matrix, it's an easy jump to Chick's other tunes and apply some of the lines (which to me is not to copy the lick but to understand the concept). I might try a line and look at several variations.

BTW - it was from these forums that I got hooked on to studying Matrix...
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/17/10 12:05 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

Anyone else come to similar points in their development and care to share their stories?



Hi Sceptical,
I know exactly what you mean. I always try to take the attitude that back to the drawing board is a good place to be because a re-assessment with always lead to a deeper understanding.
For instance if you are bored using the same old chord shapes then that is the time to learn more about how to form new voicings, and then to integrate that into your playing. Harmony is limitless so if there is always somewhere further to go!
One thing I have always found to be extremely beneficial in this situation is to write some arragements or reharms, stretching out harmonically on a given theme trying to incorporate some sounds that are new to me. Generate some voicings with some new techniques (slash chords for example, or voicings from new scales) and then reharm something that you already know using these new sounds.

It is important to write down the chords you discover and ponder long and hard about which one sounds right in each place, and why it may work there.
This will not only improve your ability to generate interesting harmony but also do wonders for your ears.

So give you an idea here are a few links to some reharms I have done with this idea in mind.
beautiful love
http://www.divshare.com/download/4137801-517
nice work if you can get it
http://www.divshare.com/download/7439628-544
how insensitive
http://www.divshare.com/download/4155788-e8d

Nice playing on Georgia btw
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/17/10 12:24 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Because of the discussions in this thread, I focused today's practice on an Augmented triad shape, basically using augmented triads on my ii-V's. I practiced trying to use it on every ii-V I encountered.


I am interested to hear how you approach this


Originally Posted by jazzwee

I also tried integrating the diminished cycle triads that Beeboss introduced me to. This has some interesting modern sounds.


Once you get these sounds in your ears you will hear them everywhere, in Corea and Bill Evans. Their use is limitless.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

I have not tended to use shapes much when I play my solo lines but they are useful because it opens up the range of sounds, particularly when you use these shapes intervallicly.


I don't really follow you here -everything is a shape, every chord every arpeggio, every voicing. A shape is just a collection of notes. So you can't improvise without 'using shapes', even if you are thinking of them in terms of being scale patterns or 2 5 1 licks or whatever. If you are not conscious of using the notes you choose as shapes then it is certainly worth giving it a go and seeing where it leads. Any approach that opens up the possibilities of what to play can only be good.

Nice one on Dolphin dance, you have the difficult harmony of that tune well down.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/17/10 03:55 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by jazzwee

I have not tended to use shapes much when I play my solo lines but they are useful because it opens up the range of sounds, particularly when you use these shapes intervallicly.


I don't really follow you here -everything is a shape, every chord every arpeggio, every voicing. A shape is just a collection of notes. So you can't improvise without 'using shapes', even if you are thinking of them in terms of being scale patterns or 2 5 1 licks or whatever. If you are not conscious of using the notes you choose as shapes then it is certainly worth giving it a go and seeing where it leads. Any approach that opens up the possibilities of what to play can only be good.



Beeboss, BTW it's really nice of you to interact with us here. I've really enjoyed your reharms at Keyboard Corner.

What I mean by not so shape focused is that when I actually play, I'm trying to just 'listen' to what I'm playing and just trying to create the line in my head instead of letting my finger muscle memory decide where to go. But I'm seeing that this limits what I do because my melodies are driven by chord tones. This was my 'basic' training so to speak.

When I start integrating an unusual shape, as I've focused on more recently, it changes what I hear, and somehow creates more options for me harmonically. So instead of just following typical harmony. There are sounds that are difficult to 'hear' for me (at the moment) and better played as just a shape. Some of these are the diminished patterns that I hear from Chick. A diminished line played intervallicly is not something my ear will naturally gravitate to. In the past, I would integrate diminished lines in a more scalar way just because I couldn't hear it otherwise.

In my other Jazz thread, I teach beginners to use Chord tones on downbeats and connect these in some fashion on upbeats. That's the basic rule I was taught. But now in the advanced stages of learning, I'm applying the new element: 'What Chord am I defining with the chord tones?' (meaning substitution on the fly). That's what we are doing with diminished cycle application for example.

I'm just discovering that some things are still best left to the fingers for now since my ears can't comprehend the sounds yet.

Originally Posted by beeboss


Nice one on Dolphin dance, you have the difficult harmony of that tune well down.


I appreciate that. Will need to clean it up though as my time really sucks on it. That's my other problem. If I don't have the metronome on, my time will wander. Any tips on solidifying my internal clock?


On the augmented triad, I will try to post my exercise. I defined what I do with it earlier,which is pretty much just arpeggiating the Augmented triad as the chord tones in a ii-V.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/17/10 08:15 PM

Hi Jazzwee,

there are many ways to work on time and no shortcut to developing good time.

There are zillions of great things to try but the 3 things that have worked the best for me are....

1- put the metronome on pretty slow, play something simple and spend some time just getting it rhythmically perfect. Often I have found rhythmic problems stem from not being relaxed or having too many things to concentrate, so take something simple and keep going until its perfect and effortless. Just quarter notes from a single scale is good for a start but it can be anything really as long as the entire focus is the rhythm.
2 - without the metronome do the same thing. Play a simple groove and when its starts to sit properly focus on keeping it there. Keep up the concentration and relax into it and keep it grooving for at least 5 mins.
In other words learn to really focus on the rhythm by not thinking about anything else.
3 - Recording myself playing has really been illuminating as often I thought I was playing in time and then when I heard recordings back I realized that it didn't sit at all well. So try record yourself to see how you are doing. Work out which are the weak bit and work more on those.

These have worked well for me, although I would still only describe my time as adequate.
Give it a go and see if you think it helps.


Posted By: ten left thumbs

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/17/10 08:27 PM

Thanks for that beeboss, I'll give that a go. I'm curious as to how I both 'keep up the concentration' and 'relax into it' at the same time - but strangely enough I think I know what you mean. smile
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/17/10 10:57 PM

Concentration can be effortless as physical tension is not required to concentrate. Try sitting in a quiet place and concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes to see what I mean.
At the piano one has to practice to get into this state, to be well above any technical problems, which is why it is best to start by practicing this focus with very easy pieces or exercises.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/18/10 12:05 AM

beeboss, yes, I was looking for the shortcut smile Darn.... As can be expected, the more complex the tune (like Dolphin Dance), the worse the time. Which I guess translates to where my mind is occupied. But with the metronome on, I'm ok.

I know that if I can solve my time problem, I'll do well. It's what's killing me because it is so slow to develop. But I guess it's one of the biggest developmental milestones, bigger than note picking...
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/18/10 12:15 AM

About the Thread Split....

I just wanted to make a comment about the thread split. The discussions in this thread so far would scare away any beginner. In contrast, the discussions in the Autumn Leaves thread will discourage anyone advanced because most of it is pretty basic, so I hope this does not get interpreted as some sort of exclusionary grouping. Instead it's meant to group the discussions by level and set expectations for the type of post response so it fits the potential audience (more advanced responses here would be the norm for example). I'm sure anyone that has read the discussions so far will get the point.

Anyone can feel free to jump in either direction though if something is of interest...

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/18/10 04:11 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
sceptical, whatever you think you know, what came out of Georgia sounded fresh to me.

Thanks, that's much appreciated coming from you.
Originally Posted by jazzwee

So I was wondering what you were thinking when you were doing it.

Well the first bit I was just getting the tune out, and not thinking about anything besides getting to the end of the A section. The fingers have been there, done that, so anything that was coming out was from habit in that key. I could do the same tune in probably every other key, but they would all sound key specific, with the exceptions of the chords I really strive to throw in. As for the second bit, I was looking at replacing any Vs and their subs with extensions that I would normally not use. I believe I used upper structure bVI and II, but am unsure now. In any case I was trying to use ones that made me think about how I should approach them and where they ought to resolve to.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

From what I gather from what you said before that your Jazz side was self-taught?

Yes, generally self taught, but had probably 5 lessons when I was in my teens, and unfortunately too soon for me to really realize the significance of what was being taught to me. I didn't like listening to jazz until my twenties, and even then it was more like Pat Methany rather than Miles Davis (who I really didn't get until my later 20s after bad mouthing him for the longest time. Oops)
Originally Posted by jazzwee

There's things you probably do that don't have a theory label but is the same sort of thing.

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but if you are saying that what I may be doing is covered by conventional jazz or classical theory then I'd have to disagree. Whatever I've played I've picked up from somewhere, and when I slow down to see the progressions I use I know that they are nothing new, or inexplicable.

So, my journey continues with upper structures and the accompanying scales.

And, I've removed Georgia because it really wasn't something I wanted up there for too long, especially when people started posting their favorite Youtube versions which were meant as performances.

I'll post something again, and I hope others do too. But I was assuming this thread was all about learning and sharing that process. So in that spirit, I will continue to post things in progress looking for tips from others.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/18/10 04:16 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss

It is important to write down the chords you discover and ponder long and hard about which one sounds right in each place, and why it may work there.
This will not only improve your ability to generate interesting harmony but also do wonders for your ears.


This I will try. It sounds like something that avoided for long enough and is well overdue. Trouble is, I'm quite lazy, so I'll probably just try to memorize things instead of committing them to paper. But I think you are right. It should prove very useful in the long run.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/18/10 04:49 AM

sceptical, so what I've been practicing the last couple of days is similar. The one I got from Beeboss is Triads on bIII, bV, VI on dominants.

They're much more outside sounding than your II and bVI. I'll try yours too.

Now the Augmented triad is a ii-V thing so that I will record tomorrow when I get a chance. It's hard to do continuously because I wasn't as handy on it in all keys. Although I've learned this shape a long ago, I haven't really sat down and practiced it in all keys (which really translates to Augmented triad arpeggios).
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/18/10 04:58 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
And, I've removed Georgia because it really wasn't something I wanted up there for too long, especially when people started posting their favorite Youtube versions which were meant as performances.

I'll post something again, and I hope others do too. But I was assuming this thread was all about learning and sharing that process. So in that spirit, I will continue to post things in progress looking for tips from others.


I hope you reconsider this. For one we're anonymous here. Second, as we progress from our learning stages we post better things. Others can learn when they see where we've come from and where we end up. I sounded pretty bad two years ago. I'm better now. So others can compare and see what they can expect. Obviously we have tunes we can play better because we've done it over and over. But in learning something new, everyone has to start somewhere.

Anyway, my attitude is that I stopped caring. Every year, I get better and the old criticisms bounce off my new armor of growing skill. What we do here isn't easy and not learned overnight.

As we learn and fail sometmes, others learn with us. So I vote we leave our egos at the door and keep ourselves open here.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/18/10 05:18 AM

Oh hey, I'm all for leaving my ego at the door I think. I just don't want those with the mucky boots to step on mine while they trample past. wink

But ya, I'll reconsider. I'm planning on posting some other stuff anyways, so...
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/18/10 05:27 AM

Well for one, I posted Dolphin Dance after 1 take, and clearly I was kind of renewing my memory of the changes. So a lot of it was off time. I'll repost it when I get a chance. But you don't see me rushing to fix it wink

Just don't reveal your real name, Keith...err I mean Sceptical, and you'll be fine. Although, at your concerts, please stop making those vocalizing sounds as it's distracting. wink
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/20/10 05:43 AM

Here's my Augmented triad exercise applied to 'All the Things You Are'. I'm basically arpeggiating an Augmented triad everytime I encounter a ii-V in the tune.

http://www.box.net/shared/8tith2fde0

I apologize for the recording quality. Instead of the H4 recording via Line, it recorded using the Microphone (forgot to reset the source) and unfortunately, I already deleted the recording.

Augmented triads are interesting because like diminished chords they are symmetrical. So this is an example of 'shape' based playing. My fingers remain in a basic shape at a ii-V.

In ii chords, the augmented triad ends at the b3 of the chord, in V chords, it ends on the root.

Because the sound is distinctive, it obviously cannot be overused.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/20/10 05:47 AM

I might also shoot for recording Beeboss's Diminished Cycle triads on Dominants. But I need more practice on that.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/20/10 09:35 AM

Interesting sounds wee... I tend to use the augmented triad as a chord rather than arpeggio. Was trying out some Major/minor sounds today. Found this chord that I really liked, C Eb G B / F Bb D , best used as a C-7th chord but with the b7 and 7 together, adds some spice to it.

I was working on some melodies where your switch from major to minor and back, basically all 12 tones can be used, but you are working from a tonal centre. I wish I could post some stuff up, as soon as I am able to record I will.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/20/10 09:44 AM

I like you way you incorporate the 'excercise' into the music, how you are using the whole tone idea to guide your improvisation rather than just playing a pattern over the changes.
I use this idea a lot in practice, especially over playalongs, basically improvising but using a restricted range of ideas to see what I can get out of them.
It works with any idea from the most specific to the most vague, but ones I use a lot are...
- intervals (using lots of 4ths for example)
- a rhythmic pattern (maybe a group of 5 1/8 notes)
- a shape of phrase (going up for 2 bars and then down for 1 bar)
- a dynamic (start a phrase pp and then up to ff and back)
-using large leaps of at least more than an octave
- doing a whole sequence within the range of a 5th
etc the possible list is endless. It's a great way of building up a store of approaches that I wouldn't normally use.
Posted By: Swingin' Barb

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/20/10 02:10 PM

Hi All,

I've been snooping here on and off a bit. I liked your little exercise, Jazzwee. This is a cool thread.

beeboss -- I love your suggestion to take little patterns and play over the playalongs. So, I went a step further and listened to some music on Pandora to see if something would sound interesting.

It took only a minute listening to Eric Reed improvising to "I Should Care". I picked out a couple of little ideas of his and played along with my Jamey Aebersold 2-5-1 backing track.

Below are the results with a few little bloopers included. grin

http://www.box.net/shared/74uevai4u6

After doing it this way, then, I add the left hand rootless voicings and play the pattern with Band in a Box at a much slower tempo. The left hand addition is a killer for now. I won't be posting left hand for a while. wink

Barb
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/20/10 02:37 PM

Beeboss, you got what I was doing exactly. Although I said I was arpeggiating, I don't want to imply that this was written out and I was doing some Chopin Etude. This is all improvisation. The concept is limiting the note choices. From the basic Augmented Triad pattern, there are some other scalar choices that allow me to alter the melody.

So hopefully doing these exercises expands my vocabulary. The specific thing that I'm training myself to do is intervallic playing, which in my mind is raising tension by moving in unpredictable intervals. Regular Bebop is typically heavy in stepwise and chromatic encirclement moves and can be predictable. Mixing intervallic playing adds that little modern touch.

Fourths are a particularly good for an intervallic pattern. As I'm learning more, it seems like you can make unusual sounds too if you consciously alter where you start your quartal pattern. I'm not going to post an exercise of this since I already practiced this before.

Now I can't say that the diminished cycle triads on dominants are automatic to my fingers yet so I'll be doing some more work on that.

Before I did this exercise, I understood Augmented triads in theory but didn't sufficiently practice it so I can apply it on anything on the fly. Now I think I can.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/20/10 03:29 PM

Originally Posted by Swingin' Barb
Hi All,

I've been snooping here on and off a bit. I liked your little exercise, Jazzwee. This is a cool thread.

beeboss -- I love your suggestion to take little patterns and play over the playalongs. So, I went a step further and listened to some music on Pandora to see if something would sound interesting.

It took only a minute listening to Eric Reed improvising to "I Should Care". I picked out a couple of little ideas of his and played along with my Jamey Aebersold 2-5-1 backing track.

Below are the results with a few little bloopers included. grin

http://www.box.net/shared/74uevai4u6

After doing it this way, then, I add the left hand rootless voicings and play the pattern with Band in a Box at a much slower tempo. The left hand addition is a killer for now. I won't be posting left hand for a while. wink

Barb


Cool Barb! Making good progress!
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/20/10 03:32 PM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
Interesting sounds wee... I tend to use the augmented triad as a chord rather than arpeggio. Was trying out some Major/minor sounds today. Found this chord that I really liked, C Eb G B / F Bb D , best used as a C-7th chord but with the b7 and 7 together, adds some spice to it.

I was working on some melodies where your switch from major to minor and back, basically all 12 tones can be used, but you are working from a tonal centre. I wish I could post some stuff up, as soon as I am able to record I will.


Hey -- that's like My Funny Valentine smile
Posted By: Swingin' Barb

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/20/10 03:55 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Cool Barb! Making good progress!

Thanks, Jazzwee. The Aebersold tracks are helping me to improvise with the ballads in my repertoire. I mix back and forth a couple of measures of melody, then some improvisation. I am getting braver about all this. smile
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/20/10 04:09 PM

Originally Posted by Swingin' Barb


beeboss -- I love your suggestion to take little patterns and play over the playalongs. So, I went a step further and listened to some music on Pandora to see if something would sound interesting.



Hi Barb, yes thats the way to do it. It is so easy to find an idea to try out, and if you do a few new ones every day pretty soon you have a large pool of ideas to dip into at any moment. Hopefully it can make practicing more interesting as well.
Often when I listen to music I try to remember ideas which I like the sound of to experiment with later.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/21/10 02:34 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
Interesting sounds wee... I tend to use the augmented triad as a chord rather than arpeggio. Was trying out some Major/minor sounds today. Found this chord that I really liked, C Eb G B / F Bb D , best used as a C-7th chord but with the b7 and 7 together, adds some spice to it.

I was working on some melodies where your switch from major to minor and back, basically all 12 tones can be used, but you are working from a tonal centre. I wish I could post some stuff up, as soon as I am able to record I will.


Hey -- that's like My Funny Valentine smile


hey Wee, I was thinking more like from C major to C minor, parallel. Valentine is from C - to Eb major, which basically is the same key, just relative.

Have you heard of Only the Lonely by Frank Sinatra? Jarrett did a nice cover of it. That's a tune where the melody has that shift.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/21/10 06:18 AM

Wiz, no the chords of Funny valentine starts with Cmin/maj7 | Cm7 | Cm6 | AbMaj7 | ...

It's probably the most remembered Cmin/maj tune...
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/21/10 06:36 AM

Today I was cranking on Matrix again, getting it to tempo. I was exhausted after practice! The good news is that with the finger breaking stuff on this fast tune, you really have to focus on relaxation or you cannot play it. I'm not trying to overstress myself so I'm just doing 200bpm, which is fast enough to get a gist of the tempo. But the real tune is much faster. Maybe 240bpm. I didn't really time it.

It's not really the tempo that's the problem so much as I can play it faster, but I cannot remember the lines that fast. I end up pausing trying to remember where I am. And gosh no, I will not sight read this sucker. I have it committed to memory.

Tomorrow I play this in front of my teacher so we'll see.

As I worked on Matrix, I noticed another symmetrical Chick pattern that I was able to practice...

In the key of C:
Ascending:
G C D G (5 1 9 5 )

The nice thing about this pattern is that it works on just about every chord other than half-diminished. So it requires no thought to sneak into a line. Being symmetrical, it is really easy to remember. Chick arpeggiates this down then up again.

Now although it seems like a non-interesting pattern because of the chord tones, it's actually a stack of 2 fourths a step apart. So when played linearly it gives a vague tonality.
Posted By: ten left thumbs

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/21/10 04:02 PM

Originally Posted by Swingin' Barb

It took only a minute listening to Eric Reed improvising to "I Should Care". I picked out a couple of little ideas of his and played along with my Jamey Aebersold 2-5-1 backing track.

Below are the results with a few little bloopers included. grin

http://www.box.net/shared/74uevai4u6




Nice work Barb! thumb You got in the swing there!
Posted By: Swingin' Barb

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/21/10 04:41 PM

Hey -- thanks TLT. I am having fun taking baby steps!
Posted By: jotur

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/21/10 07:08 PM

Swingin' Barb - I'm glad that, since I'm breaking my vow to stay off PW until I get work done, that I stopped in here. Great recording! I listened a couple of times thru - you are getting to be a pro -

Cathy
Posted By: Swingin' Barb

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/21/10 10:50 PM

Originally Posted by jotur
I listened a couple of times thru - you are getting to be a pro - Cathy

Cathy - You are sweet! But, I am trying not to laugh too hysterically. Pro is not quite the right word here. grin Let's just say I am getting to be a lot braver about posting this sort of stuff.

Barb

Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/22/10 12:29 AM

wow Barb, I bet you know that pattern pretty well now!!
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/22/10 01:09 AM

So, I had a lesson today and I had get a handle on 'Matrix'. Screwed up the rhythm so badly that it's back to the drawing board.

Remember that poster that said, "No Metronome and No Counting"....well that's my problem. I had to be reminded that Chick Corea is a DRUMMER smile

The consolation is that I got the notes right...
Posted By: Swingin' Barb

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/22/10 02:49 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
The consolation is that I got the notes right...

thumb

The drawing board is a good place to visit. How else do we improve? wink
Posted By: CMohr

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/22/10 03:01 AM

Hey Barb, loved your "I should Care" recording! Really nice!

And Jazzwee, thanks for the (5-1-9-5) tip! I've tried adding it into what I'm doing with some standard ballads - it works really well! I'm still a real newbie with the jazz and any/all tips I can glean from others are real eye-openers.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/22/10 04:15 AM

CMohr, glad to know you're paying attention. There's a lot of these so I'm only noting the ones new to me. I'll make sure to be more specific next time.

The nice thing about these moveable shapes though is that you can play it on multiple chords so it can come automatically to a hand position. Handy for filling in. Just don't forget the basics: in the end, it's the chord tones that must dominate (1,3,5,7). So you should have mastered all your arpeggios and inversions thereof. smile

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/22/10 04:22 AM

Originally Posted by Swingin' Barb
Originally Posted by jazzwee
The consolation is that I got the notes right...

thumb

The drawing board is a good place to visit. How else do we improve? wink


I came really ready because I knew all the notes -- so I was overconfident. Busted my ego fast... But that's how it goes. I usually conquer the deficiency eventually and it seems like a little event later. Maybe that's why my teacher always focuses on a weakness. Never worries about things you already know to do. Always focusing on what seems the strongest weakness at any time.

In this case, I'm very poor at counting out the rhythm when reading the music. Well I hate reading music, period. And 'Matrix' is like reading Classical --- lots of notes.

A confession: Rather than count the rhythm, all these years, I just listen and copy the recording. Well I wasn't given that chance today. So I'm finally caught smile
Posted By: ten left thumbs

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/22/10 06:24 AM

Ah - back to counting. Easier said than done. wink
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 12:24 AM

I was just learning a tune today and thought I would record it to see how it sounds. It has a few examples of the things I mentioned in my last posts, moving upper extensions etc
Anyway, here it is... I got it bad and that ain't good

http://www.divshare.com/download/10248758-954

I find I learn a real lot through recording and then listening back to find out which bits work and which don't, and where the bad bits are. It always amazes me how obvious this is listening back and how easy to miss when playing.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 01:09 AM

That's a beautiful tune Dave thumb Is that your idea of 'bad'? grin Doesn't look like you have far to go.

I really liked your solo lines. Very nice melodic snippets there. I was trying to look for those moving upper extensions but I may have heard it only once. Maybe you can point it out.

BTW - these types of tunes are hard for me because the bass player isn't setting time (no quarter note pulse) so I couldn't catch the groove from the Rhythm section.

It's great that you posted stuff that's unfinished. That's really in the spirit of this thread. I would really be interested to hear how you progress with this.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 05:45 AM

Rhythm section? Wasn't that computer midi stuff? If not, you'd better get that drummer some brush lessons, and new cymbals. It's pretty hard to program swing (unless you have Finale).

Beeboss, you've got some great stuff happening there. I like the inner voice falling lines (13, b13, 9 stuff). Nice extensions at the end of the B section, too.

So when you are soloing, I notice that your left hand seems to play lots of closed voicings, ie the comp is only the left hand and the solo is completely the RH. Was that just my perception or do you also do two hand voicings while soloing?

I'm currently trying to think of myself as having three hands rather than two. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 07:06 AM

Sceptical, I just assumed it was an Aeborsold Play-Along but the Rhythm was too complex for a normal person using Aeborsold. I tried counting to it and there were such huge gaps with no bass or drum.

Re: Three hands -- I was taught to do that on the Head. The fuller the sound the better. But when soloing in a combo, to not get in the way of the RH, leave the LH sparse. In fact, my teacher would play the entire tune without a LH, striving to sound like a horn player.

Solo piano and ballads, you've got more leeway with two hands and it's really necessary.

When I first learned Jazz, my first teacher just told me to do Rootless LH for everything. What a mistake. In my AL Thread, I teach two handed voicings before I get into rootless.

Now I listen to Brad Mehldau and I really hear three hands! Even when soloing. He's got those pair of thumbs busy on Ostinatos smile


Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 07:31 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Sceptical, I just assumed it was an Aeborsold Play-Along but the Rhythm was too complex for a normal person using Aeborsold. I tried counting to it and there were such huge gaps with no bass or drum.

I thought it was something homespun myself. Beeboss will tell soon...

Originally Posted by jazzwee


Re: Three hands -- I was taught to do that on the Head. The fuller the sound the better. But when soloing in a combo, to not get in the way of the RH, leave the LH sparse. In fact, my teacher would play the entire tune without a LH, striving to sound like a horn player.

Now this is what I'm trying to avoid. We aren't horn players. I've played as one long enough now and am getting tired of letting most of my fingers just sit there and be idle. I'm not saying that there isn't a time and place for fast runs, but I think in my case I'm starting to prefer soloing with fingers 345 and letting 1 and 2 on the RH have their own voice with the LH 1. We'll see if I get very far with that.
Originally Posted by jazzwee

When I first learned Jazz, my first teacher just told me to do Rootless LH for everything. What a mistake. In my AL Thread, I teach two handed voicings before I get into rootless.

Mistake? Why? Did it make it harder to learn how the chords worked or just make it sound odd when playing solo piano?

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Now I listen to Brad Mehldau and I really hear three hands! Even when soloing. He's got those pair of thumbs busy on Ostinatos smile

Ya, there is that thing, but I'm thinking more of how the 1 and 2 on both hands have the inner voice, and inner lines and leaving the outer hands to do more work. Also, if I get too comfortable my hands tend to shrink to voicings that may only span a 7th, whereas if I challenge myself to open up the occassional voicing I find a cleaner more spacious sound that I hear from guitarists and string sections.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 07:42 AM

sceptical, my teacher is a very strong stylist (and he's known for that) and teaches the concept that one should "play piano like a horn". BTW - if you're wondering where this concept came from, it was from Madame Chaloff, who taught, among others: Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Werner, etc.

So his focus is to really concentrate on creating a recognizable tone and well thought out and VERY LEGATO lines. Certainly I can hear this applied by the above players. Combined with this is that every note has intent and purpose and not from random noodling.

Now this is not to say that one is to solo with a single hand, since you can play faster lines combining two hands. But as far as comping is concerned, Brad Melhdau's thumb actions aside, certainly it precludes upper register comping which would interfer with the stronger volume of the solo lines right?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 07:46 AM

But let's make sure we distinguish here from Comping Voicings vs. Soloing. The best voicings of course are two-handed.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 08:07 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

So his focus is to really concentrate on creating a recognizable tone and well thought out and VERY LEGATO lines. Certainly I can hear this applied by the above players. Combined with this is that every note has intent and purpose and not from random noodling.

No, random noodling is bad. Agreed. And I also agree about the legato quality of horn playing. But I'm not talking about that. See below.
Originally Posted by jazzwee

Now this is not to say that one is to solo with a single hand, since you can play faster lines combining two hands. But as far as comping is concerned, Brad Melhdau's thumb actions aside, certainly it precludes upper register comping which would interfer with the stronger volume of the solo lines right?

This I'm not so sure about. Yes, at times you want a clear separation, but what I'm starting to explore is the idea of having the solo line not be so apart from the rest of the comping. When comping with horn players and singers you'll mostly be playing in the same range as them, and sometimes above, sometimes below. So I'm trying to have the hands wider now, and include the solo line at the top, but much closer to the rest of the voices. This also forces me to think about the voicings as individual parts, rather than a chord. It also slows me down so I don't fire off the rapid scales and patterns that I've used for a bit too long. Who knows if what I'm suggesting will work for anyone (me included), but I can't see the harm in trying it. I'm sure I'm not the only one to think this way. I just haven't listened to enough players to find any examples of what I'm talking about exactly. We'll see.

Again, I'll try to post an example of what I'm trying these days.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 08:21 AM

Sounds like you're talking more of counterpoint...

I don't know if this is connected but another poster here, Dave Solazzo, and I have this long term project and that is to solo with two hands. So when I'm practicing to play like this (which is very hard due to my much weaker left hand), I have to really think of the lines much differently.

Now my teacher is aware that I'm working on this and this doesn't conflict necessarily with the 'horn' concept although obviously one now has to think of a 'horn section'.

I've tried posting attempts at this a few times but the problem is that my LH is technically deficient. So everyday, I've been doing more with it, playing solos with just the LH alone.

Anyway, when the two hands are combined to create a solo, you really do stop thinking of chords (though harmony though is still clear in my head).

I really want to perfect this style. It's difficult to be 'swingy' doing this because there tends to be downbeat synchronization between the hands, I've noticed.

If I tried this again now, I would find myself putting the LH in a more supporting role. I'm not near a point where the two hands can be equal. However, I'm happy to say, that I can now play eighth note lines with the LH. That's a major improvement from the previous quarter notes it used to play (bass lines).

Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 10:54 AM

The backing track was midi drums with me playing bass, just a one take job so its rough. I try to do my own backings rather than aebersold, that way I get to play the tunes I want in the key I want at the speed I want with the changes I want.
It is hard to follow the time in this one, probably why its a bit loose at times. I quite like that though.
Not sure how I will progress with it as I expect I will pactice a different tune today.Maybe I will post another.

Sceptical, yes you are right that my LH is playing mostly closed voicings, I don't often do much block chord stuff, at least not in melodic improvisation mode. I would use fuller voicings if playing solo piano though. I find it hard to play anything interesting with block chords.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 05:40 PM

beeboss, that is the limitation of aebersold. Often it's too slow or sometimes some tune is styled as Bossa when I want swing. I tried Band-in-the-Box with RealDrums so that was helpful at one point. But the Bass sucked so now I hardly ever do anything other than with a metronome. Just too much work sometimes.

It's good you can make your own.

It's really great to see everyone posting learning stages. We all get to learn together. By all means, post whatever new thing you're practicing.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/23/10 05:56 PM

My next phase is Rhythmic practice using Matrix as the base. I think it gives a fresh point of view when I sing the Matrix solo at half time or slower just from the transcription. Nuances I think I hear at 250bpm sound much different when played at 125bpm.

This is really helping me listen rhythmically as well. Now I see why my teacher was focused on my ability to read the Rhythm accurately. There's other things to learn here related to rhythmic displacement.

This truly is such advanced material and Chick's genius is just mind boggling. To think that this was being created on the fly is just inconceivable. It does take some deep digging though to appreciate this genius. It isn't that obvious at first glance.

As a side effect to playing Matrix, my dexterity and technique have improved significantly too. It seems like I overcame another layer of tension and speed picked up. Even indirectly, it's already impacted my solos and I haven't tried to memorize licks or anything. I just observe his note choices against the underlying harmony (or more difficult to ascertain --- his implied harmony).

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/24/10 04:33 AM

Jazzwee, I might have missed this part, but did you transcribe Matrix, or where did you get it from?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/24/10 05:29 AM

spectical, no I am playing from the transcription but there's many transcriptions already done.

I got it from here...

http://www.music.sc.edu/ea/Jazz/transcriptions.html

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/24/10 05:38 AM

I have pretty good ears and I have transcribed to paper many times, but I'm just poor at notating jazz rhythms. Heck, I couldn't even read rhythm well. Although, I found that I was able to read it reliably with just a little concentration and not count with numbers (I do better counting with ga-ga-ga-ga sounds).

So when I notate, it is with missing rhythmic accuracy. Thus, I try to just listen to it and play it directly.

But admitedly, something as fast as Matrix can fool one's ears. I just happened to listen to Chick's Rendezvous in New York version of Matrix, and he's doing sixteenth runs at 250bpm+. It's just a blur of notes. Who can transcribe that, let alone play it??? That is definitely at the uppermost levels of technique. I'm going to guess that those runs were two-handed.

I've learned so much from working on this transcription that I might do it again on something complex. It's slow going but I think I'm getting faster.

Transcribing wasn't big on my agenda before.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/24/10 07:13 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee


I've learned so much from working on this transcription that I might do it again on something complex. It's slow going but I think I'm getting faster.

Transcribing wasn't big on my agenda before.


Ok you've confused me again. You say you're working on the transcription, but I think you mean working on the piece "Matrix" as transcribed by x. Now, are you saying you'd like to tackle, ie play from a transcription, or actually transcribe something complex now?

I've actually never had the patience or the interest to transcribe anything to completion. I get to a certain point in the process, and then realize that I don't really want to spend my time learning that particular solo anymore. I can see the value in it though, and wished that I had more patience and speed in transcribing because I'm sure I'd gain lots from it.

Usually, once I start to learn any new tune I'll actually be inspired to compose or improvise something in the same vein. I'm not sure this is a bad thing, but it makes it harder to concentrate on the task at hand.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/24/10 07:26 AM

I meant both (Transcribe or work on an existing transcription). Before I've always transcribed myself - with limited notation.

I'm like you too. I've not usually transcribed something to completion. Usually I pick on something that interests me. But when I've confirmed a pattern, I usually move on.

I don't think I can dedicate so much to it as others though. Most things I can just hear and then I don't need to transcribe using notation. I'll just play it on the piano directly.

What I'm doing now is a bit of a special case as I'm trying to get a handle on Chick. From here, I'll probably move on to someone else.
Posted By: Swingin' Barb

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/25/10 04:49 PM

Hi everyone,

I am back to share my next stage in learning. I finally added the left hand. I am not going to torture you in going around the circle of fifths. I'm posting a short example that will give you a taste of my practice session. I have a little motif that I heard while listening again to Pandora. I loaded the ii-V-I progression into Band in a Box. You will first hear the 4 measure motif in C Major, then you will hear my own on the spot 4 measure improvisation. I repeat this in Bb major.

http://www.box.net/shared/qdsus10hfm

Beeboos -- I found an interesting motif from your posting of 'I got it bad and that ain't good'. I will be using it in my next practice session. Thank you for the freebie.

Knotty - going around the circle with these patterns is actually fun! (Ok, I get my kicks in strange ways -- lol)

CMohr -- -- thanks for your thumbs up.

Jazzwee - Someday in the not to distant future, I will try adding these motifs to a real song. smile

Barb

Posted By: ten left thumbs

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/25/10 06:13 PM

That was very enjoyable, Barb! smile And rhythmically you sounded totally in control.
Posted By: Swingin' Barb

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/25/10 06:47 PM

TLT - thanks. I have dreams that all these baby steps I am taking will pay off in the future. wink
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/25/10 08:58 PM

Barb, you're really improvising now thumb That's a pretty big move. I'm proud of you!

Just to keep you motivated, the improvisation building blocks take a long time to build, but at some point, your brain says, "I've got enough" and then you see that big move where you can actually do it.

I think it happens when you're not thinking about the elements anymore. Then your mind can focus more on the music. Sometimes you will think it will never come, but it does. Often very suddenly.
Posted By: Swingin' Barb

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/25/10 09:16 PM

Jazzwee -- thank you so much for your feedback. I wasn't 100 percent sure that this is the way to go.

Now, I will just be patient and keep on doin what I'm doin. At least I'm having fun doin it. smile

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/26/10 01:07 AM

Barb, I think you just need to have the guts to improvise on real tunes and not worry about what comes out. At least not at first.

I got reminded of stuff I recorded 4 years ago and I just listened to some of them and as can be expected, I've come a very long way. smile But listening closely, I found some budding ideas in the lines, like I was starting to get phrasing and swing. At this point in my learning, I didn't know what notes to pick yet so it was based more on copying of ideas.

Anyway, I hear you playing and I can hear the same budding concepts in there. So that means you're on your way, in my estimation. thumb

As I said, from that point I didn't know exactly what notes to play. Now I know to teach playing 'chord tones on downbeats' as the basic starting point, which translated to another form is saying that 'let harmony drive your note choices'.

Of course as you get more advanced, you start understanding that harmony isn't just the chord stated in the leadsheet and that alternate harmony can be implied. But that's another story.

There are exercises I did to just get these chord tones to dominate my playing. One of them was to sit on one chord, let's say a Cm and with my fingers on 3,5,7,9 of the chord, to come up with as many phrases as I can. Try doing that for extended periods and your hand will start to assume this stretched position that gives the most options.

Just think of that, how many lines can you come up with with your hand on Cm?
Posted By: Swingin' Barb

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 01/26/10 02:27 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
There are exercises I did to just get these chord tones to dominate my playing. One of them was to sit on one chord, let's say a Cm and with my fingers on 3,5,7,9 of the chord, to come up with as many phrases as I can. Try doing that for extended periods and your hand will start to assume this stretched position that gives the most options.

Just think of that, how many lines can you come up with with your hand on Cm?


I hear ya jazzwee. There will be many, many combinations. Lots of work to be done. I better get back to those keys. grin

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/02/10 05:17 AM

I've been practicing a lot of tunes at different tempos and I feel a sense of frustration once again. Must be that time where one waits for some change to happen.

I was trying to record some things for the recital and I'm irritated by a little unevenness. What's funny is that this I'm sure has always been there but even the slightest unevenness bothers me.

Perhaps this is good news because it means stuff I couldn't hear before is very distinct now. I'm just not happy with anything I record.

My time has actually gotten better overall. When I play with a backing drum beat, that part is not bad. I'm more obsessed by articulation issues. I listen to some players like Kenny Werner, and his legato articulation is just so smooth especially how it relates to his swing. It's like I know what I want to sound like but I can't get there. I've said this before and it really is true. Being good with Time affects everything, even the articulation (like landing the note at a fixed point just behind the beat). Very hard to maintain. Lots of control needed and which I don't possess.

Anyway, I'll try to record for the recital and see what happens. It's all improvisation so one never knows what will come out. I'm thinking of doing 'Stella by Starlight'.




Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/02/10 05:26 AM

I should note too that Matrix (my part-time project), is going well. I've got large chunks of it almost up to tempo. To be comfortable with the timing though I play it slower. It's turning out to be a great technical practice too for Chick type articulation, aside from its theory aspects. I have to perform it again to my teacher in a couple of weeks so I do a little bit of it everyday.

Surprisingly, I'm doing the 'Rhythm reading' very well now so I don't think I'll be failing at my next lesson. Nothing like being pushed to fix a weakness. Then the weakness is removed.

There's this guy on Youtube that plays Matrix with Chick in the background. He calls it being 'one' with Chick. At first I thought that was impossible. But now I realize that it's actually doable. Some of it is just limiting because of the memory aspect of remembering the entire solo. It would probably take months to perfect it to match Chick directly. Not sure I want to go there. Too much work.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/02/10 10:50 AM

I used to spend a fair proportion of my practise time transcribing Jarrett solos and then playing along with them. On the one hand it was very enjoyable to do, it felt like I was as close to the mind of genius as it was possible to be, and it was a very good excercise to actually do the transcriptions (fantastic ear training exercise). But after a while I realised that even if I did that for a thousand years I would be no closer actually improvising like Jarrett, and at that point I gave it up. Now I prefer to concentrate on devoping the skills that I need for improvising rather than the skills required for playing back transcriptions, and I must say that I think this has been a much more successful approach for me. I don't think I will ever play along with a transcription ever again, not since I realized that the magic is not really in the notes, rather it is in the placement of the notes at a particular moment in time, and that cannot be recreated later.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/02/10 05:45 PM

Interesting point beeboss. I was actually in the anti-transcription camp for a long time. I haven't done too much of it. And even the little I did was usually just a few choruses. But what I did pick up from those few transcriptions still sticks in my head today.

In general though, I approach transcriptions differently. I'm not so interested in doing ear training as I'm not deficient in that. Usually I analyze the lines and the phrasing at a more conceptual level (against the underlying harmony), then I move on.

There are others who certainly dedicate a tremenduous amount of time doing transcriptions. I'm not one of those. I think I'm interested in seeing more of "what's different?".

Now I have a special project though related to Chick and that's to incorporate some of his articulation styles into my playing. Pretty hard task, except apparently for young prodigies...So this is more of a technical challenge. Maybe I need to be a drummer like Chick...

Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/02/10 06:18 PM

Transcription is not only for the ear training but also the notational skills. There is nothing that improves your notation better than working out how something that you know in your head looks like on the page.
You are probably right though, in order to sound like Chick you probably need to learn some drums.
Time is the skill that takes longest to improve I think, so anything that helps that has got to be good.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/02/10 07:19 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Time is the skill that takes longest to improve I think, so anything that helps that has got to be good.


You're not kidding smile So how long does it take? (at least to be acceptable).

As I mentioned earlier, I feel that there are many aspects to time. I can play reasonably well against a beat. Not so well using just an internal clock.

But more difficult I think is the minute control of time within phrases. I think this is tied to just better neural control of the fingers (especially in the unexpected and unplanned situations in Jazz).
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/02/10 08:07 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by beeboss
Time is the skill that takes longest to improve I think, so anything that helps that has got to be good.


You're not kidding smile So how long does it take? (at least to be acceptable).



Ha, if I knew that! Seriously though it depends what you mean by acceptable. What I noticed is that as my time gets better my perception of time gets better as well, so it still seams like I still have the same distance to go. I really notice a difference when I listen back to how I used to sound a few years ago so I know I am getting better.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/02/10 09:13 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by beeboss
Time is the skill that takes longest to improve I think, so anything that helps that has got to be good.


You're not kidding smile So how long does it take? (at least to be acceptable).



Ha, if I knew that! Seriously though it depends what you mean by acceptable. What I noticed is that as my time gets better my perception of time gets better as well, so it still seams like I still have the same distance to go. I really notice a difference when I listen back to how I used to sound a few years ago so I know I am getting better.



That's exactly my experience. I'm glad I'm not alone. smile I'm picking up minute time issues that just bug me. Except I couldn't hear them before. Ignorance is Bliss smile

But it does make it seem like a never ending battle. I hear some 'Pros' with time problems in their solos. I bet they think they have great time so they stopped improving.

My teacher will often repeat that Time is what separates the masters. I saw a video of Kenny Werner giving instruction on doing solo lines, and he does everything with a metronome. He will 'chunk' it but always at tempo. The chunk could be as small as 2 notes. I haven't done enough of this. This could be a good thing for me to start on with Matrix since it really is more of a speed/time problem.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/02/10 09:28 PM

Thats right, time is what separates the masters from the rest of us.

I always have a pile of rhythmic stuff to work on, but it takes a long time to make progress so I always accumulate more and stuff to work on. It's a good problem to have I guess.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/03/10 02:58 AM

Talking about Time/Rhythm -- I was taught to break up a line in smaller chunks. Somewhere along the lines of short-short-short-short-long. A short line being typically shorter than a bar, long line being longer than a bar.

Now this was not meant as an actual limitation since Keith Jarrett is known for having particularly long never-ending lines.

But the idea with the short phrases was to be able to synch back with the rhythm more frequently. For someone like me with rhythmic challenges, I should apply this rule. Sometimes I forget. The reason I forget is that phrases in my head can be long ones.

Again my teacher didn't say to not have a long idea, but by inserting ghosted notes (non-played notes) in the line, you achieve the same thing and add space which can be used to synchronize time.

Lots of top players use short phrases. Unfortunately for me, learning Chick Corea stuff isn't helping since some of his phrases are 12 bars long smile

BTW - the short....short-long concept also has a tension and release aspect to it. Short lines add tension. The long line can really be part of the resolution both in shape as well as harmonicically speaking.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/04/10 09:48 PM

Thought I would just post up something I was practising today, ATTYA in 7
Doing it in different time sigs is really good exercise!

http://www.divshare.com/download/10379503-aec
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/05/10 01:31 AM

Neat Beeboss! Ala Brad Mehldau smile How well versed are you in odd times? I'm just wondering how long it took to be comfortable in 7/4. I think 5/4 I can do comfortably with ATTYA. 7/4 is a little unusual. For one, getting a backing track. You're lucky that you can make your own.

I think Melhdau did it both in 7/4 and 5/4 if I remember right.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/05/10 06:35 AM

Beeboss, I didn't want you feel alone so here's my practice session.

This was done using my keyboard with Swing Drum Patch, bass, guitar, and Vintage EP. Done live so it kind of sounds like a gig smile

My Romance

http://www.box.net/shared/r04v1uv50h

Here I was practicing using dotted quarter rhythmic motifs. At least that was the intent but it didn't carry to my actual recording as it was distracting when recording. I'll try again and focus on it. It's something I picked up from Kenny Werner and his version of this tune which is about the same tempo. Except he did it solo piano.

I specifically needed to rhythm section to time it. I've tried it with just piano and I couldn't really get the beats right.

This was just one try so lots of errors (well I did it was practice smile ).
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/05/10 06:50 AM

One shot recording of Stella. I didn't plan it out in my head clearly enough so I was wavering on whether to play it fast or slow. Because I was planning on Rubato initially, no metronome here.

Stella by Starlight

http://www.box.net/shared/41f8cco447

Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/05/10 05:06 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Neat Beeboss! Ala Brad Mehldau smile How well versed are you in odd times? I'm just wondering how long it took to be comfortable in 7/4. I think 5/4 I can do comfortably with ATTYA. 7/4 is a little unusual. For one, getting a backing track. You're lucky that you can make your own.



Hi Jazzwee, I find 7 to be easier than 5 somehow but can play in either ok. The more I do it the more I relax into it. I am trying to practise at fast tempos at the moment cos its such a struggle.

Here is a tune I recently played in 5 ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQtQGDsCixU

Good work on Stella and my romance. It could do with some bass though.
Send me a pm if you want a couple of backing tracks
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/05/10 07:15 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss

Good work on Stella and my romance. It could do with some bass though.
Send me a pm if you want a couple of backing tracks


Neat Beeboss -- I appreciate the offer. I see how quick you are at making these! Will PM
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/05/10 07:38 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss


Here is a tune I recently played in 5 ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQtQGDsCixU



That Zurich sounded really good! I get really drawn to unusual rhythms, not that I can play it, but it catches my interest.

This sounded like Monk playing in 5/4 smile The harmony is fascinating!
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/05/10 09:52 PM

It's by Hermeto Pascoal. He is a very interesting musician, a genius I think.
His style really appeals to me, it's the infectious Brazilian rhythms maybe.
It's great practice playing over an ostinato like that, for developing some independence between the hands.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/05/10 09:57 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by jazzwee
Neat Beeboss! Ala Brad Mehldau smile How well versed are you in odd times? I'm just wondering how long it took to be comfortable in 7/4. I think 5/4 I can do comfortably with ATTYA. 7/4 is a little unusual. For one, getting a backing track. You're lucky that you can make your own.



Hi Jazzwee, I find 7 to be easier than 5 somehow but can play in either ok. The more I do it the more I relax into it. I am trying to practise at fast tempos at the moment cos its such a struggle.

Here is a tune I recently played in 5 ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQtQGDsCixU

Good work on Stella and my romance. It could do with some bass though.
Send me a pm if you want a couple of backing tracks


beeboss,
Thanks for putting up such an entertaining, lively, well-executed piece! I've not heard of Hermeto Pascoal until now. I like the atonal sounding passages combined with a driving drone bass line and heavy influenced latin rhythm in 5 around it. No easy task, for sure. Fantastic!

Glen
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/05/10 11:57 PM

Hi Glen,
Glad you liked it.
If you have never heard Hermeto's music you are in for a shock. It's like nothing else on this planet.
Here is a little classic Hermeto from the 80s...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrFFEpick3A
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/07/10 06:41 AM

Beeboss, since some of our goals are the same, I'm just wondering how are specifically addressing practicing at fast tempos?

This has always frustrated me but then I see Dave Solazzo (one of our Jazz thread buddies) have these superfast fingers and I get encouraged somehow. Dave S., if you're reading this, I'm just amazed at how fast you trill between 4 & 5 fingers. Obviously it's equal to the speed of any of the other fingers. I think I need to conquer that.

Anyway, after weeks of frustration, something felt different today. Maybe it's all the practice of Matrix. Not that I can play anything near the complexity of Matrix on my own, but somehow it's had an effect on my articulation, which is one of my developmental issues at fast tempos. Maybe all the odd shapes in this solo has created some new neural connections. Or maybe it's the practice of trills using 3,4 &5.

If it's from Matrix, that's good because I was beginning to wonder why I'm spending so much time on this. But my teacher seems to think it's important.

Although I can play the Matrix solo at close to tempo, when I started putting the LH in there, my mind just about blew up. It was too much going on and Chick was doing these subs and comping chromatically (I think he's playing fourths). That's when I realized this was too complex for my brain. My teacher said I wasn't ready for the LH yet and now I can see why.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/07/10 10:30 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Beeboss, since some of our goals are the same, I'm just wondering how are specifically addressing practicing at fast tempos?



Hi Jazzwee,
Apart from generally trying to get my technique in decent shape with some Hannon and Bach I find the only thing that helps me improvise at the faster tempos is just doing it, and doing it a real lot.

With a metronome or backing track I just work on one tune over and over for at least 45 minutes, and after a week of doing this every day it is more comfortable. Rhythm changes is always a good one to work on as that is always called very fast at gigs, but I am trying all the bop tunes at the moment, donna lee confirmation scrapple ornithology etc
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/07/10 11:21 PM

Beeboss, just for establishing a comfort level, what is "very fast at gigs"?

300bpm? 250bpm? I'm just wondering what's typical.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/07/10 11:49 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Hi Glen,
Glad you liked it.
If you have never heard Hermeto's music you are in for a shock. It's like nothing else on this planet.
Here is a little classic Hermeto from the 80s...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrFFEpick3A


BTW Beeboss, this was incredible! Stylistically that was so unique and so rhythmic. Though I can't place exactly what category to put this Rhythm in. It's almost like a merging of Fusion + Cuban smile
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/07/10 11:54 PM

I guess 250 is comfortable and 300 is uncomfortable, on average, for me. I certainly wouldn't want to play any tune at 300 on a gig unless I was fairly sure it wasn't going to fall apart.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/08/10 12:03 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss
I guess 250 is comfortable and 300 is uncomfortable, on average, for me. I certainly wouldn't want to play any tune at 300 on a gig unless I was fairly sure it wasn't going to fall apart.


Sometimes I think of 300bpm as starting to lose musical value and becomes like a macho competition. smile Not exactly laid back smile Right now I'd be uncomfortable maintaining a pace beyond 220bpm, unless I think half time, in which case it's fine.

But do you really get a lot 300bpm tunes at gigs? Or is it unusual?
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/08/10 12:40 AM

Not at lot at 300 but a couple of tunes at 250 or faster I guess. Whether it sounds musical or not is down to the players, some guys can play at that speed seemingly without effort.
I find the faster I get the more I have to rely on patterns and things that I know will work ok. There is less room for creativity and freedom and always a disaster not far away.
I do like contrast though. Also practicing at fast tempos speeds up the brain so that when you play at a more normal tempo you suddenly have extra brainpower to spare.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/08/10 12:58 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Also practicing at fast tempos speeds up the brain so that when you play at a more normal tempo you suddenly have extra brainpower to spare.


Now that is so true. I specifically focused on building speed up the last many months and my objective as "headroom"...

So I too practice at high tempos (280bpm is the fastest on my keyboard), but I really don't expect to be playing at that speed.

Then when I play 200bpm, it feels so relaxed. I'd say 220bbm is my old 180bpm.

My weakness though is the LH. It loses its place at fast tempos. It's a combination of a form thing and trying to play too much. My LH hasn't gotten used to the concept that playing fast requires a different approach (less). But it's getting better.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/08/10 07:02 PM

Beeboss, how fast can you do the Donna Lee head? I just realized that I'm barely comfortable with it at 220. Realistically, I probably couldn't really play it consistently above 210.

It's a nice speed test in a way since this head is a little bit finger-busting and continuous streams of 8th notes. It's not a piano-friendly melody with the fingering.

But the good news is that I used to not play this above 180.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/09/10 12:10 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Beeboss, how fast can you do the Donna Lee head? I just realized that I'm barely comfortable with it at 220. Realistically, I probably couldn't really play it consistently above 210.


I don't know.I have been playing it quite fast but I usually make some slips.
I give it a try and let you know

Here is a bit of My Romance that I was playing today...

www.divshare.com/download/10420506-5a6

I worked out some of the Bill Evans harmony on the front but its a bit stilted, I need to play it in a bit really. And then some improvisation, trying out a few ideas.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/09/10 03:14 AM

beeboss, this is sure to be a Youtube hit! You should video this. That was amazing. thumb First of all it's rare to find an uptempo version of My Romance. But then over that you created some great melodies over a diatonic progression. It sounded really fresh.

I'd like to learn the intro portion. Let me know what reharms are in there and I'll try it out. It does sound like Evans.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/09/10 06:27 AM

I was able to do Donna Lee at 230bpm but the last phrase required a little practice to get there. What was interesting was that practicing Donna Lee at that speed was like a warmup. After that my sixteenths started sounding smooth...

I'm working on a My Romance with a syncopated LH that's been challenging me for awhile. It got better today but every time I tried to record, I lose it. Anyway I figure I will even get better at it in the next couple of days. It's a little different rhythmically because the LH drives a nice swing rhythm in solo piano. This was inspired by a Kenny Werner version.

Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/09/10 08:35 AM

When Bill Evans solos, does he "abandon" time ? I love his swing and how the bars flow into each other, but how would trio members know where he was up to ? I mean, each bar in his solos is not always common time, right ?
For example, how would another trio member keep the beat ?
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/09/10 10:41 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
beeboss, this is sure to be a Youtube hit! You should video this. That was amazing. thumb First of all it's rare to find an uptempo version of My Romance. But then over that you created some great melodies over a diatonic progression. It sounded really fresh.

I'd like to learn the intro portion. Let me know what reharms are in there and I'll try it out. It does sound like Evans.


Glad you liked it. I may do a youtube version sometime but I need to practice the intro harmony first.
The intro harmony is pretty much what Bill played on the waltz for debby album version, I transcribed most of what I could hear and then filled in a few bits that I couldn't quite get and changed a few bits.
I haven't really written it out, just a few scrawled notes as I transcribed, but I can try to answer any harmonic questions you may have.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/09/10 10:44 AM

Originally Posted by custard apple
When Bill Evans solos, does he "abandon" time ? I love his swing and how the bars flow into each other, but how would trio members know where he was up to ? I mean, each bar in his solos is not always common time, right ?
For example, how would another trio member keep the beat ?



Almost always the solo will be on the form of the tune, although sometimes they did play tricks with the time, doing alternate choruses in 3 and the 4, that kind of thing. Also, because they are so comfortable with the time they appear to pull the time around but actually they always know where they are.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/09/10 03:40 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by custard apple
When Bill Evans solos, does he "abandon" time ? I love his swing and how the bars flow into each other, but how would trio members know where he was up to ? I mean, each bar in his solos is not always common time, right ?
For example, how would another trio member keep the beat ?



Almost always the solo will be on the form of the tune, although sometimes they did play tricks with the time, doing alternate choruses in 3 and the 4, that kind of thing. Also, because they are so comfortable with the time they appear to pull the time around but actually they always know where they are.


Bill Evans specifically -- on these ballad type tunes like My Foolish Heart and My Romance, he'll start off at ballad tempo, then go double time with the trio. So in effect, it was always in the form.

On some other tunes where he changes tempo, I think like newer versions of Nardis ('80s), he goes to the actual form tempo at the last few bars of his solo piano intro.

I have always wondered how they signal each other when the intro is finished. They don't look at each other and it looks so precise. Most other trios, I see some eye action between the rhythm section and the piano. Perhaps that's part of the mystique they cultivate by planning out some of these in advance. It seems like such a stressful job to be Bill's rhythm section.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/10/10 05:35 AM

Beeboss, this is what I was trying to do with My Romance. I don't know what you call this style of playing. Let me know so I can describe it later. I just barely got the rhythm right so I wasn't focusing on the solo.

http://www.box.net/shared/z17d42boja

I found that it was distracting with the LH almost on a different rhythm with the RH and I think I'm starting to conquer this. At some point I'll be able to put the attention back to soloing...


Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/10/10 06:02 AM

Thanks beeboss and jazzwee for your responses. I think it would be kinda stressful to be in Keith Jarrett's trio too. They also don't signal to each other but seem to know when the intro ends, whether long/short, intensely elaborate/relatively simple.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/10/10 06:09 AM

Originally Posted by custard apple
Thanks beeboss and jazzwee for your responses. I think it would be kinda stressful to be in Keith Jarrett's trio too. They also don't signal to each other but seem to know when the intro ends, whether long/short, intensely elaborate/relatively simple.


Since I only play solo piano (and playalongs), I'm a noob on this issue. So perhaps someone who gigs with a trio regularly can give us advice on such things as signaling solos, soloist sequence, trading 4's, stuff like that. Are there any assumed rules, like if you jam?
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/10/10 10:05 AM

Normally there is some clue in there - either the intro is over the form in which case everyone is expecting the time to start at the end of the intro, or a device will be used to bring the tune in in time, like a turnaround or vamp. Sometimes Jarrett just starts right in and it takes a few bars for the Jack and Gary to catch up. If the rhythm section is paying attention there shouldn't be a problem.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/10/10 10:11 AM

Hi Jazzwee,
I get what you mean about the LH syncopation now. Thats a good effect, but hard to maintain for a long time.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/10/10 04:30 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Hi Jazzwee,
I get what you mean about the LH syncopation now. Thats a good effect, but hard to maintain for a long time.


That's what I've been trying to do is keep at it for a long time without losing beats, or losing my place in time. It's almost like a walking bass thing, it requires a lot of concentration. The idea is Bass + inner voice, the inner voice done with the inside fingers (1 & 2) of both hands). Then my fingers 2-4 on the RH play the solo.

Is there a term for this kind of playing? The bass + chord is stride-like but the rhythm is more like a pickup.

You can see why it's hard for me to focus on the solo here smile I'm getting there though. It's like the last couple of days has used less effort (brain wise) to do the LH.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/11/10 02:37 AM

Beeboss, take a look at this. The LH pattern is very similar to what I was doing though a different rhythmic pattern. Looks like it could be applicable to multiple things I master it. It fills in solo piano nicely.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7fVnvJSRb4

This one is the same hand movement

Bass + Inner voice but the inner voice is repeated twice...

I'm always attracted to rhythmically complex things -- except I can't execute yet.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/11/10 10:43 AM

It sounds to me like the accompaniment is all in the left hand except maybe just occasionally note when the bass note is too far away he fills in with the RH, but I could be wrong. It's very hard to get a pattern like that going and keep it in the pocket and solo over it at the same time. Mehldau is the master at that pattern.
Weeks of slow practice with a metronome and scale patterns in the RH are required to gain the independence between the hands.

If that one is difficult then how about this one...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPqK1JJOFxw



Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/11/10 03:36 PM

Actually it's very similar to what I was practicing so I was able to do it for extended periods. I played this same pattern to playing 3/4 (as in the video), 5/4. It was a lot of fun and was not so hard because the regular practice was paying off.

It was actually easier to solo over in 5/4 and 3/4 because there was more time. What I was doing (the Kenny Werner My Romance thing) actually was more difficult because it was almost like a double time feel.

I didn't realize this before but Mehldau uses this a lot. It could be assumed that Mehldau and Kenny Werner (one of his teachers) could have worked on this.

When I was copying his style here, I was playing mostly LH alone but the way I was originally taught this could be a mixture. I generically just call it Root(Bass) + Inner-Voice.

But specifically, my LH was always playing 1-5-7, and then when within reach, I could always add 9-3 from my RH when it was not being used to solo.

The only real variation to what I was doing was how many times to hit the inner voice. So in 5/4 I was doing
Bass + Inner + Inner + Bass + Inner (syncopated though, not on the beat).

This is kind of neat. Like a new discovery. I tried it on My Romance and ATTYA.

BTW - in 5/4, Mehldau used this pattern extensively in Riverman. I'm actually excited about maybe trying that. I remember posting many years ago at KC Forum that I wanted to play Riverman and it seemed so difficult. But really it's this pattern played like an Ostinato.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/11/10 03:40 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
If that one is difficult then how about this one...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPqK1JJOFxw



HAHA! LOL. That was almost exact but superfast! smile

Wow that is so distracting to do at this tempo.



Now one difficulty I had when doing this pattern in 5/4 and 3/4 was the melody. There was no easy transition of the melody from 4/4 for My Romance. Maybe if I were to play this, I'd have to start off with My Romance as a Ballad before I could do 5/4. Or maybe an intro ala Evans.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/11/10 04:17 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Hi Glen,
Glad you liked it.
If you have never heard Hermeto's music you are in for a shock. It's like nothing else on this planet.
Here is a little classic Hermeto from the 80s...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrFFEpick3A


Hey beboss,

Good stuff. Pyrotechnics on the piano is another interest of mine and I make very feeble attempts at it. Hermeto seems like a very interesting guy and I will continue to listen to his music, along with a tiny bit of Keith Jarrett.

Here is the stuff to which I am an aspirant. There's something for everyone... Gotta love it!

Yesterdays
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Cs_zb4q14

Dvorak
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYcZGPLAnHA

'round Midnight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02ogyvI5GM8

Echoes of Spring
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArVhGSY0Spw


Glen
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 06:11 AM

I had some fun practice doing 5/4 using this LH pattern ala Mehldau/Werner. If I sang the rhythm, I don't get lost.

Beeboss, how do you break up the beats on 7/4?

On 5/4, I'm
| 3 | 2 |
| 3 | 2 |
| 3 | 2 |
ala Take 5, all driven with the LH.

This left hand style doesn't seem to work on 7/4 on combinations I've tried.

Posted By: etcetra

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 06:43 AM

There were some talks about tempo earlier..I think the magic number is 300 for speed. my teachers tell me that you need to be able to play at least at that speed. Right now 240 is ok for me, 280 is doable.. but I'd like to get to the point where I can do 300 comfortably and 320-330 would be my limit.

I realized that it's one thing to just play fast.. but it takes a lot of work to be able to play evenly and actually feel the tempo. Playing fast also makes you realize your weaknesses technically.. some of the stuff I play at 280 lays fine, but some of the stuff licks/lines are almost unplayable.. so it really forces me to find ways to be more efficient at those lines I am struggling with. I am notiicng that a lot of my problems are related to how I use my pinky and how I use my thumbs.

In some ways playing fast is like riding a bike.. if you are in 'the zone' and you relaxed, it can be done effortlessly.. it's just matter of being able to finding that and be able to turn that switch on at will.

Also it helps be able to find people who you can play fast tempo with to test your progress. I did that the other day, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was able to do about 260 okay with the band.. the problem is that it sped up to 300 bpm after the drum solo and the head out was unplayable at that speed :)
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 07:12 AM

hey etctera, good to see you here. Maybe you can blog your practice here too like the rest of us.

Talking about tempo, I was practicing ATTYA a moment ago at about 225bpm or so. No particular reason for the specific tempo, it was just not too extreme. I felt good about the headroom. It was relaxed.

But just to compare, I'm at my limit playing the Donna Lee head at this tempo. I just realized that some of the stuff required to play the head is just unnatural for me. I wouldn't really play like that. I guess it's similar to the licks you were talking about. Some just don't work.

At the fast tempos, I will tend to play the fast lines all within reach of my hand. I'm not going to arpeggiate at 300bpm. Too risky. Probably no big leaps inside an eighth note phrase. The leaps will have to be half notes, quarter notes. Interesting because it does require different thinking. Maybe that's why fast tempos have to really be specifically practiced.

Lately, as I practice uptempo, I have to make sure the metronome dings at every 4 beats because it's easy to cheat. You might lose the form and memorize it that way.

I wish I had a trio that just shows up at my house every night for practice...



Posted By: etcetra

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 07:23 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss
It sounds to me like the accompaniment is all in the left hand except maybe just occasionally note when the bass note is too far away he fills in with the RH, but I could be wrong. It's very hard to get a pattern like that going and keep it in the pocket and solo over it at the same time. Mehldau is the master at that pattern.
Weeks of slow practice with a metronome and scale patterns in the RH are required to gain the independence between the hands.

If that one is difficult then how about this one...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPqK1JJOFxw





yea its really hard to get something consitent going on LH and keep on going. I've worked on soloing over LH patterns.. and doing metric modulation stuff with RH (dotted quarters, 3/4 over 4/4), and I was exhausted every time I work on it for like 30min.. I can kind of do some of it, but I think it would take years for me to make that a natural part of my playing.

here's a recording of maiden voyage i did a while ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en4qXENGNdc
Posted By: etcetra

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 07:33 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

I wish I had a trio that just shows up at my house every night for practice...





haha me too.. it's really hard to find good players who are willing to work on things.. I am lucky that I have a few I can call.

Yea I guess when I have speed issues, I have to isolate and practice like I do with classical stuff.. I might take 1 measure, or 4-5 notes.. sometimes even less than that and string them together and figure out where the weak spot is, and what's cause the unnaturalness... usually there is a technical problem that is causing a bottleneck.. and it could be fingering too.

I kind of realize that when playing fast on a solo piano stuff, it's not about keeping super-consitant time.. it's more about flow and consistency...I mean even ppl like Oscar peterson, bill evans, kenny barron will rush alot when they are playing fast by themselves, but it doesn't sound bad because they are fairly constent and everything flows well
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 08:49 AM

Given that we are all not Bill Evans, is there a magic number or range above which the average human plays straight eighth notes rather than swung eighth notes ?
Posted By: etcetra

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 09:49 AM

custard apple

I guess it really depends on your goals.. Most gigs don't really require to play anything faster than 200-230 bpm..I know a lot of working musicians that can't play that fast but they are able to make a living doing music.

But if I want to play with the kind of people my teachers are playing with I think 300 is a good goal. Heck, my teachers talk about how 300 isn't that fast in overall scheme of things.. and that's crazy talk for me.


btw this is from dave liebman

"Does your practice including working on all the major modes, melodic minor modes, diminished, etc…in all the standard intervallic permutations and well in ALL keys? Also, arpeggiations and their variations? ACCURATELY in tempo? You want to work it up to 300 bpm for 8th notes"
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 10:12 AM

Originally Posted by etcetra


I realized that it's one thing to just play fast..

In some ways playing fast is like riding a bike.. if you are in 'the zone' and you relaxed, it can be done effortlessly.. it's just matter of being able to finding that and be able to turn that switch on at will.



I like that analogy. You are zooming down the road, a tricky turn is coming up, you have a split second to decide which path to take...etc. It seems to me that the great players, instead of having crashes like me, anticipate the difficulties and manage to avoid falling off. They stay in the zone by making minute adjustments as they are going along as they have more control than me.

I liked you Maiden Voyage btw, good groove
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 10:20 AM

Yes 300 is what I am aiming for.
But speed is deceptive, it is much easier to play over a funk groove at 300 than a metronome just clicking the 2 and 4.

I was playing Donna Lee at 250 yesterday. It was pretty much ok but with some slips here and there, not completely comfortable by quite a long way. Its hard to relax at that speed.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 10:45 AM

Thank you etcetera and beeboss for your help.
In the past, I've been concentrating on velocity. Now I want to go back to basics, making sure I have mastered the swing-funk groove. So I am practicing all my scales with the swing-funk rhythm against the metronome, making sure I accent the "and".
How do you guys treat the "and" ? Do you slightly delay it or do you slightly play ahead of it ? I always try and make sure I don't play it straight which was my classical upbringing.
I'm going to bed now so won't respond for a while.
Posted By: etcetra

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 10:51 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by etcetra


I realized that it's one thing to just play fast..

In some ways playing fast is like riding a bike.. if you are in 'the zone' and you relaxed, it can be done effortlessly.. it's just matter of being able to finding that and be able to turn that switch on at will.



I like that analogy. You are zooming down the road, a tricky turn is coming up, you have a split second to decide which path to take...etc. It seems to me that the great players, instead of having crashes like me, anticipate the difficulties and manage to avoid falling off. They stay in the zone by making minute adjustments as they are going along as they have more control than me.

I liked you Maiden Voyage btw, good groove


Yea what you are saying is totally true.. a lot of players can do that because they've practiced to the point where they can make the adjustment by instinct, without thinking about it. I guess you can make similar analogy to martial arts, you train yourself so that you can do series of complex movements in a split second.

I am reading a book called "art of learning" by joshua waitzkin. he used to be a child chess prodigy and he has since moved on to martial arts and has become very successful at it. I am learning a lot from that book.. The technical/facility side of music really isn't that much different than sports or martial arts.

I think the biggest challenge is in fixing those glitches/problems. That's where good practice habits becomes important. It can be very frustrating and time consuming, like figuring out the right move in a chess problem.. but if you can solve these problems consistently, playing fast "should come naturally' over time.

btw thanks for the feedback.. I've listened to your posts on youtube and I like your playing too smile
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 10:59 AM

I can't say I have ever practiced scales with a groove although I am sure that is a useful thing to do. I am always aiming for a perfectly even scale or a fast scale, or both.
To practice groove I just play something, sometimes with a metronome and sometimes not, and try to get the groove in the pocket as much as I cans.
Slowish swing with an aebersold or playing along with real records for a long time is maybe the best way to develop control of swing. Experiment with holding back or pushing forward and with different accents and timings to see which you like.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 01:39 PM

Originally Posted by custard apple
Thank you etcetera and beeboss for your help.
In the past, I've been concentrating on velocity. Now I want to go back to basics, making sure I have mastered the swing-funk groove. So I am practicing all my scales with the swing-funk rhythm against the metronome, making sure I accent the "and".
How do you guys treat the "and" ? Do you slightly delay it or do you slightly play ahead of it ? I always try and make sure I don't play it straight which was my classical upbringing.
I'm going to bed now so won't respond for a while.


custard Apple, as far as delaying is concerned, if you listen to Herbie Hancock you can really hear this -- it's variation. He will tend to delay the DOWNBEAT as an effect (which straightens out the UPBEAT). So it feels relaxed.

But then he will reverse it like regular swing. Delaying the downbeat is often heard with horn players.

As far as swing vs. straight, it's hard to comprehend this with piano sometimes so listen to more horn players (again), and they start playing straighter BUT DELAYED quite early on. Probably around 180bpm.

It's about control of where you are on the beat. So you're controlling two things: (a) The ratio between upbeat and downbeat, and (b) the delay. At any phrase, and really I would think of this at the phrase level, whatever it is you are doing has to be consistent. If you suddenly change from delay to on top of the beat, you will sound like you're out of the pocket.

I find that practicing scales is not the best way to deal with swing. The reason is that control is lost when a line gets complex. Scales are too easy. At the early stages, I used heads of tunes as practice. Donna Lee is a basic one. You can play this from 120bpm to 250bpm and you will feel how differently you have to swing.

Also, swing must always be practiced against something that's on the beat. You cannot practice it with one hand for example. Use the LH to define the beat.

Depending on the type of player, you will find different moves regarding playing straight or swinging hard. Oscar Peterson swings at very high tempos. Bill Evans has a very hard swing that I can hear at 200bpm.

The contrast though is that Oscar swings hard at slow tempos, while Bill Evans will play it as classical music at slow tempos.

My teacher is a modern jazz player. He will sound very straight at 150bpm. He will tend to play on the beat and not delay the downbeat so much. But at 120bpm he swings very hard. It's actually harder to control swing at slow tempos because your time has to be better.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 02:14 PM

Originally Posted by etcetra


I am reading a book called "art of learning" by joshua waitzkin. he used to be a child chess prodigy and he has since moved on to martial arts and has become very successful at it. I am learning a lot from that book.. The technical/facility side of music really isn't that much different than sports or martial arts.

I think the biggest challenge is in fixing those glitches/problems. That's where good practice habits becomes important. It can be very frustrating and time consuming, like figuring out the right move in a chess problem.. but if you can solve these problems consistently, playing fast "should come naturally' over time.



I definitely agree with that. But it will only 'naturally' get better if it is worked at. Playing fast involves a serious mental workout as well as the physical challenges.

I think I should check out that book as well, learning about learning has got to be good.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 03:00 PM

Originally Posted by etcetra
I've worked on soloing over LH patterns.. and doing metric modulation stuff with RH (dotted quarters, 3/4 over 4/4), and I was exhausted every time I work on it for like 30min.. I can kind of do some of it, but I think it would take years for me to make that a natural part of my playing.


Just a comment on this LH pattern I've been doing recently. Full disclosure. I learned this 2+ years ago. I could never execute so I try a little bit and it's hard to get the concentration going.

But recently something clicked. So echoing what you said, it does take years. I guess it's no different than walking bass.

I'm having more success with 5/4 it seems, more than the one I recorded at 4/4.

Now Mehldau and Werner take this a little further. They start to play RH lines that are offset from the LH beat. That's really distracting. I can't do it.

I think I will try out in short phrases, of 2-3 notes and move away from the LH rhythm with the RH.

I'm pleased that I figured out something new this last couple of days. Sometimes it takes awhile to notice some new skill develop.

Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/12/10 10:56 PM

Beeboss and jazzwee: I’ve copied your advice into a Word doc so that I can take my time to absorb it. Thanks for taking time out to help me with my upbeat (“and”) issues. I can learn a lot from you dudes.
Excuse my ignorance – what is an abersold ?
I must study more Charlie Parker and Lester Young. With Herbie Hancock, are you referring to his signature pieces rather than the slow modern pieces he has recently produced ?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/13/10 12:03 AM

custard_apple, I can probably point out specific Youtube performances so you will not need to search. When I get the time, I'll show you.

One other thing I need to add here:

Normal "hard" Swing played at the top of the beat has a ratio like this (let's say played at 120bpm).

(downbeat) 66% (upbeat) 33%
The percentage is the swing ratio. Straight of course is
50% 50%

Now this requires some thought, but what happens when you drag the downbeat? First it is no longer played at the top of the beat but assuming that you start the second eighth note in the exact same position, then the 1st eighth note gets shorter. And the second eighth note starts in the same place but ends right before the next delayed beat starts (making it longer). So in essence, you've straightened the note ratios.

But the swing remains because of the delay. Then you highlight this by accenting the downbeat.

This is what happens when you listen to horn players swing. It doesn't sound like a triplet 2:1 ratio eighth pair.

You don't always do this but it creates a wonderful tension in the swing. This is practiced. It doesn't come automatically. You may start doing it naturally if you start dragging the downbeat.



Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/13/10 12:11 AM

Custard Apple -- note Herbie's swing at :44 - :50. 1:05-1:09, 1:20 -1:24

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU6swznIDoo

He does it all the time but just to be precise I highlighted a few specific areas so you can loop it over and over. These are examples of delaying the downbeat.

Herbie will do it on most continuous streams of eighth notes.

BTW - I do this all the time. It has the effect of playing your eighths straight but have it still swing.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/13/10 12:48 AM

Hey Jazzwee again, I just have to say wow, I appreciate those kool you-tube examples you highlighted. Essentially are you saying that in jazz, it doesn’t matter if you delay the upbeat or the downbeat, as long as you are consistent for a given phrase ?
And I do think a bit mathematically, so that 66%:33% example really helps.
There's not much stuff out there on swing.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/13/10 01:31 AM

Originally Posted by custard apple
Essentially are you saying that in jazz, it doesn’t matter if you delay the upbeat or the downbeat, as long as you are consistent for a given phrase ?


Yes - it is a stylistic thing. When you use a 66%:33% ratio or 2:1 ratio, I don't really consider that delaying the upbeat, although that's what really happens.

Here's the deal, most jazz players don't play at 2:1 ratio. Even Bill Evans, when he swings hard will be at some ratio closer to a 1.5:1.

Modern Jazz players (like Herbie) will play more at close to 1:1 ratio with the difference coming from the delay and the accent on the downbeat. Note that when you delay the eighth pair (played straight), the second note will coincide with the same time as someone playing at a 2:1 ratio. This is how Brad Mehldau swings while playing straight eighths.

So when I was taught to swing, I really don't think much of the ratio (which can change), but instead I focuse on the upbeat, and then purposely lengthen/shorten the upbeat to achieve some effect. The control really comes from knowing to accent the upbeat. If you can play a head like Donna Lee and know when to accent the upbeat, you'll get good control.

To develop good swing, don't think of the ratios, focus on upbeat accents and hanging back (dragging the beat). Once you are consistent with the control then you can start varying this (less or more accents, less or more dragging, shorter or longer upbeat note).

There is no one answer although one can analyze what a player is doing at a particular moment.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/13/10 01:37 PM

Thanks HEAPS Jazzwee, I think I really get what you are saying now.
Posted By: KlinkKlonk

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/13/10 11:00 PM

Speed for me depends on the tune and I'm eternally grateful for the quarter note triplet.
I can do Autumn Leaves and easy tunes fast, but tunes like Countdown and Giants Steps or even modal tunes, not so ... GS from the Aebersold Coltrane play along feautres a monsterous tempo, they start at 308 but push it to 320 or so, makes you want to bang your head in a wall.
Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 06:44 PM

All,

I posted this on the other thread, but it's more appropriate here. Here we go :

I don't know how many people here subscribe to 7notemode's videos. Every now and then, he creates a tutorial. Here's the latest on Sophisticated Lady:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdNWTcuWVuo

I happen to think that his tutorials are the best on youtube for more advanced players. You can play his arrangements just like he plays them, and understand a lot of what's going on. There are also lots of practice tips. It very much is like having a lesson that you can rewind. You can even ask questions right there on the thread and usually you'll get a quick answer.

Some guys on youtube are finding the tutorials too difficult to follow. Tom (7notemode) asked me to ask you guys your honest opinion. If you watched the video, just send him a message a youtube to tell him how he can make the videos better, what worked, what didn't.
If you haven't watched his videos, really you should smile
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 07:01 PM

Knotty, yes they are difficult to follow if you are beginner partly because it's not always clear if the lesson is about voicings in general or about the tune in particular (I only watched part 1 so far).

I don't even know the tune (and I probably still don't after watching the video smile ) but I picked up some good voicing stuff. The way he teaches sounds like at typical lesson with a teacher in a way. You are assumed to already know the tune, and you work out the details chord by chord.

If I knew the tune already, the way he was teaching would explain how to do the head his way, using the two handed style (which is the way I play anyway).

If anything, my only suggestion to 7notemode here was to first play the Head as he's going to teach it (or part of it) so the lesson is framed. I didn't realize what he was doing until I was in the middle of it. Then once your objective is clear, the viewer can focus. The meanderings were actually great, but they would be better understood if the main point is finished and then the you proceed to the meandering. smile

When I learn a new tune, I try to study it like the way 7notemode was doing here. The process itself was enjoyable to watch, like unravelling a thought process. But he's doing it pretty fast so I had to rewind a little since I didn't know the tune.

I'm going to watch part 2 a little later.



Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 07:47 PM

Jazzwee,

I agree with you.
He starts by playing the head, two-handed, which is something anyone at any level should do before tackling a new tune. So at least the head should be clear. It's one of those timeless standards, Chick likes to play it.

However, I agree that a quick run through the head as he's going to describe it would help.

I actually love the fact that he's going fast through stuff, because I download his videos and it's easy to rewind. For me it's hard to watch something slow smile

Overall, to me, the lesson is about arranging a tune. See you have tons of lessons on voicings, and how to play from fakebook etc.... However, there is very little out there on how to actually arrange jazz tunes. The concepts discussed in these vids tell you how to use a variety of techniques, what to do with the left hand, call and response, etc...

I have never seen this explained in any book. However, it's a typical question. What do to with the left hand?

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 08:02 PM

knotty, yes these lessons are rare and it's great that 7notemode does these. It's how I was taught to play and in general, in the Jazz thread (1), I just refer to the Halberstadt 2 + 3 voicings as the base. But it's not a fixed thing. You search for the answer using the melody as a guide and you do it differently for every tune.

My teacher would often expect me to do this instantaneously and I get intimidated. But then I realize that half an hour of uninterrupted thinking gets me there smile

I think the common kind of lessons are often the "play rootless in the LH" and then the melody in the RH, which is totally inappopriate for solo piano. It even assumes that a memorized rootless chord works with the melody. And a lot of times, they clash. Regular (6)(9) Rootless chords assume no alteration.
Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 08:57 PM

rootless LH voicings are great, but these lessons are clearly a step past that. There's certainly a level of theory and technique required.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 09:45 PM

Hey Jazzwee, To answer your comment on the other thread, I confess, I have been more of a lurker than a contributor, but I do visit Pianoworld a lot. It's on my list of websites that I check out almost daily. Thanks for the feedback from both you and knotty. I got a fair number of messages on the Sophisticated Lady tutorial basically saying, 'I don't get it. It's not clear' etc. I think that was coming from players who don't quite have the foundation to follow it yet. I had considered doing more basic videos, but decided against it because there are so many 'What is a tritone' videos already out there already, and I don't need to add to that. My formula so far has been to play through a piece and spontaneously blather on about it. I am looking for suggestions on what is helpful and what isn't and what topics would be of interest. Thanks again.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 10:22 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
Hey Jazzwee, To answer your comment on the other thread, I confess, I have been more of a lurker than a contributor, but I do visit Pianoworld a lot. It's on my list of websites that I check out almost daily. Thanks for the feedback from both you and knotty. I got a fair number of messages on the Sophisticated Lady tutorial basically saying, 'I don't get it. It's not clear' etc. I think that was coming from players who don't quite have the foundation to follow it yet. I had considered doing more basic videos, but decided against it because there are so many 'What is a tritone' videos already out there already, and I don't need to add to that. My formula so far has been to play through a piece and spontaneously blather on about it. I am looking for suggestions on what is helpful and what isn't and what topics would be of interest. Thanks again.


7notemode, first of all welcome here. I used to hang out more often at the KC forum where we first exchanged comments long ago. But I haven't posted there much anymore. And probably neither did you. smile Anyway, I remember your early posts there and about your Tristano-type training.

I think your approach is exactly right. It happens to benefit a certain kind of group (like me) who can really appreciate what you're saying. Like I said earlier, it was like my teacher commenting on a thought process of how to conceptualize the head of a tune. That's pretty rare on Youtube.

I was just disadvantaged a little bit at the beginning from watching your video because I don't know the tune. But even then, I was following what you were saying.

I was thinking that one way to bridge the gap between those without the foundation and those with is to do a lesson specifically about two-handed playing. No one talks about that much and beginners need to start off with the idea of shell voicings on the LH so they get used to the shape and then learn to fill in the sound. You know that once the shell shape is felt that all the inner voices become easy to add.

I remember when I started that there were very few resources on two-handed playing except maybe for a handful of references about '10 Finger playing' (I think that was from LearnJazzPiano.com) but of course no one fills the details.

There are obviously some strong basics needed to two handed playing since it's not a memorized voicing. But I guess that is something that has to be assumed.

BTW - your videos have been posted around these parts a time or two (and some even the subject of some debate - I think it was the one where you were getting a technique lesson). No, not us Jazz folks! We're always on the positive part of the camp smile and appreciative of your videos, and Beeboss, and Lot2Learn and others willing to share.

Hang out with us 7Notemode. This particular thread, we discuss practically anything Jazz.
Posted By: ten left thumbs

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 10:34 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
My formula so far has been to play through a piece and spontaneously blather on about it. ...Thanks again.


thumb yippie Did you say 'blether'?

Where I come from, we blether a lot, and it's one of my all-time favourite words!

I got a lot out of some of your youtube clips on vocalising - and though I don't (or can't actually do it) - I do get the point of what you were putting across, so it has been helpful. smile

I'm probably too much of a jazz noob to get much out of what you do. If you want to do something more basic (and I can live without a tritone video) then how about doing something really, really simple - say - C-jam blues? I say this at the risk of lowering the tone of the thread.

Thanks for being so generous with you skills! smile

Now I'll stop blethering.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 10:41 PM

Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
Originally Posted by 7notemode
My formula so far has been to play through a piece and spontaneously blather on about it. ...Thanks again.


thumb yippie Did you say 'blether'?

Where I come from, we blether a lot, and it's one of my all-time favourite words!

I got a lot out of some of your youtube clips on vocalising - and though I don't (or can't actually do it) - I do get the point of what you were putting across, so it has been helpful. smile

I'm probably too much of a jazz noob to get much out of what you do. If you want to do something more basic (and I can live without a tritone video) then how about doing something really, really simple - say - C-jam blues? I say this at the risk of lowering the tone of the thread.

Thanks for being so generous with you skills! smile

Now I'll stop blethering.



I know about blathering but blethering is new to me smile smile

BTW - TLT, there's no such thing as lowering the tone of the thread. It was more the opposite, I was worried that the other thread might get too complex. Some really good advice may be withheld because it wasn't going to be understood. Here, everyone should understand all levels.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 10:51 PM

Blether, got it!
10Lth- I may redo that vocalizing video. I think I used examples that were too uptempo. I may simplify the message and use a tune that is a lot slower.
Jazzwee- I lurk from time to time on the keyboard forum too.
I posted that Barbara Lister Sink video about playing technique, and man! talk about some strong opinions. I thought I was a little bit obsessive about posture and energy flow, but I don't come close to some of the people on the forums.
The two hand comping video is a good idea. I was also thinking a left hand comping video. I would have to get my thoughts together about it. The thing that has been rewarding about the youtube videos for me is that I have come to learn that there are people out there trying to figure this stuff out who live in South Africa, eastern Europe, etc. and have no access to live teachers like we do here, so Youtube videos and the like are their only opportunity to learn.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 11:22 PM

maybe I was thinking of 'blabbering' smile

7notemode, I know what you mean about people trying to learn Jazz. Look at these threads here. The other jazz thread was started 3+ years ago and I was just noting that some files got downloaded over 3000+ times! There was so little information before and some stuff is just to obscure to explain in words.

It proves that there is an audience out there constantly looking for information.

On the Barbara Lister Sink, apparently you read the thread too smile Man, you can't argue with the Classical guys. Sometimes it can be all about technique with them and they're forgetting that you're improvising. LOL. It's not like you can prepare for your moves ahead of time. Me, I look at the end product and the improvisation sounded great!


Posted By: ten left thumbs

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 11:41 PM

7note - how to swing is not an easy concept to convey. (Ask jazzwee and me wink )

Jazzwee - You've learned some Scots today. smile Blether is a real word, and it's meaning is quite different from blabber.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/15/10 11:48 PM

Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
7note - how to swing is not an easy concept to convey. (Ask jazzwee and me wink )

Jazzwee - You've learned some Scots today. smile Blether is a real word, and it's meaning is quite different from blabber.


And guess which file got downloaded 3222 times...the SWING file. smile

smile
blether [ˈblɛðə]
vb & n
Scot a variant spelling of blather
[from Old Norse blathra, from blathr nonsense]
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/16/10 12:34 AM

7notemode: I really like your videos on “How to swing” and The Christmas Song. Between you, jazzwee, and beeboss, I am gradually learning how to swing.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/16/10 05:06 AM

Thanks, custard apple. I'm still learning how to deepen my swing, so it's an unending process of discovering how to go deeper in the pocket.

Doh! Mike A found a mistake I made in the Soph Lady tutorial - I used an E and called it the Tritone of Ab (should be D). Now I have to rethink why I use an e and g on top of an Ab dim chord! :-)
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/16/10 05:18 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode

Doh! Mike A found a mistake I made in the Soph Lady tutorial - I used an E and called it the Tritone of Ab (should be D). Now I have to rethink why I use an e and g on top of an Ab dim chord! :-)


LOL smile Don't worry. I wouldn't have noticed since I didn't even know the changes smile
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/16/10 07:37 AM

7notemode: that is really encouraging that even you are still working hard at it. I don't have a teacher at the moment and I've just started jazz in the last year from a classical background.
Posted By: Riddler

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/16/10 03:11 PM

Jazzwee, 7notemode, et al,

Re the discussions about teaching swing: It seems that you are trying to teach something that is exceptionally difficult to get across on an internet forum. I've been thinking - - it might be useful to also have a picture of a proper swing style showing the pitches, time relationships, and loudness of the notes.

You can get this picture from a midi file.

Here's an example. I used Band In A Box to generate (from notation input) a midi file of a bebop scale, played down and up one octave. I used a Style setting which told Band In A Box to use swing eighths. I then opened the file with Power Tracks (a sister program of Band In A Box), and looked at it in the Piano Roll window. Here is what it looks like:

[Linked Image]


The short thick horizontal lines in the center of the picture represent the notes, and their lengths represent the durations. Eyeballing this, you can see that in each pair of eighth notes, the first starts on a vertical grid line, and the second starts about two thirds of the way between the vertical grid lines, so the swing ratio is about 2:1. Each vertical line at the bottom represents the loudness of the note shown above it. You can see that all notes in this example are equally loud - apparently there are no accents in the Band In A Box algorithm.

So my suggestion is to provide a few midi files of actual recordings of some simple scales or patterns (played live and recorded with midi sequencer software) with proper swing articulation, so we can see what they look like in a piano roll display.

Just a thought.

I guess I should add - to make sure there is no misunderstanding - that the example here is not supposed to show how to play swing - it is just intended to show how you could use a midi recording to create a picture.


Ed

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/16/10 05:47 PM

Riddler, watching a waveform of swing doesn't really do justice to the concept, unfortunately. The swing ratio is never constant, and of course moves to straight as you go uptempo. Then there's the dragging back delay I was talking about.

So when I was taught to swing, it was just to focus on the accent on the upbeat and less on the triplet feel, and in fact to lessen the triplet feel. And then my teacher demonstrated different swing styles from different players. Later on, it was my task to duplicate those styles.

The funny thing about swing is although it is extremely difficult to explain in words, it's not hard to demonstrate in person. It is still hard listening to a recording, but with a little back and forth with a teacher, it didn't take long.

But one thing I know even today: one cannot swing well until you master time. It frustrates me because it is the biggest difficulty of all jazzers I think (to varying degrees).

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/16/10 07:33 PM

Riddler - FYI - your image doesn't show.
Posted By: ten left thumbs

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/16/10 08:15 PM

I see the image. Though I'm not sure that seeing it is any preferable to hearing it.

For my money, from a beginning point of view, this aspect of swing is quite simple. You have two quavers. Don't divide the beat equally - make the first longer than the second. I understood that the first time I read it - I played it and instantly recognised the sound. My 10 year old also understood it first time I told him.

I'm not saying that's all there is to it, and I'm not saying it's necessarily easy to play. wink
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/16/10 09:42 PM

Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
I see the image. Though I'm not sure that seeing it is any preferable to hearing it.

For my money, from a beginning point of view, this aspect of swing is quite simple. You have two quavers. Don't divide the beat equally - make the first longer than the second. I understood that the first time I read it - I played it and instantly recognised the sound. My 10 year old also understood it first time I told him.

I'm not saying that's all there is to it, and I'm not saying it's necessarily easy to play. wink


That's pretty much the crux of it. The only thing I add is whatever you do, be consistent. You can't vary the ratio in a phrase as you will sound like you're not in the pocket. Being too specific with this including specifying 2:1 (triplet feel) ratios is meaningless. There are plenty of other issues that affect this (dragging, tempo, and style).

I think the upbeat accent grounds the player in the time, It's like playing with the metronome at 2 & 4. My teacher focuses ONLY on the accent.
Posted By: ten left thumbs

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/16/10 11:30 PM

And yes of course the next thing is the accent. And that, for me, was harder because I had to understand, accept, hear, and then physically do it. And nothing made sense until I realised that the accent was only half of the story - you need to soften and lighten the downbeat too.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/18/10 05:28 AM

7notemode, I was responding to your post and then it disappeared...Wow that was weird.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/18/10 10:08 PM

Just thought I would post up what I was working on today...
Goodbye pork pie hat, what a great tune that is

http://www.divshare.com/download/10517514-9d4

Its not really a good performance but you can get the idea of the harmony i was trying out.

welcome to 7note as well. I was just enjoying your sophisticated lady.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/18/10 11:11 PM

Jazzwee, I decided that post was too off topic.

Hello Dave BB. Nice GBPPH! The head sounds almost Monkish.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/19/10 04:33 AM

Beeboss, that was fun listening to your harmonization of GBPPH! That sounded very nice. That solo was great too thumb You sure work on a lot of tunes.

I might put this on my to-do list.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/19/10 05:31 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Just thought I would post up what I was working on today...
Goodbye pork pie hat, what a great tune that is

http://www.divshare.com/download/10517514-9d4

Its not really a good performance but you can get the idea of the harmony i was trying out.

welcome to 7note as well. I was just enjoying your sophisticated lady.


That was fantastic, Dave! Excellent arrangement front to back and side to side.

I've been practicing a great deal of classical music lately and tonight was no exception. As I was doing some serious procrastinating when it came to working on particular segments of a Schumann piece and a Beethoven piece I want to learn, I then began to experiment. So here it is rhythm errors and all combined with little whisps of coherence...It is called the E-cital Blues

http://www.box.net/shared/7g24j4ssgn

Glen












Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/19/10 05:40 AM

You've got some pretty fast fingers Glen! I really enjoyed that and I was transcribing your chromatic lines in my head.

BTW - You know blues is great for practicing keeping the form because it's pretty hard to mess up.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/19/10 05:45 AM

I had a nice lesson with my teacher today and it was about phrasing, and specifically mixing up of lines starting on the upbeat with lines starting on the downbeat. So for the next couple of weeks, I'll ingrain this into my practice. This might be called the Herbie Hancock Lesson since he's famous for this phrasing style.

Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/19/10 11:16 AM

Hi Glen,

Great feel you have in your blues, really liked it.

I also practice a lot of classical. Bach mainly but I'm trying to move on from that a bit now.
Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/19/10 12:22 PM

Hey BB,

great piece you posted, that was really hot.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/19/10 06:13 PM

Hi Dave,
Here is an extension of the e-cital blues using more of a comp style with more voiced chords, plus another, slower blues-style piece.

http://www.box.net/shared/fta2zms1ag

http://www.box.net/shared/s9h19bi1i3

Jazzwee, I just need to count, count, count...sounds so easy, but bad habits are hard to break!

Glen
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/19/10 07:46 PM

Originally Posted by Inlanding
Jazzwee, I just need to count, count, count...sounds so easy, but bad habits are hard to break!

Glen


I was trying to address this same issue myself, and my teacher just had me simplify. So you should see how you do with eighth notes. Jazz is mostly about eighth notes anyway and that's where the swing comes in.

You already know how to play 16th's. So it's just a matter of going backwards to set the foundation. At least that's the kind of commentary I would get.

Why don't you try posting Blues with eighth notes? Then you watch your form and see what happens. Then try other tunes.

Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/19/10 08:12 PM

Jazzwee,

Yes, focus will be applied to using strictly 8th notes for awhile and sticking to more strict chord changes (timing). I am perhaps attempting to do too much at once and what ends up happening sounds like free-playing with random structure, no discipline. ...can't really play music with others if that is the case.

I have a new play-along book which will help to keep me in-line with the correctly metered changes and sticking with 8ths. Now, I just need to juggle that practice with the classical music I enjoy practicing. TeeDahTeeDahTeeDah...the basic sound of swing.

Glen
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/19/10 10:18 PM

Originally Posted by Inlanding
Jazzwee,

Yes, focus will be applied to using strictly 8th notes for awhile and sticking to more strict chord changes (timing). I am perhaps attempting to do too much at once and what ends up happening sounds like free-playing with random structure, no discipline. ...can't really play music with others if that is the case.

I have a new play-along book which will help to keep me in-line with the correctly metered changes and sticking with 8ths. Now, I just need to juggle that practice with the classical music I enjoy practicing. TeeDahTeeDahTeeDah...the basic sound of swing.

Glen


I told you I have the same issues. I was so enamored with finally doing sixteenths that I'm forgetting the basics of phrasing and even my swing. And of course time.

So I too will be doing a similar thing. I'm not going to be happy until my time is rock solid as well as my ability to stay on form. Unfortunately, I know this is no short term thing. Sometimes improvement is incrementally small.

BTW - even if it's just eighth notes, then you speed up the eighths all the way to above 200bpm. It's still eighths but it's more rigorous for practicing form then sixteenths are I think. It's easier to track the pulse.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 12:15 AM

Glen,
Nice chops :-)
You may want to play (and record) with a metronome on the two and the four. That way you can hear the pulse in an objective way and better tell how far in the pocket you are.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 12:22 AM

Since were talking about swing, here is an ancient clip of Ed Paolantonio, whom I took lessons from many years ago. You can move the timeline to the 4 minute mark, where he starts his solo. He is a faithful Tristanoite, having taken from Lennie Tristano. LT and his students have a particular kind of swing that is very specific. I thought it might be interesting since we are talking about different kinds of swing. This is the Tristano swing, I guess.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR5aC7Q0b7E

Oh, and here are some mp3 examples, where the timing is probably more clear.
http://www.paoloproductions.com/15401.html
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 01:16 AM

Talking of different kinds of swing this video is pretty interesting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqXjyOfoN8g

some of the greatest piano players playing a few choruses back to back. Tristano is just on a different level than the other guys, even than Bill Evans. I don't know what it is about the Tristano swing but what he plays always completely knocks me out, always its the unexpected.
Interesting to compare their styles though, a lesson in jazz history in that one video.
Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 02:16 AM

Dave,
that's a great video, I totally agree with you.

Here's a shameless imitating exercise I did today. Well, over the last few days. Singing with solos is a great exercise.



take care--
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 05:38 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
Since were talking about swing, here is an ancient clip of Ed Paolantonio, whom I took lessons from many years ago. You can move the timeline to the 4 minute mark, where he starts his solo. He is a faithful Tristanoite, having taken from Lennie Tristano. LT and his students have a particular kind of swing that is very specific. I thought it might be interesting since we are talking about different kinds of swing. This is the Tristano swing, I guess.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR5aC7Q0b7E

Oh, and here are some mp3 examples, where the timing is probably more clear.
http://www.paoloproductions.com/15401.html


My assessment of a Tristano swing is it is very accent focused. Not as clear from Ed here (in these examples) as it is from my listening of Dave Frank and Tristano himself. In fact one the posters on PW (that has disappeared for some reason) is Disciple who learned directly from Tristano.

Here's his version of Donna Lee and you can hear this specific swing with such a focus on the upbeat accent. He sounds pretty close to Tristano himself. Note the dragged downbeat.
http://www.box.net/shared/gk1mboa0os

It's not a hard swing at all. Actually moderate but the accent control is just amazing. And of course EXTREMELY legato. I think in a way, Tristano sounded more like modern Jazz for his time. While Wynton Kelly, Evans and Garland were swinging way hard, he played straighter. I thought it was unusual for his time. Maybe only Chick Corea sounds like the other extreme in this time period.

Herbie's a little straighter too but he's more into the syncopation.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 05:54 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Talking of different kinds of swing this video is pretty interesting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqXjyOfoN8g

some of the greatest piano players playing a few choruses back to back. Tristano is just on a different level than the other guys, even than Bill Evans. I don't know what it is about the Tristano swing but what he plays always completely knocks me out, always its the unexpected.
Interesting to compare their styles though, a lesson in jazz history in that one video.


Wow. What a nice comparison. You can see here too that Tristano and Jaki Byard had a more accent based swing. My teacher studied under Jaki Byard so I can see where he gets some of that sound. This to me is the more enduring sound that I hear with the next generation crop of jazz players.

The others in the group had very hard swing, particularly Bill Evans.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 06:03 AM

Originally Posted by knotty
Dave,
that's a great video, I totally agree with you.

Here's a shameless imitating exercise I did today. Well, over the last few days. Singing with solos is a great exercise.



take care--


Nice job Knotty! Quite a setup you have there. I think horn players are one of the best sources for swing feel.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 08:21 AM

Hi all,

I've been working on extentions and upper structures since last time I posted awhile back and wanted to share some recordings with some of the results. What actually started happening was more of reharmonizations in some cases because my attention span being what it is (short), I found myself being drawn down the reharm road at the same time as playing fluid time stuff.

The recordings that are accessible here: http://www.box.net/shared/lky65ykmt7 are a result of me reading the stuff posted by beeboss (the GBPPH, which was very cool), and the talk about swing. Hope you like it, and any comments or observations always welcomed!

And I've got to say that although I haven't been able to post much since the thread started, I was able to enjoy the discussions thus far and hope to be able to join back in again now that I have more time these days.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 10:34 AM

Nice one Knotty, that is a fantastic exercise to do.

Scepticalforumguy, I only had a chance to listen to the first of your tunes, Georgia, but it was full of rich harmonies and great playing. Really good, I loved it. You have a fantastic touch. The recording was really good as well.

I am off on hols for a few weeks so see you later.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 04:34 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Hi all,

I've been working on extentions and upper structures since last time I posted awhile back and wanted to share some recordings with some of the results. What actually started happening was more of reharmonizations in some cases because my attention span being what it is (short), I found myself being drawn down the reharm road at the same time as playing fluid time stuff.

The recordings that are accessible here: http://www.box.net/shared/lky65ykmt7 are a result of me reading the stuff posted by beeboss (the GBPPH, which was very cool), and the talk about swing. Hope you like it, and any comments or observations always welcomed!

And I've got to say that although I haven't been able to post much since the thread started, I was able to enjoy the discussions thus far and hope to be able to join back in again now that I have more time these days.


Sceptical, first of all welcome back. We can't have the initial founders of this thread to disappear.

Your playing is fantastic. I'm so overjoyed to be the worst player here because it means I get to learn. You do have an amazing touch. We're getting quite a collection of great music in this thread and I'm wanting to go back and relisten again to everyone's work.

Perhaps you can explain some of what you're doing on each one of the tunes so we get some practice ideas.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 05:20 PM

When I study swing, I always like to bring horn players into the equation. Here's an interesting mix with Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, and Hank Jones (Piano).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbNaXifyvwc&feature=related

I've always noticed that Bebop horn players stay away from a triplet feel and play mostly even eighths with heavy upbeat accents. And even Hank Jones played like that but of course it this tempo, you can't help but play straight on the piano.

I think it is a contrast though to Beeboss' link to Lewis/Bill Evans/Tristano/Byard where most of the players swung pretty hard (closer to Triplet 2:1 feel).

Notice too that pretty much all the posters in this thread tends toward the "straighter side" (closer to 1:1 than to 2:1 eighth pairs). Yet notice too that beginners tend to lean to the opposite extreme of swinging at a 2:1 ratio, which doesn't sound good at all and is very hard to maintain evenly unless you have as good a time as Bill Evans.

Even Bill Evans BTW tends to straighten his swing when playing slowly, almost like he makes it sound like Classical until he picks up the tempo and then he does his very hard swing. Almost opposite of what is expected.

I think observations of swing are fascinating. Long ago, when I was learning, I didn't know what I was hearing so I would slow down some lines and watch wave forms of swing lines and actually measure ratios as well as "dragging the beat" effects.

Horn players I find are reliant a lot on syncopation, especially at fast tempos; something I find especially most noticeable in Herbie Hancock at the piano side of things.

Syncopation brings swing too and mostly comes from highlighting the upbeat and pulled back a little.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 05:30 PM

I've always been fascinated with the Chick Corea swing. It's practically 100% straight (almost but not quite) and even accent wise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vrLAK_CZrY

I think I feel his swing more from the rhythmic pattern of the lines. His is probably the most complex to understand. He sounds on top of the beat to me with such rhythmic accuracy (the drummer in him). I'm seen him swing hard too in his younger days but that's not something he has does in recent times.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 06:28 PM

Swing swing swing. I still don't really get it, but that's ok for now. I think for me I've found that my interests lie elsewhere and I'm looking forward to the day that playing swing is really passé, and swing is replaced with the next thing, whatever that may be. The trouble with that though is I won't ever be able to be a great replicator of some of the amazing musicians that I admire (Jarrett, Chick, for example.) This is my way of sidestepping the problem areas in my playing.

So, to answer a question earlier about what I was doing on those recordings I posted, I've been listening a lot to a bunch of younger players like Aaron Parks, and Taylor Eigsti and was inspired by their compositions and arrangements of standards to start looking at my playing in a different way.

What seems to be a current thread in some of the younger players is a new way of playing scales, and the resulting harmonies that arise from them. At least, this is new to me, because I haven't listened to anyone new since Brad Meldhau. These players appear to be using him as a starting point, and seem to have less and less direct influence from the players from the 50s.

In my recordings of You Don't Know what I was doing was focussing on how the Locrian scale works as a substitute for the Melodic minor scale in building harmonies. In the second example of YDKWLI, I was trying to use it as much as I could, whenever I could. Probably too much, but it's still all a work in progress.

One other thing that gave me impetus to go my own route was an idea by David Berkman in 'the Jazz Musician's Guide to Creative Practicing' where he states that there can be two valid approaches to practicing: the first is to see where your weaknesses lie, and then systematically try to correct them, and the second; to go with your strengths and try to strengthen them.

I've actually always gone with the latter, which has resulted in me playing the way I do. Only sporadically in the past and more systematically recently have I been exploring improving my weaknesses (like really understanding upper structure chords, and working on the modes in scales, etc.) I suppose I could really sit down with myself and ask what my goals are these days, but in the meantime I'm really just enjoying doing what I do.

What would greatly interest me in this thread would be to have a bunch of like minded players all work on one tune, and have a discussion about how certain things were approached in the piece ie what one did for the turn-around, or reharm, or how the melody was modified (is that taboo to some?) in order to make the flow better in the improv. Anyone want to do that with me? I don't want this to be some sort of competition where people chime in saying how great something is, or to post with the idea of trying to sound better than someone else, but to really have the opportunity to workshop some ideas. If there are people interested, it may also make sense to start a new thread to do it to keep this one intact.

I still don't understand swing though. smile
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 07:17 PM

Skeptical, For me it is more gratifying to work on my strengths and I am basically musically lazy, but I set a goal of addressing one of my weaknesses for 10 minutes a day. I don't even meet that goal, but is the musical equivalent of eating my vegetables (actually I love vegetables, so bad example:-)

Jazzwee,
What is fascinating to me about Chick is that he has a flamenco influence in his rhythms and his harmonies. It is not there all the time, but you can hear him go in and out of a latin time and harmony occasionally -- much more spanish/flamenco than south american or cuban rhythm.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 07:36 PM

Ahhh, I guess I'm a "weakness" kind of guy. I have a check list of weaknesses and I try to hit these daily in practice. The bad news with this approach I find is that I don't tend to learn a lot of tunes at the moment. I focus on tunes for a very long time looking for problem areas. But maybe because my number of weaknesses is overwhelming at the moment. More neurons are necessary smile

7Note, it is interesting to compare Chick in different periods too. Over the last couple of months, I've been learning to play Matrix and it's actually pretty swinging for him. There's a lot of swing to it even at 250bom so it's pretty hard to play (aside from the impossible tempo).

But man, now, he doesn't play like that at all. He is dominated by Latin most of the time, which of course does not swing. His latest version of Matrix sounds completely different but of course Chick is Chick. I think he won the Grammy for best improv in that too. I think Chick dominates the Grammy nowadays. He won it this year and last year too.



Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 07:42 PM

On the swing side for a moment, I was trying to analyze my swing problems for a moment, and I noticed that sometimes I lost my legato. This is such a key feature to Jarret style playing that it really frustrated me to hear non-legato snippets in my lines.

So as I listened to what I recorded for practice, I identified the problem area as my thumb. Then, all I did was be conscious of leaving my thumb down and I was happy to hear better results.

I think that for many a beginner, just a little better control of legato improves swing considerably.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 07:45 PM

Hi 7,

It's nice to have players like you on this thread--I really enjoy your Youtube stuff.

Yes, gratification seems to take priority for me a lot of the time. What is interesting for me now is that I'm getting that gratification from things that were beyond me before. It's the idea of plateau, and finally leaving that plateau for another.

In the past the plateau seemed limitless, but now I'm beginning to see the borders quicker. If only I had the patience to understand this when I was a kid, I'd probably have had a quite different set of skills by now.

So, my veggies are quite palatable these days, although I still forget to serve them quite often.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 07:49 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Ahhh, I guess I'm a "weakness" kind of guy. I have a check list of weaknesses and I try to hit these daily in practice. The bad news with this approach I find is that I don't tend to learn a lot of tunes at the moment.



I don't learn tunes either it seems. My trouble seems to be that when I sit down to play I automatically play the tunes I already know, even though I may not like them that much anymore.

Are you interested in the idea of workshopping a tune like I suggested?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 07:57 PM

sceptical, it's a great idea. In a way, Beeboss and I have already started doing a little of that. For example, we both worked on (and still am working on) various styles of My Romance. So it's more interesting this way. With specifics, one can learn more. The problem with random music postings is one doesn't know specifics to be able to respond.

But I caution you -- as I said, I don't know that many tunes. I'm not like Beeboss or Inlanding (Glen) that can whip out a different tune (or 5) a day. So whatever it is, we'd have to stick with it for awhile.

My teacher isn't focused on my learning new tunes so much either as using ATTYA as a platform for any study. So that probably contributes to my limited set list.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 09:03 PM

I think then we'd just need to agree on a song that a number of people would be interested in learning or relearning. My Romance is a great tune, but if people wanted to we could look at the other repertoire too, like actual jazz tunes (Solar, Beatrice, GBPPH, etc.)

What interests you to learn? Anyone else?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 11:33 PM

I would be interested in learning GBPPH.

I already know Solar so I can do that to. I tend to know the more difficult tunes and less of the basic swing stuff (at least not that I could remember in a gig).

I think it's fun to take a tune that can be reharmed.

Let's see: Other things already posted are Stella, Dolphin Dance, My Romance, Maiden Voyage, Blues, GBPPH, ATTYA, Sophisticated Lady, Georgia, and some more that Beeboss posted...
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/20/10 11:59 PM

Sceptical, some other great tunes to consider (scanning Real Book) are Invitation, Nardis, Round Midnight, Recordame, Lush Life, Time Remembered, Very Early.

I know most of these but not all. But I actually would rather learn something new.

I'm not mentioning regular Bebop tunes (Rhythm changes, etc.) because they're not really harmonically complex or fun for reharm.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 02:35 AM

I really love this forum and have learnt so much from you guys. Too much, I'm always reading this forum. I don't post a lot because I'm not very good, I've just started jazz within the past year, I don't practise a lot because of a tennis strain on my wrist, and I currently don't have a teacher. I don't even own a recorder. I would like to be in your learning club but I won't be able to contribute much to your learning.
I started working on my weakness which is rhythm (esp. swing) when an excellent jazz pro said to me "Working on your strengths is like working only on your short game in golf. You need to work on your long game".
My strength is harmony.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 03:10 AM

Ooh, I have an opinion, and the urge to share it! (take that for what it's worth:-)

JW and SFG, I'm a believer in learning new tunes regularly and often without regard to increasing skill level.
Why? Several reasons:

The point of practicing is playing, but as I heard Barry Harris say one time in a master class,
"You also have to practice playing by actually *playing* (a lot)." There is immediate gratification in learning tunes, irrespective of level or sophistication of swing, harmony, etc. I think there is tremendous value in saying 'this is where I am, and I'm going to play, gosh darn it!' Waiting until you get better to play more tunes gives oneself all the wrong messages.

There is another reason for me. I think that learning new tunes on a regular basis trains the brain to assimilate new musical information quicker and easier. Learning new songs makes learning new songs easier.

I'm in the process of thinking through some torture songs to recommend as a foundation for learning songs -- based solely on the meatiness and difficulty of the changes. In other words, if you learn these tunes -- melody, arrange a bass line, arrange a left hand comp and two hand comp to these tunes, then no new tune will ever seem like more than a trifle by comparison.

I'm thinking
All the Things You Are
Stella
Joy Spring
Daahoud
Round Midnight
Ask Me Now
Pannonica
Good Bye Pork Pie Hat
Nefertiti
Dolphin Dance

That may change, but the point is learn 10 torturous songs and then Fly me to the moon will seem like nothing. Anyway, that's my $0.02

CA - doing some vocalizations like Knotty did won't strain your wrist :-)
I hope you get better soon!
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 06:40 AM

7Note, that's what I actually did. thumb I learned only difficult tunes. I haven't even learned tunes like Satin Doll and A-Train (well, they are obviously easy but I'd need a leadsheet). So I'm a little less equipped for gigging. But equipped to learn fortunately.

I know a good number on your torturous list smile But I see a few I don't know. My vote is always towards the difficult tunes.

It's been my teacher's style. ATTYA and Stella are probably my two staples, pedagogically.

I think I'm in the mood to tackle GBPPH regardless smile Or whatever anyone concludes is the most difficult one on the list(s).

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 06:47 AM

Originally Posted by custard apple
I really love this forum and have learnt so much from you guys. Too much, I'm always reading this forum. I don't post a lot because I'm not very good, I've just started jazz within the past year, I don't practise a lot because of a tennis strain on my wrist, and I currently don't have a teacher. I don't even own a recorder. I would like to be in your learning club but I won't be able to contribute much to your learning.
I started working on my weakness which is rhythm (esp. swing) when an excellent jazz pro said to me "Working on your strengths is like working only on your short game in golf. You need to work on your long game".
My strength is harmony.


I'd say keep asking questions Custard Apple. Don't hold back. This a most helpful bunch of people.

I myself have cut down on my lessons so a lot of my learning has to be initiated on my own. And this thread seems to be perfect for getting learning ideas.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 07:15 AM

7 and JW,

So where do we go from here? I like the idea of looking at the torture list and choosing one that I don't play (Joy Spring, Ask Me Now, Nefertiti, Pannonica), but I'd prefer to probably do one that has a great melody (first) rather than a great harmonic progression. Or, I'd like to do both for different reasons. Really I'm game for anything.

My first question to those participating is how do you propose to learn the tune? I would like to attempt it by ear rather than use the fake books, but may have to fall back on them if I can't figure out some cool progression that I haven't heard before. And as I listen to Nefertiti on Youtube as I type, this might be a tune I might be happy to have the lead sheet for...

7, are you interested in picking a tune that you'd like to learn, or were you suggesting that the exercise of learning a new tune with others is something you'd rather not do for whatever reason? I get the idea of learning lots of tunes, but I don't know exactly what you mean by learning lots of tunes. Actually memorizing them? In a number of keys? Reharm? If so, I'm all for that.

I'm interested in the process others involve themselves in to get a new tune learned, but when I used to gig a lot (with horns, singers, etc) I was playing different tunes all the time. I got really good at reading and listening, but I can't recall too many tunes that I REALLY learned (ie different keys, melody absolutely memorized, etc) unless I was needed to do an arrangement for something. So, this exercise for me would be to have the chance to talk with others about what goes on in their heads when they are learning or relearning something.

Also, as I listen to Daahoud, I think I may not want to do that one because it reminds me too much of The Price is Right at one point in the B section . Damn those 1970's game show themes.

So...?

ps I think I'm going to learn Nefertiti now, regardless of what we decide to do for this exercise. For some reason I think I'm beginning to understand how Shorter composes a bit more than I used to.


For the record, I'm doing this by ear (Youtube, the original version w/Miles.) I think my ears have been taking a holiday for a bit too long and making my eyes do all the work.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 07:19 AM

And JW,

We cross-posted...I'm all for (re)learning GBPPH too. That's actually one of my favorite tunes, but I've rarely played it outside of a trio or quartet situation. So maybe I'm learning at least two now.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 09:27 AM

Sceptical, I guess we mostly don't know the same tunes.

I'm listening to Nefertiti now and I'll probably be interested in this. But I need to hear it played in a solo piano context so I know how to apply this. I've avoided this because I don't know how to handle horns.

Pannonica is out for me. I'm overloaded with Chick's stuff so I want to rest from him for a little bit.

GBPPH doesn't look to difficult to figure out and is quite interesting, just listening to Beeboss. I know the tune by ear although I've never played it.

Joy spring is too typically ii-V-I so I don't see that as difficult. Same with Ask Me Now, these sound like in the same category as Here's that Rainy Day. These are tunes that I probably need to know for gigging so I'll keep an eye on them for a future list.

Now as far as playing by ear, I'm not even going to attempt that. I've always been taught to start with the original changes and work from it. And that will be important to me if I ever want to play with a group someday.

What will be beneficial like you say, is the thought process. Following my normal route of learning, I have to completely understand the head and study the voicings for the head.

I have no prior experience with Wayne Shorter's stuff for example and sometimes specific voicings are used (Dolphin Dance for example is quite specific). So it would be useful to hear approaches here.





Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 09:35 AM

Jazzwee, thanks for letting me join this group.

7notemode, the wrist is getting a lot stronger thanks.
I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t been vocalising despite the end of your How to Swing (I) strongly advocating it ! Maybe I was too scared to try because I haven't been taught the vocalisation method by someone face-to-face.
You have the lead sheet for Anthropology at the end of your How to Swing (I) video. I’m interested in your opinion for a beginner learning a new tune: do you suggest transcribing the melody straight from the CD or that I should get the lead sheet ?
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 10:12 AM

hey guys, been real busy working for the Winter Olympics here but I still pop in once in a while.

I like the idea of learning new tunes together and talking about each person's approach.
Herbie Hancock had a great idea with his New Standards album, taking popular songs and "jazzing" them up.

I especially like his version of Peter Gabriel's Mercy Street. I've been playing that one.

Sting's another artist that I really like. Many of his songs would work in a jazz context. He actually has some of the best jazz pianists in his bands, Kenny Kirkland, David Sancious, Jason Rebello, so their playing and improvising shine through.

If you've ever heard Kirkland's solo on Bring on the Night/When the World is coming down, that is pure genius.

Nefertiti is a great songs. Check out Hancock's version on his River album, laid back and sparse, with Shorter. Much different than with his old VSOP group.

Pinocchio is good too, the slow version on Miles album.

As for swing, I have to say I was never "taught" jazz so timing wasn't something I even worked on. Most of my stuff is solo playing so I can drift off at times.



Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 03:16 PM

CA Vocalizing unavoidably makes you look foolish, unless you are ella fitzgerald or clark terry. That is why I think Knotty's video is so great. He got over it. :-)

Re the tunes:

All the Things You Are
Stella
Joy Spring
Daahoud
These are 251 tunes but torture the memory and have to be laid down in the brain pretty deep to play without thinking of the changes. JW Joy Spring is the toughest of all of these (for me) It is very deceptive.


Round Midnight
Ask Me Now
Pannonica
Here the 251 paradigm is loosening and unexpected chord changes come in to play that presage modern playing. All three are Monk tunes. Monk was brilliant rhythmically, brilliant in his pianistic delivery, but most of all, in his harmonic inventiveness for me. JW, listen to Monk do Pannonica, absolutely great. CC was brilliant doing it, but he took the Monk out to make it his own.


Good Bye Pork Pie Hat -- some vestigial 251, but progressions are starting to jump around in a primarily modern way

Nefertiti - divorced from 251 but still has a sense of tension and release

Dolphin Dance -- floaty and modern with no 251 feel at all

That was my thinking about it. It may change though.

Anthropology and Donna Lee are mandatory because of learning the melody, and learning to swing on the head, but neither has difficult changes, which is the focus.


Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 04:35 PM

7Note, of all the tunes on your list that I know (and even after listening to the ones I don't know), to me the most difficult tune is Dolphin Dance. It was hard to connect the progressions to a melody. It took me a long time to learn it. I posted a recording near the top of this thread. I hadn't played it in awhile so I wasn't too prepared.

I think your analysis offers an answer to why some tunes are difficult. When the 2-5-1 progression doesn't occur, there's a tendency to view the changes as vertical. Because it's hard to connect ideas.

Giant Steps gives me problems like that. Part of GS is 2-5-1 and although it jumps around, once you get into the mode of each individual 2-5-1 you can survive. Then I get into the |Bb7 EbMaj7| and it's so unconnected, not even considering the timing. I was actually trying to solve the problem of GS this week, just unraveling that progression in my brain.

A tune that continues to be difficult to master for me is Very Early. Beautiful tune. Do you know that one 7note? Again it's the lack of 2-5-1 connections. The progression is almost random, and completely driven by the melody. I get hung up on the B section. If anyone wants a challenge this is one to consider. Plus it's a waltz.

Although I play Windows (Chick), again this is another none-2-5-1 that is difficult. Like I said, I tend to focus on the tunes that are challenging. Mostly it's the tempo and the keys.

Because I know that it's the modern stuff that's difficult to play, I tend to lean in that direction for learning. Maybe because I'm so comfortable with ATTYA and Stella that I have no 2-5-1 anxiety.

Now some 2-5-1 tunes can be difficult for me before if they have unusual keys. And here Chick Corea tunes helped. He filled in my discomfort in B, E, and F#.



Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 04:52 PM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
As for swing, I have to say I was never "taught" jazz so timing wasn't something I even worked on. Most of my stuff is solo playing so I can drift off at times.


I noticed that a lot of you guys make this choice to go Ballad/Rubato and then a lot of sixteenths and triplets. Yep that's one way to avoid swing smile I suppose if you are pretty good with Classical technique this is the easy route.

I've learned with swing from Day 1. So I'm comfortable with certain tempos, like 150bpm and above. Until recently, I wasn't comfortable with playing under 120bpm. Swing was difficult to control and I wasn't ready to play streams of sixteenths yet.

I think mastering swing is a lifetime search. I understand it quite well now and I hear things that allow me to understand how to duplicate certain sounds. But executing swing requires such control of being in the pocket that time has to be solved first. And also staying in form.

I think you guys are missing out a lot by avoiding swing. The ability to create contrasts in playing jazz is really interesting to the ear. Like when Bill Evans starts out in Ballad style and then goes double time.

But most of us don't have an option. If you can't do sixteenths early on you had to play eighths and that means swing.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 04:59 PM

Originally Posted by custard apple
Jazzwee, thanks for letting me join this group.

7notemode, the wrist is getting a lot stronger thanks.
I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t been vocalising despite the end of your How to Swing (I) strongly advocating it ! Maybe I was too scared to try because I haven't been taught the vocalisation method by someone face-to-face.
You have the lead sheet for Anthropology at the end of your How to Swing (I) video. I’m interested in your opinion for a beginner learning a new tune: do you suggest transcribing the melody straight from the CD or that I should get the lead sheet ?


Recently, I've been focused on vocalizing to improve my time and stay on form. I don't vocalize with a pitch reference. It's more rhythmic vocalization and sometimes it's just a mouth and tongue thing and I'm just whispering. I see Chick Corea do this all the time. (Typically I mouth cha-ka-cha-ka-cha-ka or chi-ka-chi-ka. I think of it as a drum thing).

My problem is that I don't find tapping the foot accurate enough. It can wander and there's not enough subdivisions. I can use my vocalizations to do time subdivisions. If anything, my problem is that I forget to always keep doing this. If I can just train myself to always do it, my time will improve.

I always play with better time (and swing) when I've done this. I've only started this in the last few months so it's new for me.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 07:31 PM

Custardapple, I have the lead sheet to Anthropology on my website if interested.
www.7notemode.com

To answer your other question. On youtube, I get a lot of emails asking me how to practice, how to learn a new song, etc.,so I wrote some copy about it and saved it. This is what I send out when asked. Here it is:

I have my own ritual for learning a new song. I don’t follow it myself like I should, but try it once and see if it works for you. One of the things I like about this ritual is that the practice of all the different playing style variations are built into the process of learning the song.

1) Figure out the structure of the song first - AABA, how many measures, repeats, etc. before playing the first note. Many tunes are irregular, but I get the structure in my head first. Find a couple of recordings of the tune you like and listen to them before playing the song. Vocalizing the head before playing the first note would be ideal.

2) I learn the melody playing with both, repeat: both hands locked together in octaves. Actively ignore chord changes. Memorize melody with no chord changes first - very important. Use a metronome that clicks only on two and four.

3) Play RH melody, focus on learning chord changes and comping with LH. Work out an arranged left hand comp. Those arranged elements will come back in other tunes as improvisations later.

4) Play LH melody, focus on learning chord changes and comping with RH. Again arrange the right hand comp, keep it simple, as the point is to learn the tune in as many playing configurations as possible.

5) Comp with both hands together, focusing exclusively on the chord changes. Again arrange your two handed comp. This will go in your toolbox and can be pulled out and used in other tunes later on.

6) Play the melody and work out a walking bass in the LH. Just the melody in the RH and an arranged walking bass line in the LH. No chords.

7) Every thing up to now has been about playing the melody, except for the two hand comping. Only now do I start to improvise. Improvise in the following order: RH w/LH comp, LH w/RH comp, Both hands locked in octaves, RH with walking bass in LH.

8) Finally: play the piece (slowly and badly) in the tritone key- just the melody in RH with the chord changes in the LH. It will fry your brain, but you see the song differently afterward.

I wish I actually did all of the above, but it is my “ideal” that I strive for.

I hope this summary is in some way useful.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 07:42 PM

Hi All,

Here's my progress so far: I started learning the melody last night by listening to the original version (Miles, Shorter et al), but I started away from the piano and was finding that some of the intervals in the middle section were off until I went to the piano to verify what I thought I was hearing.

After getting a bit frustrated listening to the original I checked out some other versions on Youtube, and tried to avoid looking at what the keyboard players were doing, but rather to listen to them instead. During the whole process of initially trying to learn the melody I realized I was trying to learn the changes at the same time and I kept on getting distracted with how the melody offered me so many possible choices for reharm. However, I still didn't really know the changes, so I wasn't happy about calling it reharm yet.

I then checked out some versions where I could hear the bass line better than the original version, which for some reason had a poor quality sound and I just couldn't hear the bass at all. Once I moved the computer (laptop) onto the piano and played along to learn the bass the whole song fell together for me.

With the bass line, and the help of listening to some guitar players, and piano trio versions I realized the chord changes were actually really simple to learn. I'm still not certain of the voicings or all of the alts/extentions per se but I'm not sure how accurate the versions on Youtube are either.

In the original version the melody (and the form that it appears to be based on) indicates to me that there are many possible chords that could go with it.

I'm also looking at the bass as stacked 4ths, both perfect and tritone, and their subs and then the form became easier for me to see (and to find ranges of chords I could play.)

What I found is that the bass could be constructed as such: Ab, Db, G, C (sometimes F#), B (sometimes to F), E/A (to Bb), A (to Eb), E, A, Bb, B, E, Eb, (sometimes to Bb) A, A (sometimes Eb). Just looking at that suggests to me that the chords choices were probably tritone subs with alterations when they weren't pure chords (like Ab maj when it is occasionally played).

So, The chords seem to be Abmaj, Dbmaj, Gmin7b5 (or with b9 as well), C alt, B13b5(or F alt), Amaj7 #11 (Eb7 #11), E9, A13sus, Bb alt, B13 sus, Esusb5, Eb7#11(or A7alt).

Are these close? Try them to see for yourselves.

In any case this is how far I've gotten. Talk to you all soon!
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 07:45 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode

I have my own ritual for learning a new song. I don’t follow it myself like I should, but try it once and see if it works for you. One of the things I like about this ritual is that the practice of all the different playing style variations are built into the process of learning the song.


Ok then, what DO you do? That's what I'm really curious about.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 07:51 PM

Sceptical, Actually, that is how I learn a new song most of the time.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 08:06 PM

7, Oh, I see. The way you phrased it made it seem like it was an ideal, but perhaps only done when you're really intent on learning something in a serious way.

Also, you didn't mention how you actually learn the melody and changes. From a book or from recordings primarily and why? I ask because it seems when I learn from a book, like I used to do frequently my understanding of the song would be more superficial because of the ease of entry, so to speak. But if I force myself to learn it only by ear I find that the learning goes deeper probably because of the amount of repetitions of I need to hear certain things, and then those things make much more sense rather than just being changes that I need to play.

And for everyone: The Nefertiti that I'm now learning I'm completely convinced Shorter based the whole thing on the two types of 4ths and the resulting harmonies. Anyone else finding this, or something contrary?

...and it occurs to me that maybe what I'm doing may appear naive, and perhaps it is, but it is allowing me to believe that I have a better understanding of how the song actually was constructed by reducing it down to what I think are it's basic elements. I'd really appreciate any comments on this approach...
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 08:58 PM

Another update:

Now I am breaking it down further using the 4ths, and then going to look at reconstructing from there so now I see the chords as:

Ab to Db to Gb (F#) to B to E to A to D to B to E to A to D (as the Ab as the beginning of the song again.) Some of the tonal centres stay longer than others. If you superimpose the pure major triads over the bass line everything works out. You can also extend the reharm to start the whole thing on D too (D to G to C to F etc and get the actual chords in many case that are used.)
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 11:21 PM

At some point we'll link up here but I did GBPPH. I just finished memorizing the melody and just made sure I could remember the baseline. I noticed this tune seems to almost be like a walking bass line the way the chords run.

Well of course I should expect that from Mingus.

I did a pass through of voicings, rootless just to get a feel of the harmony. It's actually amazing how rich the harmony is without even doing anything special other than voicing the chords as is.

Here's my usual method of learning:

1. Listen to the tune first so that I can remember the melody.

2 Learn the melody while I play a shell voicing (root-7) in my LH, to get a sense of how the melody fits in the harmony.

3. Fill out the voicings LH only (rootless).

4. Sit down and analyze the progression. Mark 2-5-1's and Key centers.

5. Plan out two-handed voicing of the head.

6. Rough out the solo based on analysis.

7. Looking at Tune structure closely, look for connections in the progressions by analyzing common tones so the tune sounds like a whole. Or in other words, look for a horizontal theme and move away from vertical playing.


I've only gotten to #3. A couple of hours of work so far. #7 is pretty long term. Usually, I'd have to listen to the tune a million times (exaggeration wink ) to get it.

But in this particular tune, it's actually easier since the melody itself has a repetitive motif and all one has to highlight are the chord tones of the changes alongside it.

This is such a pretty tune. It's pretty similar to Round Midnight, I find.


Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 11:25 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode

2) I learn the melody playing with both, repeat: both hands locked together in octaves. Actively ignore chord changes. Memorize melody with no chord changes first - very important. Use a metronome that clicks only on two and four.


7note, why do you feel this is important? I've never focused on this unless it's Oleo or Spain. I'm not sure I'd really want to learn Donna Lee in unison wink I might break my fingers.

Also once I've studied the tune for two-handed voicing, I guess that's automatically a comping (removing the melody).

Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/21/10 11:55 PM

JW, The sneaky answer is that it teaches the left hand how to swing so it can later take solo's.
Another answer is that this is how horn players take in musical information and is a different way for piano players to process new musical information. If you play the melody to a metronome in time, you are more likely to get the rhythm and phrasing down without the distraction of harmony.

The other reason is that this is most consistent with how we developmentally embrace musical knowledge. A child will listen to a song and learn to recognize it. Then they will learn to hum it or sing it on their own. That is the first way any of us 'learn' a song. These are the most primitive and robust neurological pathways for acquiring musical information. Playing single line melody is the shortest path from humming to reproducing the sound on piano, so it is a very fundamental type of knowing of a tune. Rhythm is even more recognizable than melody to young children and is an even more robust neural pathway.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 12:37 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
Rhythm is even more recognizable than melody to young children and is an even more robust neural pathway.


But only when the rhythms are a part of that culture in some way or form. From my observations, I've found for the most part that when a student wants to reproduce a rhythm that is unfamiliar to them they will reduce it to something already familiar. For example North Americans trying to learn South American Rhythms and how they will have their cultural accent, if you will, attached to the rhythm. No?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 01:21 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
JW, The sneaky answer is that it teaches the left hand how to swing so it can later take solo's.


Well as long as you're being sneaky about it, I guess it's fair smile My LH has been ignored for so long so I've begun to work on it specifically. I actually frequently use ATTYA as my platform and I let the LH solo by itself.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 01:54 AM

Another update:

I was curious and checked my real book to see the changes for Nefertiti. Some are wrong or in the slightly wrong place. Well, not completely, but definitely don't address the complexity of the chords involved. The rhythm is also wrong at the beginning too. But now I feel I have a deeper understanding of how they arrived at the changes, and can play it with more confidence than if I looked at the book first.

To clarify, I don't necessarily think that the changes or rhythm in the book are bad, and nor would I condemn anyone for learning tunes from books, but I've come to realize that for me to say I know a tune means that I need to approach it from my ears rather than eyes guiding the ears.

Thoughts? Comments?

Also, I've started to relearn GBPPH again. Such a great tune. However, for expedience sake after playing the melody from memory (because I 'learned' the piece before) I tried to reconstruct the changes. I got most right, but the ones I didn't get I did something equally as pleasing. In the case of this tune, from what I gather it is all i iv, V7, and chords based on the blues scale and their tritone subs. This is what made it easy to make it sound good (but wrong if trying to replicate the actual changes) by inserting any combination of chords based on the above.

So, Jazzwee,(or others) is this piece a candidate for reharm since that is how it started out in the beginning? I could see doing some ostinato stuff, or chordal reduction stuff that I might post.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 02:50 AM

JW and 7
Many thanks to both, I’ve printed out your tips and am comparing them. Once I start applying, I will come back with more questions/issues.
Initially I’m going to try the Dave Frank “New York New York” method to maximize the swing thought process for 8th notes. Combining both your methods, I will vocalize the rhythm before playing a note and I won’t worry about the tune when I vocalize so that I can concentrate on the swing.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 03:37 AM

sceptical, Beeboss already reharmed GBPPH so the door has been opened! I'm not as sophisticated as you guys that I can reharm a new tune. I think I'd have to really play the tune for awhile.

For example, should I really be thinking blues scale here? Or if I'm going to think Chick, I would think ALT which opens up more doors. This is really an exciting tune because the melody allows you to wander around the chords.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 04:17 AM

Skeptical, Nefertiti is so specific in it's voicing, I think looking at the book is mandatory on that one. That said, learning the melody and approximating the chords by ear is a really good exercise.

My apologies for the self reference, but here is a link to GBPPH I did a while back and posted to YT. The reharm was more of a revoicing to homogenize the sound. Strange. I don't remember doing it, and I don't remember any of those voicings.

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat on YouTube
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 04:44 AM

7note, self reference is encouraged! This is really great reference for me. I may really build up your view counts here smile

BTW - Your LH is amazingly adept!

This is a really great jamming tune. I'm glad I'm learning it.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 04:54 AM

Quite an original approach on Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (solo piano). This is turning out to be an exciting project though perhaps more complex in its potential.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJzPxLBRXmM&feature=related

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 05:27 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
Skeptical, Nefertiti is so specific in it's voicing, I think looking at the book is mandatory on that one.


I'm not sure what you mean. Are you referring to what Herbie did on the original recording or something else? I couldn't really get a grip on what he was doing as far as specific voicings, and I didn't really like them that much either when it came right down to it! To tell you the truth, I arrived at the chords from the bottom bass note played by the bass player up combined it with the melody notes, and used my theory knowledge to fill in the gaps. Anything that I couldn't hear in the original I went to the Youtube performances and heard their takes, most of which it turns out seem to be lifted from the real book.

By the way, the real book I'm talking about is the original one written by the Berkelee Profs and students way back when. I've actually seen updated versions of some songs with the real changes and some tunes are radically different, but in any case I've never seen voicings specified in most real book charts I've read. Did I misunderstand something? I think so, but I'll let you explain, if you would. Thanks!

I'm just about to listen to your GBPPH now, so I'll get back to you on that later. Looking forward to it, though.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 05:31 AM

Ha!

I just accidentally clicked on the wrong link, not paying attention I clicked on Jazzwee's link, and couldn't get over your hair and radically different style of playing...

trying again...
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 05:40 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

For example, should I really be thinking blues scale here? Or if I'm going to think Chick, I would think ALT which opens up more doors. This is really an exciting tune because the melody allows you to wander around the chords.

Jazzwee,

I wouldn't stay on the blues scale for soloing, but may think of a moving system of #11s guided by the melody, which is kind of like a movable blues scale of sorts. Of course, the blues scale is a pretty good place to start, especially since the harmonic changes will make it sound far more hip in any event.

I also have this idea of chromatic bass that I'm going to record with the head and see if works.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 05:41 AM

7,

Nice stuff on GBPPH. And the hair didn't distract me this time. wink
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 05:46 AM

Sceptical, you're apparently moving at an awesome pace. I'm at an overload mode right now so I probably can't spend more than a couple of hours a day figuring this out. So bear with me.

I'll slowly start listening and studying Nefertiti (away from a piano) so I can at least keep track of what you're talking about.

Just so we're on track, what Real book are you using? I'm referencing, for both tunes, Real Book 1 (the original, not the new one).

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 06:45 AM

Yes, that's the one that has the suspect rhythm and changes. What it misses is all the alterations and the triplet stuff at the beginning.
Also, I haven't mentioned it yet, but I'm not actually concentrating on the rhythm too much yet, except enough to notice that when I played it from the book that it wasn't quite right. I think even though I'm a drummer I'm not interested in the rhythm of this piece as much as the harmonic possibilities it offers. Also, when I tried to sing along to the original I couldn't for the life of me get the exact rhythm after a number of attempts, so I abandoned that aspect in favor of the other stuff. It's weird how easily I give up sometimes. I'm going to listen to it again and see if I can nail it this time.

And as for moving at an awesome pace, no, I don't think so really, it's that I now have a place to put some of my chromatic ideas that needed decent tunes to work. I've done similar stuff with Alone Together and a few others that have are in minor keys. I find it a nice challenge to make chromatic chords work with the melody, such as the blues fall from C7, B7, Bb7 to get to A7, but applying this throughout the form.

I'll try to post some recordings of my ideas tomorrow when I get home and show you how I started looking at the tunes. I'm not going to polish anything at this point, but want to get feed back about the direction I'm starting to go.

In a way I feel like a Cubist painter in that for whatever reason when I study the song instead of seeing it as an entire landscape I see the possibilities of each section, and want to reduce them to what I think are their main components, then put them back together. Unfortunately not many people appreciate the Cubists as much as the Bob Ross' of the world. And for what it's worth, I was always mesmerized at what Bob Ross did on those PBS shows "and now we'll add some trees here..."

And I actually am pretty bothered at times by my tendencies for Cubism because I still don't quite get it all the time in order to feel that I can do it perfectly, but it's what I'm best at concentrating at these days. And yes, I'll look into swing again one day too.

I have a question for you, or anyone about swing: How did it develop? Is there a concensus about it's beginnings? It seems to me that it was a way to emphasize the chord changes that musicians were soloing on, ie spending more time on the outline of the chord and less time on the passing tones, hence long short long short. And then, (for lack of my historic training) the swing eventually became more even when the chord tones became replaced by extended chords, and more complex scales so it wasn't necessary to swing anymore. Am I nuts?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 08:25 AM

Swing - strange question Sceptical. Only because the historical reference is not mentioned (African rhythms) and Blues. Presumably that's where it came from. And Dizzy Gillespie (in his Biography) speaks also of his search for other Afro-Cuban rhythmic influences.

Except for the fact that the ability to play sixteenths has been presumed to be commonplace (it is not), swing has not disappeared at all. Certainly it is ever present in Beeboss' playing or the Gentleman (Virtuousic1) who played the Donna Lee version I posted earlier. He's playing sixteenths and yet he's full of swing. It's because he manages to balance between eighths and sixteenths.

My teacher (who has roots with the original deceased masters) will tell me that eighth notes is the lifeblood of jazz soloing. Lately it's been overrun by the likes of young classically trained jazz players who play soley with pyrotechnics but little content. Is there a melody inside that stream of 16ths or is just a scale run?

Now having said the above, swing style has changed over the years. The hard swing leaning towards triplet feel has lost popularity and is called hokey. My teacher makes a point to reduce the swing ratio. And he's correct because it's what I hear played by the living jazz masters.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 03:06 PM

Jazzwee,

I wasn't implying that people don't do it anymore when playing older jazz styles, but wonder why it does not continue in its original form in current compositions. I understand the 12/8 rhythm connections from African rhythms, but I wonder if those rhythms were derived from the scales they used, and how the language influenced how things were sung, or if perhaps swing was a result of a kind of a melting pot of many different influences still based on emphasizing the chord tones and deemphasizing the 'blue' notes, which would lead to why swing does not have the same weight as it did when things were harmonically more simple.

So my question is not should one study swing, or try to play in a swing style when playing music from the earlier jazz styles, but rather, given that it's presumed origins have influenced it's original sound in a certain way, and that those parameters no longer exist ie the influences that affect jazz are not only it's African roots but also the array of music and musicians from various backgrounds and musical cultures that have shaped jazz, does it not make sense that swing, as we knew it and understood it cannot exist given the evolution of the music and the musicians that are looking towards the future, rather than referencing the past?

I think the reason I personally cannot swing like I'd want to is because I don't have enough exposure to it and that because even though I want to, I'm far more interested and able to go in the opposite direction.

Does that clear things up?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 04:17 PM

Not quite clear on your premise Scep.

In essence, if you emphasize upbeats (which is where the accent lies), we in fact focus on the non-chord tones. So in the blues, swing emphasizes blue notes.

You'd have to think of the accent and not the length of the notes. Longer notes doesn't imply emphasis. It's the abrupt shortness of the upbeat in hard swing that actually gets the focus.

That's why when you listen to Herbie in that clip I pointed out for Custard Apple, Herbie clearly accents the upbeat.

Since Jazz thrives on the dissonance and tension, this focus on the unexpected, I think is responsible for the added tension in jazz. Then over the years, this has evolved to all the dissonant voicings and now are not dissonant to our ears.

If you listen closely to Brad Mehldau, he plays straight eighth notes but he emphasizes that upbeat eighth by dragging it (thereby creating that same tension in swing).

So in summary, to me Jazz is characterized as having all these tensions which are at a much higher level than for other genres. And every one of these tools contribute.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 06:19 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by 7notemode
Skeptical, Nefertiti is so specific in it's voicing, I think looking at the book is mandatory on that one.


I'm not sure what you mean. Are you referring to what Herbie did on the original recording or something else?



I have both the original Real Book Vol I and the official Real Book Vol I. (Actually I have the three volumes of both). The unofficial and official versions have different tunes in them. The chords in Nefertiti are sometimes just voicing differences of the same chord and are very difficult to get by ear alone, at least for me. A player should always know the most common "book" changes of a tune in case he/she is playing out with others. Subs come after that.
My .02

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 07:46 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode

A player should always know the most common "book" changes of a tune in case he/she is playing out with others. Subs come after that.

Yes, agreed 100%, but by voicings you seem to mean the actual chords used ie Abmaj7 #11, Dbmaj #11 etc, rather than how they are voiced from top to bottom, and with this I also agree, but only when they are completely accurate.
For example, there is a Bbmin7 chord that I believe is not actually in the original, but if you use this (unaltered, because from what I found this particular chord is more of a type of F7 over a Bb bass) you'll end up playing an Ab in the chord, and it shouldn't be there. Same with the third chord, listed as G7#11 I think.

Wait!!!! I just found another updated version, and I've confirmed that the original IS wrong in the first fake book!!!!! I didn't have this copy at home. It makes much more sense, and it has a FAR better flow to the chords than the Real Book that is not published by Hal Leonard. I'm still disputing one or two changes that doesn't seem to be right, but I'll get back to you all on that one. Again, I'm basing this on the original version of the recording on the Album Nefertiti, and not some later version that Shorter may have played or rewritten for another group.

For those that have it, the 6th edition The Real Book Hal Leonard Corp has the accurate changes! However, they still assume that you know the additional notes that can (and should) be present in some of the chords, such as the G-7b5 out to have an Ab (b9) in the chord as well, and the C7b9 should also have an F# (#11) in it. I can understand how these would be much harder to read, but they are the actual chords played, at least from what I heard.)

So, the fake book is important, but I think I'll still continue to use my ears first to learn a tune, and then see how it matches up with the book later. Honestly, if I just went with the original Real Book I, among others, would be playing it wrong and probably wouldn't know the difference because so many have played it wrong.

Another question for all: What is ertext (sp) then? Which IS the original version, and is it important to adhere to it, especially when there may be better versions available, such as the middle part of Well You Needn't can be played with different changes depending on which version, both by Monk you choose to follow.

I suppose it's becoming clear that I'm not really a traditionalist, and that I'm more in favor of the continued evolution of jazz, but I really don't mean to insult anyone here, or to belittle the process of playing standards in the way that they ought to be played to maintain their authenticity.

Sorry if I'm offending anyone in this thread!
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 08:01 PM

Scep, I've had experience with wrong changes listed in the Real Book. For example, the changes for Dolphin Dance are apparently wrong in the Real Books. My teacher was writing all over the changes to correct it and discovered that the correct changes are in the 'Colorado' book.

So I think we seem to all agree on the premise that we must first learn the original exactly as is (assuming we are aware of which source has the right changes). And then once we understand the structure of the original, we can then take steps outside of it.

Apparently you have really good ears to spot all these yourself. I can't do that.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 08:02 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

So in summary, to me Jazz is characterized as having all these tensions which are at a much higher level than for other genres. And every one of these tools contribute.

Is current jazz not jazz anymore if it doesn't have one of the aforementioned elements? If swing is becoming less 'swingy' and more straight, at what point does it cease to be a contributing factor? For me, when I want to swing, certain repertoire can and should be played. At one time, tunes such as broadway rep were jazzified by the elements listed above. But how about now? Do people like Pat Methany not count as jazz musicians when they don't swing? Some call it fusion, but I wonder for how long will this transition last before some of the older elements of jazz are gone and jazz music written today will not be dependent on them.

Again, I'm not trying to be confrontational jazzwee, but really enjoying the opportunity to see where this whole conversation goes.

I heard a clip of some NY musicians that were in the Jazz fest, and to me they seemed to be what I am talking about--there were absolutely no elements of swing in their playing, and if I didn't know they were playing at the jazz festival I would've thought they'd be labelled indy rock, or ethnic music, or something else, but not jazz. Kind of like Free Jazz to me lacks (or could easily lack) the swing element, but is still considered jazz. This is all something like that philosophical argument about where a person is when you slowly move each body part to another location it becomes increasingly difficult to tell where they are anymore.

Thoughts?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 08:20 PM

You'll probably have a big debate with with Wynton Marsalis as he believes there is only "Traditional" jazz.

But I think I've stated my own biases pretty often. My leanings have always been towards Modern Jazz and my choice of teacher reflects that. I could even acknowledge that it was the music of Hancock and Chick that got me interested in jazz to begin with, not Ellington and Louie Armstrong. So that's just to set the stage.

Having said that, one needs to be precise sometimes because there is swing in most Jazz players I know of, including Pat Metheny, but to my ears it's been refined. Sometimes I don't know what my ear is telling me so some of these I've slowed down in transcribe and then you can hear more precisely what's going on.

When you're playing sixteenth notes, you can't expect to get a traditional swing feel of uneven eighths. Sixteenths are played straight. Top players can create runs of sixteenths with the same detail in the notes as a regular player playing eighths. There's a propensity for younger players to lean towards sixteenths playing (I too am beginning to alter my own playing because of this).

Since you can't swing sixteenths like eighth note pairs, does that mean that the swing is gone? Absolutely not. You hear the swing in syncopation. My favorite example being Herbie.

So I think the tendency for sixteenths has changed the sound. However, if the same players played eighths and if you slowed them down, they will swing the regular way. How do I know this? Because that's exactly what my teacher does.



Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 08:26 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Scep, I've had experience with wrong changes listed in the Real Book. For example, the changes for Dolphin Dance are apparently wrong in the Real Books. My teacher was writing all over the changes to correct it and discovered that the correct changes are in the 'Colorado' book.

So I think we seem to all agree on the premise that we must first learn the original exactly as is (assuming we are aware of which source has the right changes). And then once we understand the structure of the original, we can then take steps outside of it.

Apparently you have really good ears to spot all these yourself. I can't do that.


Good to know that about Dolphin Dance. I won't be learning that one for a while in any case, but if I had wanted to cheat I probably wouldv'e just used those changes until I tried to learn the tune by ear.

And no, my ears are not great by any means. My theory is actually far better than my ears, that that helps me along quite a lot. I really admire those with perfect pitch, but wonder if they experience the same joy that others without perfect pitch have when they 'discover' the right notes.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 08:35 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

You'll probably have a big debate with with Wynton Marsalis as he believes there is only "Traditional" jazz.


No, no debate from me, but I wonder what do we then call anything that falls outside of the traditional jazz framework, but not into the other categories? I think that the term 'jazz' has been used loosely to now mean anything that has improvisational elements in it that cannot otherwise be easily classified as pop, rock, rap, folk, country, etc, or the legit classical rep. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that classification, but it seems to make sense. And, I feel comfortable calling myself a jazz musician, and playing and composing songs that for lack of a better description fall slightly outside the above categories. I still can't swing like I'd want to, though. wink

How about Bela Fleck? Is he a jazz musician all the time?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 09:54 PM

This is often debated scep, but even without taking the Marsalis extreme view, there are things that I don't attempt to classify.

Medeski, Martin and Wood. Jazz? Certainly they actually play real Jazz especially acoustic. Their roots are really Jazz. But it's probably not Jazz. So their category is labeled "Jam Band".

But the question seems to relate to what you want to play. Do you feel bad that some of what you play is not jazz? My teacher BTW is a major name in Fusion. In fact one of the originals. But when he plays jazz in a trio setting, it is pure jazz.

Kenny Werner will mix in his "Free playing" in the context of a Jazz gig. Does that mean he strays away from Jazz since there's no swing? Officially, perhaps it's no longer of the jazz roots, but heck, I like it. And it's definitely improvisation.

Improvisation along Jazz roots (even without swing) is pretty distinctive I think because of the harmonic approaches. I'd like to contrast this to New Age improvsation which has simple harmonies in comparison. So that's easier to distinguish from Jazz IMO.

Chick Corea -- when he plays with a Flamenco rhythm, where does that fall?

I think I will just label these as "Modern Jazz" to accomodate the hybrid nature. But like I said, Marsalis will beg to differ.

Here's what he thinks of your comments:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rz2jRHA9fo
(courtesy of 7Notemode smile )

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 10:07 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Here's what he thinks of your comments:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rz2jRHA9fo
(courtesy of 7Notemode smile )


...er...wrong link? I think this guy plays sax. His brother plays a bit of trombone or trumpet I believe...

Was there another link you were thinking of?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 10:12 PM

I just liked his opening comment. You can forget the rest...

Marsalis is a tradionalist in Jazz. His job as musical director at the Lincoln Center it to promote/preserve traditional jazz. And his definition of Jazz definitely includes swing and maybe stops at Bebop.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 10:16 PM

and I thought MMW was classified as Acid Jazz. Jam Band, I like that classification, not sure I like many of the bands associated with it though. I see on Wiki that Bela Fleck is there though, which I suppose validates the genre as being more than just Rock Jam Band.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 10:30 PM

Yeah, I've heard of the Acid Jazz classification too. So maybe we could isolate the acid jazz sub category of Jam bands. smile

Now look at regular Jazz players like Herbie, Kenny Werner, Brad Mehldau and watch them play solo piano. Particularly Mehldau when he plays something based off a Pop tune.

Whatever it is I like it all smile I call it "variety". I like that kind of flexibility to cross a little bit from the traditional.

But what I don't like to disappear is the fact the Jazz has a wider range of Tension and Release than other genres. It's what excites me about it.

Let's also face the fact the rhythmic complexity (though not necessarily traditional swing) is a big part of this.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 10:43 PM

Back to Nefertiti for a moment:

I've found the changes (referring to the Hal Leonard copy) that are not from the album with Miles and Shorter:

Bar 11 labelled as an Ab7(#11) should be over a Bb, as it is in the recording the first run though, and then bar 12 should be an E9 over a B, rather than F#, and bar 15 Bb-(maj7) should be over an A. I really could be wrong about these, but for the life of me it seems this is what the bass is doing. Of course, my ears may be shot and I'm just imagining the notes to be there. Anyone can confirm or deny the notes in the bass?

As well, the first four bars are played chromatically down from Ab as well.

Everything else checks out
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 10:43 PM

I’ve worked out that I’m now good at accenting the upbeat, sometimes I do this quite naturally.
Now I’m working on swinging the upbeat so it doesn’t sound classical, with good results. Jazzwee, I know you told me not to get too hung up about the ratio of downbeat:upbeat (1:and), but I think that refining the ratio might be my next step to progressing my swing.
So when I vocalize, using Dave Frank’s New York “whisper” what is the ratio I should be saying New:York in ?
Or using 7notemode’s dah bah “whisper”, what is the ratio I should be saying dah:bah in ?
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 10:46 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee


Whatever it is I like it all smile I call it "variety". I like that kind of flexibility to cross a little bit from the traditional.

But what I don't like to disappear is the fact the Jazz has a wider range of Tension and Release than other genres. It's what excites me about it.

Let's also face the fact the rhythmic complexity (though not necessarily traditional swing) is a big part of this.


Yes, completely agreed on all counts. For now. smile

I'm going to try a recording of N in the next few hours when I get home again for those interested.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/22/10 11:26 PM

Originally Posted by custard apple
I’ve worked out that I’m now good at accenting the upbeat, sometimes I do this quite naturally.
Now I’m working on swinging the upbeat so it doesn’t sound classical, with good results. Jazzwee, I know you told me not to get too hung up about the ratio of downbeat:upbeat (1:and), but I think that refining the ratio might be my next step to progressing my swing.
So when I vocalize, using Dave Frank’s New York “whisper” what is the ratio I should be saying New:York in ?
Or using 7notemode’s dah bah “whisper”, what is the ratio I should be saying dah:bah in ?


Custard Apple, personally I would guide myself along these lines...

1.5:1 at the hard end - at 120bpm.
1.2:1 at the straight end - at 180bpm
1:1 at 220bpm

This is not exact. It's just an illustration. I'm just giving you something to compare against. Basically, I would stay away from extreme ratios like 2:1 as no one plays like that.

BTW - no one swings one way continuously. Bill Evans will likely wander between 1.5:1 and 1.1:1 at any particular tempo (although it will be consistent in a phrase). Same for hard swinger Wynton Kelly. You can hear him play straight quite often.

Now don't come back and say you're playing 1.6:1 now smile Like I said, this is for illustration purposes only and you have to translate this to what you hear.

If you want, you can point out a specific swing player that you like and I'll guess where he/she is in this swing spectrum. But it has to be a specific tune and a specific tempo.

BTW - vocalizing tends to be more extreme than actual playing. Maybe it's because we vocalize slower lines.

One more thing to remember about swing - L E G A T O. If it's not Legato, it's not going to sound authentic. The slower the tempo, the more this is important. Less important at 220bpm.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 02:25 AM

Lol Jazzwee 1.1:1 You’ve really been analyzing artists’ swings. I really like Bill Evans and have his solo piano album Alone – I love every single song on it but a lot of it is balladic which is not where I am going to learn swing.
I also love Keith Jarrett – how about All the things you are ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLCG...next=1&playnext_from=PL&index=56

I also remember your previous advice that it doesn’t matter whether you delay the upbeat or downbeat, it’s a stylistic thing. So how about I learn 1:1.5 as well ?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 03:19 AM

I haven't found a reverse swing thing (1:1.5). But I thought I perceived it as such and it turned out to just to be dragging the downbeat. When you drag the downbeat and play close to 1:1 it sounds like you reversed it. Especially if you're heavy on the upbeat accent. Read my words carefully here smile

You might ask why I know some of this. It's because my teacher required that I duplicate some of these swing styles. Once you know how to create a sound, the mystery disappears.

Like I repeatedly say though, authencity of a swing sound often depends on being in the pocket, which as you know takes time. I'm still working on my time.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 03:30 AM

Keith has a strong swing. He's one of the few like Evans and Wynton Kelly that can swing at the fast tempos. Very strong upbeat accents starting at 1:20sec and dragged upbeat. After 1:34 or so, the accents lessen in intensity.

It's very 'hard' swing for this tempo which is over 200bpm. I'd say around 1.3:1 ratio. At this tempo, it would be straight for most players. Very difficult to do technically. I've transcribed some of Jarrett's stuff and I was surprised at the amount of swing at this speed. This is clearly not straight.

Note though that when he slows down, he doesn't necessarily swing harder.
His sixteenth notes are extremely straight though.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 03:44 AM

Brad Mehldau - ATTYA
Here he plays straighter in comparison to Jarrett.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsW6K51lQkQ&feature=related

I would guess it varies between 1.1:1 - 1.2:1 ratio. It's only a light lilt. But he swings it by syncopating the lines more. Listen to the spaces and where he starts the phrase. He doesn't start on the beat. I can feel it. Every note is dragged back a little. That's the other trick to swing: controlling where the line starts and ends. Combined with dragging, all the notes will sound off-center even when close to straight.
(This is in 7/4 BTW).


Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 05:14 AM

GBPPH - 7notemode, studying your voicings right now while trying to remember the progression. Your voicings are actually open and simple. I see where you're going with the modal nature of it.

I'm still experimenting. Beeboss's version (the one he posted here) is more dense at the beginning. Then the solo portion actually got simplified.

My ears seem to like a voicing with a root in it most of the time since it rubs against the melody.

I haven't quite committed the progression to memory...It isn't an obvious flow of changes smile

Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 05:56 AM

JW, Yes, I went for a modal sound and simplicity by editing out a fair amount voicing detail. It was a way to homogenize the flow and make it more floaty and less bluesy. I vastly prefer the original chords, which are groundbreaking. This was just a different take on it.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 06:02 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
JW, Yes, I went for a modal sound and simplicity by editing out a fair amount voicing detail. It was a way to homogenize the flow and make it more floaty and less bluesy. I vastly prefer the original chords, which are groundbreaking. This was just a different take on it.


I would probably prefer this less bluesy. Lots of people add tons of slides to the melody. I don't know if I should be influenced by that. We shall see.

The original chords are actually pretty amazing. Just playing the roots of the chords shows how strong those original chords were.

I'll mull over this tune for awhile. This is my method. I want it to sink in first. Good thing I don't have to prepare a tune for a gig smile I'd be too slow.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 07:18 AM

Hi again all,

Well, I promised a recording of Nefertiti today. I'm still definitely in the low end of the learning curve, but wanted to post something to give an idea how I've approached the song.

I've actually made 14 recording of the tune, and will post one of the first ones, and two of the last ones and those interested can compare them to see what has stuck, and what has evolved into some other directions. The last of the three recordings is in 3/4 time and has a completely chromatic bass line.

Now remember, none of these recordings are perfect, and my rhythm of the melody is still way off at times, but one can consider this day one of learning a song. Hope you enjoy, and any comments, observations, questions welcomed. And yes, I know I speed up. Nerves, unfortunely.

http://www.box.net/shared/021z8r7acx
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 07:45 AM

scep, I'm not going to be around much tomorrow and I only got to listen to part of the 1st recording. Looks like you got into this tune big time. You put in lots of work. Sounded great.

I'll listen more closely tomorrow evening.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 09:44 AM

Hey Jazzwee
I knew Jarrett’s All the Things You Are was really fast but I didn’t realize it was soooooo fast. I will study it in the same way as I’m studying the Herbie Hancock clip – only achievable as a very long term goal.
For a medium term goal, what slower piece do you suggest I study for swing rhythm ?

Re Brad Mehldau’s ATTYA, are you saying that swing is a function of:
1. accenting the “and”; &
2. delaying the “and” in comparison to the beats; &
3. syncopation ?
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 11:13 AM

LINK TO THE REAL NEFERTITI CHORD CHANGES...


Guys, regarding Nefertiti, this is a link from the pianist of the Bad Plus, with Herbie Hancock's actual voicings when he plays it.

I worked out the chords against the Real Book and there were some differences.

http://thebadplus.typepad.com/dothemath/2006/02/nefertiti_chord.html


Herbie seems to have very specific voicings. He played the head of the song solo on Elvis Costello's Spectacle show. I have it on tape but it would take time to transfer to mp3.



Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 11:16 AM

This is a great version of Nefertiti by the master himself, Wayne Shorter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_57Ul0KpVM&feature=related

and same band, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqr_M-JXKS8&feature=related
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 11:24 AM

Had to throw this in, GBPPH, by Jeff Beck, bloody good rendition. Check out the bass player, 21 yr old girl prodigy Tal Wilkenfeld:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3y61-WSuwQ&feature=fvw
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 02:02 PM

Skeptical,
I listened to the one ending in -003.
Your harmony is terrific. I really can't add anything to what you have done with this tune. That said. What strikes me about your playing goes back to the swing issue. Your harmonies are great. Your melodic lines work well, but your harmony is stronger. The timing is not quite up too the rest of your playing skills. If you were able to lay down a deep swinging groove on this tune, playing the exact same notes you played, you would sound like a really fierce New York gigging cat! Really.
Great work on this tune.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 03:30 PM

Here is a link to Oscar Peterson doing a 'master class' explanation of different styles of playing he uses. Really great stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec-FrnaU0rs

T
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 08:30 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
Here is a link to Oscar Peterson doing a 'master class' explanation of different styles of playing he uses. Really great stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec-FrnaU0rs

T


Wow. I forgot how much I liked Oscar Peterson! I've got to listen to him again. But could he play Nefertiti? wink
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/23/10 08:35 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
Skeptical,
I listened to the one ending in -003.
...the timing is not quite up too the rest of your playing skills. If you were able to lay down a deep swinging groove on this tune...


Ya, that's going to elude me for awhile on this, and many other, tunes. It's when I'm not 100% comfortable with the all three components of melody, harmony and rhythm working together that my timing tends to falter, and I'll resort to things I know, or things that 'should' work, but often don't, that the swing is the first to go because I'm searching for the right notes to play.

I'm going to continue to work on the harmony, and look at the other Nefertiti that Wiz posted of Shorter, and see what reductions he has done. It appears he only has three tonal centres, and I'm assuming he knows what he wants, so I'm going that route now.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 12:03 AM

There's some good discussings about Wayne Shorter's tunes on the Allaboutjazz forums.

How his composing incorporates non-functional harmony. His tunes don't really follow the 2-5-1 progression but he still uses plenty of tension and release.

I love playing Infant Eyes and Ana Maria. Looking at the chord progression he uses sus chords to resolve.

His tunes do follow a key centre but he throws in chords that shift the harmony in unexpected ways.



Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 12:11 AM

7notemode, good to see you here on the forums! Your youtube videos are great and very helpful.

How would you practice to improve timing and rhythm?

That is something I need to work on. I tend to play ballad and rubato type songs and not "swing" songs.

I totally respect Oscar Peterson, esp since I am Canadian but I don't listen to his playing much, as that old traditional "swing" style is not my taste. Same for Wynton Marsalis.

They said Miles Davis didn't swing that much, he played more fluid and melodic.


Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 12:32 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
I just liked his opening comment. You can forget the rest...

Marsalis is a tradionalist in Jazz. His job as musical director at the Lincoln Center it to promote/preserve traditional jazz. And his definition of Jazz definitely includes swing and maybe stops at Bebop.



Jazzwee, are we looking at the same link? That was Branford in the link you provided. Is there a link that you had with Wynton (who is the director of the ed program and other things) at Lincoln centre.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 12:38 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Back to Nefertiti for a moment:


As well, the first four bars are played chromatically down from Ab as well.


Actually what I meant here is that in one the run throughs the bass worked down chromatically Ab, G, F#, F to B

Also, speaking of that B #11 chord to the Bb-7b5 in the next bar, that is where I find the most problems with the tune. I can't seem to get anything satisfying for connecting the two chords, unless the Bb- chord is over an A (which I still sometimes think I hear when I listen to the recordings), and then it can work well.

Any ideas about this area from those that have played the tune?
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 12:54 AM

Wiz,

I like the link you provided for the Nefertiti changes. Moreso I like the preceding comments about the acknowledgement that nobody knows the changes for certain, because of the free playing in the piece, and then this followed by Herbies voicings.

Have you attempted to play the piece yet?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 01:41 AM

Originally Posted by custard apple
Hey Jazzwee
I knew Jarrett’s All the Things You Are was really fast but I didn’t realize it was soooooo fast. I will study it in the same way as I’m studying the Herbie Hancock clip – only achievable as a very long term goal.
For a medium term goal, what slower piece do you suggest I study for swing rhythm ?

Re Brad Mehldau’s ATTYA, are you saying that swing is a function of:
1. accenting the “and”; &
2. delaying the “and” in comparison to the beats; &
3. syncopation ?


I think you need to listen and practice swing at the speed you can execute because realistically, swing changes by tempo as I already said in my little ratio examples. Since chances are, you will have to play slowly first, just be conscious of straightening out the eighths a little and putting all your thought into the upbeat accents.

So in answer to these set of questions:

1. YES
2. Actually no. Your thinking should be on delaying the "pair" (starting with the downbeat). This could mean that the pair itself is close to straight as in Mehldau's case. But when you drag both notes behind, it will create a lilt.

Stop thinking about dragging the upbeat. Start thinking only about dragging the downbeat and then think of it as a set (i.e. always in pairs). Swing is always in the context of eighth pairs.

3. Syncopation has to do with where lines start and end. Mixing up lines so that the phrase starts on the upbeat creates the syncopation and then you'll have to release it so that the downbeat is heard again.

There's another thing to #2 that I was communicating. At some point, you will experiment and realize that depending on where the lines start and end, you create a different feel. So it isn't just random dragging. Master jazzers play with this. It's never a constant thing.

And you also get a contrast with guys like Bill Evans that plays on top of the beat most of time. Little dragging there. But dragging/delaying is more common and is quite prevalent among horn players.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 02:17 AM

Scep and Wiz, now you see why my learning of jazz has been focused on this never ending problem of mastering time. It's what holds me back.

If my teacher hears me playing sixteenths and I'm not doing it in perfect time he will say STOP and tell me to simplify. In fact that's just what he did now. It's no longer a question of my ability to execute sixteenths. If it's not in time then he'll say I'm not ready.

I think it is a very important part of jazz to master this skill. Part of the control of swing feel is a play on time. For example, dragging a fixed amount against a fixed metronome beat. Most of swing is playing AGAINST something.

I tell you, my awareness of my own weakness here frustrates me. But I suppose I could take the same route as many of you and just ignore it. My teacher won't let me though. He thinks it's that important.

I wish I could solve it quickly but it's tedious for me and a subject of daily metronome practice.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 02:44 AM

Jazzwee: So if I understand you correctly, you recommend I approach swing as "1 and" "2 and" "3 and" "4 and", per your response to me in Point 2: "Your thinking should be on delaying the "pair" (starting with the downbeat). This could mean that the pair itself is close to straight as in Mehldau's case. But when you drag both notes behind, it will create a lilt.
Stop thinking about dragging the upbeat. Start thinking only about dragging the downbeat and then think of it as a set (i.e. always in pairs). Swing is always in the context of eighth pairs."

Jazzwee and 7notemode: In 7notemode's video, and the way I am currently thinking, I have been thinking of eighths as "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and" with the accent and the delay on the "and".
So both of your approaches appear to me to differ a lot - Jazzwee emphasises the pair whilst 7notemode emphasises the "and" upbeat ???

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 02:49 AM

No Custard apple. We're the same. Accent and emphasis is always on the Upbeat.

I'm talking about DRAGGING only. Think of dragging the pair. So the emphasis doesn't change but only addressing that you cannot think of dragging the 2nd eighth without understanding the dragging of the 1st eighth.

Dragging can be milliseconds, or more. So there's no one value. But it is a noticeable aspect of swing as I brought to you in several examples.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 02:58 AM

Ok thanks JW, I think that your approach can help me achieve more velocity.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 05:30 AM

Originally Posted by custard apple
Ok thanks JW, I think that your approach can help me achieve more velocity.


CA, just curious, what do you mean by velocity? I interpret that as loudness. Or are you referring to swing tempo?

Interesting thing about swing tempo, your basic limitation is how fast you can think of notes to play. So often at the early stages you choose something 'pre-written' to play instead since you likely cannot create a solo that fast yet.

Suggestions: Play the heads of the following examples - Donna Lee, Anthropology, Confirmation. These are bebop heads that are played fast so they're good for swing practice. Donna Lee was what I used myself.
Maybe tomorrow, I'll record some swing practice so you hear what I'm working on. Just don't compare me to Jarrett or Mehldau smile At least you might hear the struggle of refining swing and where I'm at.

Stylistically, I play straight with strong upbeat accents and a slight drag. I can also play a Bill Evans hard swing but it is really hard to maintain and I don't really like it because it's not as legato sounding.

When you get your swing to sound legato, it actually begins to sound authentic, and I personally find it easier to achieve it with my approach.


Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 05:33 AM

GBPPH -- guys I have had so little practice time the last few days so I barely have time to memorize the changes. So I'm just doing a little bit every day. Hopefully things will ease up with my workload next week but this week is not the best for learning something new.

I try to solo a little on it and I have to keep pausing because I don't remember...

I haven't even started thinking about Nefertiti yet.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 05:51 AM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
7notemode, good to see you here on the forums! Your youtube videos are great and very helpful.

How would you practice to improve timing and rhythm?

That is something I need to work on. I tend to play ballad and rubato type songs and not "swing" songs.

I totally respect Oscar Peterson, esp since I am Canadian but I don't listen to his playing much, as that old traditional "swing" style is not my taste. Same for Wynton Marsalis.

They said Miles Davis didn't swing that much, he played more fluid and melodic.




Hello Wiz,
Thx for the nice comment.

I did a three part How to Swing tutorial on Youtube, which was my best effort of explaining my understanding of it. But.... I found this video from Dave Frank on Ustream. It is an hour long master class on Charlie Parker's rhythm. It is far superior to my video. It is a brilliant video! For anyone interested in how to swing PLEASE watch Dave Frank's video!! :-)

The first five minutes are silence
Minutes five to fifteen are him playing two pieces.
He starts deconstructing Charlie Parker around 15 minutes or so and it gets meatier the further it goes. This video is such a gift!

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/4803545

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 05:57 AM

7notemode, I'm sure happy that we're increasing your post count, and so far it seems to be mostly from hanging out with us! thumb

I forgot to listen to Dave Frank's video from last week. Added to my to do list...
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 07:16 AM

By velocity, I mean speed ie bpm on the metronome.
Because my method has been:
1. setting the metronome on the normal 1 2 3 4 downbeat
2. delaying and accenting the “and” upbeat when there is a gap between metronome counts.
So it gets very difficult to “hear” the gap the faster I set the metronome. But I need to “hear” this gap because that’s when I do the delaying and accenting of the “and” upbeat.

Dave Frank said to think of jazz in either 2s or 3s. That’s like what you said: think of pairs when it comes to eighth notes. Maybe when I start thinking like that I can go faster but still swing, because I won’t need to try as hard to hear the gap between metronome counts.

I watched Dave Frank’s video last week on Charlie Parker/improv and made pages of notes, I’m going to watch his video again this week. You can also download his notes from his web-site.

Last month Dave also did a u-stream session on Keith Jarrett. I’m going to watch that one again too.


Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 08:32 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Wiz,

I like the link you provided for the Nefertiti changes. Moreso I like the preceding comments about the acknowledgement that nobody knows the changes for certain, because of the free playing in the piece, and then this followed by Herbies voicings.

Have you attempted to play the piece yet?


hey sceptical...nice job on Nefertiti, especially working out the harmony by ear. No way I could do that accurately.

I've played it through a few times, using the voicings from that link I sent you. Haven't tried to improvise on it yet though. I liked the improvs on your takes.

Have you listened to Hancock's version on his River album? The first few minutes he sets up the mood of the song, but you don't hear the melody until later. Of the ones I've heard I like that one the best.

http://www.amazon.com/River-Letters-Tracks-Amazon-com-Exclusive/dp/B000V9RRPQ
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/24/10 09:59 PM

Wiz,

I actually didn't get all the changes from the original album, but rather from the bass of that album, and various takes on Youtube by different bands. What was most interesting in the process was that when I heard something that didn't sound right (ie the pure Abmaj chord when it should've had a D in there somewhere) I began to suspect the piece was learned from the original real book (with the wrong changes).

Also, I'm not certain that all the chords I thought were there were there, in particular that Bb-7 that I thought was/should be played over an A. So really, my ears are not really that good, believe me, but somehow my theory carried me to understanding the chords in a way that learning it from the book couldn't.

One other thing that occurred to me is that the 'essence' of what Shorter does seems easy for me to understand, or at least I think I understand how he arrives at chords. Like I mentioned early, and then confirmed by the link you provided of the 'actual' voicings, it appears that fourths and the tritone or chromatic subs of those fourths dominate his structures. And also it seems that if one reduces, or reverts the chords to their 'normal' equivalents one can have a better chance at arriving at appropriate scale notes to play that don't always sound outside.

I'm beginning to relearn the KISS method and applying that to my improvs, even though it may not sound that they are simple. If I had just played over the written chords, without understanding why they are there, or how they were constructed I'm sure my improv would sound far, far more abstract and less linear (which could be good at times, but avoids the problem of really knowing how to play melodically over the changes.)

I'd be really happy to hear more people post some of their attempts at the tune. I'm going to practice it more this week and see if I can improve my understanding of how to solo on this piece. Thanks again to 7 for suggesting this as a tune.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 05:13 AM

GBPPH - Got my voicings figured out for this. 7Notemode, I went similar to what you did. More tenths probably. I did take the quartal voicings and filled it in differently but it's quite close. It's probably in between what Beeboss had since these are the two examples I've listened to closely.

All my voicings had the root at the bottom just like the original chords because I liked the rub against the melody. Some of your roots were higher up.

I'll probably experiment some more to have a denser sound on some of the chords that sound too bluesy, like the |Eb7 F7|.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 05:15 AM

Scep, I'd be interested to see what you're talking about when I get started on this tune. Just from experience though, Herbie will do some voicings that will throw you in a loop. Dolphin Dance is famous for this. Some of it is hard to express in chord notation.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 05:51 AM

Jazzwee,

Truth be told, I'm not really too interested in what Herbie did exactly because I don't really like them enough to explore them further than getting the skeleton, and the gist of the leading tones that connect the chords. I think I'm at the point in my playing that my interest lies in what I can do to make the song my own, rather than duplicate what others have done. I'm not sure if this is the right approach, but it makes me happy for now.

Also, another update on Nef: the two chords that were causing me problems I've now figured a work around based on the melody, and scale used that connects the two chords of B#11 and Bb-7b5. Essentially its a whole tone progression with a Db, then Eb chord above the B falling to an E chord over the Bb. The E chord represents a Bb-7b5 with a b9, and this provides a solid working point for the following F over Eb chord (Eb#11) then a F# and D over E, etc etc.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 06:49 AM

So I'm looking at now. What changes are you actually using? I'm looking at Real Book and NewRealBook. Unfortunately, I'm looking at a kindle and flipping between the two and I haven't seen the differences in the changes yet.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 06:59 AM

I'm going to start learning the head, probably tomorrow. I'm just familiarizing myself with the tune now. It's interesting that we don't have examples of any solos on this tune from the originals smile

I just listened to your solo and you did quite a good job of laying out the harmony in your solo. I liked that a lot thumb I think I would prefer it though with some stronger pulse.

The problem is that the tune has this dragging melody that isn't going to sound the same on a percussive piano. I just heard a Herbie VSOP version that's a little faster.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 09:07 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
So I'm looking at now. What changes are you actually using? I'm looking at Real Book and NewRealBook.


Well, the closest thing I'm using is the second real book (Hal Leonard) but I'm not really thinking of them as what I base my actual chords on. The chords I'm actually using, which can be generally drawn from the Hal real book are a bit more specific in that they are sometimes slash chords, or multiple chords such as the Db, Eb over B I stated earlier.

If you look at the Herbie chords Wiz linked they COULD be versions of the chords in the real book, but not quite, and the same for the ones I'm using.

Another chord that I've found that doesn't really help one learn how to play the harmony properly is the D/Am somewhere in the middle of the tune (bar 9 I think.) It is a D over Am, but I needed to approach it differently and construct it somehow more parallel to the Ab#11 chord that fall to the E/F# chords in the next bars.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 03:00 PM

Yes, for examples, I like to stay with the original recordings, so Miles Herbie and Wayne Shorter are the most reliable examples. SFG, as you mentioned, some of these chords are more like tone clusters and don't really go anywhere, but kind of hover over a common sound.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 03:38 PM

You're so vague my friend!

Could you tell me which chords you were concerned about specifically?

You mentioned AbMaj7 too right?

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 03:43 PM

Scep, How does your chords compare to Lot2Learn here?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnGb_coSNU0

BTW - I liked Roger's groove here, which is close to Herbies VSOP version. It's a really neat tune. I'm excited to try it.

But I'm not done with GBPPH at all though! So this is just to dip my feet into it.

Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 04:12 PM

Great discussion!

Jazzwee, beboss, 7note,

This is a bit off-topic from your current discussion, but I've taken to heart your suggestions to maintain time, moreso, correct changes in time. The first example is a simple progression to which I attempted to provide a slow swing beat to it.

The second selection is a series of 13ths, augmented 11ths, 9ths, 5ths progression not so rhythmic.

The goal is to comibne a swing style to the second selection and break up the chords a bit as well.

Slow swing
http://www.box.net/shared/ec0o1jx52u

Augmented chords
http://www.box.net/shared/k9flrh3a2a

Glen
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 04:53 PM

Glen, this definitely improves your form thumb and your soloing touch and note choices are impeccable as always. I think you lost your form once on the 1st recording.

You should have a metronome with a click on beat 1 so you know when you lose the form. Chances are you will find out what causes it and isolate it. It will also keep your time more constant. The 1st one wavered quite a bit. Listen to the 1st part and then the tempo near the end smile I think it's when you do a stream of 16ths and you do one or two extra notes. So you'll know to be less random with that.

You could slow down the offending phrase and see why you're doing that.

I tell you though, you SOUND GOOD man! Swinging!
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 06:39 PM

Thanks, Jazzwee,

Great feedback to incorporate into my jazz practice sessions and for making arrangements - much appreciated.

...These bad habits with changes in time are hard to break.

Glen

Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 06:41 PM

Glen, nice playing example. I'm starting to see a common thread here. You have really good piano skills and a good grasp of harmony and melody, which is, of course, common to classical and all musical styles. The challenge is how to lay it down on the time line in a way that authentically swings. For me, that defines jazz and is something we all strive to perfect. Have you ever noticed that a bad piano player with great timing still sounds like a great piano player :-) Some primary drummers and bass players come to mind.

Roger - Lot2Learn's Nefertiti - forget the harmony. The thing that is great is the deceptive ease with which he swings this piece. I have played the Ambersold backing track that he is using, and the bass player is a sadist. It is a struggle to find the one - he is intentionally trying to fool you. In Roger's playing, it seems like the easiest thing in the world to do. That is what stands out in his video to me.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 07:12 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode

Roger - Lot2Learn's Nefertiti - forget the harmony. The thing that is great is the deceptive ease with which he swings this piece. I have played the Ambersold backing track that he is using, and the bass player is a sadist. It is a struggle to find the one - he is intentionally trying to fool you. In Roger's playing, it seems like the easiest thing in the world to do. That is what stands out in his video to me.


+1 - it was the something I really noticed smile
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 08:53 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Scep, How does your chords compare to Lot2Learn here?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnGb_coSNU0



He actually avoids the problem altogether by not playing the 'suggested' harmonic tendencies, and subs them for more basic ones in the B#11 to Bb-7b5 area. He plays a Bb13 instead (with a D rather than a Db) making it a 7 chord.

Also you'll notice he's doing what 'should' be done in that the left hand is primarily fourths (both tritones and perfect) in stacks.

What I've done is start at the same place, but then decided that Shorter probably had the idea that upper structures were the guiding tones, which were in the melody.

And has anyone found an example of Nefertiti with just solo piano? I've seen one guitarist, but that's it.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 09:23 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

And has anyone found an example of Nefertiti with just solo piano? I've seen one guitarist, but that's it.


Long hair guy, remember? (Or were you too distracted?)

BTW - Listening to this tune, I couldn't really get my arms around the melody until I had the LeadSheet. I wasn't clear when the melody began or ended since the harmony is "floating".

So last night was the first time I understood it, sleeping with earphones repeatedly playing this.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/25/10 10:00 PM

7 and others, anyone have any good advice on evenning out our swing and getting better rhythmic control here?

Aside from obvious metronome use, the only advice that comes to mind is my teacher mentioning before to keep phrases short so you can resynch to the beat more often.

This may be one of my problems actually because I tend to keep my eighth lines way too long.

Another one that seems to help me is that I mouth/vocalize my swinging while I solo, although I need to continue his even through the spaces. I think the purpose of this is to help subdivide the time.

Another one is that I feel that hard swing ratios are harder to control than straighter playing. I'm personally more relaxed thinking of upbeat accents rather than Dah-Dit-Dah-Dit-Dah-Dit...

These are some of what I know. If anyone has additional ideas. Share them.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 12:46 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

And has anyone found an example of Nefertiti with just solo piano? I've seen one guitarist, but that's it.


Long hair guy, remember? (Or were you too distracted?)



I thought that was GBPPH. Who's distracted by the hair now?;)
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 12:50 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
7 and others, anyone have any good advice on evenning out our swing and getting better rhythmic control here?


Another one that seems to help me is that I mouth/vocalize my swinging while I solo, although I need to continue his even through the spaces. I think the purpose of this is to help subdivide the time.



I do this, and it works best for me. I was thinking of posting an example of this on Nef because it makes my lines more melodic, and thus easier for me to remain fluid (not hunting and pecking), and not sacrificing the time for harm/melody.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 06:08 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

And has anyone found an example of Nefertiti with just solo piano? I've seen one guitarist, but that's it.


Long hair guy, remember? (Or were you too distracted?)



I thought that was GBPPH. Who's distracted by the hair now?;)


LOL! smile

In any case I did start on Nefertiti, learning the melody and just playing a shell on the LH just to get an idea. Now I can listen to it more and have it make sense.

GBPPH is coming along and I actually started to play around with some more unusual voicings. Lots of opportunities here with all the dominants. And some interesting sounds came out.

I started out with mostly quartal voicings but it became to bland for me after awhile as I wanted to bring out some more interesting scales (rather than just pentatonics). I still do quartal voicings now but I mixed up some more.

I didn't want it to sound bluesy as I was looking for a more modern sound.

At this point, I don't have it committed enough to memory that I can stay on form so no recordings yet. I really have only spent 3 hours total on this. It's been too busy.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 06:11 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by jazzwee
7 and others, anyone have any good advice on evenning out our swing and getting better rhythmic control here?


Another one that seems to help me is that I mouth/vocalize my swinging while I solo, although I need to continue his even through the spaces. I think the purpose of this is to help subdivide the time.



I do this, and it works best for me. I was thinking of posting an example of this on Nef because it makes my lines more melodic, and thus easier for me to remain fluid (not hunting and pecking), and not sacrificing the time for harm/melody.

Are we going to create a bunch of loud soloists singing their solos like Jarrett:) ?

But I do watch Chick Corea mouthing his rhythm, although at least he's not grunting or making a sound.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 06:27 AM

When you talk about vocalising your swinging, are you talking about singing the melody or mouthing the downbeat ?
When I first started jazz with a teacher, he insisted I count the downbeats out loud. I found that this distracted me too much, so I counted internally instead, and he was really surprised that I still stayed in rhythm even as a beginner.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 06:34 AM

Sometimes I can't help it but sing along when I do this. I try not to, since the important element is just rhythmic. No I don't mouth the downbeats. I mouth the entire phrase, almost like scat...

Doo-bah-Doo-bah-Doo-Bah Dat-Dat-Doo...But I don't actually say this. Most of the time I'm just doing "Ga-Ga-Ga" in rhythm. Doesn't really matter but the initial value of this was phrasing.

If you mouth a phrase, you'll control the length. You can't go too long as you will run out of breath. So this is how a horn player has to phrase -- related to breathing.

But the secondary effect of this is that you're making a running rhythmic thing with your mouth like a drum. It helps to time the swing and the phrase itself. Often your fingers can get stuck because of bad fingering and then your phrase suffers. Your mouth does not have that limitation.

I haven't done this enough and I intend to practice this way daily for awhile.

Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 09:12 AM

Sorry to be pedantic Jazzwee, I presume you are talking about mouthing for the non-improvised sections in lead sheets ?
What about when you improvise ? Is it too in the moment to mouth anything ?
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 09:13 AM

Sorry to be pedantic Jazzwee, I presume you are talking about mouthing for the non-improvised sections in lead sheets ?
What about when you improvise ? Is it too in the moment to mouth anything ?
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 12:48 PM

Originally Posted by custard apple
Sorry to be pedantic Jazzwee, I presume you are talking about mouthing for the non-improvised sections in lead sheets ?
What about when you improvise ? Is it too in the moment to mouth anything ?


I was assuming he was talking primarily about when he solos. Although it couldn't hurt to sing along with the melody either, it's when one solos that time (swing) seems to suffer.
Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 01:47 PM

All right guys, today is the start of a new era for me. After reading the posts on "mouthing" above (I had not heard that term before), I am pretty convinced there is a lot more to that "mouthing" than we give it credit for.
I used to practice martial arts quite a lot, addicted then the same way I am to music now. We would never start a practice session without meditation. Day after day, over the years, some of us were able to actually meditate (while others just waited smile )
There were several keys to meditation: a relaxed, consistent posture, a way to empty the mind, typically by visualizing something large or small, breathing deeply, and vocalizing.

So this is my new resolution. I will start each practice session by a 90 second meditation routine, where I will count down from 50, while lightly vocalizing, and sitting comfortably.
My hope is that after a few months, I will be able to reach a state of focus after 90 seconds.
As I reach that state more consistently, I will slowly count down from 49, then one day 48, etc...
By adopting the same attitude each time, I plan on being able to do what they all do, focus for a few seconds and get right in the zone.

The belief I have is that vocalizing will tie everything together, where I am able to remain in a focused state while playing and vocalizing at the same time.


Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 02:25 PM

Originally Posted by custard apple
Sorry to be pedantic Jazzwee, I presume you are talking about mouthing for the non-improvised sections in lead sheets ?
What about when you improvise ? Is it too in the moment to mouth anything ?


Custard Apple, you get to the point where you can sing what you are playing/soloing. I know it's hard to imagine and believe but before you even touch the key, you know what it's going to sound like.

That's what Jarrett does.

Now that's not what I have to do since I'm only concerned about the rhythm right now. I'm defining a phrase with my mouth. It sets the limit of phrase length and note length. It's related to the idea that soloing is a conversation so there's a natural phrasing to it. So here, I'm letting my mouth decide the phrase, the pace, and the swing.

As I said, I can actually take it to the level of singing what I'm about to play. I can't help but do that. But it takes many years before you are able to do that. It happens when your fingers no longer drive the solo but your ears do.

I'm sure many of us here can do it.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/26/10 10:29 PM

Originally Posted by knotty
All right guys, today is the start of a new era for me. After reading the posts on "mouthing" above (I had not heard that term before), I am pretty convinced there is a lot more to that "mouthing" than we give it credit for.
I used to practice martial arts quite a lot, addicted then the same way I am to music now. We would never start a practice session without meditation. Day after day, over the years, some of us were able to actually meditate (while others just waited smile )
There were several keys to meditation: a relaxed, consistent posture, a way to empty the mind, typically by visualizing something large or small, breathing deeply, and vocalizing.

So this is my new resolution. I will start each practice session by a 90 second meditation routine, where I will count down from 50, while lightly vocalizing, and sitting comfortably.
My hope is that after a few months, I will be able to reach a state of focus after 90 seconds.
As I reach that state more consistently, I will slowly count down from 49, then one day 48, etc...
By adopting the same attitude each time, I plan on being able to do what they all do, focus for a few seconds and get right in the zone.

The belief I have is that vocalizing will tie everything together, where I am able to remain in a focused state while playing and vocalizing at the same time.




This sounds more like something along the lines of Kenny Werner.

By the way, I hesitate to use the word vocalizing since it suggests that sounds actually come out. Again, I use the example of Chick Corea with his tongue moving inside his mouth but not making a lot of sound, maybe no more than clicks.

I think what is important is that the body participates in the rhythm and the phrasing. I find the foot to be too slow. It's only good for marking 2 or 4 beats.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 01:42 AM

That's exactly what I found with my foot, JW. I only tried it for a couple of days. It is so inaccurate that you can't tell whether you are hitting the beat in the centre.
So you mark your 2 and 4 beats ? That's what a really good jazz performer told me to do to practise swing.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of marking my 1,2,3,4 beats with the metronome clicks ? That's what I do, it seems far more natural, after all that's how songs specify the tempo. Between the gaps in the metronome clicks (ie the "and" upbeats) I do the accenting and delaying of the note.
As I've gone back to basics, I want to employ the most effective methodology for developing swing.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 02:01 AM

CA, the purpose of 2 and 4 is to subdivide. By subdividing, you improve your time and you be more accurate in positioning the beat. But this itself is not enough since it's only affecting the quarter notes. So that's why I'm suggesting other ways to keep good time (with your mouth).

I have never found practicing scales in swing to be helpful in generating good swing. The reason is that real playing is made up of complex moves with leaps, fingering contortions, black/white key position issues, etc. So perfection of swing comes from playing real solos.

Although I can play a desired swing perfectly in a scale, playing actual lines conflict with other issues, like indecision on which note to pick for example. Even this can't be solved by playing pre-written solos.

So personally, I'd be focused on improvising as always and control of swing will just come later. Aside from learning the basics now (upbeat accents), you almost have to just keep playing real tunes.

This is just from my experience.

Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 02:48 AM

I'll put in my .02

Meditation: Knotty that sounds like a good idea. I strive to turn off all internal dialog while playing. No words, just sound.

Singing out loud: great learning tool. Terrible performing habit. So learning to do it both ways = good.

Tapping foot:
It has to be the left foot. No right foot tapping. You may need the right foot for pedaling and people invariably tap on the pedal which screws up recordings and mic feeds. The left foot is fine, but if your foot gets tired, you can start dragging the beat. Ideally we learn to feel the beat and don't need to tap it. I tap a good portion of the time.

Metronome: Playing on the 1234 is easier and requires less internal consistency to keep the beat. I will sometimes start off at 112 bpm on the 1234 and when I'm comfortable with what I'm working on, switch to 56 bpm clicking on the 2 and 4, which is identical tempo. 2 and 4 is mandatory. If you get on the 1 and 3, just count it and get back on board. Playing 16th notes at a slow tempo on the 2 and 4 can be really challenging.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 03:05 AM

7notemode: So for me a relative beginner, do you recommend I continue the 1234 method and then move on to the 2 and 4 method.
Also I know that you recommended that I do Knotty's vocalising technique. I read on the Non Classical Forum that he is one of Dave Frank's lucky students. I was going to get DF's Joy of Improvisation after I fix up the basics. Now I think I'm going to shortly order the 2 volumes cos' it will help me fix up the basics.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 06:04 AM

Worked on both GBPPH and Nefertiti today.

On GBPPH, I've now started to change my voicings to use Diminished harmony and changing my scales accordingly. It's starting to get a modern sound and I need to be comfortable enough to play it intervallicly. Good thing I can play this slowly as I still get messed up.

Nefertiti, worked this out completely including voicings (lots of tritone intervals). Very interesting harmony.

Scales here are a little bit messy in places. Chords suggests Whole-Tone but my ears can't connect it yet. The first half is pretty clear now and I can discuss it intelligently. It will probably be a challenge creating melodic connections here.

Scep, I'm going to read back your comments now on the chords and see what you mean.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 06:11 AM

One thing that I have found in my playing is that if I'm not playing with a group or metronome I tend to gravitate towards practiced tempos. Basically, if I start playing at 112bpm, I may eventually get up to 120bpm and then stay there because I've played at 120 so often. I find playing with a metronome far easier than playing with a group because unless I'm playing with a very solid rhythm section, they will tend to speed up when I push the beat, leading to faster tempos all around.

Does anyone believe, or have evidence that practicing at ALL the available tempos will ensure that one will not speed up (or slow down which I'm sure some people do as well)? Does anyone have evidence that it wouldn't work?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 06:20 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by 7notemode

A player should always know the most common "book" changes of a tune in case he/she is playing out with others. Subs come after that.

Yes, agreed 100%, but by voicings you seem to mean the actual chords used ie Abmaj7 #11, Dbmaj #11 etc, rather than how they are voiced from top to bottom, and with this I also agree, but only when they are completely accurate.
For example, there is a Bbmin7 chord that I believe is not actually in the original, but if you use this (unaltered, because from what I found this particular chord is more of a type of F7 over a Bb bass) you'll end up playing an Ab in the chord, and it shouldn't be there. Same with the third chord, listed as G7#11 I think.

Wait!!!! I just found another updated version, and I've confirmed that the original IS wrong in the first fake book!!!!! I didn't have this copy at home. It makes much more sense, and it has a FAR better flow to the chords than the Real Book that is not published by Hal Leonard. I'm still disputing one or two changes that doesn't seem to be right, but I'll get back to you all on that one. Again, I'm basing this on the original version of the recording on the Album Nefertiti, and not some later version that Shorter may have played or rewritten for another group.

For those that have it, the 6th edition The Real Book Hal Leonard Corp has the accurate changes! However, they still assume that you know the additional notes that can (and should) be present in some of the chords, such as the G-7b5 out to have an Ab (b9) in the chord as well, and the C7b9 should also have an F# (#11) in it. I can understand how these would be much harder to read, but they are the actual chords played, at least from what I heard.)

So, the fake book is important, but I think I'll still continue to use my ears first to learn a tune, and then see how it matches up with the book later. Honestly, if I just went with the original Real Book I, among others, would be playing it wrong and probably wouldn't know the difference because so many have played it wrong.

Another question for all: What is ertext (sp) then? Which IS the original version, and is it important to adhere to it, especially when there may be better versions available, such as the middle part of Well You Needn't can be played with different changes depending on which version, both by Monk you choose to follow.

I suppose it's becoming clear that I'm not really a traditionalist, and that I'm more in favor of the continued evolution of jazz, but I really don't mean to insult anyone here, or to belittle the process of playing standards in the way that they ought to be played to maintain their authenticity.

Sorry if I'm offending anyone in this thread!


Bb-7 chord -- you said this is some type of F7 over a Bb and there is no Ab.

On my Realbook it's showing as Bb-11, which could be voiced as a quartal voicing with an Ab. What exactly suggested to you that there should be no Ab? Nothing in the melody suggested such a limitation. In fact as a Bb-11, it does suggest an Ab scale.

G7#11 (3rd chord) - On mine this is G-7b5 so definitely no Ab here. And the scale would be diminished Whole-tone.

C7b9 - I use a C H/W diminished here so this definitely has F#.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 06:24 AM

Originally Posted by custard apple
7notemode: So for me a relative beginner, do you recommend I continue the 1234 method and then move on to the 2 and 4 method.
Also I know that you recommended that I do Knotty's vocalising technique. I read on the Non Classical Forum that he is one of Dave Frank's lucky students. I was going to get DF's Joy of Improvisation after I fix up the basics. Now I think I'm going to shortly order the 2 volumes cos' it will help me fix up the basics.


CstrdAppl, I would start with the 2 4 metronome exercise right now. Just start with playing the heads of various tunes at a comfortable tempo. Anything that will give you an in.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 06:26 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Actually what I meant here is that in one the run throughs the bass worked down chromatically Ab, G, F#, F to B

Yes, I can see some of this working. thumb

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

Also, speaking of that B #11 chord to the Bb-7b5 in the next bar, that is where I find the most problems with the tune.


Never even encountered a problem here because the chords in my sheet show | CbMaj7 | Bb-11 |

So this was actually clearest to my ears. Especially since it goes chromatically from C, Cb, Bb, A.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 06:33 AM

7Notemode, on Right foot tapping. Yes I do tap with the RH (when I tap), because if I'm soloing, I'm not going to be on the pedal anyway.

I'm not comfortable with foot tapping at every beat as a means to keep good time as it doesn't end up being that consistent. If I do, I'd tap maybe at half time and do downbeats to counter a 2 & 4 (just using it to subdivide). Otherwise it's too busy for me.

BTW - watching a lot masters closeup play, I notice that most of them tap their Right foot. They seem to transition well to pedalling. I remember Mulgrew Miller. He may have shifted to Left foot tapping when pedalling.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 08:16 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee


Bb-7 chord -- you said this is some type of F7 over a Bb and there is no Ab.

On my Realbook it's showing as Bb-11, which could be voiced as a quartal voicing with an Ab. What exactly suggested to you that there should be no Ab? Nothing in the melody suggested such a limitation. In fact as a Bb-11, it does suggest an Ab scale.

The first Bbmin chord should actually be a Bbmin7b5. The Bb-7 that I was talking about was at the end where the melody actually rests on an A (with an E sus to Eb#11, etc). Putting an Ab in there doesn't work.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

G7#11 (3rd chord) - On mine this is G-7b5 so definitely no Ab here. And the scale would be diminished Whole-tone.

What is a dim whole tone scale? Kind of sounds like a chromatic scale to me... smile Really though, what is a dim whole tone scale?

And I believe the Ab is kind of mandatory for how I'm looking at the harmony insofar as I'm now basing things on extentions or slash chords (see back about 10 posts where I talk about the Db/G, F#/C C#/B etc. In that approach putting an A in the Db chord would change its voice out of the character of the slash chord idea.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 08:23 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

Also, speaking of that B #11 chord to the Bb-7b5 in the next bar, that is where I find the most problems with the tune.


Never even encountered a problem here because the chords in my sheet show | CbMaj7 | Bb-11 |

So this was actually clearest to my ears. Especially since it goes chromatically from C, Cb, Bb, A.



How do the melody notes Db, Eb, F and G fit in a Cbmaj chord? It is a whole tone scale! The chords by themselves work fine, but they cannot possibly be used with the melody, can they? A Cbmaj7 chord suggest a Gb in there, either implied or no, and with that implication having both F and G as melody notes will sound completely dissonant against any CbMaj type of chord, especially if you have a p5th or M6th in there.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 08:42 AM

Diminished Whole-Tone is the scale for a Half Diminished Chord -- which is a diminished chord to the tritone and then Whole tone for the remainder. Thus the name, Dim W-T.

Now it is some mode of the Melodic Minor, but that wouldn't help me remember it smile

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 08:47 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

How do the melody notes Db, Eb, F and G fit in a Cbmaj chord?


At the point where Cb Maj7 is in the harmony, that particular bar only contains Db and Eb in the melody, thus fitting nicely with a B scale.

The only chord where I'm stumped right now is the D7#9/Bb. I'm not clear on the harmonic function as it suggests I should play a normal Bb triad and then include an F#. But I can't 'hear' that or understand it's relevance in the harmony.

I think that's the hardest here is to hear the harmony in my head. Until I can do that, I'm not clear on how to approach it melodically. I think I'm OK on the first part but less certain in the last long phrase.

I'll probably relisten to some Youtubes as I don't have any solo to listen to in the originals. Funny tune. All melody (the same short one).
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 08:55 AM

BTW - I'm looking at the E7#11 and can see the whole-tone scale in that.

But Eb7(b9)(#11), I can't see the function of the b9 (E) here. It's not in the melody and it screws up what scale I can use. For the moment I'm just approaching this as another whole tone. These are some of the messy things here harmonically.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 09:34 AM

7notemode: I just tried the 2 4 metronome method for swinging.
Now I really know what you guys mean when you say it's more difficult to swing at the slower tempos.

7notemode/ Jazzwee et al.:
What tempo do you recommend I start at, bearing in mind this is from today a completely new method for me ?

Conversely, with my old 1 2 3 4 metronome method for swinging, it was more difficult to swing at the faster tempos because it was getting impossible to hear the gap between metronome beats.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 03:40 PM

CA, at the beginning levels, I remember concentrating on an area between 120-150 for swing. A lot of people start learning swing too slow at 100. That brings out these over-hard triplet feel swings and you never know what real swing feels like.

If the tempo becomes too hard at 120-150, just don't play so many notes and insert quarter notes and half notes. Remember that in real life playing, at 100bpm, we are usually playing sixteenths or triplet eights so you will not typically hear a lot of swing at this tempo.

Yet so many think this (100) is the tempo to practice at. To me this is bordering on ballad.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 04:56 PM

Scep, on Nefertiti, let's compare notes. I've analyzed most of the tune and I will show my harmonic analysis here. If you can collect your notes we can share ideas. I'll probably write it up tonight. Once I understood it, most of it made sense for me soloing wise.

The least clear to me are the last few bars.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 06:09 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Diminished Whole-Tone is the scale for a Half Diminished Chord -- which is a diminished chord to the tritone and then Whole tone for the remainder. Thus the name, Dim W-T.

Now it is some mode of the Melodic Minor, but that wouldn't help me remember it smile



The second mode of the natural minor scale ABCDEFG starting on B will give you that scale. So will the locrian scale. So that's the dim W T scale! That, and it's evil twin, the Lydian scale (tritone away) are what I've been using a lot these days.

You'll find that the locrian scale, and it's evil twin can be used all over the place in this tune. That's the scale that kind of defines that era of music, no? Blue in Green comes to mind, for example, and Little B's poem too.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 06:37 PM

custard apple,
Listen to some classic tunes from the 50's that swing and snap your fingers on the 2 and the 4 while singing along as best you can. When you find a tune with a comfortable tempo for your snapping, use that tempo. Remember to start counting on 2 with a click, so to get in to it, you start counting on a click: 2341234.

I haven't had a chance to do anything with Nefertiti this week. Maybe I can put something together this weekend.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 06:43 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

But Eb7(b9)(#11), I can't see the function of the b9 (E) here. It's not in the melody and it screws up what scale I can use. For the moment I'm just approaching this as another whole tone. These are some of the messy things here harmonically.


This is one of the slash chords I was talking about. coming from E over Bb you go to A over Eb, in both cases the slash is just the chord is based on the tritone.

Coming from the Gmi7(b5) it goes Db/G, Gb/C, Db/B, E/Bb, A/Eb. I actually thought the A/Eb (Eb7 b9, b5) was actually an Eb7#11, so I need to listen to that one again to see if I can figure it out. But in both cases they work out fine. And for reference sake in The Real Book Hal Leonard the chord is a #11.

In any case, if you continue the slashes you get the D/A, E/Bb etc on to a potential pedal bass (either Eb or A pedal with the last four bars) suggesting the V chord altered.

One last thing: I'm currently looking at The New Real Book by Sher Music Co for the changes. The notes at the bottom of the page and the subs written in are the closest to what I found.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/27/10 11:54 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode


I haven't had a chance to do anything with Nefertiti this week. Maybe I can put something together this weekend.



7 - great that you'll participate with us in this. Actually we should blame you since you suggested the tune smile Excited to see what you have.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 12:23 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by jazzwee
Diminished Whole-Tone is the scale for a Half Diminished Chord -- which is a diminished chord to the tritone and then Whole tone for the remainder. Thus the name, Dim W-T.

Now it is some mode of the Melodic Minor, but that wouldn't help me remember it smile



The second mode of the natural minor scale ABCDEFG starting on B will give you that scale. So will the locrian scale. So that's the dim W T scale! That, and it's evil twin, the Lydian scale (tritone away) are what I've been using a lot these days.

You'll find that the locrian scale, and it's evil twin can be used all over the place in this tune. That's the scale that kind of defines that era of music, no? Blue in Green comes to mind, for example, and Little B's poem too.


Well according to Levine it's Locrian #2 (on the Melodic Minor). I don't really work with modes of the Natural minor so I'm always going to be a note off from you smile

So what scale are you using on the AbMaj7#11, interestingly, it shares the same voicing (for me) as a G7b9. But the scale is not exactly a Half-Whole Diminished.

Edit - Oh- I guess I just use Lydian.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 12:51 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

Coming from the Gmi7(b5) it goes Db/G, Gb/C, Db/B, E/Bb, A/Eb.


Are you saying you are actually voicing it like this? Some of this doesn't work exactly.

For example G-7b5 voiced as Db/G gives you an Ab (b9). I'm of the school that b9 is dissonance so I use natural 9 for half diminished (and accordingly the scale Locrian #2).

Gb/C - this is good.

Db/B - you're turning this into Bmaj7#11? Here I would leave it unaltered so I can't really play the 3rd of Db. So CbMaj7 as stated.

E/Bb - So here you're turning it into #11 again? The changes that I have show this as Bb-11 so I play the Eb here not the E. Eb I believe is in the melody.

A/Eb - did you mean Eb/A? BTW here, I thought the important notes where the Eb and Ab, so the shape wasn't triadic either. But the next chord could actually be A/Eb so maybe we just skipped the Amaj7#11.

When I was working on these, most of my voicings were just 3 notes with an occasional 4th note fill in from the RH (often starting with a tritone interval).

I also tried to understand the common tones so based on my understanding of that, the RealBook changes look correct. The common tones, voice leading made sense the way it is.

Some of your additional #11's could change that.

I don't know. I don't think slash chords are clear here. At least not as triads. Thoughts?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 01:05 AM

BTW - just to clarify and make sure we are on the same page, the changes of Nefertiti that I believe to be correct is from Real Book Fifth Edition.

I can check 6th edition later. The one I didn't like was from the "NewRealBook 1" which a Dbsus as the second chord, and there was no Amaj7#11 (instead using Bb-7b5). Many other differences.

I didn't get the Dbsus since the melody has an F in it not F#. So I immediately doubted the changes at that point.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 01:52 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

Coming from the Gmi7(b5) it goes Db/G, Gb/C, Db/B, E/Bb, A/Eb.


Are you saying you are actually voicing it like this? Some of this doesn't work exactly.

For example G-7b5 voiced as Db/G gives you an Ab (b9). I'm of the school that b9 is dissonance so I use natural 9 for half diminished (and accordingly the scale Locrian #2).

Yup. With an Ab. You've got to try it with the right scale and think of it in the larger picture, which is leading to Gb over C, which has the Ab in the chord.
Originally Posted by jazzwee

Db/B - you're turning this into Bmaj7#11? Here I would leave it unaltered so I can't really play the 3rd of Db. So CbMaj7 as stated.
[/quote}
On this chord it I actually move from Bmaj to Db/B to Eb/B for the two bars. It gives the whole tone passage more validity IMHO, and makes the G in the melody sound less 'wrong'
[quote=jazzwee}
E/Bb - So here you're turning it into #11 again? The changes that I have show this as Bb-11 so I play the Eb here not the E. Eb I believe is in the melody.

I'm thinking of the upperstructure resolution from the E to the A, so yes, it is a type of #11 chord, but moreso how it acts as a dom to the A in the Eb7 (b9, b5).
Originally Posted by jazzwee

A/Eb - did you mean Eb/A? BTW here, I thought the important notes where the Eb and Ab, so the shape wasn't triadic either. But the next chord could actually be A/Eb so maybe we just skipped the Amaj7#11.

see above

Originally Posted by jazzwee

I also tried to understand the common tones so based on my understanding of that, the RealBook changes look correct. The common tones, voice leading made sense the way it is.

Some of your additional #11's could change that.

They actually strenghthen the relationships between the chords for me with the guide tones in place.
Originally Posted by jazzwee

I don't know. I don't think slash chords are clear here. At least not as triads. Thoughts?

The slash chords are not pure triads in most cases, but with the addition of 9ths or 13ths. for example the Eb7 (b9, b5) I can play like: Eb Bb G in LH with B Db(c#) E F# A in RH

You've got to try them to see how they function, but it takes time to get the right voice leading. Also, these are pretty dense voicings, rather than stacks of fourths. I found with the fourths it became too nebulous, and sounded almost as if the dissonance was more important than the melody itself.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 03:26 AM

JW & 7: Thanks guys. Yup 100 is REALLY slow. I’ve got a few lead sheets from 7’s web-site and I’m going to get a whole lot more when I order DF’s Joy of Improvisation. Could you please critique this method of mine to ensure I’ve understood correctly ?

M = metronome click
a = accent and delay

2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

M a a M a a M a a M a
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 03:29 AM

oh no ! All my "M"s and "a"s went askew when I hit send.
What I meant was:
"M" whenever there is a 2 and 4,
"a" whenever there is there is an &.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 04:57 AM

I'm not clear on why there is an "a a". That should never be the case.

Regardless of metronome click (which is not connected) other than to give you a time feel, it's:

1 a 2 a 3 a 4 a | 1 a 2 a 3 a 4 a | etc.

So depending on where the line starts, you could have this for example:

| _ _ _ a 3 a 4 a | 1 _ _ __ a 4 a | etc.

Meaning you cannot lose your place. It takes time to do this, and you can do it if you have a constant swing beat in your head where you can just start and stop the line to synchronize with.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 05:10 AM

scep, I think you're reharmonizing a bit here as the choices are different from what I see in the original. But it doesn't matter if it comes up ok. I'm trying to understand it based on the original. It's already difficult to "hear" the harmony even in its unaltered form to begin with. smile

There are just some things I don't do. For example, playing b9 on a Gm7b5. Comes from my teacher. So I just always hear it with a natural 9. There's a big discussion of this in the Levine book since apparently some (perhaps like you) don't agree. However, I think that historically bebop would be based on a natural 9. This relates to the choice of Natural Minor mode vs. Melodic Minor mode. I'd say Bebop to modern Jazz is derived from the Melodic minor. There is really no stated use for the Natural minor modes in the Levine book.

In any case, just by your stating that the upper structure isn't necessarily a triad certainly fixes my concerns on accuracy. My main style though is probably to open the voicings more so that's why I typically use only 3 notes. But they will be the STRONGEST three notes smile My problem with slash chords is that I have to think of them two handed and since they are not triads here, it would be easier for me to just remember the original chord.


I think I only used a quartal voicing on Sus chords and the Bb-11 here since it is called for in the chord quality. Otherwise, I didn't try to make the harmony vague.

Tonight, I'm just making sure I got the rhythm right, and starting the melody in the right part of the chord. I'm pretty bad at reading rhythm so I will have to actually count it out.

BTW - I checked Realbook 6th Edition, and there are some chord differences with 5th Edition. But they are minor. More like voicing changes. One was on the Eb7(#9)(#11) and I believe the A7#11 at the end was changed to some sort of Eb7.

Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 05:43 AM

JW
You're right, I really need to work at naturalising this constant swing beat so that I can start synchronisation.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 06:11 AM

Originally Posted by custard apple
JW
You're right, I really need to work at naturalising this constant swing beat so that I can start synchronisation.


Notice my example of start and stop. So at any given moment, you're always aware of where you are in the beat. Later on this translates to also knowing that your chord tones are on downbeats.

Like I said a few pages back, you'll need to start with actual music and not scales. As an initial step, play Donna Lee, Confirmation, Anthropology, etc.; Basically any head that has a lot of eighth notes. This is a starting point.

The rest of the time you need to improvise and you'll just have to not expect swing to be perfect at first. It's tied to whole lot of other technical things (fingering, relaxation, confidence, etc.)

And not too slow -- I'd say don't go under 120.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 06:30 AM

CA, not sure what you're saying, except I think the M's are in the right place.

JW and SFG,
I recorded some stuff tonight. Here is a recording of Nefertiti. I had an epiphany playing this: Nefertiti should never be played solo! :-) This is not my proudest moment, but what I was hearing for the moment.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3193071/Nefertiti%20100227.mp3

I'm trying dropbox as an experiment.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 07:00 AM

JW, I'm going to start at 120 tonight and see what happens.
7 and JW, what I would like to know is the long term plan for refining swing.

1. Supposing that by some miracle I do one day finally manage to play heads successfully with swing-eighths, whilst hitting the note right in the centre of beats 2 and 4.

2. Should I then experiment with hitting the note slightly behind beats 2 and 4 ?

3. After that should I experiment with hitting the note slightly ahead of beats 2 and 4 ?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 07:12 AM

CA, you're confusing beats 2 and 4 with swing. When you're setting the metronome with 2 and 4, you're basically having to subdivide 1 and 3 automatically. Many say this makes it easier to feel swing. This has no direct bearing though on upbeats/downbeats. It's just about who states the beats, you or the metronome. If you're getting confused, stick to 1 2 3 4.

Swing is always based on all beats. 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +.

When you set the metronome to 2 and 4, all that is doing is forcing you to think of beats 1 and 3 on your own. If you listen to a rhythm section, there's an added emphasis on beats 2 and 4. The drummer may highlight it with a pattern. But this is just for keeping time. This is good for not losing your place since just by listening to the pattern, you recognize where you are in a bar.

There are 8 beats in a bar to swing with. Not 4.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 07:18 AM

scep, I understand your thought process now on DbMaj7#11 going G-7b5.

You're on Lydian on the DbMaj7#11, which is basically the Ab scale, and if you stick with this scale you can continue on to G-7b5, still on the same Ab scale but in Locrian mode.

But probably equally, I could just ignore the Ab in both and just consider it an avoid note. Basically an Ab scale without playing Ab. I don't think the Ab contributes to the harmony here. I'll listen to it some more and see, I'm just thinking of this in theory. I'm not at a piano.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 07:19 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
scep, I think you're reharmonizing a bit here as the choices are different from what I see in the original.

Actually no, the slash idea was to get my head around the original chords. I've come up with other completely different ways to reharmonize (such as the last eight bars can be E, Ebalt, Bbalt/D, Ealt/D C7#9 or alt, B9, Bbma7, Ebalt or Aalt.) I think we're still misunderstanding each other a bit through the various editions we're both looking at.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

There are just some things I don't do. For example, playing b9 on a Gm7b5. Comes from my teacher. So I just always hear it with a natural 9.

Ok, I think this might be a good chord (in the context of N) to ask your teacher about then. But basically, here's why it is NOT a real Gm7b5 to me: if you put an A in there it has no function at all except to sound odd given that you've just come from an Ab chord and are going to a Bmaj chord (through Calt acting as a V of B). If you use the locrian scale there (G, Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G) it will fall nicely to the V (a lydian scale: Gb, Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F). But if you put an A in the scale, you'd need to justify it by having an A in the C chord, rendering the C chord a bit useless because it can no longer function as a V (unless it was a V7#9 which might work, but that may even sound more dense.) Otherwise, it would just be an out of place ii7b5 V7 not really resolving to anything properly because everything is displaced by a tritone, meaning that the resolution is a B chord, not the expected F (if you put an A in there.)

Also, the A in this tune functions as a V of Ab, so it would seem out of place to go from Ab for two bars, suddenly to have reference to going back to it again for one bar (A as the V), but then going to a new tonic B.

Of course, by reharmonizing the entire section, keeping the melody absolutely intact one could do myriad of things. But that's why I'm currently suggesting that the Ab is crucial (or both A and Ab left completely out) if the 'original' changes are to be understood.

And, I've been wrong many times before, so I wouldn't be surprised if Shorter himself chimed in and said that I'm just talking BS... smile

Originally Posted by jazzwee

There's a big discussion of this in the Levine book since apparently some (perhaps like you) don't agree. However, I think that historically bebop would be based on a natural 9.
This relates to the choice of Natural Minor mode vs. Melodic Minor mode.

I have no problem accepting that a natural 9 may be the best choice for a ii7b5 chord, although I've never really thought about it before. I just don't believe this chord in Nef is supposed to be a ii7b5, given the surrounding chords, and given that no other chord in the piece is that normal.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

In any case, just by your stating that the upper structure isn't necessarily a triad certainly fixes my concerns on accuracy. My main style though is probably to open the voicings more so that's why I typically use only 3 notes. But they will be the STRONGEST three notes smile My problem with slash chords is that I have to think of them two handed and since they are not triads here, it would be easier for me to just remember the original chord.

I think I'm taking a solo piano approach while you are looking at trio format. But one thing you should consider is that if you look at the slash thing closely it will really help you define melodic lines along modern lines. Sometimes just playing those strongest three notes may not give you the direction you need to suggest the melodic thrust, unless of course you are open to reharm, because with just three notes you open up the scale choices a lot more, thus perhaps leaving you playing the wrong stuff.
For example, one of the voices that you could use for the first chord is D, G, C (Ab#11.) But then you have to think what scale to use to make is sound like you are referencing an Ab type of chord. What I've done to learn the song is to flesh out the chord to the nth degree to see what scale emerged. I may strip away things later again, but I kinda like the sounds I'm getting.

I'm also playing this piece in a few other keys to really start to understand the chords. I'd suggest to any and all to do the same. The melody is actually quite simple to transpose. The chords though really make you think.

One more thing of importance: I think that chord symbols aren't really doing the changes that I'm suggesting, or that Shorter probably wrote any justice. I think I'll post some of the chords rather than spell everything out because it will ultimately be quicker for one to judge if they like the sound.
I'm getting too bogged down typing and am probably making too many errors in the process.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 07:26 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
scep, I understand your thought process now on DbMaj7#11 going G-7b5.

You're on Lydian on the DbMaj7#11, which is basically the Ab scale, and if you stick with this scale you can continue on to G-7b5, still on the same Ab scale but in Locrian mode.

But probably equally, I could just ignore the Ab in both and just consider it an avoid note. Basically an Ab scale without playing Ab. I don't think the Ab contributes to the harmony here. I'll listen to it some more and see, I'm just thinking of this in theory. I'm not at a piano.


argh we crossed posted. but in any case I have another thought along the line of avoiding notes: yes, scales don't have to have 7 notes in them. And as a matter of fact, I'm mostly now trying to use 4 or 5 note scales in Nef to get a cleaner line. Of course I'll also use chromaticism when necessary, but I'm liking the idea of smaller scales (ones which share two or more chords) to get better flow happening.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 07:27 AM

We apparently cross posted here. I didn't read everything yet, but yes, once you've clarified that the slash chords are not triads, it does help in visualizing it. Perhaps you can come up with the whole translation with the full chord on top (e.g. Esus4/B or something). I like that thinking now. And yes identifying the upper structure (of whatever shape) is very helpful melodically.

I'm still not clear on what Ab chord you're talking about though in G-7b5.

|AbMaj7#11 | DbMaj7#11 | G-7b5 |
scales
| Eb | Ab | Ab |

The DMaj7#11 does not specifically need to be voiced with an Ab as far as I can see since you're already doing #11 (b5) which is a rub against the 5th (Ab).

BTW - I think this discussion is short cutting the analysis process. This is really helpful (though it may not seem like it). By creating my own arguments, I'm understanding the tune more (whether or not my argument is correct).





Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 07:28 AM

double cross post smile I'll read up on your other comments tomorrow. This has been FUN! It's really better having a discussion at this detail than working it out myself.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 07:32 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
I have another thought along the line of avoiding notes: yes, scales don't have to have 7 notes in them. And as a matter of fact, I'm mostly now trying to use 4 or 5 note scales in Nef to get a cleaner line. Of course I'll also use chromaticism when necessary, but I'm liking the idea of smaller scales (ones which share two or more chords) to get better flow happening.


We're definitely in agreement here. This is the style of my Modern jazz teacher. Focus on the common tones and think horizontal. We're in the West Coast -- so very West Coast Jazz here smile
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 07:37 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
I think I'm taking a solo piano approach while you are looking at trio format.


I'm actually approaching this in solo piano format. In solo piano, I could hit a pedal point on a bass and then plop the 3 note voicing on top. I was just doing this in GBPPH. Basically, I'm thinking about moving inner voices that I can manipulate with the LH while I'm soloing. I think Beeboss was doing that too.


On the Ab/A thing. I think I agree that perhaps it is superfluous to have Ab or A here. I've actually rarely encountered a chord with this kind of limitation. Maybe Dolphin Dance, another one filled with slash chords.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 08:14 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee


I'm still not clear on what Ab chord you're talking about though in G-7b5.

I'm not sure what you are asking here. I mentioned a Db/G for the Gm7b5. Is that it?

Originally Posted by jazzwee

|AbMaj7#11 | DbMaj7#11 | G-7b5 |
scales
| Eb | Ab | Ab |

The DMaj7#11 does not specifically need to be voiced with an Ab as far as I can see since you're already doing #11 (b5) which is a rub against the 5th (Ab).

If you meant DbMaj7#11, then yes, an Ab really ought not be in the chord. If you meant a Dmaj7#11 then no, an Ab really ought to be in the chord spelled as a G#.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

BTW - I think this discussion is short cutting the analysis process. This is really helpful (though it may not seem like it). By creating my own arguments, I'm understanding the tune more (whether or not my argument is correct).

That's the whole point of this for me: to see if how I am understanding the piece can actually make sense to the point that I can sound good playing it. You do know we will have to do the same with another piece after this one. And it'll have to have chord changes every beat modulating at least 5 times per bar if possible. wink
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 08:16 AM

This is off on a tangent, but a nice clip, some blind "guy" playing a jazz tune:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYoadikm1sI&feature=related

Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 08:27 AM


Hey guys, just skimmed the last few posts, about Nefertiti. I have to say this about jazzers and transcriptions, the discussions usually end up about chord changes, notes, scales used.... It ends up driving me nuts and I just skip through it.

I'd much rather talk about the emotional content of the song, and what mood is being evoked and message the musician is trying to say.

If you had a theoretical breakdown of what scale Miles Davis was using on say, "So what", it would end up boring me to tears. I want to hear how that song affected you, did it move you.


Seems like it is an ingrained educational tool for jazz, approaching it mathematically rather than artistically.

I need to ban the word lydian and locrian from my vocab!!
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 08:57 AM

Thanks again JW. When you, 7 and I talk about swing should we agree on the following common terminology:

Beats 1 and 3 = downbeat
Beats 2 and 4 = backbeat
and = upbeat ?
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 08:59 AM

Hey Wiz,

My intention wasn't to just talk jazz at all. I actually came here with the idea of how to approach tunes differently. By discussing my approach of learning Nef with others, and posting some examples (and hopefully going to hear theirs too) I am better able to grasp how to use the tools to evoke the emotions you are referring to.

Please hunt me down and smite me if you ever find me talking about a locrian scale out of the context of trying to better understand how to play something.

Were you not interested in learning the tune Nefertiti? It would seem to fit the type of song you gravitate towards.



And yes, I used the word 'smite.' And I'll do the same again if I have to.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 08:59 AM

JW wrote “know that your chord tones are on downbeats”.
This is really technical and interesting for me, I’ve never analysed it this way. And I’m not up to this level in improv.
What happens if you use an extension on beats 1,2,3 or 4 ? - does it sound too much like classical ?
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 09:04 AM

Originally Posted by custard apple
JW wrote “know that your chord tones are on downbeats”.
This is really technical and interesting for me, I’ve never analysed it this way. And I’m not up to this level in improv.
What happens if you use an extension on beats 1,2,3 or 4 ? - does it sound too much like classical ?


The extensions are still chord tones. And, in fact it would sound far less like classical if you are using extensions anyways. You may sound like Debussy though if you aren't careful, but he was a Romantic composer, so you're still safe there.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 09:21 AM

hey sceptical...my rant wasn't a dig at you or jazzwee at all, just my own reflections on how analyzing a tune can turn more "theoretical".

I've read top jazz musician sites and they can do the same thing too. It just got me thinking how all the mode names are redundant, like dorian, mixolydian...etc..it's still 1 scale, just starting on a different note. KISS or k.eep i.t s.imple s.tupid is how I like to think.

Miles Davis had the same complaint, hence his pursuit of "modal" jazz.

I'm absolutely interested in learning Nefertiti. Maybe try this way. The first 8 bars are pretty much in Ab major, with the Abmaj #4 and Ab sus chords as first 2 bars. I'd look at it in Ab and play with the modes, which would just be the #4 and b7 notes.

Getting late now but I will add more thoughts as they come...
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 09:28 AM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
hey sceptical...my rant wasn't a dig at you or jazzwee at all, just my own reflections on how analyzing a tune can turn more "theoretical".

I've read top jazz musician sites and they can do the same thing too. It just got me thinking how all the mode names are redundant, like dorian, mixolydian...etc..it's still 1 scale, just starting on a different note. KISS or k.eep i.t s.imple s.tupid is how I like to think.

Miles Davis had the same complaint, hence his pursuit of "modal" jazz.

I'm absolutely interested in learning Nefertiti. Maybe try this way. The first 8 bars are pretty much in Ab major, with the Abmaj #4 and Ab sus chords as first 2 bars. I'd look at it in Ab and play with the modes, which would just be the #4 and b7 notes.

Getting late now but I will add more thoughts as they come...


I think you'd probably need to read the thread to have a better idea of how we arrived at where we did. As for the first 8 bars being in Ab, well...er...sort of, except for the Bmaj, E, etc. But I'll hold off from talking about any of this until you try playing the tune for a bit. It ain't rhythm changes. That's what makes it so interesting to try to make it sound good.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 10:41 AM

Scep
I love extensions. If 2, 4, b5, #5, 6 etc are still all chord tones, it almost doesn’t matter which notes or combination of notes you use on beats 1,2,3,or 4. Do you agree ?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 04:24 PM

On Chord Tones

You know I have a big giant Jazz Thread 1 where I talk about what I learned from my teacher, who's a real Jazz player with roots to the 'originals'.

I disagree with both Sceptical and Wiz here. There's quite a foundation to coming up with strong lines in jazz that's not noodling and that's what I was taught (very strictly). It isn't so much that I need to worry about Locrian, and Diminished Whole Tone and such (these are exception scales), but note choices on downbeats are intended to always frame the harmony you intend to communicate.

If you have a CMaj7 chord and you decide to play extensions on downbeats, for example D F G (9, 11, 13), then you are stating Dm7. Are you intending to state Dm7 against CMaj7? What the listener hears are the the resolution notes at Downbeats. Upbeats can be chromatic or extensions or chord tones so it doesn't matter. But my definition of a Chord tone is definitely 1/3/5/7 of your intended harmony. Plenty of bad players WILL do that.

No good player will layer a harmony that is not intended. Now if you do intend to play that chord's harmony, that's fine and then I leave it to your tastes.

So I'm just saying this clearly because this information I'm stating does not come from self-learning Jazz. It came from understanding what the actual masters play and passed on 'straight from the horse's mouth'.

This is a basic level of instruction for me. I endured years of constant attention at picking 'wrong notes' in my solos. But understand that this is just BASICS. Complete mastery of playing Jazz eludes most of us and this ties to the ability to create 'harmonic connections between chords'. This is clearly where Sceptical and I agree.

Now does one need to know 'Locrian #2', 'Lydian', etc?

Maybe not in Satin Doll or A-Train. How do you escape it here in Nefertiti? If you are aware, as you must be, of every chord tone (1/3/5/7) and every extension (9/11/13), then in essence, you must know the applicable scale to each chord. Granted, this could be figured out by ear. But hard to do on Eb7(#9)(#11).

BTW - my teacher is well known as a 'Melodic player' and a discography that's unbelievably large, so put this context of his approach with Chord tones, and his statement that jazz is 'Mathematical' (almost contrary concepts aren't they?). I can name plenty of Jazz books that state these same things so they aren't particulary rare ideas.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 04:41 PM

CA, Downbeats are 1,2,3,4. Upbeats are +. In the context of our discussion of swing think always of 8 notes. I think you're all confused by the 2 and 4 and are trying to connect two separate concepts.

So in a bar | 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |

2 & 4 are METRONOME playing concepts. You do not play with a band with a rhythm section that quiets down on 1 & 3 right? Any Jazz record you listen to, everyone is playing all the downbeats. 1, 2, 3, 4. If you're using a drum track instead, there would be no reference to 2 & 4.

The idea of setting the metronome to 2 & 4 (which is not a universal opinion BTW), is for you to IMAGINE 1 and 3 to still exist but YOU set where it occurs in time. So there's still 4 downbeats but only 2 are defined by the metronome. The ability to discern where 1 and 3 are in this example is called "SUBDIVIDING". Having the ability to gauge where the missing beats are in relation to your rhythm source develops your sense of time.

Anything good for your time is good for swing.

Now why would you guess that some Jazz guy said "set your metronome to 2 & 4" instead of "1 and 3". I think putting the metronome on certain beats makes those beats louder than the ones and suggest where the backbeat is. So Rock for example has a strong 1 and 3 backbeat. So going with 2 & 4 lessens the impact on Beat 1. So aside from the fact that 2 & 4 lessens the focus on beat 1, don't get caught up with that. Jazz phrases don't start at beat 1 quite often. Swing is defined mostly by a stream of eighth notes. And they can start and stop anywhere in a bar. A lot of beginners start their phrases on beat 1 and maybe this is where 2 & 4 helps you to stop thinking that way. Maybe.




Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 04:50 PM

Originally Posted by custard apple
Scep
I love extensions. If 2, 4, b5, #5, 6 etc are still all chord tones, it almost doesn’t matter which notes or combination of notes you use on beats 1,2,3,or 4. Do you agree ?


Highly disagree CA. Then it's all chromatic. Nothing is a chord tone.

That could be some new method of playing, but it's not jazz. This is NOT how jazz is played historically.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 05:43 PM

More on Chord Tones

Bear with me here as I have very strong opinions about this. Sceptical, I know you understand what I will say below because it reflects in our exchange on Nefertiti.

As someone gets more experience in Jazz, one starts to learn that some chords can't be modified without losing the intended chord quality.

For example, a minor seventh chord has very few options. Typically note choices are limited to 1,9,b3,4,5,7 and no alterations. Putting a 13(6) suggests a tonic. So if you deviate from this, you are basically changing the chord function from a ii or vi chord to something else. To me, this is one of the important chords where Chord tones need to be specifically defined. Changing a chord quality could change the whole tune.

In the advanced stages, one will find many occasions where the players do in fact suggest an alternate harmony as an overlay. Witness Chick Corea on Matrix playing a phrase in 'B7' on a chord that was expected to be F7. Well in effect, Chick was reharmonizing. And in Dominant chords, it is often common and encouraged to layer alternate harmonies on top of the original chord. There really is not 'wrong' note on a Dominant chords because that is the chord's function (V tension chord).

When I say chord tones, I'm focused on one's 'intended' harmony. If you really do want to suggest the tritone substitute B7 instead of F7, then it is what the listener will hear (good or bad). same if you wanted them to hear 'F#7' to make it sound outside. All I am saying that to me, and the way I was taught, each note choice is decided upon by a careful understanding of what effect one is trying to make harmonically.

To get around this, then we have the McCoy Tyner kind of thinking. Let's make the original chord vague (quartal voicings). Why do you think he does this? Because it allows him to change the harmony at will. For example, at one moment, he can suggest a major chord and at another moment he can suggest a minor chord. He does this because he respects the effect on the original harmony. To me this proves beyond a doubt that these masters were very conscious of chord tones. Otherwise we'd hear players play major chord lines against a minor chord harmony all the time. This whole idea of Pentatonic playing furthers this goal of vagueness and allows them to wander.

So one makes a choice. If you voice your chords as quartals, then you are stating that you want to be free of the bounds of the harmony of the original tune. Nothing wrong with that at all.

My teacher often repeats to me, one must know the rules in order to break it. And the 'basic' rule is that in functional harmony, if you want to play the original tune, as is without reharmonizing, then you ought to state the harmony in your solo (i.e. chord tones on downbeats).

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 06:07 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

I disagree with both Sceptical and Wiz here.


Actually, I don't think we do disagree. Extensions on downbeats are valid if they are in the suggested chord. Maybe I'm using the term wrong, but if one is playing Blue in Green, and using the changes from the Real Book you'd be playing an E on the down beat when the bass is playing a Bb or G as the first note in the melody, which is a natural extension, but written in the harmony itself. Happy Birthday is another example of the same type of harmonic function (#11, or 13) depending on the edition.

Simply extending the chord yourself is more of a complex matter. And the example of playing DFA on the downbeats on top of a written C chord would simply be wrong. BUT, a DF#A, in certain circumstances may be far more interesting than outlining the root third and fifth and seventh. The problem is one really would need to know how they arrived at the point where the extended chord tones would actually reference, or reinforce the intended harmony, and still have the chord serve it's purpose.

So, speaking of chord purpose a quick thought: Most Vs are meant as tension chords. With these the extensions are far easier to use because they are by nature not supposed sound like the end of something. I chords are in general stable chords, and putting extensions on them willy nilly may result in the chord changing function (losing its stability.) ii chords and vi chords lose some stability and have more possibility for extension, but must still not be turned into V chords by losing the minor third note being lost or diminished in value by being on the 'and'.

How's that for my "Coles Notes" of jazz chords and extensions? Any disagreement?
Posted By: Jazz+

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 06:12 PM

Miles
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 06:37 PM

One thing that Jazzwee has not addressed is that what he is talking about (and I agree with) is that the downbeat concept of playing chord tones is most functional when in the swing mode, meaning playing 1 a 2 a 3 a 4 a. When one goes beyond this rhythm then things become more blurry about the importance of downbeat. Hemiolas, for instance can't really fall into this rule, and sixteenth note and triplet passages give opportunities to suggest the 'proper' chord in other ways.

I think the main thing I'm considering when playing over changes is that I'm trying to avoid being random in my choice of notes, and more musical which means being conscious of direction.

And jazzwee is also right, that if you want to sound like like the masters from a certain era you kind of need to follow their rules that they made.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 08:49 PM

I think I knew that we did not really disagree Sceptical, otherwise we wouldn't be talking about whether or not to play Ab on DbMaj7#11 (and we agree we don't put this on a downbeat). But just even in this example, Wiz, if we follow the simple concept of playing Ab in DbMaj7#11 on a downbeat, we have basically created harmonic confusion. b5 or 5 -- which is it?

Jazz+ -- Miles. When you connect multiple chords with a long note crossing barlines, obviously the harmony doesn't relate to the one bar anymore but to the set of chords. Miles is very important here. As I've already stated, the Chord tone basics is the foundation, and you may choose harmonically to go beyond that to suggest some other overlay harmony. But you do so with knowledge and specifically use the chord tones of your planned harmony.

The progression in thinking is to go from vertical playing (harmony at the chord level) to horizontal playing (harmony at the level of multiple chords.

Jazz+--we've had many a discussion on chord tones before and I think I understand it now at a level I didn't before and that you may choose to reharmonize a stated chord. In which case, the downbeat chord thing may appear to be a failed rule. But after studying Chick, clearly this rule is followed to a "T", if you catch their intent (reharmonizing).

Sceptical, on swing beats -- I completely agree with you. Often these solo piano things are intended to have a floating harmony anyway, which could be the intent. Same with hemiolas or even 6/8 playing in 4/4.

If we weren't interested in knowing actual chord tones, I think I tune like Nefertiti is hard to play and have it make harmonic sense.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 10:57 PM

Actually none of it matters anymore...CANADA WON!!!!!!



Sorry, couldn't resist! Great game though, and I don't even watch hockey...
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 02/28/10 11:18 PM

JW: On swing, I am now pretty much resolved I want to learn the 2 4 way. I’m prepared to unlearn the 1 3 way and go back to Square 1. I don’t care how long it takes.

On chord tones, when I play pop stuff like Stevie Wonder, I know when I’m changing the character of the chord and in what way I am changing it e.g. when I see a C maj chord, I add on whatever extension I feel like at the time.
As you know, I don’t know how to play a lot of Jazz but when I get to that stage, I might adopt a similar approach – be highly aware of when I’m changing the character of a chord and how I am doing so. As your teacher said “one must know the rules in order to break it”.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 12:18 AM

CA, it takes a lot of knowledge to be "breaking" any rule in Jazz. I'm barely competent to break anything even now. It means you think you have something better than the original. So to me, you have to be well established with "outlining" the harmony with chord tones every time you play before you do anything else.

The kind of discussion we're having here is very advanced. In fact, to summarize my very technical discussion with Scep, I thought he was "breaking" the rules with Nefertiti and if he did, I was wondering how he was justifying it.

Well, in fact, Scep is saying that he is NOT breaking any rules at all, and instead is concerned that someone may have written the rule wrong originally smile Thus, I have to say that Scep and I are on the same track (sort of, until he said Canada won wink... )

So we tread carefully in this area until we understand it. Nefertiti, has very complex harmony. But if we play by outlining the harmony (which is what chord tone playing on downbeats is), it will not be hard.

CA -- let me take the swing discussion to other thread, if you don't mind.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 01:13 AM

Beeboss made a youtube of My Romance that he did on this thread. Great to see in in video David. Loved the solo. You're a very melodic player. I also heard of a lot of borrowed phrases there smile Those were not in the recording here. Nice!

http://www.youtube.com/user/davebeeboss#p/a/u/0/jU0pgLs9DoA

Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 02:31 AM

I’ve just found the other thread and will post all my questions there about swing, vocalization and any other basic questions about chord tones etc. I agree it will help your thread flow much better.
Also I might end up with less questions because I’ve ordered Dave Frank’s Joy of Improv.
I’m still going to read this thread even if it’s too advanced for me. Thanks to all you dudes for your help.
Posted By: Jazz+

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 03:51 AM

In my opinion, always having chord tones on down beats is not a strict "rule" that must be obeyed in improvisation. Many great melodies and soloists put notes beyond the 3rd, 5th, root and 7th chord tones on the downbeats and as target notes. Especialy in the post bop era. In my mind, the conscious practice of chord tones on downbeats is a good way of practicing the "ideal" pathways and "ideal" target notes. It reminds me of the set routines of classic movements they practice in martial arts called "kata". They don't really fight that way but it trains their body to move in "ideal" pathways. We don't really improvise in such a pedantic way as to be overly concerned with putting chord tones on all the downbeats, that would be to restrictive, all melodies would sound very similar. But it can be a very helpful way to practice.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 05:04 AM

Originally Posted by Jazz+
In my opinion, always having chord tones on down beats is not a strict "rule" that must be obeyed in improvisation. Many great melodies and soloists put notes beyond the 3rd, 5th, root and 7th chord tones on the downbeats and as target notes. Especialy in the post bop era. In my mind, the conscious practice of chord tones on downbeats is a good way of practicing the "ideal" pathways and target notes. It reminds me of the set routines of classic movenemnts they practice in martial arts called "kata". They don't really fight that way but it trains their body to move in "ideal" pathways. We don't really improvise in such a pedantic way as to be overly concerned with putting chord tones on all the downbeats, that would be to restrictive, everybody would sound very similar. But it can be a very helpful way to practice.



Hear me out here. I found that when chord tones on downbeats are not used, it was to play a "different" chord. They were still playing a chord although it may not be the one stated. The misnomer is that the Hal Galper method assumed you just stuck to the functional harmony. But of course, some tunes have no functional harmony (like Nefertiti).

So please look at my statement more broadly. In any given instant, a harmony is being outlined on the downbeats. That's the only "strict" rule I'm stating (which isn't that strict really). I'm not saying that it necessarily has to be the original chord but saying it's a chord you INTEND.

On Matrix, when Chick Corea plays F# B C# over an F7, are we going to say he's playing b9 #11 #5, or can we look and see that he intended to state a Tritone sub of B7 over the F7? Which makes more sense? If you follow his phrase, you can see it is completely B7. Then if listen closely you'll hear him comp a quartal voicing to match. That proves it to me.

It is easiest to always think in terms of chord tones (1/3/5/7). One just has to decide, which chord.

We could be saying the same thing but just a little differently. The more I study these masters, the more I understand that they didn't do things at random. Stating chord tones (of whatever chord) clearly defines one's intent since there's no noodling.

Maybe the best way to express what I'm saying is with slash chords. In my Chick Corea example above, I perceive his phrase to be B7/F, instead of F7. Thus when I play a line similar to his, I will outline a B7 chord B D# F# A. (still 1/3/5/7 of the chord). When I think this way, lines make more sense.

Or does one just state the most common cop-out "Chick is playing 'Outside' "? I have never heard Chick play 'outside'. He is always guided by harmony.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 05:16 AM

Scep, back to Nefertiti, how are you voicing the last four chords
| E7#11 | E7sus4 | Eb7#11 | A7b9(13) | A7b9(13) |

The last three (2 unique) chords have me confused harmonically. Since there's no melody playing there, I have little to go on. About the only thing give me an idea is root movement from E to Eb to A. I'm not clear on what other inner voice is moving here. And the scales I'm using on them gives me no particular guidance

scales
...|E Whole Tone | A | Eb Whole Tone | A Half-Whole Diminished |

It's completely Atonal to my ears smile Other than the root movement.

Also earlier, you mentioned Bb-11 transitioning to AMaj7#11. I agree here. Other than for the chromatic movement, it's hard to make a melodic connection.


Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 06:53 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Scep, back to Nefertiti, how are you voicing the last four chords
| E7#11 | E7sus4 | Eb7#11 | A7b9(13) | A7b9(13) |

The last three (2 unique) chords have me confused harmonically. Since there's no melody playing there, I have little to go on. About the only thing give me an idea is root movement from E to Eb to A. I'm not clear on what other inner voice is moving here. And the scales I'm using on them gives me no particular guidance

scales
...|E Whole Tone | A | Eb Whole Tone | A Half-Whole Diminished |

It's completely Atonal to my ears smile Other than the root movement.

It's a turn around from what I gather. The Esus is acting both like a temporary tonic as well as a ii, then both the Eb and A chords (interchangeable) are the actual V and the tritone sub.
Herbie actually plays a bunch of #9 chords in this area (A,Eb, Ab etc) to outline the V function I imagine.

I'd also avoid whole tone scales here because they tend to sound like something other than V chord scales to me.
What I've used were reduced scales here: Esus--dega, Eb#11 fgacd, Bbmin (maj7) fgacd, A7(b9) Bb,Dd,Eb,F,G Within those scales I'd also use chromatic passing tones...but its now getting too hard to explain. Try the scales by themselves, see if the work for you, then add some passing chromatics between the tones (D to C)
Originally Posted by jazzwee

Also earlier, you mentioned Bb-11 transitioning to AMaj7#11. I agree here. Other than for the chromatic movement, it's hard to make a melodic connection.

And from what I hear, there actually is no bass movement to even suggest a Bb chord there (6th bar). I don't mind it's sound, but I think that would be a case of reharm. As a matter of fact, I also don't thing there is an AMaj7#11 in bar 7 either. It is actually over a Bb in the recording. Take a listen and see if you agree.
The trouble is, both chords sound good, and are far easier to play and solo over than having a B going to a Bb in the bass in bars 6 to 7.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 06:57 AM

Some of my odd tendencies towards looking at music may come from a class I had years ago in classical theory. Heinrich Schenker had some ideas about how to analyze music, and I believe I adopted, and most likely adapted them to suit my style of learning.
Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schenkerian_analysis to supply some insight.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 07:12 AM

One more thought for Jazz+ and Jazzwee:

I believe that one thing that hasn't been considered by either party is that one may be talking about successions of notes, and the other about individual notes that may or may not be in succession.

I think Solar might be an example of when some individual notes that are definitely non chord tones fall directly on downbeats, but are surrounded by others that are chord tones.

I think the main idea is that whatever chord you are trying to imply MUST have some implication in the solo or melody notes, and generally these ought to be in predictable places, ie downbeats in many, but not all cases

Or did I start a war again?

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 08:27 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
One more thought for Jazz+ and Jazzwee:

I believe that one thing that hasn't been considered by either party is that one may be talking about successions of notes, and the other about individual notes that may or may not be in succession.

I think Solar might be an example of when some individual notes that are definitely non chord tones fall directly on downbeats, but are surrounded by others that are chord tones.

I think the main idea is that whatever chord you are trying to imply MUST have some implication in the solo or melody notes, and generally these ought to be in predictable places, ie downbeats in many, but not all cases

Or did I start a war again?



No. No war. To me the supreme test is if you can hear the harmony clearly and they should be emphasized. At least that's the goal. But, this is jazz and it has imperfections. What I present is a way of thinking and playing that creates a consistent well thought out sound.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 08:30 AM

Quote
And from what I hear, there actually is no bass movement to even suggest a Bb chord there (6th bar). I don't mind it's sound, but I think that would be a case of reharm. As a matter of fact, I also don't thing there is an AMaj7#11 in bar 7 either. It is actually over a Bb in the recording. Take a listen and see if you agree.
The trouble is, both chords sound good, and are far easier to play and solo over than having a B going to a Bb in the bass in bars 6 to 7.


Scep, in the Real Book 6th Edition, it is a Bb. So apparently your ears are good. I'm not as skilled as you at deciphering what's being played as I don't listen near a piano.

I like your thoughts on the WholeTone. I didn't like the sound of it. That's why I'm looking for some melodic context. I'm going to check out your mini-scales.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 07:42 PM

I mentioned some other tunes earlier that had some similar chords and difficulties as Nef. Anyone else want to look at Little B's Poem and Blue in Green soon? For me they present some interesting challenges to get them sounding good.

As for Nef, anymore recordings coming out from readers, lurkers, contributors? I think I'll record it again now that its not fresh from the oven anymore.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 08:09 PM

Blue in Green sounds good for next. A lot of people know this but I haven't worked on it.

But you're moving way too fast smile Although I guess I can just read back your posts if you do get ahead. You haven't even posted for GBPPH.

I don't have as much practice time recently so I have to do it more slowly. Yesterday was used to settle out an understanding of the melodic connections in in Nefertiti and thanks for the answers to the question on the last few chords. I'll get a chance to try that out tonight.

I was also trying to get a feel of the rhythm of the melody. It is so vague in the recordings but I'm trying to make sure I memorize it from the lead sheet. Hopefully, I'll have a basic version by the weekend. I've only been at it a few days.







Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 08:33 PM

You guys are killing me!

I am now just breaking out Goodbye Pork Pie Hat to work on and you've moved on to Nefertiti with an even sparcer melody line.

I guess I am having a difficult time interpreting what is being said regarding tone scales and the naming of chords.

Correct me if I am wrong here, but it seems to me that to what you refer are leading and resolving tones when it applies to connecting chords, ie., whether to lean in the direction of dissonance and/or consonance when it comes to connecting the notes on top of the selected chord and whether you are moving in an ascending or descending direction of a particular scale/run.

Correct me again here, as for chord names - for me, it gets dicey when using a broken chord and trying to define exactly its name. For example, playing an augmented 9th chord, depending on its positioning and what notes you choose to leave out based on your voicing choice, might actually look like more of a simple minor chord. A simple thirteenth chord is essentially a sixth chord in a different position with the root taken out, ie., with a G13, as a start, I choose F, B, E, the 7th, 3d, and 6th note of that chord's scale or a different one on top of that chord. I know the logic generally applies to the chord name corresponding to the key in which the tune is written, exceptions included.

Go easy on me, as I am trying to better understand the nomenclature.

I'll post GBPPH once I can keep control of the changes in time (my achilles heel). It is getting close...

Glen
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 09:50 PM

Inlanding, LOL smile

Don't you worry. I'm still on GBPPH. I haven't even posted that. Some parts of it I still forget. I can't absorb a tune that fast.

However, it is actually possible to handle a couple of tunes at various stages.

These are complex changes. If you need help on these chords, we can probably indicate the important notes to you.

GBPPH can be easily played as a Blues kind of tune. I'm just making it more difficult for myself by going with a more modern diminished sound.

Nefertiti on the other hand has a lot of chromatics in it. It's probably easier to come up with fast scale runs on it than it is to really come up with some melodic ideas to connect everything, like the melody. That takes time. So don't expect me to be done with Nefertiti any time soon. You've got lots of time to catch up.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 09:55 PM

Originally Posted by Inlanding

Correct me if I am wrong here, but it seems to me that to what you refer are leading and resolving tones when it applies to connecting chords, ie., whether to lean in the direction of dissonance and/or consonance when it comes to connecting the notes on top of the selected chord and whether you are moving in an ascending or descending direction of a particular scale/run.


What we've been discussing -- successfully, actually -- is understanding what are the proper tones to state (or not state) in such a complex tune. As we're finding out, the chords seem to be an approximation and some notes that could be in the scale of the chord will not sound good except as a passing tone.

For example, if a chord is DbMaj7#11, then it is improper to put focus on the 5. Same with Gmin7b5. But that note is in the scale.
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 10:37 PM

The Lurker awakes.
Hi all.
It's been fun reading through the posts (apologies if I cover stuff already dealt with) and I thought I would delve into the foray and share some of my thoughts.

Nefertiti. Great composition. Haven't looked at this one for a while - or even listened to it. The original with the MD quintet is pure magic.

Scales? I'll give my 2 öre's worth.
AbM7(#11): C D Eb F G Ab Bb
DbM7(#11): C Db Eb F G Ab Bb
Gm7(b5): C Db Eb F G A Bb
C7(b9): C Db Eb E Gb G A Bb
CbM7: B Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb
Bbm11: C Db Eb F G Ab Bb
AM7(#11): B C# Eb E F# G# A
Eb7(b9,#11): C Db Eb E G A Bb
EM7(#11): B C# D# E F# G# Bb
A7sus: B C# D E F# G A
D7(#9)/Bb: C D Eb F F# A Bb
E7(#11): B C# D E F# G# Bb
E7sus: B C# D E F# G# A
Eb7(#11): C Db Eb F G A Bb
A7(b9,13): C# D E F# G A Bb

these are the scale tones as i hear them. the way i analyse a tune is what combines the chords, how do i move from one to another. finding the common tones really aids the mapping of the scales. and as you can see, there's a lot of common tones.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 10:53 PM

Chris! Long time no hear! Great to see you come back to life.

That's pretty handy that you summarized the changes and put the scales in. Makes it easier to discuss.

Interesting to see you took my side on G-7b5 -- natural 9 instead of b9 as Scep was talking about.

I do think some are not appropriate as downbeat tones, such as the 5ths on all the #11 chords, though they are certainly great approach tones. BTW - your changes matches Real Book 5th Edition. It's different in the 6th edition. Your changes is what I'm using at the moment.

Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 11:23 PM

Yep, still alive. and now a drop-out smile

Yes, it's interesting looking at the scales that way. It makes me realize that I could solo on two tones throughout the whole tune. So who needs scales?

Oh yes, always a 9th and not a b9 on a m7(b5) dear chap!
wink
Locrian#2 I believe you Yanks call it.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/01/10 11:28 PM

Originally Posted by chrisbell
Yep, still alive. and now a drop-out smile


Did you drop out of your "free" music schooling? Is that what that means? I thought you were graduating?

And how's our little toddler doing? She's as old as Jazz thread 1. smile
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 12:00 AM

To make a long story short; "Life will always find a way."
We got pregnant, due this summer. And as my wife (whom was/is supporting me) has to start cancelling gigs (being pregnant and being a oboist is not an easy thing) later this spring, so I need to assume my place as the principal bread-earner.

The little toddler is nearly 2 years old. She's fine, or great, lovely, endearing and a pain in the . . . but she's worth it.
grin
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 01:00 AM

Originally Posted by chrisbell
The Lurker awakes.
Hi all.
It's been fun reading through the posts (apologies if I cover stuff already dealt with) and I thought I would delve into the foray and share some of my thoughts.

Nefertiti. Great composition. Haven't looked at this one for a while - or even listened to it. The original with the MD quintet is pure magic.

Scales? I'll give my 2 öre's worth.
AbM7(#11): C D Eb F G Ab Bb
DbM7(#11): C Db Eb F G Ab Bb
Gm7(b5): C Db Eb F G A Bb
C7(b9): C Db Eb E Gb G A Bb
CbM7: B Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb
Bbm11: C Db Eb F G Ab Bb
AM7(#11): B C# Eb E F# G# A
Eb7(b9,#11): C Db Eb E G A Bb
EM7(#11): B C# D# E F# G# Bb
A7sus: B C# D E F# G A
D7(#9)/Bb: C D Eb F F# A Bb
E7(#11): B C# D E F# G# Bb
E7sus: B C# D E F# G# A
Eb7(#11): C Db Eb F G A Bb
A7(b9,13): C# D E F# G A Bb

these are the scale tones as i hear them. the way i analyse a tune is what combines the chords, how do i move from one to another. finding the common tones really aids the mapping of the scales. and as you can see, there's a lot of common tones.


Ok, you both are ganging up on me here! People, it's not a gm7b5 chord. It really can't be, especially if you put an A in the accompanying scale. I can see the logic of simply looking at the chord changes divorced from the melody and arriving at those scales, but once the melody is considered (and shouldn't it be, since the melody IS the tune) no A can be there. Also, looking at the Cbmaj chord, it is also impossible to play Gb since the melody at that point (where a Bbm chord is wrongly placed, because it doesn't exist) has a G in it.

So, yes, out of context I will make sure I will play a natural 9 in all my ii7b5 chords. But not here. No way. Nope Nope Nope.

Cheerio!

By the way, we haven't met yet, but nice to see you here. And congratulations on your soon to be newest member to the family. smile
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 01:25 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by chrisbell
The Lurker awakes.
Hi all.
It's been fun reading through the posts (apologies if I cover stuff already dealt with) and I thought I would delve into the foray and share some of my thoughts.

Nefertiti. Great composition. Haven't looked at this one for a while - or even listened to it. The original with the MD quintet is pure magic.

Scales? I'll give my 2 öre's worth.
AbM7(#11): C D Eb F G Ab Bb
DbM7(#11): C Db Eb F G Ab Bb
Gm7(b5): C Db Eb F G A Bb
C7(b9): C Db Eb E Gb G A Bb
CbM7: B Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb
Bbm11: C Db Eb F G Ab Bb
AM7(#11): B C# Eb E F# G# A
Eb7(b9,#11): C Db Eb E G A Bb
EM7(#11): B C# D# E F# G# Bb
A7sus: B C# D E F# G A
D7(#9)/Bb: C D Eb F F# A Bb
E7(#11): B C# D E F# G# Bb
E7sus: B C# D E F# G# A
Eb7(#11): C Db Eb F G A Bb
A7(b9,13): C# D E F# G A Bb

these are the scale tones as i hear them. the way i analyse a tune is what combines the chords, how do i move from one to another. finding the common tones really aids the mapping of the scales. and as you can see, there's a lot of common tones.


Ok, you both are ganging up on me here! People, it's not a gm7b5 chord. It really can't be, especially if you put an A in the accompanying scale. I can see the logic of simply looking at the chord changes divorced from the melody and arriving at those scales, but once the melody is considered (and shouldn't it be, since the melody IS the tune) no A can be there. Also, looking at the Cbmaj chord, it is also impossible to play Gb since the melody at that point (where a Bbm chord is wrongly placed, because it doesn't exist) has a G in it.

So, yes, out of context I will make sure I will play a natural 9 in all my ii7b5 chords. But not here. No way. Nope Nope Nope.

Cheerio!

By the way, we haven't met yet, but nice to see you here. And congratulations on your soon to be newest member to the family. smile


Ha ha LOL smile No ganging up. I was just making an observation.

But I did want to bring this up. You said this cannot be a G-7b5. Right?

The next chord is C7b9 though. So it sure looks like a minor ii-V there to me...in which case, I would imagine standard rules would apply here (nat 9).

I remember you saying that you didn't feel it was a true G-7b5. Looks to me though like the subsequent chord choice says otherwise. I'm really interested in understanding your logic here as you have really good instincts.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 02:13 AM

Jazzwee did you get a chance to look at the Schenker link yet? That may explain a bit. But basically if we look at tonal centres, and direction of where the harmony is going, and where it came from certain notes would have certain functions, and others would be considered non functional notes, or passing tones, or whatever. Basically the way I see the big picture of this piece is that it moves from a type of Ab tonality to a E/B tonality then eventually to a Eb tonality which acts as the V (of Ab). In ALL of these tonalities the note A doesn't exist, EXCEPT when it is used as a V function, meaning it has to resolve somewhere. But since it has no place to resolve (since it is NOT part of a V chord) then the note becomes suspect in it's usefulness.

Truth be told, I'm still trying to fit that A in there in various ways, but it just sounds weird. A better way to look at that chord is a Bbm/G or a Bbm7/G. I think the sticking point is I'm not looking backwards to the pre-established way of treating a ii chord, but imagining that Shorter was ALSO not looking backwards (why would he?) especially when the chords at the beginning are really not even typical in any sense, except for the bass movement (I, IV, ii/V/vi, V/vi) but then he goes to another tonal centre which shares characteristics with the first (Eb/Ab) and uses the ii, V/vi as a clever way to change centres. But the cleverness is lost if one sticks an A in there. It would be like Ben Webster blowing over the changes for the first 4 bars.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 02:55 AM

Some more approaches to convert the faithful re Gm7b5:

First off: Play the melody with your chosen chord voicings for the first four bars, sticking to the chords suggested by Shorter. Next, extend those chords to add notes that CAN be put in the chords as written, such as in the C7#11 chord put in other chord tones that are generally accepted in the chord itself. Do that with all the chords in the first four bars. THEN add the melody back in once you've put an A in the Gm7b5 chord. THEN post back here and tell me how wonderous it sounds.

Another thing to consider. Does anyone know Black Orpheus? Does anyone not know it is probably a better question. In any case, Don't the chords go |Am|, |Bm7b5, E7| |Am| for the first few measures? Can anyone imagine a C# being played anywhere in the Bm chord? Isn't it a ii7b5? Well?

You are all welcome to speak in tongues at your leisure. smile
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 06:20 AM

I spent a lot of time playing with Nef tonight, including making sure I've got all my voicings figured out and with clear voice leading so I know what's actually happening. Mostly it makes sense now and I played the whole continuously over and over, kind of like your first recording.

So this is my view of the tonality. Original chord is on the left and then the scale I use is on the right. When actually voicing here I was sensitive to the the chord tones that estabilished the tonality. Without it, it's pretty hard to hear.


AbM7(#11) | Eb or Ab Lydian |
DbM7(#11) | Ab or Db Lydian |
Gm7(b5) | G Locrian #2 |
C7(b9) | C H/W Dim |
CbM7 | F# or B Lydian | This really can be restated to CbM7#11
Bbm11 | Ab |
AM7(#11) | E or A Lydian |
Eb7(b9,#11) | Eb H/W Dim |
EM7(#11) | B or E Lydian |
A7sus | D |
D7(#9)/Bb | Bb, add F# |
E7(#11) | E Whole Tone, avoid C |
E7sus | A |
Eb7(#11) | Eb H/W Dim |
A7(b9,13) | A H/W Dim (which is same as above)



Chris Bell's Scale:
AbM7(#11): C D Eb F G Ab Bb (same as mine)
DbM7(#11): C Db Eb F G Ab Bb (same as mine)
Gm7(b5): C Db Eb F G A Bb (same as mine)
C7(b9): C Db Eb E Gb G A Bb (same as mine)
CbM7: B Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb (same as mine)
Bbm11: C Db Eb F G Ab Bb (same as mine)
AM7(#11): B C# Eb E F# G# A (same as mine)
Eb7(b9,#11): C Db Eb E G A Bb (different from mine but I simplified, I added Gb)
EM7(#11): B C# D# E F# G# Bb (same as mine)
A7sus: B C# D E F# G A (same as mine)
D7(#9)/Bb: C D Eb F F# A Bb (almost the same but mine is simplified)
E7(#11): B C# D E F# G# Bb (Different because I just play a reduced scale)
E7sus: B C# D E F# G# A (Same as mine)
Eb7(#11): C Db Eb F G A Bb (different)
A7(b9,13): C# D E F# G A Bb (different)

After working with the voicings all night, I realize that for me to completely hear the tonality in solo piano, many chords had to be dense to clearly show voice leading. For example, I thought A7Sus and E7sus both needed thirds. And I played this with a Maiden Voyage voicing. If I didn't do this, the voicing was very hard to follow.

The weirdest tonality to follow are the in the last two chords. I just emphasize the melody within the diminished scale that I use (C# A).

I'm comfortable with soloing until the last 3 chords where I need to hear it more.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 06:29 AM

I don't know scep. Since I hear and play | G-7b5 | C7b9 | as a minor ii-V, I'm very comfortable with a natural 9 (A) on the G-7b5. But really I'm on the Ab anyway by the time I'm on the C7b9. So it's a voice leading sound to me.

The only exception I would make to a half diminished chord using a b9 is if it's in the melody. And I have heard some tunes with it. Maybe Black Orpheus is one of those but I don't quite remember. When I record my version, I will clearly play the natural 9. That's part of the quality of a minor ii-V as far as I'm concerned. There are more interesting alterations with the use of the Melodic minor. I'm not clear on why you are using the Natural minor modes here.

Of all the tonalities in Nefertiti, I think the clearest is up to Amaj7#11. It's a lot vaguer after that. So I really liked the minor ii-V since at least I didn't have to think about it. It's the same scale in a zillion tunes I play.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 06:37 AM

Scep, you're asking me to tell my teacher that I disagree with him and will play the b9 on a half diminished. As Chris Bell would understand, I would be kicked out of his studio smile I've learned for years to always use a natural 9.

But this is not the first time this debate has occurred and it will never end. The debate is covered in the Levine Jazz Piano Book (although he votes for natural 9 too). He claims bebop uses natural 9. Lots of Jazz websites continue this same argument. So obviously you're not alone on your side of the camp.

I think that this is not a big deal. As passing tones, it wouldn't matter anyway, just like 5 is a nice passing tone to #11.

If we argue this, we might as well argue the minor ii-V in Autumn Leaves in Jazz thread 1 smile
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 06:46 AM

Discussion of difference with Chris Bell's scale

Chris's Scale on last two chords
Eb7(#11): C Db Eb F G A Bb
A7(b9,13): C# D E F# G A Bb

I used a H/W Diminished scale for both of the above. After playing with a couple of voicings, I realized that these two chords are just the same progressions in a diminished cycle. Meaning they belong to the same diminished scale. Particularly, if I just stated the Eb7(#11) as Eb7(b9)(#11), which is a perfectly valid alteration.

This diminished cycle move in minor thirds is a common device in Jazz so I had to look at the purpose of the progression above. I couldn't think of a reason why they would be a different scale. It didn't serve any other purpose in my mind. But given how I understand it, I could actually have 3 bars of inner voice movement along the diminished cycle (movement of dominants in minor thirds) if I considered this as one scale.

The hint of course is that the dominant chords are a tritone apart.
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 09:45 AM

My theoretical raison for not using the H/W on the Eb7(#11) is that it's not a b9.
Dominant sharp elevens have this nice wholetone thingie going for them that I like to preserve. Also, earlier in N, there's a Eb7(b9 #11), where I would play the H/W scale - it's nice to have a contrast between the different sections.

Also, I like (and as I hear certain harmonies) to be able to use triad extensions.
So on the Eb7(#11) I have an F-triad, on the A7(b9, 13) I have a F# triad.
Giving me a harmonic contrapunctual movement, F up F# as the Bass moves Eb down to A.

Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 09:49 AM

Guys, I had a chance to play around with Nef...this is what I think for the first 4 bars:

Ab maj7 #4 / Ab sus / G half dim / C 7 alt

I look at the melody in an Ab maj key centre, with subtle shifts in the harmony.

The 3rd chord is indeed a G-7 b5, same as G half dim. I don't think of it as a minor chord, but as the "locrian" or 7th mode of Ab. There's that word, shoot me now!

Next is C 7 alt, again, I don't think of it as a chord with a dominant function, but rather the C is the #5 of Ab.

Then it switches to a B maj 7th, but again, I look at it in the context of Ab major key, and the B is the minor 3rd. So it acts more like a major to minor shift.


I wish I had a recording device so I could post and get some feedback.

Again, when I approach the song, it's Ab major for the first 8 bars with just shifts in the Ab +/- sonority. Too confusing to try and switch keys every bar, when it's actually not doing that.

Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 09:50 AM

Blue in Green's another great tune to play...looking forward to hearing it.
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 09:55 AM

In a similar triadic path to enlightenment, I hear a BbmMaj on the Gm7(b5) (which, speaking triadically, would be an F-triad) and not a Bbm7.

However.

@Sceptical
I agree on the Black Orpheus example. I would not play a C# on the Bm7(b5), as those bars have a A-natural minor vibe to my ears.

"Hmmm so you mean that it's down to me to decide whatever scale-tones I play over whatever chords?"
"Yes Grasshopper, that's why it's called Jazz!"

My facetiousness to bout, I would just like to point out that I do appreciate reading (and hearing) other musicians POV on scales/chords/voicings/etc, it makes me think more about what I like/not like, aids me in making those choices that defines me as a musician.
It would be fun to see how our left-hand voicings differ - or not. My left-hand certainly changes depending on the tempo, and if I'm playing with a bassist or not.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 11:42 AM

hey quick question guys, do you think scale/chord or key-centre when you play a tune?

There's a big debate about this. Traditional jazz pedagogy is scale/chord, but more are leaning towards key now. I prefer the latter.
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 12:52 PM

Neither; was my first thought. I try not to think to much, if it's a song I want to know the lyrics though.
But.
On the other hand, if I think about it; Consonance and Dissonance are the two factors that I feel are really important. Therein lies a dynamic, dialectic potential for tension and release; an inner pulse so to say. A horizontal rather than vertical approach (which would be scale/chord) hmmmm that means I think (on a a sub-level) or rather hear/feel key-centric.
Oh well, live and learn. smile


Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 03:35 PM

Wiz,

Analysis of each chord and what scale is involved does not in itself suggest that the playing will be vertical.

The analysis involves accuracy and choices. Instead of generalizing key centers, the idea of the approach I was taught focused on clearly stating the harmony with chord tones. I think that that requires an accurate knowledge of the scales.

From here, I take the next level which is to look for common tones among the chords to find some horizontal basis. Using this method, there's no highlighting of a wrong note and there's clear voice leading from chord to chord.

Also, the idea of laying out the scales too is to set opportunities for playing outside of diatonic harmony on the dominants. I think that in Jazz, this is a hard opportunity to waste if one desires a modern jazz sound.

Also as I lay out the scales, the voicing options become clearer. The second half of this tune does not have easy key centers to hold on to.

My problem with the vague "key center" approach is that I cannot highlight the harmony with chord tones under that approach. And I was taught that great solos have greater structure and underpinnings. I don't necessarily want to just to think of Ab (and it's not since the first chord is Eb), because highlighting the wrong note in the key of Ab will not help the solo. One will tend to play "scalar" (scale runs). I can't easily do "intervallic" playing.



Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 03:42 PM

er..uhm... For those of us that are unenlightened, and proudly displaying my ignorance :-), what is a key center?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 03:57 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
er..uhm... For those of us that are unenlightened, and proudly displaying my ignorance :-), what is a key center?


LOL smile I think it's being used here more loosely than I would. The official meaning of course is the parent key of the modes.

But it is being generalized as a general key 'tendency' in a chord progression. And I do agree that can be found in many tunes. However, when it does occur, there's a lot of avoid notes.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 04:12 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
er..uhm... For those of us that are unenlightened, and proudly displaying my ignorance :-), what is a key center?


They are typically called tonal centres, or keys. Were you being facetious or did you really not know? I'm sure when you or anyone of your calibre plays a tune like Giant Steps that you are aware that the tonal centres change a few times in the piece.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 04:26 PM

So is Giant Steps the next tune now? smile
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 04:37 PM

Thx JW
SFG: Only mildly facetious (tough word to spell). I truly didn't know what you were talking about. Knowing something on a practical playing level and articulating it can be two different skill sets. I think the contrasting statement of chords/scales vs. key centers threw me off. I wasn't clear what that contrast meant.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 08:33 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Wiz,

Analysis of each chord and what scale is involved does not in itself suggest that the playing will be vertical.

I'm still in the mood to get my point across, because I still think there is a misconception about the one chord gm7b5...

I believe you and others have actually fallen into the trap of looking at this chord vertically. Why do I say this? Because you've tried to justify it's existence by saying 'look where it goes -to a C, therefore ii to V. But the problem remained, what type of v was it? C is the v of...F, correct? So given that, what type of F chord would it be? Fm or Fmaj? Given the tonal centre, Abmaj#11, Dbsus, Gm7b5, Calt would normally resolve to a Fmin, not Fmaj, and in this case, you can't have an A in the chord (like Black Orpheus).
However, the cool thing is that Shorter is using the Gm7b5 as a pivotal point in changing tonal centres from Ab to B, thus the Gm7b5 (which is still the correct chord, sort of) is actually the tritone sub of the ii of B (or Cmaj if you wish). This is also why the C alt chord has a specific Ab in there and a Db in the melody. So, yes, it is a ii, but not the ii you thought it was. And if an A is put in the scale of ii7b5 of Cmaj, you get Db, Eb, Fb, G A Bb, Cb, which results in a very weird scale.

Come on, people, believe me. I'm be your best friend!

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 08:36 PM

Also, JW,

I just realized that I'm trying to support Shorter in a way that you are defending Chick all the time saying that his note choices are anything but random. Shorter, in my mind would not put an A in the scale. I think I'm just his supporter. smile
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 09:56 PM

Well explained scep. But of course you could say the same thing about Autumn Leaves in G/Em. Based on your statement, you're going to lock me in to using the G scale for the entire tune.

But part of the beauty of a minor ii-V is you can wander in an Altered Scale for a moment (added tension) and then resolve back to the Fm. That's just voice leading to me to move a single note back to Fm (the minor tonic in Nef).

By the same token, I could in fact stay in the key of G in Autumn leaves and assume the Natural minor mode for the Em portion. Sure. Sounds boring though. Everything becomes diatonic sounding.

Going back to Chick - since you mention him - he'll in fact wander deliberately all the time. Move the dominant chord up a half step, a tritone, a minor third away. As long is it resolves.

EDIT - Chick is VERY BIG on ALT. Obviously he is driven by the Melodic minor. He would likely play Alt on a minor ii-V. Guaranteed.

I don't find a problem with what you're saying about b9 on G-7b5 as long as you agree that you're playing a single diatonic scale like Autumn Leaves. Equally, I don't find a problem with changing tension by inserting alterations on minor ii-V's. For whatever reason, most jazz players, and particulary modern sounding ones like Shorter, will likely use the Melodic minor mode, not the Natural minor.

So in conclusion, I don't think either are wrong. But if I will use a Half-Whole diminished scale on the C7b9, then I should use nat. 9. If I'm playing it like a regular C7 with only a b9 alteration, then I could play the Ab instead. I've played it both ways actually so you can see, I don't disagree with you that it sounds fine. I shouldn't be banned from playing a H/W diminished on the C7b9 though right? Or you don't think Shorter would ever think of using a diminished scale?





Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 10:15 PM

Horizontal vs. Vertical with All my Specific Scales in Nefertiti

Scep, to respond to your comment about my choosing to be vertical vs. horizontal, I could have a big picture that's horizontal. However, I could deviate on occasion to increase tension right? I think it's interesting that horizontal and vertical have to be treated in absolute terms.

There are some tunes that really have to be biased towards horizontal. I think they could be the melodic tunes. This tune has chunks of progressions with no apparent melody or just a single note. I really liked changing the tension in the progression by incorporating some diminished/Alt scales and create some movement in those empty zones.

Now having said this, I'm not done with my horizontal analysis of Nef. There are parts of this where I find horizontal very hard to do (the second half). Maybe you can suggest something.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 11:12 PM

If you really want a tough tune, try Chick's Mirror Mirror. It's in the Levine Jazz book. No real key centre, it shifts every few bars. Tons of ALT chords. Pretty melody.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/02/10 11:29 PM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
If you really want a tough tune, try Chick's Mirror Mirror. It's in the Levine Jazz book. No real key centre, it shifts every few bars. Tons of ALT chords. Pretty melody.


Done with Chick for now smile I'm over-Chicked...

BTW - how's Infant Eyes (since we're on Shorter). I think you said you worked on this. How does it compare to Nef?

I didn't see any takers to my suggestion of 'Very Early' (Evans). This is another one of those tunes where the chords don't necessarily have some logical connection.

Very Early
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnZW...next=1&playnext_from=PL&index=15

slower version
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fhd...x=17&playnext=3&playnext_from=PL

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 12:00 AM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz

The 3rd chord is indeed a G-7 b5, same as G half dim. I don't think of it as a minor chord, but as the "locrian" or 7th mode of Ab. There's that word, shoot me now!


I missed this post! Wiz, we are in agreement here somewhat. It isn't a minor chord to me either, but it could be the phrygian of Eb, or the locrian of Ab, depending on how forward you want to superimpose the Db into the Calt chord. I think of it as Locrian myself though, like you've suggested.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 12:07 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz

The 3rd chord is indeed a G-7 b5, same as G half dim. I don't think of it as a minor chord, but as the "locrian" or 7th mode of Ab. There's that word, shoot me now!


I missed this post! Wiz, we are in agreement here somewhat. It isn't a minor chord to me either, but it could be the phrygian of Eb, or the locrian of Ab, depending on how forward you want to superimpose the Db into the Calt chord. I think of it as Locrian myself though, like you've suggested.


You're locked in the world of the Natural minor smile Time to look at a Levine book and look at the Melodic Minor wink

Locrian #2 (I'm just saying be open to both).

Edit - or one could say too that you've locked yourself in the Diatonic world...
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 12:27 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Well explained scep. But of course you could say the same thing about Autumn Leaves in G/Em. Based on your statement, you're going to lock me in to using the G scale for the entire tune.

er...I'll have to get back to you on that one. I'm not certain I follow your argument yet. But I think you are saying that the tonal center stays the same for the entire piece, so you can/should only use one scale according to my logic? I'm not sure whether the piece is one tonal centre, or many yet, so...


Originally Posted by jazzwee

But part of the beauty of a minor ii-V is you can wander in an Altered Scale for a moment (added tension) and then resolve back to the Fm. That's just voice leading to me to move a single note back to Fm (the minor tonic in Nef).

Are you saying you use altered scales on chords other than those functioning as Vs?
Originally Posted by jazzwee

By the same token, I could in fact stay in the key of G in Autumn leaves and assume the Natural minor mode for the Em portion. Sure. Sounds boring though. Everything becomes diatonic sounding.

Agreed, but I'm not suggesting that. You've taken the arguement to illogical conclusions based on an erroneous fact (that the gm7b5 is part of a ii V of F maj), and expanded your reasoning from there, which appears otherwise sound. The sticking point is that for whatever reason you keep on pointing back to yours, and others, idea that the gmb5 IS a ii. This in itself is sort of correct. But I believe you are thinking it is the wrong (sort of) two. It is for me acting as the V of V of Cbmaj, hence Db7 to Gb7, to Cb, but with two tritone subs G sub of Db, C sub of Gb, then to Cb.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Going back to Chick - since you mention him - he'll in fact wander deliberately all the time. Move the dominant chord up a half step, a tritone, a minor third away. As long is it resolves.

Yes, but resolution is a function of the V. The chord that we're hung up on you are stating is a two. I'm stating it is a V of V (in tritones), and as such I'm not sure the note A has a purpose.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

EDIT - Chick is VERY BIG on ALT. Obviously he is driven by the Melodic minor. He would likely play Alt on a minor ii-V. Guaranteed.

I don't find a problem with what you're saying about b9 on G-7b5 as long as you agree that you're playing a single diatonic scale like Autumn Leaves. Equally, I don't find a problem with changing tension by inserting alterations on minor ii-V's. For whatever reason, most jazz players, and particulary modern sounding ones like Shorter, will likely use the Melodic minor mode, not the Natural minor.

For the record, I actually don't often think in Natural minor. the scale that I outlined for you earlier calling it the dorian mode of the natural minor, or the locrian, was because I actually don't really ever use these terms, but I knew the notes you were searching to define, and when I was at the piano it occurred to me that the locrian in major scale theory theoretically would be the dorian of the relative natural minor. I promise to never mention the natural minor again in this thread. smile

Originally Posted by jazzwee

So in conclusion, I don't think either are wrong. But if I will use a Half-Whole diminished scale on the C7b9, then I should use nat. 9. If I'm playing it like a regular C7 with only a b9 alteration, then I could play the Ab instead. I've played it both ways actually so you can see, I don't disagree with you that it sounds fine. I shouldn't be banned from playing a H/W diminished on the C7b9 though right? Or you don't think Shorter would ever think of using a diminished scale?

Yup. Banned. Only because in the melody there is explicitly an Ab that doesn't exist in the scale. As a matter of fact, I'm giving Wayne a call right now and I'm hoping he's going to send his jazz thugs over there soon to straighten you out. Hope you can play those cool scales with broken thumbs... wink smile

Actually I can imagine that Shorter would be just rolling his eyes at this discussion and probably whip out ten different alt changes that he'd say work. From what I gather he's very open to newness, so an A in a scale that ought to have an Ab may be the coolest thing at that point.

Truce?



Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 12:44 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Horizontal vs. Vertical with All my Specific Scales in Nefertiti

Scep, to respond to your comment about my choosing to be vertical vs. horizontal, I could have a big picture that's horizontal. However, I could deviate on occasion to increase tension right? I think it's interesting that horizontal and vertical have to be treated in absolute terms.

Well, horizontal is not vertical, but they should work together. If the vertical is divorced from the horizontal you end up blowing over the changes. If the horizontal is kept in place you end up blowing over (soloing) over the melody, which dictates the changes.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

There are some tunes that really have to be biased towards horizontal. I think they could be the melodic tunes. This tune has chunks of progressions with no apparent melody or just a single note.

When I first heard this tune I hated how unmelodic it sounded to me, but now after playing and listening to it for a week I am loving how the melody is so great. So I am looking at enhancing that in any way I can. But believe me, if I was just looking at the changes, I'd be much happy playing the tune because the chords could be treated differently. That's where I'm stuck (but like being stuck.)

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Now having said this, I'm not done with my horizontal analysis of Nef. There are parts of this where I find horizontal very hard to do (the second half). Maybe you can suggest something.


ooooh last time I suggested something we ended up with 3 pages of diatribe on my part, so I think I'd like to hear what others have done, and I'll add smiley faces and +1 in response to their posts.


But seriously, I really love this discussion. I've never thought about tunes this much in my life. Before I just played 1000's of tunes happily ignorant of the things that I didn't really care to think about. And imagine, this all started with me looking into upper structure chords...
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 12:47 AM

LOL smile Scep, you know I love this discussion. Not a fight here.

But you mentioned so many points but seem to digress from my main point.

Minor ii-v-i in Nefertiti:

| G-7b5 | C7b9 | (assumed tonic is Fm) not FMaj7).

Are we at least agreed on this? Fm is Ab not A -- if Fm appears in this tune, which is assumed but it does not appear.

All minor 2-5-1's follow the same logic here. Modern playing of minor 2-5-1's assume this:
| G-7b5 | C7Alt | Fm |

In this includes Autumn Leaves. It allows one to depart from the diatonic.

If you play it as C7Alt (which is suggested directly by C7b9), the recognized scale to play is Half-Whole Diminished, which uses an 'A'.

Then it resolves back to 'Ab' in Fm. Its seems you've assumed that minor 2-5-1's follow the same scale logic of a major ii-V-I. Major ii-V-I's use the same scale throughout the progression. Minor ii-V-i's ( or stated as ii-7b5 V7b9 im) are not bound by the same limitation. Plenty of textbooks discuss this as it is culled from actual playing.

I'm sure that in older Jazz, ii-V-i(m) used the natural minor which meant you stuck to the same scale throughout.

This is why it's fun to play minor ii-V-i's. The scales can be more varied. Same reason for Blues or minor ii-V-i tunes like 'Softly As In the Morning Sunrise' (hope I got that title right...).

So hopefully, I'm sharing a little bit of Modern Jazz with you. BTW - I consider Shorter, Chick, Hancock, Miles to be in the forefront of modern jazz styles from that era.

P.s. I have mentioned the melodic minor modes plenty of times but you have not said it once. I think it might be important to look at those modes first. Heavily discussed in Levine's book. Do you have the book?





Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 12:53 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by jazzwee
Horizontal vs. Vertical with All my Specific Scales in Nefertiti

Scep, to respond to your comment about my choosing to be vertical vs. horizontal, I could have a big picture that's horizontal. However, I could deviate on occasion to increase tension right? I think it's interesting that horizontal and vertical have to be treated in absolute terms.

Well, horizontal is not vertical, but they should work together. If the vertical is divorced from the horizontal you end up blowing over the changes. If the horizontal is kept in place you end up blowing over (soloing) over the melody, which dictates the changes.


So you don't think it is possible to maintain a big picture that's horizontal and then occasionally deviating for increased tension? Under that definition, Chick Corea would never have a horizontal view ever. By nature, an ALT chord deviates from the regular diatonic scale.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 01:30 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by jazzwee
Horizontal vs. Vertical with All my Specific Scales in Nefertiti

Scep, to respond to your comment about my choosing to be vertical vs. horizontal, I could have a big picture that's horizontal. However, I could deviate on occasion to increase tension right? I think it's interesting that horizontal and vertical have to be treated in absolute terms.

Well, horizontal is not vertical, but they should work together. If the vertical is divorced from the horizontal you end up blowing over the changes. If the horizontal is kept in place you end up blowing over (soloing) over the melody, which dictates the changes.


So you don't think it is possible to maintain a big picture that's horizontal and then occasionally deviating for increased tension? Under that definition, Chick Corea would never have a horizontal view ever. By nature, an ALT chord deviates from the regular diatonic scale.


The scale is not the horizontal. The larger scale of the entire piece is the 'scale', but in any case one would not call it a scale, but a tonal centre. Increased tension has nothing to do with deviation from this tonal centre but rather it is supporting the tonal centre. Whatever acts as tension is basically a V of some sorts and that V is part of the I, whereever that is, so in Ner, Ab goes to Cb, the C acts as a V of Cb, the G acts as the V of the V of Cb. All of the tension that is created still has nothing to do with scales as much as it does with where the Vs lie
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 02:19 AM

Scep, I didn't say anything about horizontal = scale. Horizontal is a search for common tones, in progressions. And it doesn't assume there is a single tonality in a tune. It may be that you can find only common tones in some portion of the tune.

All I was saying is that an ALT dominant, by it's nature is basically the same chord a tritone away so all the tones will NOT be common. It will be a half step away from all the common tones, right?

Now taking your side...After sitting on the piano for a moment...

I don't think I like using C7(b9) in Nefertiti. Skip G-7b5 for a moment. C7b9 normally implies a Half-Whole Diminished Scale, which would mean it would include 'A'. I listened and at that part of the progression, 'A' does not sound right, going into CbMaj7.

So I might actually think of C7(b9) as C7Alt, which would include the Ab. That's actually how I was playing it.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 02:26 AM

Here's my revised changes (post-debate)

AbM7(#11) | Eb or Ab Lydian |
DbM7(#11) | Ab or Db Lydian |
Gm7(b5) | G Locrian #2 (or Ab Locrian as debated) |
C7Alt | Ab |
CbM7#11 | F# or B Lydian |
Bbm11 | Ab |
AM7(#11) | E or A Lydian |
Eb7(b9,#11) | Eb H/W Dim |
EM7(#11) | B or E Lydian |
A7sus | D |
D7(#9)/Bb | Bb, add F# |
E7(#11) | E Whole Tone, avoid C |
E7sus | A |
Eb7(#11) | Eb H/W Dim |
A7(b9,13) | A H/W Dim (which is same as above)
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 04:29 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Scep, I didn't say anything about horizontal = scale. Horizontal is a search for common tones, in progressions. And it doesn't assume there is a single tonality in a tune. It may be that you can find only common tones in some portion of the tune.

I wonder if we are using the terms tonality and tonal centre the same? I'm not sure a tonal centre dictates a clear scale throughout the centre. But to say that things centre around Ab for a while, then B, then E then Eb make sense to me, rather than disregard what one might consider 'do'. (see pg 243 of Levine for tonal centre stuff)
Originally Posted by jazzwee

All I was saying is that an ALT dominant, by it's nature is basically the same chord a tritone away so all the tones will NOT be common. It will be a half step away from all the common tones, right?

Right, except for the 3rd and 7th and 1 (root) which becomes the #11.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Now taking your side...After sitting on the piano for a moment...

whoa....slow down...you can't do that!!! We're supposed to be debating things here!!! wink
Originally Posted by jazzwee

I don't think I like using C7(b9) in Nefertiti. Skip G-7b5 for a moment. C7b9 normally implies a Half-Whole Diminished Scale, which would mean it would include 'A'. I listened and at that part of the progression, 'A' does not sound right, going into CbMaj7.

Ok, back to the debate. Yes, I think we both agree that the Db makes playing an A in that chord a bit strange. But this is where I'm stuck offering up an A in the chord leading to the Calt or C7b9.

So, I read the bible after your last post about melodic minor harmony. I can see the sections you are quoting about prebop musicians playing the locrian, and postbop playing locrian #2, but none of this satisfied me. I did find some guidance for the answer I was seeking, though. Chap 22 Page 237 talks about Shorter and susb9 chords. Although I'm not sure the gm7b5 can actually be a susb9 (because of the D instead of Db in the scale), Shorter seemed to be one that wasn't too concerned with the conventions of sticking with the melodic minor scale harmony (see pg 238).

What do you think?
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 04:39 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Here's my revised changes (post-debate)

AbM7(#11) | Eb or Ab Lydian |
DbM7(#11) | Ab or Db Lydian |
Gm7(b5) | G Locrian #2 (or Ab Locrian as debated) |
C7Alt | Ab |
CbM7#11 | F# or B Lydian |


Bbm11 | Ab |
AM7(#11) | E or A Lydian |


Eb7(b9,#11) | Eb H/W Dim |
EM7(#11) | B or E Lydian |
A7sus | D |
D7(#9)/Bb | Bb, add F# |
E7(#11) | E Whole Tone, avoid C |
E7sus | A |
Eb7(#11) | Eb H/W Dim |
A7(b9,13) | A H/W Dim (which is same as above)


Ok, time to pick another fight. Where did you hear those two chords that are separated (Bbm7, AMaj7(#11) Are those the ones from the book? If so, and you don't hear them in the recording, then what? I remember listening to the recording, trying to play those chords with the bass notes, and they didn't fit. What if the bass is actually B to Bb for those two bars. Would that make a difference to you?
I think the Bbm is sort of right, but not quite, because it is actually a type of B chord unless it was classified as a Bbm7/B which I wouldn't doubt Shorter would do. Same thing with the A chord--sort of right, but er...

Thoughts?



Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 06:11 AM

Scep, I looked at two other books, Colorado book (which is often quite correct) and Real Book 6th Edition, and YOU ARE RIGHT, they don't have A but instead uses B and Bb.

So I'm quite confused now. I had my voicing working quite well with the AMaj7#11.

To add to my confusion, I found two rhythmic versions of the melody so I have to unlearn the rhythm and do it again. I can't screw up the rhythm or my teacher will not listen to me play this frown. He'll say STOP AND COUNT! Well, rhythmically, I'm challenged by this tune. The solo is the least of my problems right this moment...

I know in Solo piano it is easy to cheat on the rhythm of the melody but my teacher does not tolerate that.

I don't a lesson for a few weeks but when I do, my teacher with bionic ears can verify all the voicings and chords for me.

In the meantime, I'm not sure which one to follow. I suppose they are close enough.

I will read those Shorter comments later. But it's good to know what his style is about. Did it explain anything that helps us with this tune?
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 06:17 AM

I have another question for all: On the changes to 'What is this thing called Love', which I assumed to be Gm7b5, C7(of some type), Fm6, Dm7b5, G7 (of some type), C would everyone here treat the two 7b5 chords the same way? I think I've treated them differently in the past (the first with a b9 in the scale, the second with a natural 9). But from what I've read on this thread, backed up by Levine, both ought to be treated the same.

Can anyone explain if I've missed something? I get how they can both be natural 9s, and when I play over the changes with natural 9s in both it sounds great. But, when I keep the melody in my head I temporarily go crazy for the bar that says "Hey stupid, you're supposed to be playing in a temporary tonic of F minor, where did you get the A from?" Should I really be thinking "hey genius, you've put in such a hip note (the major third juxtaposed over the minor third implied by the temporary key) where normal prebeboppers would wince. You ought to congratulate yourself for such a cool scale!"?



How do you say prebebopper anyways? Is it swung? If so, when you say it faster does the swing even out, but you should still delay saying it slightly after you think it to give it the illusion of swing? wink

Seriously though, I'm still mulling over the whole ii7b5 V i even outside the context of Nef now. I think I really do need to pay more attention to what I'm playing to see if I can consciously try to include the natural 9 on that chord.

Anyone else losing sleep over any of this?
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 06:35 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Scep, I looked at two other books, Colorado book (which is often quite correct) and Real Book 6th Edition, and YOU ARE RIGHT, they don't have A but instead uses B and Bb.

So I'm quite confused now. I had my voicing working quite well with the AMaj7#11.

To add to my confusion, I found two rhythmic versions of the melody so I have to unlearn the rhythm and do it again. I can't screw up the rhythm or my teacher will not listen to me play this frown. He'll say STOP AND COUNT! Well, rhythmically, I'm challenged by this tune. The solo is the least of my problems right this moment...

Have you noticed the rhythm is either played wrong on the original or that the rhythm in the book is slightly wrong?

When I listened to it, I couldn't for the life of me sing along to it. The whole thing seemed so fluid, without bar lines. When I heard others play it, and saw the transcription I thought things fell into place, BUT now I'm not sure if I've learned the book version or the original. The third chorus through is the book version, by the way. The first two are either SO laid back and free that it is a bit had to transcribe properly.

Listen to the 4th chorus--even Miles can't play the rhythm with Shorter. The 5th he's on again (sort of).

In all versions though, there is a triplet at the end of the second bar leading into the third bar, not how it is notated in some of the versions I've seen. Mostly everything else is accurate, I think. But I suppose it depends on what chorus each book is referring to, because the first run through is not like the second.

So maybe keeping this in mind might help you get the rhythm a bit better. Who knows. It's still alluding me...

Originally Posted by jazzwee

I will read those Shorter comments later. But it's good to know what his style is about. Did it explain anything that helps us with this tune?

Only that I got the idea that jazz chords and scales changed with him. Bebop no longer applied. Can't say that helps though, does it?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 08:03 AM

Rhythm - it doesn't sound exact on the original but I'll have to pick one and go with it. The problem is that a horn can get away with the imprecison of time. A piano has no sustain so were f...d. smile What's confusing about the melody is that at parts you hear 3 against 4 and then it goes back to 4 again. I'm doing it mechanically but I could be off by an eighth. I've been trying to do it with a metronome. Tonight I got frustrated.

The solo itself is not a problem, since I don't have to do anything rhythmically unusual.

Because of my limited time at the piano, my limitations have always been rhythmic.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/03/10 08:17 AM

Scep, Hancock VSOP version, I can clearly hear the b3 in G-7b5 in Herbie's comping. I could not hear the third in the C7. I could hear some sort of b9 voicing, possibly C# - G - C (I use this voicing a lot so it sounds like it).

Now this confuses me again as this voicing suggests a diminished (C# Dim), or C H/W diminished -- which means....'A' is in the scale...OH NO...NOT AGAIN. smile Now fortunately, no one solos in this tune so we won't have to deal with that.

EDIT -

In the original, you're right. I did not hear the b3 in the G-7b5 at least in the first chorus. But since Herbie voiced it as G-7b5 in his version, I guess I'll bow to his choice.
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 12:35 AM

Seek and ye shall find.
Having Spotify can be really fun, I've just spent the better part of and hour -or so - listening through: the Original version, the drum n bass/acid jazz version, several guitar hero versions - ranging from the sublime balled to the rocking fusion knock-out, to an excellent US Army Field Band arrangement, to Shorter's own - heavy on the synths and funky bass, but ohh so absolutely wicked saxophone playing - Manhattan Project ( on YouTube ) I'm not a big fan of synths (I own 11 of them) neither of electric bass solos (if it's not Pastorius or Swallow) but Michel Petrucciani playing is alwyas worth a listen, then on to Hancock and Shorter on The Joni Letters album (which was released 2007) - and then several piano trios worth of playing; all from the quartal to the minor second schools.

And I must say that the mind is boggled.

Most follow either the one or the other printed version; but the two different versions featuring Shorter - are different - and fresh.

Listening and then trying out in my own version I must say that I prefer a Bbm7(b5) in bar7, instead of a AMaj7. In actually 'corrects' the harmonic movement.
Gm7(b5) > C7(b9) > BMaj7 (B substitution F) bar 4>5>6
Bbm7(b5)> Eb7(b9)> EMaj7 (E substitution Bb) bar 7>8>9

Anyhow, a Bbm7(b5) and a AMaj7 are just a halftone away;
Both contain C# (Db) E G# (Ab)
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 12:36 AM

Oh did I hear a 'Mirror, Mirror' or 'Very Early'?
Bring them on!
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 05:07 AM

Interesting Chris. So in this case, they're just 2 minor ii-V's. In theory this would be easier to play since ii-V's wouldn't require much thought.

But I didn't like that harmonically it was stuck at BMaj7 for two bars. BMaj7 and then BMaj7#11. This really is the same thing since you had to play Lydian on BMaj7 anyway.

Anyway, I didn't change anything so far. I still have the original changes that I had above.

I did finally just take the melody from the later Realbook (6th) and after an overnight sleep seems to be clicking in my head well.

I'm interested in some comments on interesting things to do from E7sus | Eb7#11 | A7(b9)(13)| % |

Right now, as I stated earlier I'm just playing a diminished scale there but I don't necessarily have good melodic flow back into AbMaj7#11. I have to listen some more as to the intent of these last few chords.



Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 05:11 AM

Originally Posted by chrisbell
Oh did I hear a 'Mirror, Mirror' or 'Very Early'?
Bring them on!


I started working on Very Early sometime ago but I never actually finished it so I'd be happy to tackle this again.

But one thing at a time. At the rate this thread is going, it might be bigger than Jazz Thread #1 smile We may have to do Jazz Thread #3.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 07:49 AM

Chris, after listening to the original and Herbie's VSOP many times tonight, I definitely cannot hear a minor ii-V -- meaning it cannot be a Bb-7b5 Eb7. So I am going to go on a limb saying that that cannot be the intent.

But yet I realize that a couple of the Realbooks have these different changes...Weird.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 08:32 AM

.
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 12:10 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Chris, after listening to the original and Herbie's VSOP many times tonight, I definitely cannot hear a minor ii-V -- meaning it cannot be a Bb-7b5 Eb7. So I am going to go on a limb saying that that cannot be the intent.
But yet I realize that a couple of the Realbooks have these different changes...Weird.


Well, listen the other versions with WS, he(they) certainly do utilise the Bbm7(b5) in some parts. And in several of the version of N that I've listened to it's there. But, in part it's a moot point. (In the Original, the bass is all over the place and the chords change every cycle of the tune, which is why it creates such magic though the shear ambivalence of the shifting harmony combined with repetitive melody.) The melody is so powerful on it's own that no matter what harmonies are used it always sounds good!
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 12:18 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
But I didn't like that harmonically it was stuck at BMaj7 for two bars. BMaj7 and then BMaj7#11. This really is the same thing since you had to play Lydian on BMaj7 anyway.

Well in my ears, it has to do with tempo and interpretation of the melody, also, the voicing.
If one plays BMaj7 on bar5, and then plays a Db triad (melody F on the top) over the BMaj7 (bar6), there's a pleasing harmonic shift that moves to the Bbm7(b5).
(on the other hand; playing a Db major triad over a Bb bass in bar6 creates a Bbm7) so yet again, there's the magic of ambivalence built into the composition.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 03:24 PM

Chris, just right after I wrote what I did about B-7b5, then I DID HEAR IT! smile

You are absolutely right about this. At parts I heard an A in the bass, at other parts I heard a minor ii-V. This is really improving my ears here. In reality whoever wrote these chords appear to be driven by Herbie's comping, and as usual, Herbie is comping in a variety of ways.

After I play this tune, when I switch to another tune, my lines change. It's almost like this tune opens your ears harmonically to a different level. I must have listened this tune hundreds of times now.
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 03:48 PM

Cool.
N is a really great tune to study, it shows Shorter's penchant for mediant harmonic solutions.
Bar 7 > 8 > 9
Bbm7(b5) > Eb7(b9,#11) > Emaj7 (which is the mediant of Ab (or Abmin).

Have you had a listen to the Manhattan Project version?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_57Ul0KpVM

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 07:17 PM

Chris, listening specifically to Pettrucianni's solo, it sounds like he just interpreted this as minor ii-V's. All the unusual harmonies disappeared. I guess he went truly horizontal here.

But these harmonic wanderings of the original are what gives it a little more interest than your typical tune.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 08:06 PM

Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
I just finished listening to a killer version of Dolphin Dance, Herbie's trio with Jack D and Dave Holland.

You can get it here:

http://urge2burge.wordpress.com/2007/11/25/hancockhollanddejohnette-montreal-2662003/


Hey Mr. Wee, nice thread here. thumb thumb I haven't gone over all the pages yet but when I have more time I'll scroll through more of it.

Enjoyed this version of DD.

Thought I'd add a couple different takes I did. No Melody, just playing/blowing on the changes.

DD :
http://www.divshare.com/download/9575500-4e1

DD Alternate take:
http://www.divshare.com/download/9930785-cfc

Don't have much to add right now except good job everyone! thumb


Dave, good to see you stop by. If you have some recordings of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat or Nefertiti, now's the time to post it...

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 08:53 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Minor ii-v-i in Nefertiti:

| G-7b5 | C7b9 | (assumed tonic is Fm) not FMaj7).

Are we at least agreed on this? Fm is Ab not A -- if Fm appears in this tune, which is assumed but it does not appear.

All minor 2-5-1's follow the same logic here. Modern playing of minor 2-5-1's assume this:
| G-7b5 | C7Alt | Fm |


No, we aren't agreed here, and this is the problem. The ii V I is not going to Fm, but to B, which makes an interesting case the the Gm7b5. It is a tritone sub of the Db. so the ii v I is actually a V/V V I of B (or Cb), and in this case the note A is not used in the scale over the Db, because that would make it a m6, suggesting natural minor (ha!) rather than melodic minor.

Fight? Fight?

In any case, I'm now more concerned about the middle four bars starting on that Cbmaj (Bmaj) because it is this section that for me sounds better as reharm rather than what is written. So now I need to find some better stuff to define the tonal centres here.

The hardest part about playing this tune for me is not playing the melody with the chords, because everything now seems to fit, but when I start to think of making a coherent line that indicates some sort of musical intelligence beyond knowing this chord, then this chord, then these two chords together etc, and goes more towards really understanding the harmonic form as a whole.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 09:00 PM

Originally Posted by chrisbell
The melody is so powerful on it's own that no matter what harmonies are used it always sounds good!


I absolutely agree.

When are we going to hear more people post their versions?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 09:44 PM

Scep, a V Chord doesn't assume that it goes to the tonic. So I don't know why you would say B-7b5 C7b9 would resolve to B. B is not the resolution here. The ii-V sets up for a modulation to B, which if we are to talk about relative majors, is a minor third from Ab to B.

I hear this modulation in my ears and I actually have no problem with this melodically.

I'm less certain of the ending. I don't hear that as well and have not found a good melodic structure to guide me other than vertical playing.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 11:17 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Scep, a V Chord doesn't assume that it goes to the tonic. So I don't know why you would say B-7b5 C7b9 would resolve to B.

I never said that. The chords you've used here are wrong. Db (or C#) to C (tritone sub of F#) to B is what I said. Also, what other function do V chords have, if not to create the tension that eventually resolves to a I, or something acting as a I? I don't know how many other ways I can say the same thing! IF it is a two five one, it goes to B. However, it LOOKS like a ii V of F, but it never goes there. That is the deception. So, as I said from the beginning, the Gm7b5 is NOT really a ii of F, but a v of v of B as a tritone sub.
Originally Posted by jazzwee

B is not the resolution here. The ii-V sets up for a modulation to B, which if we are to talk about relative majors, is a minor third from Ab to B.

Are you saying that the B is not a temporary tonic? If not, what is it?

If you are saying it is a temporary tonic, then you agree with me, no?

Originally Posted by jazzwee

I hear this modulation in my ears and I actually have no problem with this melodically.

er... so it appears you understand it modulates to B...or no?...

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/04/10 11:32 PM

So we're not confused, I'm talking about ChrisBell's changes as it appears in some Realbooks:

Quote from Chris:
Listening and then trying out in my own version I must say that I prefer a Bbm7(b5) in bar7, instead of a AMaj7. In actually 'corrects' the harmonic movement.
Gm7(b5) > C7(b9) > BMaj7 (B substitution F) bar 4>5>6
Bbm7(b5)> Eb7(b9)> EMaj7 (E substitution Bb) bar 7>8>9


IF the above changes are followed, then the tune has been converted to two sets of minor ii-V's. Regardless of what follows after.

I didn't say I agree that this should be done. I'm just saying that this is the consequence of following these changes.

I listened to the different versions, and SOMETIMES, they imply a minor ii-V movement. Petrucciana soloed like it was. Herbie comped along these lines in the middle of the tune.

This is a "simplification" of the tune IMHO, which can be good or bad. But the point is that I hear Herbie going this route, at least temporarily.

I learned this with the original changes (with the AMaj7#11) and so far, I liked how it sounds and it's what I hear Herbie doing initially in the two versions I have.

Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/05/10 12:40 AM

I found a great post about Nef on the All About Jazz forums. This one is by Ed Byrne who was probably the most accomplished in-depth jazzer on that board. Extremely insightful knowledge:

Nefertiti

Lots of good ideas presented here.

I can't find the thread that is referenced regarding my previous remarks on Nefertiti. Can someone point me to that? I started to write a bunch of (new) heavy analytical stuff on this, and then resisted. My approach to actually improvising on a specific tune is as specific to that given piece as possible--and as simple as I can make it, while attempting to capture its essence.

This tune is in Ab throughout, essentially exhibiting late 19th century extended harmony in which tonal chord relationships are subtle, complicated, and obscure.

It's theme is comprised of a single melodic motive (the first antecedent phrase), followed by an elaboration on its two final notes--moved in the opposite (upward) direction as a consequent (answer) phrase. The primary motive, when developed in the tune's second half, contains slightly altered intervals (major third interval replacing the perfect fourth). On its repeat, the motive is transposed and altered (see above); and its consequent phrase (answer) is elongated and developed further.

There are many ways of approaching playing on this piece, but since I usually seek to simplify the thinking and get to the heart of the composition, I first attempt to capture its essential ideas for development in improvisation.

I view the A at the first phrase ending (mm.7-8) as a fulcrum of sorts (a transition point which sets up the second half), which highlights the functional dominant (or substitute dominant) of the piece. Therefore, I leave that out of the pitch collection I use for the first half. I call this in Linear Jazz Improvisation Method a Melody Pitch Collection:

Octachord for measures 1-7: Ab, Bb, B, C, Db, Eb, F, G, Ab.

In measure 8, the Eb7 is a dominant chord, and the A acts as a pivot to the song's second half, which is a repeat and slight development (and elongation) of the first half:

Nonachord: A, A#, B, C#, D, E, F#, G, G#, A.

Since both the B in the first 1/2 and the G and Bb in the second 1/2 are non-harmonic tones, they could be omitted. However, these chromatic passing tones are a significant factor in the opening motive's descending gesture.

Since these pcs are derived directly from the theme, you can't go wrong, and it goes directly to the heart of the piece. If any notes do not agree locally with the chords below, it would only be momentarily and would resolve as the overall phrase unfolds.

Another way of approaching Melody PCs in LJI on 20th century-style tunes in which the melody is comprised mostly of 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths of some kind or another is to add the melody notes to the chord tones of each local chord. For example, in adding the second measure's melody notes, Bb, F, C, and Eb to the chord tones, Db, F, Ab, and C, you get the composite Hexachord pc which follows: Db, Eb, F, Ab, Bb, C, and Db.

While at once less tedious than CST, and more tedious than my first approach above, it still eliminates many of the un-needed notes which CST would suggest. In addition, the gaps (leaps) that this last approach suggests tends towards more melodicism than do 7-note scales, which can often add melodic clutter by giving too much (often unnecessary) conjunct (step-wise) information.

These suggestions, of course, are mere starting points. But in the woodshed I would sit at the piano, play the chords, and sing pseudo-improvisations on these pcs, orally composing my solutions--along with many variants. Once internalized through this vocal process, I would begin to work it all out on my horn by running choruses on it.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/05/10 12:42 AM

This is Ed's post about Nefertiti harmony:


Nefertiti Harmonic Analysis

||: AbMA7 | DbMA7 | Gm7-5 | C7-9 |
||: IMA7 | IVMA7 | ii7-5/vi | V7/vi (subV7/bIII) |

| BMA7 | Bbm7 | AMA7 | Eb7 |
| bIIIMA7 | ii7 | bIIMA7 | V7 |

| EMA7 | A7sus4 | D7+9/Bb | E7 |
| bVMA7 | bII7sus4 | bV7 | subV7 |

| E7sus4 | Eb7 | A7 | A7 :||
| subV7/V7 | subV7 | subV7 :||

This is not a non-functional chord succession. This tune is neither atonal nor non-functional; it is an example of “Extended Harmony” of the late 19th century. While the chords go to obscure places, they are nonetheless largely functional in a tonal context in the key of Ab throughout.
__________________


I agree with his last sentence, the song is in Ab major.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/05/10 03:18 AM

.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/05/10 06:02 AM

Wiz, I can't see how he can just say Ab Major. I wish.

As much as I try to keep it in Ab Major, I'm sure the melody will disagree smile

However, it is a thought though. As I listened to the Manhattan Project version, clearly they chose to simplify in the soloing. The originals never had solos so you really don't know what they planned here.

But if you stuck closely to the melody, then it cannot stay in Ab. And that's the gist of my problem with this. Yes there's a lot of common tones with Ab and horizontally that could be an approach, past the melody. However, if we are to stick to the melody as a guide, it's tough to simplify it like this. I mean it must be obvious that the melody notes B, E, F#, A, D, etc. are not in Ab.

I just spent a little bit of time tonight and the second half is a tough nut to crack.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/05/10 06:09 AM

Dave F., look at the final changes I've been using up above somewhere. It's pretty close to what you're saying. It's kind of a mix of the different changes I've seen. The one that Wiz posted is a little simplified though. Like no mention of the #11's in the dominants (but are clearly in the melody). The #11's in the Major 7ths of course can be assumed.

Other than that, this is pretty close. I've stayed away from the 'Dbsus' versions. Those didn't make sense to me.
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/05/10 02:40 PM

Tonal centre/key of Ab? I agree to that.

@wizard: Thanks for the theory post, very interesting.

To all: maybe we could all agree to never speak of using a Dbsus7 in bar2 ever again?? grin
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/05/10 02:49 PM

I like using Ab sus in bar 2. So it's a 2 bar progression from Ab maj #4 - Ab sus.

It happens 3 times in the melody, on bar 1-2, 8-9, 10-11.

I think of 8-9 as E maj #4- E sus, and 10-11 ....can't remember off the top but same progression.

Glad you guys found it useful, I did as well.


wee, yes the 2nd half tonal centre shifts from Ab major, but the melodic motif remains the same.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/05/10 02:53 PM

I just listened to Miles Davis In a Silent Way for the first time.... man, blew me away. That cat was a genius.

And this is Herbie's "tribute" solo to Miles from the documentary Miles Davis Electric: A different Kind of Blue.

Fascinating:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1aChk3TC00&feature=related
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/06/10 06:44 AM

I found an excellent piano version of Nefertiti on Itunes --

Michel Camilo

except the tune is in 6/8 (I think)

http://www.amazon.com/Nefertiti/dp/B00150CRKU

Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/06/10 05:43 PM

It's not Nerf, but there is some wicked piano playing to be heard:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuI0-HL8xCQ
KJ Trio
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/06/10 05:48 PM

@Jazzwee: thanks for the Michel Camilo tip, the whole album is actually really good!
Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/07/10 10:50 PM

According to this blog post here are the chords according to Herbie Hancock. Though as it says at the end of the post; "Hancock confirmed that Shorter often wrote out chord voicings and omitted chord symbols" . . . interesting.

And yes, they do sound good (a lot of quartal voicings):
Bar 1. The notes D, G, C above Ab

2. The notes C, F, Bb, above Ab, Db, Gb

3. G half-diminished seventh

4. C seventh altered (with Ab, and Db in the chord)

5. D#, G#, C# above B

6. F, A#, D# above B

7. Bb half-diminished

8. Eb seventh altered (with Cb and Fb in the chord)

9. E major seventh

10. A seven sus 4(13) (D triad plus G over A)

11. C, F, Bb, in the top, Bb and F# in the left hand

12. E triad over D and F# (no A)

13. B minor 9th

14. C, Db, F, A over Eb

15. Bb minor with a major seventh

16. Eb seventh altered (with Cb and Fb in the chord)
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/07/10 10:59 PM

Interesting Chris.

And Herbie played so "freely" that I'm not sure at which moment he played these voicings smile

As I'm playing this solo piano style, I'm finding that I'm not using quartal voicings as much as I thought I would. I wanted to make sure the chord qualities were clear in my head so I went with more clustered voicings.

I wish there was a solo piano of this to listen to so I get some ideas of how to make this rhythmically interesting. Right now, I'm just playing it more ballad style.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/08/10 08:14 AM

.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/09/10 05:54 PM

Hey Dave, why did you think of applying these voicings to a lower register? I listened to Herbie in the two versions I have (the original and VSOP) and he's playing in the middle register. And he's not playing the melody of course.

I'm currently using thicker voicings in the middle based on the Michel Camilo version. This at least I can hear this well. The original versions have a very light piano volume.

I haven't had a chance to try out your ideas yet. I'll do so tonight.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/09/10 07:11 PM

Good day,
I wish I knew better what the heck you guys are talking about. wink I need to study more.

Additionally, I am still stuck at GBPPH. Not a particularly easy piece to navigate, but fun to play despite laspes in rhythm and time. Please go easy on me.

http://www.box.net/shared/bi40biraai

A Bit of Stride Style

http://www.box.net/shared/xc7dr7475i

Glen
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/09/10 08:51 PM

.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/10/10 03:45 AM

Originally Posted by Inlanding
Good day,
I wish I knew better what the heck you guys are talking about. wink I need to study more.

Additionally, I am still stuck at GBPPH. Not a particularly easy piece to navigate, but fun to play despite laspes in rhythm and time. Please go easy on me.

http://www.box.net/shared/bi40biraai

A Bit of Stride Style

http://www.box.net/shared/xc7dr7475i

Glen


Sounds like it's coming together Glen! That's a great start and it did sound like you were enjoying yourself. You had really nice voicings there. The changes to GBPPH are a bit hard to remember because it's so long so I have that same problem with the form.

Unfortunately, I kind of left GBPPH while I started Nefertiti so now I have to rememorize the changes. Now GBPPH should be easy for you because you're good at a blues sound (love your slides smile )


I probably preferred how you played it the 1st time. The stride one didn't sound like GBPPH...

BTW - I think GBPPH is easier to figure out than Nefertiti.

I'm a little busy so no time to record yet...but you win an award for being one of the first ones. thumb
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/10/10 05:59 AM

Thanks, Jazzwee!

I will continue to work on GBPPH to bring it in better time and better expand it harmonically by changing the inversions and voicings I used on the first run.

The second piece was a quick, on-the-fly composition in a semi-stride-style. Yes, it has nothing in common with GBPPH. smile

Glen
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/10/10 06:43 AM

Originally Posted by Inlanding
The second piece was a quick, on-the-fly composition in a semi-stride-style. Yes, it has nothing in common with GBPPH. smile

Glen


LOL! smile I thought it was some GBPPH reharm that was very far from the original smile


I tried to remember GBPPH again today so I played it for a bit so I don't forget but I don't really have it completely memorized yet.

Back to Nef


So the rest of the time I focused on Nefertiti, which is really coming along now. The tonality is clear in my head so fresh lines are starting to come out. With this one, I realize the left hand has to be quite gentle as it can overpower the solo. With most of the harmony played below middle C, it left room for the RH to move around.

I had to experiment with different voicings so I don't jump around too much.

What the real problem, I realized was the lack of some rhythmic driver in the LH. Since I don't have a rhythm section here, there has to be some constant beat. I always strive to have a clear rhythm in my head or my solo starts to sound random.

A lot of the harmony is best heard played as "footballs" because of the long drawn out melody, I thought. I didn't really want to play this as a ballad. And pedal was really bad here. So I have to do some LH experimentation. Initially I was playing with one of the inner voices tap out a quarter note pulse (ala Mehldau). But the touch required was so light that I need to practice it more.

Ahhh...the difficulties of Solo piano. All the Youtube versions played to Carter's backing track. Like Sceptical, I really wanted to learn this as a solo piano piece, something it clearly wasn't intended to be. So there lies the challenge.

Solo piano ideas anyone?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/10/10 06:57 AM

BTW Glen, you mentioned that you don't understand what we're talking about. I'm just curious, how to do you determine what to play against each chord or even voicings? Is this all by ear?

What we're talking about can probably be culled from this source:
http://www.apassion4jazz.net/jazz-chords-scales.html

It's just basic stuff. But if you have the ear for this, it's amazing. I find it hard to do it by ear on something like Nefertiti. Easier on GBPPH.

Have you ever tried playing Giant Steps? That's when you really have to be quick thinking about chords vs. scales. smile
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/10/10 07:50 PM

Hi Jazzwee,

Thanks for that link - there is a great deal of information there!

My upbringing as it pertains to Jazz revolved around the old standards, not too much beyond that - I am just now starting to reach beyond that point in Jazz history and with more modern harmonic/melodic structures.

Consequently, I have a tendency to keep close to the melody line (and it's always been one that's had lyrics) unless I am creating a composition on my own - I really can't sing worth a damn. I've even adopted free-playing a bit, which helps with creativity.

Here's an example - I'd call this little interlude, Folk Piano
http://www.box.net/shared/j1mdbi474n

This one...free playing with a Blues/Jazz influence
http://www.box.net/shared/2e3hs0bvmk

This is my struggle with tunes such as Giant Steps, GBPPH, and Nefertiti which arose from a different era. For example, A Night in Tunisia makes just a bit more sense to me because I can easily sing the melody line as I improvise and attempt to stay close to the melody line. Some jazzers think that is too pedestrian and old-school and I can live with that.

But that does not prevent me from wanting to expand into jazz stylings from the 50s and 60s.

When it comes to scales, arpeggios, and ornamentations around the melody line, sometimes those come first, then I work on voicings and sometimes the opposite is true, where chords, substitute chords, broken chords, and voicings lead the way before expanding on a melody line.

Admittedly, much of this is intuitive. I studied modes only briefly.

As to whether or not to use which mode when, which pentatonic scale where, and which rootless chord or broken chord where or when kind of depends on what I perceive as the intention of the music and how I'd like it to sound based on the limits of my own experience (which is quite limited). Unfortunately, I don't think about it in detail. Yes, it's not very structured-driven - you can tell that by my playing.

I should really split my lessons between my most excellent classical piano teacher and start taking jazz lessons from a teacher who can help me get a better grip on bringing together what I want to accomplish as it pertains jazz. In the meantime, I will, however, continue to work on my biggest achilles heel, changes in time.

Giant Steps for me would be a GIANT STEP! Thanks for the suggestion - I'll give it a shot in the near future - such a tempo!

Crazy Giant Steps
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kotK9FNEYU

Sorry for the long post, which is irrelevant to the topic of Nefertiti. Now, back to your regularly scheduled program. wink

Glen

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/10/10 11:10 PM

Nice story Glen! Modern tunes with non-functional harmony is certainly a challenge. No doubt that standard bebop tunes are much simpler. But when we challenge ourselves as we do here then nothing will seem hard anymore.

I have a teacher that feeds me only difficult tunes. Less of the uncomplicated ii-V-I standards in my list. If it doesn't modulate, I will probably not get to work on it. Not that those are unimportant but I guess his idea is that if we can work on challenging changes, we can handle bridging lines across any set of changes, simple or otherwise. He gets on my case at the beginning if I can't "play the changes" (vertical playing). That's like a bare minimum.

Tunisia is a great tune BTW. I haven't worked on it but I love listening to it.

I can't do Giant Steps fast (yet) and mostly it's because it's not something I work on much. I was actually planning on getting back to it. Most of Giant Steps isn't hard. There's just a couple of very short V-I's that are really hard to handle melodically. If I just practice ideas for those two (Bb7 - EbMaj7)(F#7 - BMaj7) then it's doable and a lot of it is just pattern memorization. Those two changes come out of nowhere and are such a quick jump in context smile

When I have nothing better to do, my teacher has students doing Giant Steps in every key!

Frankly, other than the tempo, Nefertiti may be more challenging. Fortunately we don't play Nefertiti at some impossible tempo. smile


Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/15/10 06:57 PM

I put up a video of Nefertiti on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hacRzlp9ZR4

I was going to post this to the beginners forum, since it is more of an example of practicing playing with a metronome, but I couldn't find the thread..must be overlooking it.

I've decided that Nefertiti was not meant to be played solo piano :-) Tough song to do anything with!!

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/15/10 08:41 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
I put up a video of Nefertiti on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hacRzlp9ZR4

I was going to post this to the beginners forum, since it is more of an example of practicing playing with a metronome, but I couldn't find the thread..must be overlooking it.

I've decided that Nefertiti was not meant to be played solo piano :-) Tough song to do anything with!!



7note, very nice! Loved that. I think I arrived at the same conclusion too. I've been trying this every which way the last week, and I was failing as well in coming up with a solo piano approach. I thought I was going bonkers smile

I like how you played it. Not too busy. Sticking to eighth notes actually made a strong pulse and made it really swingy.

I'm going to try your approach in my next practice.

I would rank this pretty high among the difficult tunes I've ever tried to play.

Originally Posted by 7notemode

I was going to post this to the beginners forum, since it is more of an example of practicing playing with a metronome


I think this is a better location since we're talking about Nefertiti (which is not a beginner tune) and this thread will be read by the same folks.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/15/10 09:53 PM

Yea, my default is, if you can't do much to dazzle with the harmony or melody, at least make it swing-- and subtract a lot. It's better to insert silence than a bad idea :-)
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/15/10 10:37 PM

I got a couple of piano versions of this on ITunes (trios though, no solo piano). Michel Camilo's version is in 6/8 and so it lengthened the available time in each chord. That's one idea.

Uri Caine's version was to make this a modern and very fast bob tune.

Quite a limited selection of piano solos to listen to...



Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/15/10 11:05 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Quite a limited selection of piano solos to listen to...





As in none that I know of :-)
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/15/10 11:20 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
Originally Posted by jazzwee

Quite a limited selection of piano solos to listen to...





As in none that I know of :-)


LOL, 7 -- you suggested this tune! smile smile smile But what the heck. I enjoyed the challenge.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/16/10 12:33 AM

Thanks a lot 7, I like your rendition and your metronome technique was really helpful !
Do you let it click on the upbeat (the AND) of 123 and 4 for slower tunes to achieve greater control, so as to increase the number of clicks against which to check yourself ?

btw I think I'm going to get the Zoom Q3 so that I can hear what I sound like.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/16/10 04:16 PM

C-apple,
yes, if the tempo is really slow, you can take a coffee break between the two and the four, so you have to go to every beat below a certain tempo, and clicking on the upbeat works better for swing.

JW, Yea, I suggested it. I still think it's a good learning tune for modern.

Tom
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/16/10 06:19 PM

7Note,
Very, very nice rendition of Nefertiti. No matter what I tried, I could not get a bearing on it.

Here is another version of GBPPH from the other night:
http://www.box.net/shared/btiko8zsx5

Then, in contrast - a bit of folk piano from the same session:
http://www.box.net/shared/z5ruu1ovol

Then this happened:
http://www.box.net/shared/jmo2eukcth

Thanks for your ears

Glen
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/16/10 10:50 PM

Thanks 7. Please continue to post whatever kool stuff you're working on.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/17/10 03:27 AM

Glen, nice GBPPH. It sounds like you took most of the blue notes out and made it more modal than the original changes. I like that approach.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/17/10 04:22 AM

7note (Tom), I was impressed how quickly you owned this tune. After listening to it several times, I can see you've really heard this tune melodically.

An update on my end on this tune. I've been a little busy so it's hit and miss on practice time. I'm finally getting practice time now. The difficulty in this tune is hearing it in my ears melodically. Sure, I can run through the "scales" so to speak and I know it sounds repetitive and boring. I've been playing it at a faster tempo (around 150bpm).

Today, I just did it slowly and just listened and really focused on chord tones on downbeats so I can really grasp this difficult harmonic progression and also connecting those chord tones to the original melody. It's starting to sound better now. I'm just going to just repeat this process for a few days until it sinks in harmonically/melodically like it did for Tom. Like I said before, this is one of the more difficult tunes in that it is hard to hear the changes. Not really too unlike parts of Giant Steps where the progressions seem unconnected.

One of the difficult parts for me melodically is the last few chords where there's no melody in the original version. So there's nothing to go on other than the changes.

Quite a challenge!
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/17/10 08:39 PM

Originally Posted by Inlanding
7Note,
Very, very nice rendition of Nefertiti. No matter what I tried, I could not get a bearing on it.

Here is another version of GBPPH from the other night:
http://www.box.net/shared/btiko8zsx5

Then, in contrast - a bit of folk piano from the same session:
http://www.box.net/shared/z5ruu1ovol

Then this happened:
http://www.box.net/shared/jmo2eukcth

Thanks for your ears

Glen


Glen, GBPPH sounded great! I haven't abandoned GBPPH. I'm just not finding the free time. So I'm sure I'll be posting a recording of this too.

You had very nice voicings there BTW. The effect was in the spirit of the original. And your piano sounds awesome. I do all my recordings from a digital and I'm sure I'm losing out. But no choice as I will never get any quiet time (kids :))
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/17/10 08:55 PM

Thanks 7Note and Jazzwee!

...took your suggestions to heart about changes in time (still a work-in-progress) and to bring out more of a modal sound...

Dave Holland plays it so very well, but I haven't played a bass for a long, long time!

Glen



Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/18/10 05:31 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
Yea, my default is, if you can't do much to dazzle with the harmony or melody, at least make it swing-- and subtract a lot. It's better to insert silence than a bad idea :-)


7,

I'm curious...you played an f# in the melody rather than a g (6th to 7th bar over the Bb#11) Did you hear a version with that note in there? Or did you just like it better that way?

I'm still continuing to work on the piece, now with a metronome on backbeat (thanks 7 for that idea, btw), and am now finding some very cool harmonic transition ideas that help make more cohesive solo lines.

I've also found that superimposing the same melody a 2nd 4th or 5th up on the same chords with some slight mods can give one some very interesting melodic ideas. If for nothing else it can also provide one with a different way of looking at the harmony, and how it really was intended as probably a 'vibe' rather than a progression.

Is anyone else still interested in posting their ideas? So far it's just been me and 7.

I'm thinking of doing some other N tunes soon, if anyone wants to join me. Naima, Nardis are two that may appeal...?
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/18/10 06:11 AM

Skepguy, N tunes..haha! That's a coherent theme, I guess.
I'm out of town and just have my laptop and a foggy memory to rely on. No keyboard.
Ab Db Gm7-5 C7 Bmaj7 Bmaj7+5 Bbm7-5 Eb7+11 Emaj7 etc.
Those are the first nine measures I used (I think)
If it was measure six, I bent the melody to fit the chord, which is not really proper, but I do it anyway. That's my best guess of the measure you mentioned.
I really like the structure the metronome imposes. I think it makes for better lines.

Posted By: chrisbell

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/18/10 03:00 PM

[OT] Not Nerf or GBPPH.
But . . . I just had to share this with you - solo playing discussions et al.

Marvellous solo version of Butch & Butch by Keith Jarrett
[/OT]
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/18/10 09:30 PM

Originally Posted by chrisbell
[OT] Not Nerf or GBPPH.
But . . . I just had to share this with you - solo playing discussions et al.

Marvellous solo version of Butch & Butch by Keith Jarrett
[/OT]


Very Nice Chris!

Sad Story -- Monday was Keith Jarrett's concert in L.A. I had and expensive Orchestra ticket, not too far back. I've been talking about it for weeks. I bought the ticket in November.



Monday came...and I forgot...By the time I remembered, it was already Tuesday.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/18/10 10:38 PM

JW, Ouch!
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/19/10 12:51 AM

That is so sad.

Anyway I had a bash at Nefertiti, that is one tricky tune. Its a bit of a first take job so there is quite a lot of room for improvement, especially on the changes!

http://www.divshare.com/download/10810750-7f2

And something quite different, a blues. I was trying to not play the changes on this one which is actually harder somehow,

http://www.divshare.com/download/10810896-33a

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/19/10 02:56 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by chrisbell
[OT] Not Nerf or GBPPH.
But . . . I just had to share this with you - solo playing discussions et al.

Marvellous solo version of Butch & Butch by Keith Jarrett
[/OT]


Very Nice Chris!

Sad Story -- Monday was Keith Jarrett's concert in L.A. I had and expensive Orchestra ticket, not too far back. I've been talking about it for weeks. I bought the ticket in November.



Monday came...and I forgot...By the time I remembered, it was already Tuesday.


That is really, really sad!

But hey, maybe you could phone up Keith, explain the situation, and ask if you could go to his house and hear him noodle around for awhile. I'm sure he'll be accommodating.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/19/10 03:08 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss


Anyway I had a bash at Nefertiti, that is one tricky tune. Its a bit of a first take job so there is quite a lot of room for improvement, especially on the changes!

http://www.divshare.com/download/10810750-7f2




A few comments: Very cool arrangement. I love some of your voicings, and really love some of the solo ideas too.

This is great to hear different people's interpretations of how to tackle this piece.

Anyone try the idea of transposing the melody up and keeping the melody the same yet?

And beeboss, what type of recording device and piano are you using? Great, great sound just on my computer speakers!
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/19/10 04:16 AM

I haven't listened yet -- but I just wanted to say that I'm glad everyone is back from various vacations. Although I wasn't on vacation, I was way too busy, and that caused me to forget the Concert(:( ).

If any of you know Keith personally, then perhaps you can ask if he can spare me a ticket...(he already got my money). The sad part is that I'll have to fly somewhere to see him in the near future.

I'm really making headway on Nef but just have to make sure I'm not missing the form. I'm really enjoying practicing this. However, it is frustrating because I'm not that good at slow swing. If you don't play this thing slow, each tonality only lasts a bar so it is like playing Giant Steps...

You really challenged us Tom!
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/19/10 04:43 AM

Beeboss, that sounded great! I loved that. It's a true solo piano style and gives some great ideas (and the first solo piano style I've ever heard on this tune). You made it sound so full. By the way your recording sounds like a concert hall. New piano right? (What is your piano?)

And those Chick/Hancock strumming of the strings was really neat. Gave me a smile.

I've wanted to play this more like solo piano rather than swing (because I will likely play this alone most of the time), and I couldn't easily figure out how. Now you were quite creative here so I'm not sure I can copy your LH moves. But what I heard was that you just gave a hint of a beat while letting it flow.

You guys are way too advanced so I can't quite do this as fast.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/19/10 04:55 AM

.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/19/10 11:09 AM

Thanks guys for all your kind comments.

As there seems to be interest in my setup I will just describe it briefly for you.
I have just got a new grand, a 30 yr old yamaha C5. It is wonderful, especially in comparison with the other crap pianos i have owned.3 pedals as well which i am loving.

For recording i have a motu ultralight interface and i record onto an imac in logic. I have one quality mic (akg 414) and 2 cheap and cheerful C3000. I am surprised by the quality of these, I bought them on ebay for less than $100 each. Actually nefertiti was done with only these cheap mics as my 414 was lent to a friend. I am also quite impressed with the recorded sound and only wish i had more space so i could get a bass and drums in my room.

Dave - I would really be surprised if there was ANY audible difference recording into mac/logic rather than a hard disc recorder. Having previously spent a few years training as a sound man I know that the ear can be easily fooled by comparison tests and it can be pretty easy to convince yourself that something is wrong and needs improving when all that is really required is moving a mic a few inches or repositioning the piano. I don't have particularly fantastic ears for studio work but I would definitely have to listen pretty loud on some very good speakers to even hear any difference between my $600 414 and one of the cheap $100 C3000s. If you have logic already you may as well give it a go though. It really is an amazing program, and very easy to use.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/19/10 02:27 PM

Fine, fine work beboss!

Glen
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 01:30 AM

Dave,
I'm listening right now to Nefertiti. OMG! Very very high concept, and you actually made it a piano piece! You took a piece that is already far out, and you took it even further out. Great choices. The recording sounds professional.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 05:40 AM

Isn't this a neat thread or what? thumb Great stuff here all around. It's hard to compete with you guys as I cannot do it in such a professional form without mistakes. But maybe I can do a rough version this weekend (be easy on me). Like I said, this is actually very tough for me.

Just from listening to different versions here, I've been torn among different choices of tempo, swing/non-swing, rubato/strict time, faster/slower, 4/4-6/8. Unfortunately until I started hearing from all of you, I really didn't know what it could sound like.

Other tunes, like a complex-Dolphin Dance, at least has a "reference". I can see though that from the range available with 7notemode's version and Beeboss, one could jam on this all day using different styles.



Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 07:34 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Just from listening to different versions here, I've been torn among different choices of tempo, swing/non-swing, rubato/strict time, faster/slower, 4/4-6/8. Unfortunately until I started hearing from all of you, I really didn't know what it could sound like.

Other tunes, like a complex-Dolphin Dance, at least has a "reference". I can see though that from the range available with 7notemode's version and Beeboss, one could jam on this all day using different styles.

...as tears well up in his eyes he bravely points out that he too recorded a version of Nef...and in fact was the first to suggest doing it, and then recorded it, warts and all...but all to be forgotten with the likes of 7 and Beeboss stealing his thunder...sniff...oh well, his mom still loves him (well, probably).

So, just to bring this back to the original intention I had:

I'm more curious about some of the processes that went on during the learning/playing of this piece from bee and 7 now. For my ears it seems the Beeboss didn't really take it further out, but rather back in using certain angular modal sounds in many places. I'm also curious about the opening strummed chords. Again, I didn't have a real chance to analyze it, but was wondering if you actually went through all the changes in the tune, and if so, I'd be interested in how you played them with one hand. It seemed they were mostly triads? Upper structures? I'll have to listen again.

And for 7: Are you finished with the tune now? You mentioned back on Feb 20th or so that you like to play lots of tunes, not worrying about perfection, etc. So does that mean that Nef is shelved for another tune or tunes now? I ask because I've found myself now a bit obsessed with really, really learning this tune, and have found it helpful listening to your and bees version and some of the various insights about swing etc.

So, people, what is up with the tune? Anyone care to repost an update? I promised to awhile back, and will, but my recording opportunities are a bit sparce when the family is around.

I'd also like to hear etcetra and Wiz and Knotty and Inlanding's and any lurker's versions too. Jazzwee, you said this weekend, right?

Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 01:00 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy


I'm more curious about some of the processes that went on during the learning/playing of this piece from bee and 7 now. For my ears it seems the Beeboss didn't really take it further out, but rather back in using certain angular modal sounds in many places. I'm also curious about the opening strummed chords. Again, I didn't have a real chance to analyze it, but was wondering if you actually went through all the changes in the tune, and if so, I'd be interested in how you played them with one hand. It seemed they were mostly triads? Upper structures? I'll have to listen again.



Hi Sceptical,
You are quite right that i didn't take it further out. Those chords are quite out there already and it was the most i could do just to make the changes. I can't remember exactly what i played but any one handed voicings were probably just the standard ones, mainly 4 note voicings I expect. I used the real book changes without listening to the original version.
I do know the original quite well anyway but i didn't go through it working out Herbies voiciings or anything. It is truly a groundbreaking recording i think, where the rhythm section does the improvisation and the soloists just play through the tune. I have read that the recording was in fact just a rehearsal with the band trying out the tune which is why they played it like that and that the conception wasn't really a deliberate thing, but i don't know how true that is. The idea that the classic recording is just a first play through is a bit frightening.
The strumming bit at the beginning is just something i am having fun with now i have a grand piano with 3 pedals. That opens up a load of great possibilities for me. The chords I just extracted from the tune, the Ab maj, B maj maybe Db maj more or less. I just love intros and outros, its great to have a bit of freedom from the tyranny of the proper changes.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 03:01 PM

Scep, I never forgot you, you were first to get your day in the sun wink You get the first medal thumb and you were the original inspiration.

BTW - as a solo piano concept, I couldn't grasp the idea of the Rhythm section improvising by comping while the soloists played the melody. I couldn't apply it to the piano. Beeboss, created a new and similar concept there by playing the melody as a bass line while comping on top.

Contrasting approaches though, 7Notemode created a more melodic approach while Beeboss was playing more scalar and vertical.

Beeboss, question for you: how much pedal where you using with that? It's difficult to play this with a pedal throughout but you managed to really keep the full resonance going the whole time. Can you explain what you were doing? BTW - I don't have a Sostenuto on my digital or my Steinway.

Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 04:36 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
[quote=jazzwee]

And for 7: Are you finished with the tune now? You mentioned back on Feb 20th or so that you like to play lots of tunes, not worrying about perfection, etc. So does that mean that Nef is shelved for another tune or tunes now? I ask because I've found myself now a bit obsessed with really, really learning this tune, and have found it helpful listening to your and bees version and some of the various insights about swing etc.



Well, I thought I was through :-)
I think BB's version is a superior concept because it takes it much further away from the original and to a new sound. When I recorded it, I was thinking be subtractive and make it more 2-5-1 oriented for a more traditional sound and do it in time, more like an exercise. I also did GBPPH at the same time. I'm out of town and haven't had a chance to post it, so I guess I have moved on :-)
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 05:02 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss



Hi Sceptical,
You are quite right that i didn't take it further out. I used the real book changes without listening to the original version...
I do know the original quite well anyway but... i didn't go through it working out Herbies voiciings or anything.

...The chords I just extracted from the tune, the Ab maj, B maj maybe Db maj more or less.


Ok, BB, I'm going to call you and 7 on something: Both of you used changes from the book (or a book) that 'dummied down' the actual chords, and made it easier to navigate in a way. The Ab chord you mentioned doesn't actually exist, and neither does the B maj.

Now, don't get me wrong, I thought your take on it was great, and so was 7's BUT I don't think it was 'authentic' or perhaps accurate. To be specific, the Ab chord should not have an Eb as a chord tone, and the B maj should not have an F# in it. I think this is what is going to make the changes either harder or easier to do based upon the understanding of the odd nature of the I chords (Ab and B). Because from what I heard on the original recording, and then confirmed from the link Wiz provided, the I chords are somewhat like other tunes from the period (Blue in Green comes to mind, as does Little B's poem from a little later I think). All three of these tunes treat the opening chord with either the melody being the #11, or the harmony having the #11.


But none of this may matter to anyone. In the very recent past (within two years) I had the idea that what matters most is what I have to say in a tune, rather than what the tune itself has to say--meaning that if I sound good, no matter what it SHOULD sound like, then fine, I'm done with learning the tune. BUT, if I sound good because I neglected to play the changes that are there, or altered the melody (a la 7) to suit my changes, then I'm wondering what that now means. Am I cheating when I do that?

Back in context--I've only just recently been 'hung up' on authenticity, and am still unsure about how important it is. I'm interested in others' thoughts about this.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 05:33 PM

Scep, I hear you on those changes. Maybe that's why it's so difficult to hear the harmony sometimes because I myself am trying to be strict with the applicable chord tones.

Although - unlike you I use 'A' on the G-7b5 and not Ab. I use Ab on the C7Alt. Well I do use Ab as a passing tone on occasion.

I just played a little bit this morning and there's a part of the progression that I keep messing up (Amaj7#11 Eb7(b9)#11 EMaj7). It goes through 3 tonalities so quickly here.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 07:16 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Scep, I hear you on those changes. Maybe that's why it's so difficult to hear the harmony sometimes because I myself am trying to be strict with the applicable chord tones.

Although - unlike you I use 'A' on the G-7b5 and not Ab. I use Ab on the C7Alt. Well I do use Ab as a passing tone on occasion.

I just played a little bit this morning and there's a part of the progression that I keep messing up (Amaj7#11 Eb7(b9)#11 EMaj7). It goes through 3 tonalities so quickly here.



Well strictly speaking, if I may, you're probably screwing up there because that chord Amaj7#11 doesn't exist in the original. It's over a Bb which changes it's tonality and direction. And as for the A Ab thing, I'm going to let that lie because I'm not sure I can convince you (or anyone else for that matter) that the Gm7b5 is not what you think it is.


And, this might please you: I'm really looking at the ii7b5 in other contexts and seeing where I can put the 9 in, and am liking the sound. I can see how subs from that chord can now lead to other extensions allowing me to play even more modern sounds.

Levine and others are wrong though in that the m7b5 chord cannot and should not always have a b9 in there. There are so many examples of where the b9 definitely is needed, and other times where the 9 is more appropriate.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 08:10 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy


Ok, BB, I'm going to call you and 7 on something: Both of you used changes from the book (or a book) that 'dummied down' the actual chords, and made it easier to navigate in a way. The Ab chord you mentioned doesn't actually exist, and neither does the B maj.

Now, don't get me wrong, I thought your take on it was great, and so was 7's BUT I don't think it was 'authentic' or perhaps accurate. To be specific, the Ab chord should not have an Eb as a chord tone, and the B maj should not have an F# in it.

Back in context--I've only just recently been 'hung up' on authenticity, and am still unsure about how important it is. I'm interested in others' thoughts about this.




Sceptical, my view is that you are analysing this stuff way too much. Maybe I played an Eb in the Abmajb5 chord and maybe not, or maybe sometimes, I don't know. I am just listening to the original now and I have no idea if herbie is using the Eb in his chord voicings of that chord. I have a feeling that he probably is at times. But the I have changes are from the real book so they are probably wrong, maybe in Waynes original part he had written sharp 11 chords, who knows? Even if it did say b5 in the original that wouldn't mean you can't put an Eb in the chord. You can add any extensions you fancy.

In fact now I look into it a little it turns out that there is no copy of waynes original part around and wayne often wrote tunes without chord symbols. Herbie's version of the chords and some chat about them is here...

http://thebadplus.typepad.com/dothemath/2006/02/nefertiti_chord.html


Really it is up to the player what changes and sounds they use, and this is basically a jazz approach. How boring would it be if we were stuck trying to be faithful to the original version? So basically I don't feel I have to stick to the changes at all, or the melody or the rhythm, or the original conception. In fact it is essential to change some stuff to make it your own. But it is usually nice to keep something of the original in there. Of course that is just my view.


Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 09:18 PM

I agree BB. Skep, I have been called out many times for changing the chords too much and for changing the melody, which is a big no no for some people. And.. yet...I...keep....doing....it...:-) I tend to react against the written chords and sometimes against the melody, sometimes just going back to the melody enough to give an impression of the the original tune. I caught some flack for this stella for that reason: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFu286OQLkY Oh well.

I think there is a difference between transcribing something exactly for learning purposes and then playing it in your own way. I didn't want to do a transcription of this piece.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 09:25 PM

.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 11:42 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by jazzwee
Scep, I hear you on those changes. Maybe that's why it's so difficult to hear the harmony sometimes because I myself am trying to be strict with the applicable chord tones.

Although - unlike you I use 'A' on the G-7b5 and not Ab. I use Ab on the C7Alt. Well I do use Ab as a passing tone on occasion.

I just played a little bit this morning and there's a part of the progression that I keep messing up (Amaj7#11 Eb7(b9)#11 EMaj7). It goes through 3 tonalities so quickly here.



Well strictly speaking, if I may, you're probably screwing up there because that chord Amaj7#11 doesn't exist in the original. It's over a Bb which changes it's tonality and direction. And as for the A Ab thing, I'm going to let that lie because I'm not sure I can convince you (or anyone else for that matter) that the Gm7b5 is not what you think it is.


And, this might please you: I'm really looking at the ii7b5 in other contexts and seeing where I can put the 9 in, and am liking the sound. I can see how subs from that chord can now lead to other extensions allowing me to play even more modern sounds.

Levine and others are wrong though in that the m7b5 chord cannot and should not always have a b9 in there. There are so many examples of where the b9 definitely is needed, and other times where the 9 is more appropriate.



Scep, you're really confusing me here. Part of the difficulty in playing this is that I'm constantly changing the chords and so I stopped doing that. I'm sticking to the one I have, which is AbMaj7#11 not Bb-7b5. Now if I use Bb-7b5, then Eb is appropriate (same as AMaj7#11). Even if this was a plain Amaj7#11, the 4 is not indicated. But yes, the 6th edition real book shows DMaj7/A. So if I don't put my foot down somewhere I'll keep wavering. There is really little difference between AMaj7#11 and Bb-7b5, but 'A' is in the melody so I don't see how it could be correct.

On the G-7b5, I am not a stickler for not using b9 in this context. I just like the 9 here because it contrasts with the use of Ab on the CAlt -- an interesting voice leading. However, half the time I'm sure I'm using the Ab too so don't hold me to it.


Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 11:45 PM

Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
Originally Posted by beeboss

Really it is up to the player what changes and sounds they use, and this is basically a jazz approach.


For more advanced Jazz players this is very common.

Scep-You have a lot to learn about interpretation and the the whole Jazz mentality/approach. Like David said, you are way over analyzing this stuff.

This is not a Classical approach to a Beethoven sonata where if you change a note or voicing it's frowned upon.



Let me just quickly say you are wrong about the whole jazz mentality stuff and me over analyzing. You'd be surprised at what I know. Perhaps reading through the thread and entering into the discussion may help define what you know for me so we can better discuss things?
Unfortunately I can't expand on that right now, but later tonight I'll get into it again. In the meantime, I'm going to play Blue in Green with these opening chords: Bbmaj, Amaj, Dm. I hope that's ok with everyone here. And if so, then yes, I can agree this may work, but really, I think if you were playing with others you may not get asked back again, unless you really understood how the opening chords are supposed to work, and make the necessary adjustments to retain their function.

And you're right Dave, this isn't classical. But why shoot down someone who's looking forward, rather than backwards?

Now, who's here to learn something? If not, why are you here?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/20/10 11:55 PM

On making changes to the chords, philosophically, my teacher would be very strict in teaching me this that I play the original changes in keeping with the original tune. In fact, he makes a point of studying what he deems to be the important harmonic flow and then learning it that way.

Of course he may later reharmonize the tune, but I think he would do it with a determined purpose. He would not allow me to do it unless there's a specific reason to do so. So in general, I tend to learn it very strictly.

I remember when I first learned Dolphin Dance. My teacher was extremely strict on using the appropriate chords at all times.

Having said this, this tune is not one where the harmony is entirely clear. IMHO, it is driven by the melody and I heard Herbie comp this different ways with different chords. so who's to say which is correct? I would probably say that if the melody is not in conflict, then it's fair game. And that's my teacher's point I think. The melody should drive the reharm choices.

Now the problem with changing concepts of the chords is soloing over the changes. At some point we have to base it on some fixed chords or confusion will reign. I'm at that stage now. Everytime I change the chords, someone shows me a "better" set.

One thing that I was taught, and I'm trying to be consistent here, is to play the chord tones in keeping with the changes I'm trying to follow. Unfortunately, changing the chords will cause me to unlearn everything again.

I think Nefertiti is quite a bit different than GBPPH. In GBPPH, I reharmonized it from moment One. It is ripe for that. But Nef is harmonically vague.

I have a lesson coming up next week and I'll be bringing up Nef for the 1st time. I would really be interested to get some comments from him.

Right now, I'm awfully confused...
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 12:00 AM

I hope we don't get into a fight here. So far the discussion has been illuminating.

And BTW - 7notemode, I couldn't judge whether yours or Beeboss' version is better. I really liked both (a LOT) and each headed in completely different directions. Musically, they both hit the mark of being very enjoyable. Seeing that there's no original of this with anyone soloing, I'd say all three of you, including Scep, are breaking new ground here. thumb

I'm just glad to watch the process.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 01:24 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
I hope we don't get into a fight here. So far the discussion has been illuminating.

And BTW - 7notemode, I couldn't judge whether yours or Beeboss' version is better. I really liked both (a LOT) and each headed in completely different directions. Musically, they both hit the mark of being very enjoyable. Seeing that there's no original of this with anyone soloing, I'd say all three of you, including Scep, are breaking new ground here. thumb


Quite right, I want to share opinions not have a competition.
I certainly don't want a fight.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 01:51 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy


Let me just quickly say you are wrong about the whole jazz mentality stuff and me over analyzing. You'd be surprised at what I know. Perhaps reading through the thread and entering into the discussion may help define what you know for me so we can better discuss things?


Hi Sceptical, I feel you may have misunderstood what I was saying so I thought I should add a bit more.
Analysis is good, very good, the deeper the better, but at practice time. When it comes to actually playing and making the music then if I am thinking to much about some technical thing then this will hamper my ability to be in the moment and be will possibly actually ruin the music. Nobody in the audience can tell if I play the chord thats written on the chart, what they want is good music and that is what I should be concentrating on.

I can tell straight away that you do know lots of theory, that is quite evident from hearing a few of your recordings. That is all good, nobody can know too much theory. All I am saying is that personally I like players who take liberties with the tune and take it somewhere different and new, and if that means changing the harmony or even destroying the harmony then I am all for it. That is not to say that we shouldn't know as far as possible the original changes and tune, if we do then ripping it apart is a creative choice. We are allowed to break rules or make up our own ones (unless the jazz police are watching that is).

This is all just my opinion, I don't think there is a right or wrong about it, everyone has their own point of view regarding the jazz tradition.

Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 03:51 AM

As far as changing things...
For study, adhering to the composer's original intent is the best learning tool (mostly)
For playing with others, adhering to the real book or a common chart is the safest thing to do.
For solo playing, there is more latitude to stray.
There reaches a point in straying that I start to get push back from a subset of listeners. That's OK with me.
On the one hand there can be a such an adherence to the original that there isn't any improvisation at all. On the other hand, it can go so far out that nobody recognizes the tune at all.
I try to stay somewhere between those extremes. :-)
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 03:55 AM

Maybe I should have said, I like BB's version better. That is not self effacing, because in general, I really like my playing..a lot. It brings me much pleasure. That said, on rare occasions, I like what someone else does better....haha! Way to go BB!

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 04:05 AM

Beeboss and 7notemode -- well said.

Now back to topic, early on there was discussion by Wiz and others about horizontal playing of this tune in Ab. Well, I didn't hear that at all from anyone. In fact, I would say I heard mostly vertical playing and frankly, it was very difficult for me to look for a horizontal connection past the first few bars.

And the progression is so short that there's really little opportunity to build a theme. This is what frustrates me about this.

My point though is that I think it is a misnomer to simplify this tune as Ab. Thoughts?

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 05:43 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss


Hi Sceptical, I feel you may have misunderstood what I was saying so I thought I should add a bit more.
Analysis is good, very good, the deeper the better, but at practice time. When it comes to actually playing and making the music then if I am thinking to much about some technical thing then this will hamper my ability to be in the moment and be will possibly actually ruin the music.

We are in total agreement then. Analysis in performance is too late, in my estimation. Kind of like learning how to kick a ball with your left foot in a game.

Originally Posted by beeboss

All I am saying is that personally I like players who take liberties with the tune and take it somewhere different and new, and if that means changing the harmony or even destroying the harmony then I am all for it.

Yup, me too. My trouble though, is that I tend to destroy things first, then reconstruct them. Cubism, like I said before.

Originally Posted by beeboss

That is not to say that we shouldn't know as far as possible the original changes and tune, if we do then ripping it apart is a creative choice. We are allowed to break rules or make up our own ones (unless the jazz police are watching that is).

Again, 100% agreed

Originally Posted by beeboss

This is all just my opinion, I don't think there is a right or wrong about it, everyone has their own point of view regarding the jazz tradition.

No, there is a right and a wrong to it. I'm not one to support players that show little insight into what they do. I'm not a traditionalist (like I've said before), and probably know far less about jazz history than most real jazz aficionados, BUT to have someone, anyone suggest that things that certain players do, or have done, or will do is just 'willy nilly creativity without real reason but hey it sounds good but no rules were followed, or will be followed because hey, they are/were/will be beyond all that and soforth' then I don't buy it. And neither should anyone else. Just because someone 'hears a tune in their dreams' or can't otherwise explain what they've written doesn't mean that others can't and shouldn't explain it. Otherwise, what's the point in even discussing chord changes, versions, reharm, etc?


By the way everyone, I've written some guide tones below for every four bars of Nef. These may explain some of my previous rantings.

F, G, Ab, Bb, C, (Db) (D) (Eb) then C7#11 or alt chord as transition to

F, G, Ab, Bb, B, Db, Eb then Bbm7 alt thingy to

F# G#,A, B, C, Db, D, E although this in my mind is all alt material to

(F) G, A, Bb, C Db, Eb (E)

The brackets are the ones that only fit two of the four bars, and every fourth bar poses the problem of a type of V chord that sets up the next set of notes that needs to be treated as some form of altered scale, and can be viewed as a combination of the first set of scale notes and the second set, but more easily viewed as an alt scale.

Does this make any sense to anybody? And if anyone chimes in saying I'm over analyzing again, please don't bother. And Mr. Ferris, you're more than welcome to explain what you said earlier and join the discussion. Lurking and cursing will just make you more indignant. smile
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 06:34 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
I agree BB. Skep, I have been called out many times for changing the chords too much and for changing the melody, which is a big no no for some people. And.. yet...I...keep....doing....it...:-) I tend to react against the written chords and sometimes against the melody, sometimes just going back to the melody enough to give an impression of the the original tune. I caught some flack for this stella for that reason: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFu286OQLkY Oh well.

I think there is a difference between transcribing something exactly for learning purposes and then playing it in your own way. I didn't want to do a transcription of this piece.

This is interesting (sorry I missed this post earlier). Why do you play tunes? Why do you post to Youtube? Why did you post here?

This isn't meant as an attack as much as it is really my curiosity. Here's my take: People post on Youtube to get reassurances that what they are doing is valid, respected, and hopefully sought after. I read that you don't have the opportunity to gig live, so perhaps Youtube is your gig. This is completely understandable and normal.

Now the question of why do you play tunes the way you (or anyone) does? For enjoyment and self expression among other things I imagine. Who would want to play piano if they didn't find some sort of gratification?

Then, why post something here? You (or anyone) are already are getting what you want and need from the other two sources (playing the way you want to play, and playing it for an audience on Youtube).

My take on this is that if you (or anyone) are sharing your versions of Nef (and hopefully future tunes) with the notion that it is another performance venue rather than a chance to workshop some ideas with other like-minded players, then it will become just that, and everyone will simply congratulate (or not) each others versions of the tune.

I would still rather hear the ideas behind the approach, and the 'working title' versions.

I guess I also hope that people really are trying to keep in the original spirit of the thread (see first post) and really try to grow from sharing ideas and trying others' ideas.

And finally, I suppose this is either my farewell speech or my let's get this thing back on track speech, because I really don't want to just congratulate people for their performances here anymore without having the chance to ask further questions and seek solutions to the complexities of the problems at hand.

And again, to be clear, yes, I enjoy your playing Tom, and Dave BB and others that have posted too. But if I'm going to benefit from what you post, please post with the intention of allowing dialogue to follow.

I hope no offence was taken by anyone. Seriously, no offence intended whatsoever.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 07:49 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

By the way everyone, I've written some guide tones below for every four bars of Nef. These may explain some of my previous rantings.

F, G, Ab, Bb, C, (Db) (D) (Eb) then C7#11 or alt chord as transition to

F, G, Ab, Bb, B, Db, Eb then Bbm7 alt thingy to

F# G#,A, B, C, Db, D, E although this in my mind is all alt material to

(F) G, A, Bb, C Db, Eb (E)



Hey Scep, frankly this is no clearer to me than just figuring out each chord and scale. It almost sounds like we're trying to fit a horizontal concept here when we should be emphasizing the harmony appropriate to each particular chord.

It's kind of like the original statement said earlier that this is all Ab. But unless I'm running through a fast scale through each chord, I tend to believe that each chord has some tones that more important than others and needs to be emphasized.

But perhaps this explains why you're hung up on the 'function' of G-7b5 (yeah I noticed the missing 'A' here). Frankly it sounds good to me with the 'A' and I actually highlight it myself if I remember. But if I don't remember, I'll probably play the Ab.

Anyway, it's just the way I was taught. I'm always open to someone telling me I'm wrong.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 08:32 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
Maybe I should have said, I like BB's version better. That is not self effacing, because in general, I really like my playing..a lot. It brings me much pleasure. That said, on rare occasions, I like what someone else does better....haha! Way to go BB!



7note,

Nice of you to say, but I can hardly agree. I find I am so critical of my own playing that I can't listen to it for pleasure. If I can even tolerate hearing it then it must be good enough. I don't listen in this critical way whilst playing so my critical attitude doesn't affect my enjoyment of playing.
However when I listen to other peoples playing I do not use my critical faculties in the same way, I can just listen to the music without hearing little mistakes jumping out everywhere, which is why I prefer other peoples playing than my own. I can't even begin to compare my playing to other peoples because of this.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 08:35 AM

Actually, JW, what I was pointing out was the F, G, Ab, Bb in the first 8 bars, up a semitone for the middle four, and then later an F G A Bb in the last three bars. By lining up the scales that way I can focus on those common notes, not thinking of the scale but the common scale, or guide tones that are present for the groupings of bars. If you look at them line by line it is more confusing and probably of little use.

So earlier I said at one point I was using smaller scales. Do you remember? This is kind of where it lead to. So in summary the small scale is basically the first four notes of a minor scale or TST (tone semitone tone). From there any chromatics I may use will take into consideration these important guide tones.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 08:53 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

Just because someone 'hears a tune in their dreams' or can't otherwise explain what they've written doesn't mean that others can't and shouldn't explain it. Otherwise, what's the point in even discussing chord changes, versions, reharm, etc?


Sceptical,

How about for fun, or to gain different perspectives?
In so far as I understand what you are saying here then I think I disagree. I don't think you can 'explain' a chord. A chord just is, and ultimately there is no reason why a chord works in a certain place. I love all Wayne Shorter tunes and his playing as well but I don't think I have any chance of explaining it or even really understanding it. What I mean is I can understand what he is playing (I can write down the notes and conceptualize many of the chords and scales arpeggios patterns) but the mystery as to WHY he is playing anything at a given point in time will always continue to be a mystery. That is probably why I love his music so much, that I am always surprised by the turns it takes and the freedom to go anywhere that his music has (most of it anyway). The fact that I don't fully understand it is exactly the reason I find it interesting.


Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 04:02 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

Otherwise, what's the point in even discussing chord changes, versions, reharm, etc?


Sceptical,

How about for fun, or to gain different perspectives?

I'm not sure why you say this, then disagree with yourself later below. Yes, I find it fun and to gain different perspectives, too, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it.

Or were you responding to 'why post a recording on this forum?'

Originally Posted by beeboss

In so far as I understand what you are saying here then I think I disagree. I don't think you can 'explain' a chord. A chord just is, and ultimately there is no reason why a chord works in a certain place... (I can write down the notes and conceptualize many of the chords and scales arpeggios patterns).

You're making it sound like music is utterly esoteric for you. In a way, perhaps it is egnimatic, but I'm not sure it's at the level of unexplainable.

I suppose I'm trying to approach it as understandable, at least in terms of what we know already, and what we could further hope to know. The 'fun and perspective gaining' cannot really exist for me without agreeing on what one is talking about. We both know how I and V7 chords function, right? Do you agree that some things sound consonant and others dissonant? It occurs to me that in a way you are talking from the perspective of someone playing folk music in that the chords and melodies are these pure heartfelt gifts from god or where ever, and that it's really all quite beyond you how something can sound so pleasing to the ear. But then I contrast that with the fact that you are a great jazz player, and ALSO you are currently working on Bach a great deal.

Anyways back to perspective:
Perspective can't be gained unless one has an idea about what their current perspective is. If one is always looking at the top of an object, say a cylinder, and yet doesn't know that they are looking at the top, does it make sense to argue that the same object cannot look like a square from the side? Looking at the side gives another perspective to the object. Both together may provide an explanation as to what it actually is one is looking at. Same can be said for chords and melodies in IMHO.
Originally Posted by beeboss

but the mystery as to WHY he (Shorter) is playing anything at a given point in time will always continue to be a mystery.

Well, from how I see it, the mystery exists only because you want it to then.

Originally Posted by beeboss

That is probably why I love his music so much, that I am always surprised by the turns it takes and the freedom to go anywhere that his music has (most of it anyway). The fact that I don't fully understand it is exactly the reason I find it interesting.

And this is absolutely ok. But what are we going to talk about then? Praising and idolizing Shorter (or Bach) has its place, but then...? I can't really gain another perspective about what Shorter or others do unless others tell me what they think they understand. I know what I understand (or think I understand), but you're suggesting that you don't know what you understand other than that you can tell me the notes he plays (but not why or how).

Let's leave that aside for just a second. How do you feel about telling me and others how YOU approach playing Shorter's music then? Does that seem more explainable? Maybe that's what we all can do best, and maybe that is where the fun and perspectives are best gained?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 04:21 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Actually, JW, what I was pointing out was the F, G, Ab, Bb in the first 8 bars, up a semitone for the middle four, and then later an F G A Bb in the last three bars. By lining up the scales that way I can focus on those common notes, not thinking of the scale but the common scale, or guide tones that are present for the groupings of bars. If you look at them line by line it is more confusing and probably of little use.

So earlier I said at one point I was using smaller scales. Do you remember? This is kind of where it lead to. So in summary the small scale is basically the first four notes of a minor scale or TST (tone semitone tone). From there any chromatics I may use will take into consideration these important guide tones.




I do have a difference in approach here and I'm really interested to see what my teacher has to say about this later this week. I'll share what he says and maybe he'll say I'm wrong this time. We'll see. My approaches are based on what I learned from him,

I understand the common tones and some are shared more than others. But I tend to look at them just as a "filler" pool. My ears are focused on a few notes that change the harmony while looking at this pool, otherwise I'd be reneging on the concept of chord tones on downbeats that I was taught.

I see three main shapes, varying slightly from chord to chord. These to me are Ab, E, Db Dim.

But I always strive to highlight the changing chord tones (whether I can execute them on downbeats is another matter but I try), particularly those #11's that abound in this tune.

Maybe it's because of this that it takes me a little longer to absorb a non-functional progression. There's a lot more going on in my thinking and which would be more automatic in a tune with typical ii-V harmony. Yes, I suppose I could simplify and just focus on the common tones and I could sound like I'm playing the changes.

I don't know why but my ears found this unsatisfactory. I'll probably have to cop Beeboss's plea here which is "I don't know why the progression is so...". But given what it is, it only sounded good to me when I was aware of the important chord tones.

Given my discipline here, do you see why using a "limited" scale conflicts with this?

Like I said, I'd be interested to know what a Jazz master's approach would be to such an unusual tune. My guess would be that he'll use the original melody as the structure.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 05:00 PM

[/quote]

Why do you play tunes? Why do you post to Youtube? Why did you post here?

[/quote]

Haha! That reminds me of an old woody allen movie when as a kid he refused to go to school one morning. His mother asked why, and he said, 'because I read that 13 billion years in the future, the earth will crash into the sun and all life as we know it will cease to exist -- so why bother?"

I don't know why I play tunes, except to say that it is a compulsion. I hear things in my head, it flows out my fingers and then I hear it through my ears and it goes back into my head again. It is a very round circle that I am compelled to trace again and again.

I post to youtube as an outlet so there is an external witness to my fixation. The validation is great, but it really doesn't feel like it is about me very much. I'm much more comfortable when someone comments about enjoying the music or the playing instead of commenting on me doing the playing. It is a nuance, but my personality is to stay out of the spotlight. That is why youtube being one step removed has been the perfect outlet for me. That is probably more self revelation than is necessary, but true.

Regarding this thread: (skep asked me what I did on stella earlier)
The thing is, re: Nefertiti or Stella, I don't think in the same way as you and jazzwee. The slicing and dicing of harmonic intricacies really doesn't interest me much. Any sophomore music major can out analyze me when it comes to deconstructing harmony, etc. I am fortunate in that I can play a lot of what I hear (on recordings and inside my head) without the analysis. It mainly goes from hear to play with very little in between. Like with Stella, I would have to go back and figure out after the fact what I was doing to explain it. I don't have that worked out in advance. I do work on an arrangement, but the theory is not what I am focusing on. It works for me, because that is where my aptitude lies. Other people have an 'in' from other directions. I just don't get in to which is the right or wrong way to do it. I don't have strong opinions on stuff like that. When I get back home, I could sit down and tell you what I played on Stella. I doubt I could tell you why I played it. That is pretty evident on my tutorials. I will show what I was playing, but don't offer any 'why', because I really don't have a good answer to that.

T
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 05:17 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

So earlier I said at one point I was using smaller scales. Do you remember? This is kind of where it lead to. So in summary the small scale is basically the first four notes of a minor scale or TST (tone semitone tone). From there any chromatics I may use will take into consideration these important guide tones.

I understand the common tones and some are shared more than others. But I tend to look at them just as a "filler" pool...
But I always strive to highlight the changing chord tones (whether I can execute them on downbeats is another matter but I try), particularly those #11's that abound in this tune.

Um, I think what I wrote was wrong, because I agree with you here to an extent. I don't concentrate on the F G Ab, Bb when I solo, but I keep them in mind as a type of anchor I suppose. Without the CHANGING chord tones (the ones in brackets) then it doesn't go anywhere. So if I may, I'd like to change what I was saying, because reading it today, from your perspective, I can see that I wasn't making myself understood because the concept wasn't fully formed in my head (despite thinking I knew what I was trying to say).
Originally Posted by jazzwee

Maybe it's because of this that it takes me a little longer to absorb a non-functional progression.

I know the definition of non-functional chords. I'm of the mind now that the definition is obsolete by virtue of the fact that the functions (or non functions) are functional in that they really are some type of harmony acting as either a temporary tonal shift or a very far removed V function.


Originally Posted by jazzwee

Like I said, I'd be interested to know what a Jazz master's approach would be to such an unusual tune. My guess would be that he'll use the original melody as the structure.

As I am, too to an extent. That's why I'm so hung up on how the chords 'need to be' a certain way, given the melody is what it is.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 05:32 PM

Tom,

You've explained why you play and why you post on Youtube. But what were you seeking by posting a tune here?

Again, I'm just curious, and don't want to dissuade you posting your tunes here by any means.

I'm still looking to find the reasons explaining the creation of the art, especially since so many others have such wonderful results.

You know, it just occurred to me that maybe that this whole thing might be viewed by some people as some sort of 'magicians pact' in that one should never reveal one's secrets. I know that you and Beeboss are genuine and honest in what you say, but I kind of feel like some sort of second rate reality detective show trying to expose the fraud/crime somewhere.

Another thought: Tom you mentioned going to some master classes in the past. I imagine you went to give you some more ideas about how to approach playing? I also imagine that the classes you may have attended that were most beneficial explained something to you in a way that you hadn't previously thought of. Well, this is what I'm hoping for here, except that we're all leading the masterclass and we're all the students too.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 06:21 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Tom,

You've explained why you play and why you post on Youtube. But what were you seeking by posting a tune here?

Again, I'm just curious, and don't want to dissuade you posting your tunes here by any means.

I'm still looking to find the reasons explaining the creation of the art, especially since so many others have such wonderful results.

You know, it just occurred to me that maybe that this whole thing might be viewed by some people as some sort of 'magicians pact' in that one should never reveal one's secrets. I know that you and Beeboss are genuine and honest in what you say, but I kind of feel like some sort of second rate reality detective show trying to expose the fraud/crime somewhere.

Another thought: Tom you mentioned going to some master classes in the past. I imagine you went to give you some more ideas about how to approach playing? I also imagine that the classes you may have attended that were most beneficial explained something to you in a way that you hadn't previously thought of. Well, this is what I'm hoping for here, except that we're all leading the masterclass and we're all the students too.


I don't have terrific answers to those questions.
I linked to Stella as an example of playing so far out, that it stops being the original tune. In my mind, I was playing against the changes. The listener will have a different experience. I posted Nefertiti as an example of what it sounds like to sync to a metronome and to offer my take on it. If there is any lesson in it (and I'm not claiming there is :-) It is that the internal narrative of 'why am I doing this' is entirely absent while I am playing. As soon as I have words in my head when playing, it crowds out the music. I know that is a frustrating non-explaination, but it is true. Again, I am more comfortable talking about what I am playing, because the why is a mystery to me as well. I think the 'what' has a lot of utility though. When I copy a record, I only know what, I don't know why Miles did what he did, but the insight into what is good enough.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 07:06 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

How do you feel about telling me and others how YOU approach playing Shorter's music then?


Hi Sceptical,

I don't really have an approach, I just play what I feel at the time. In a broader sense my approach just is the way I play which is my expression with the language that I have developed. When you are talking about approaching playing playing vertically or horizontally I have no idea what you are talking about. I think I pretty much do the same as the way 7note just described, I put a bit of thought into the structure of the arrangement but that is about it. Sometimes I may listen to the original a bit, but I didn't in the case of Nef. I don't give the function of the chords any thought whatsoever, I mean I recognise the 251's and the different cadences and modulations and the other devices but really when I am playing I am just trying to hear a melody and mood in my head and then get it out on the piano. At practice I may experiment with some voicings or whatever, in fact all kinds of crazy theoretical stuff, but thats another story. The stuff I practice seems to take years to get into my playing so there is no point in practicing a tune I am about to play, so I just play it a bit to get familiar with it.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

You're making it sound like music is utterly esoteric for you. In a way, perhaps it is egnimatic, but I'm not sure it's at the level of unexplainable.



For sure modern jazz is pretty esoteric, but actually I would go further and say that the thing being expressed in music is not expressible in words. I forget which famous compsoer it was who said words to the effect of 'if I could express myself in words why would I bother to spend my life writing all this music'.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

I can't really gain another perspective about what Shorter or others do unless others tell me what they think they understand.


I have told you what I think I understand. You obviosuly don't agree with my opinion which is fine, but hopefully at least I am (and 7 note) showing you that it is possible to have a different approach.

I used to be completely obsessed with notes and spent a few years transcribing and learning to play Jarrett solos. I was desperately in search of the magic in the music. But it wasn't working, and after a few years I had not really improved very much. Then I had a revelation which was the notes don't really matter all that much. What does matter is it shape of phrase and the way you play it, the mood you set up and the exact rhythmic precision of the notes, and most of important of all just being completely in the zone. Since I have been concentrating on this stuff things have got much better. It is just my view though, as really we all come to where we are by different routes.






Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 07:59 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
As soon as I have words in my head when playing, it crowds out the music. I know that is a frustrating non-explaination, but it is true.

Actually not frustrating at all but then:
Originally Posted by 7notemode

Again, I am more comfortable talking about what I am playing, because the why is a mystery to me as well. I think the 'what' has a lot of utility though.

So, talk about the what, then. That will lead to the 'why' for me later. For example: What chords/voicings do you prefer to play here (fill in the place). Answer: These chords. For me, when I look at your choices, it may explain the why to me. Possible whys include: Because I always do it that way, because it works for me, because I heard X do it and I liked it, because I'm not sure what else to do, none of your business, etc.
At least its the beginning of a deeper understanding. So, will you talk about the 'what' then if cornered and badgered enough? Or is this really of little use to you? What about my comment about the masterclasses?

Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 08:28 PM

I'm at an airport. Later this week, I'll do the changes to Stella. I can say when I am playing non resolving changes, I play them as if they are the most beautifully resolving 2-5-1's that I have ever heard. I give the same dynamic arc and tension and release phrasing to atonal music. I am playing it as if it is diatonic even when it is not. That was a big insight for me.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 08:47 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss


Hi Sceptical,

... I just play what I feel at the time. In a broader sense my approach just is the way I play which is my expression with the language that I have developed.

As it is for most people, I believe. One expresses what they can with the tools they have. One thing I have noticed, though is when I play a piece, it is informed by what else is going on in my musical life. For example, after looking at Nef everyday for the past month my take on every other tune is actually radically different, especially if I play Nef and the other tunes in one sitting. Do you notice this, too?

Originally Posted by beeboss

When you are talking about approaching playing playing vertically or horizontally I have no idea what you are talking about.

Er...maybe I don't really know what I'm talking about either then. Seriously, I don't actually say 'I'm approaching this vertically or horizontally', but I do understand in some sort of organic way how harmony and melody relate to each other in time.

Originally Posted by beeboss

I think I pretty much do the same as the way 7note just described, I put a bit of thought into the structure...I mean I recognise the 251's and the different cadences and modulations and the other devices but really when I am playing I am just trying to hear a melody and mood in my head and then get it out on the piano.

So it is important to distinguish between playing and practicing, right. Total agreement from me again.

Originally Posted by beeboss

At practice I may experiment with some voicings or whatever, in fact all kinds of crazy theoretical stuff, but thats another story.

!!!!!! Tell the story !!!!!! How do you practice!?!??! Don't you want to share that? I doubt you're being secretive, are you?
That's why I started this exercise!!!!! I like exclamation points!!!!!!
Originally Posted by beeboss

For sure modern jazz is pretty esoteric, but actually I would go further and say that the thing being expressed in music is not expressible in words. I forget which famous compsoer it was who said words to the effect of 'if I could express myself in words why would I bother to spend my life writing all this music'.

You're right. The emotions may not be expressible in words, but the approach to triggering those emotions definitely can be. For example: We've all seen television documentary/pleas for financial aid for suffering African Nations in the past. The initial formula was probably very successful in getting people to sponser a child, or give donations, etc. But do you think the same format that was used 20 years ago has the same impact today? The answer is perhaps, because it depends on the audience. If you're used to seeing tragedy on TV in it's many forms chances are your sentiments may have become a bit dulled. But, when one sees things like the PETA approach to getting your attention to animal cruelty for example, it jolts you in a way. (By the way, this example is to illustrate the progress or continued sophistication of music--please don't think I am indifferent to poverty)

Well, the same thing with chords--isn't it interesting to see how the tritone B to F was enough to define dissonance at one time, but now if you want to sound modern you should consider something like an Alt or slash or ??? It's this consideration that will inform the discussion. Why NOT just play G7 as G B D F? You implicitly know why, and what you'll do to progress it (G7#11 etc), but this is what inquiring minds want to know, or at least I do.

Originally Posted by beeboss

I have told you what I think I understand. You obviosuly don't agree with my opinion which is fine, but hopefully at least I am (and 7 note) showing you that it is possible to have a different approach.

This confuses me. I can't disagree with you about anything yet, except when we were talking about how you learned the changes. And to be fair, I'm not sure you've clarified your position other than saying that when you play you don't think, but when you practice you do many many things.
Originally Posted by beeboss

...What does matter is it shape of phrase and the way you play it, the mood you set up and the exact rhythmic precision of the notes, and most of important of all just being completely in the zone.

I agree with you again. See how amicable I am? But this is still too far in the process to be of any use to me. The mood that you speak of is informed somehow. How? This comes back to what you practiced, and listened to, and were influenced by, and how you came to understand the use of X and how it leads to Y etc.

Originally Posted by beeboss

It is just my view though, as really we all come to where we are by different routes.

Yes, it's the route I'm interested in. Aren't you? I'm one to think that the process is as important, and perhaps moreso than the product. That's where I'm coming from.

So, please, don't think that I've disagreed with your approach, because I don't really know your approach yet. I'm not even interested in disagreeing. I'm interested in seeing if what I'm doing/thinking and what you are doing/thinking have any intersection (think Venn diagram). And for what it's worth, again I think you're a great player, so obviously what you are doing is working for you.

The one thing that I've recently discovered that works for me is that instead of learning a tune from a book, I'm finding for me (personally, not recommending this really) is that if I'm really forced to listen to something in order to learn it, and divorce my eyes and hands from the learning process things sink in a completely different way.

Thoughts?



Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 09:01 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
I'm at an airport. Later this week, I'll do the changes to Stella. I can say when I am playing non resolving changes, I play them as if they are the most beautifully resolving 2-5-1's that I have ever heard. I give the same dynamic arc and tension and release phrasing to atonal music. I am playing it as if it is diatonic even when it is not. That was a big insight for me.


Yay! This is important stuff! Thank you for that info.


Sorry that you are in an airport, though. This too shall pass.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 09:12 PM

Fascinating discussion. Having a teacher at the world-class level in modern jazz gives me a different perspective.

I do buy the concept that phrasing, time, swing, dynamics, etc. are what distinguishes an enjoyable solo from a poor one. And it is even true that some masters have come up with product that may not be the most interesting note choices but survive on the basis of a good performance based on the above.

But I do wonder why my teacher spends so much time honing down the thought process in each note selection. Frankly it's sometimes at the level of a composition with no randomness in the note choices. He makes me think that everything is deliberate. And we've analyzed others (like I've mentioned Chick in this thread) and I was shown the apparent structure of what was being played.

I don't even know if I really absorb what's going on all the time, but he always makes a reference to playing that "separates the men from the boys". I can tell you that this analysis only occurs during practice. But clearly this is all integrated into his playing and he doesn't give it much thought but he'll quickly call me on a wrong note. It's a big deal to him.

Anyway, I can't imagine I'm being told to practice this discipline in playing (with the kind of detailed analysis we're doing here) and that it really isn't important.

So along these lines, I think Scep's analytical approach is helping push me to the next level and is consistent with what I'm being taught.

Just my 0.02cents. Maybe I'll pick up on what I'm being taught. Maybe not. But certainly his is a different perspective than has been mentioned here.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 09:21 PM

err...uhm.. I'm still at the airport....rain delay.

I can't remember if I've posted this here or not. This is what I send out when asked how I practice.
If I've posted this here already, cheerfully ignore :-)

Regarding practicing, I put whatever time into practicing my life and
schedule will allow without putting myself under undue stress. I have
just tried to make music an organic part of my life, and I don't ever
push myself to the point that I dread practice or playing. Personally,
I enjoy left hand playing, and I spend time improvising LH and RH
equally. As far as books go, I like The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine
as a starting point. Creative Jazz Improvisation by Scott Reeves is
also very good.

I have my own ritual for learning a new song. I don’t follow it
myself like I should, but try it once and see if it works for you.
One of the things I like about this ritual is that the practice of all
the different playing style variations are built into the process of
learning the song.

1) Figure out the structure of the song first - AABA, how many
measures, repeats, etc. before playing the first note. Many tunes are
irregular, but I get the structure in my head first.

2) I learn the melody playing with both, repeat: both hands locked
together in octaves. Actively ignore chord changes. Memorize melody
with no chord changes first - very important. Use a metronome that
clicks only on two and four.

3) Play RH melody, focus on learning chord changes and comping with LH

4) Play LH melody, focus on learning chord changes and comping with RH

5) Comp with both hands together, focusing exclusively on the chord
changes.

6) Play the melody and work out a walking bass in the LH. Just the
melody in the RH and an arranged walking bass line in the LH. No
chords.

7) Every thing up to now has been about playing the melody, except
for the two hand comping. Only now do I start to improvise.
Improvise in the following order: RH w/LH comp, LH w/RH comp, Both
hands locked in octaves, RH with walking bass in LH.

8) Finally: play the piece (slowly and badly) in the tritone key- just
the melody in RH with the chord changes in the LH. It will fry your
brain, but you see the song differently afterward.

I wish I actually did all of the above, but it is my “ideal” that I
strive for.

I hope this summary is in some way useful.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 09:36 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode

I wish I actually did all of the above, but it is my “ideal” that I
strive for.

I hope this summary is in some way useful.


Yup, and my reply was so how do you practice then? And you replied with 'this is actually what I do most of the time.'

So, since you are the airport with nothing better to do, tell me: Did you do the above with Nef? If not, what did you miss?
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/21/10 09:55 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

How do you practice!?!??! Don't you want to share that? I doubt you're being secretive, are you?


No secrets from me.
But it is just the usual really. A bit of Hanon as a warm up. Sometimes some slow scales and a few minutes of technical exercises. Then I practise Bach, or sometimes Mozart and Beethoven these days, maybe an hour or so. Always I try to do a bit of free improvisation, at least 20 minutes or more. Sometimes I look at some theoretical stuff. Just today I was working on some modes of double harmonic scales. And some rhythmic exercises - I am obsessed with 5:4 rhythm at the moment. Sometimes some groove stuff along with a metronome, just getting the best groove going that I can and just keep at it until it really rocks, and then keep it going some more. Then maybe play a tune or 2, sometimes with a backing track. Its easy to just kind of waffle on when doing that so I try to have a focus like playing in 7 or some fast bop, some element that I need to develop. Learning a tune sometimes. I always have a long list of tunes to learn that I never get round to and a stack of tunes half written that I never finish.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

Why NOT just play G7 as G B D F? You implicitly know why, and what you'll do to progress it (G7#11 etc), but this is what inquiring minds want to know, or at least I do.



I went a long way down that road and then I realized that I barely knew how to play a G7 chord without adding in all the extentions. Listen to what Jarrett can do with simple chords! It is playing the chord that the music demands at the right time that is the important bit. Nothing wrong with G7 in its place.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

The mood that you speak of is informed somehow. How? This comes back to what you practiced, and listened to, and were influenced by, and how you came to understand the use of X and how it leads to Y etc.



So this I can talk about. When I listen to pianists I listen to what they are doing. Not in terms of 'thats a B min melodic scale over an Bb7sharp5sharp9 inversion' but in terms of how they create the feeling they do. Are they playing loudly, quietly, whats in the left hand? single notes, 2 notes, full chords, how do they fill the space in the music? are they palying lots or sparsely, what are the relative volumes of the hands, what articulations are they using for the accompanyment, how are they using chromaticism to increase the tension, how do they use repetetive pattens, how long are the phrases, what beats do they start on, what rhythmic approaches are they using, do the hand play together or one after the other, etc. This is the important stuff to me and not the exact notes used.
Then I tried to do the same thing myself, and I put a recorder on and listen back to see how it was. I am continually shocked by how things I think sound good whilst playing actually sound rubbish when I listen back. Every time I think damn the LH chords are too loud or that they interfere too much with the solo line, or the melody doesnt sing through enough, or the groove isn't really quite there, or I hear a hesitation in the same place each time. Then I know exactly what to improve when I play it again.

Hope that gives you an idea of what I mean.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/22/10 12:34 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss


Hope that gives you an idea of what I mean.



It does give me an idea, thanks!

So, when you listen to yourself, your goal is to criticize when possible in order to fix the problems. I do that too, but I think I've been too forgiving of my errors in the past. Although I usually hate how I don't groove, I've decided to bypass that in favor of working on other things that seemed easier to address, and then once I've fixed those things I'm pretty happy with myself. Of course, I still don't groove though. But now I'm working on this aspect every day.

So, what have you run into that you haven't fixed yet?

And a horrible truth about me: For the longest time I couldn't play the B section of rhythm changes without wanting to barf. Whatever I did, no matter how in or out or slow or fast I played it all seemed either trite and cliche, or lacking in focus to the point of sounding like I really didn't know I was playing the B section. The bad thing was that everyone else for many years seemed to think it was hip.

And now that I write this, I'm still not sure I can play it...


Also, are you up for another workshopping idea then? I'm also into odd time signatures at the moment. Care to share something that is in progress in the spirit of showing a truly in progress work?

And what is a double harmonic scale? Could you spell one out, please?
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/22/10 01:01 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

It does give me an idea, thanks!



Good

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy


So, what have you run into that you haven't fixed yet?



It's ongoing, everytime I record anything there is always somethings to fix. Playing Bach or Mozart it can be as little as bringing out one note or as much as complete change of speed or articulation. With jazz it is more like hearing a place where the changes are a bit rough or where the groove doesn't sit properly or sections that don't flow together properly.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy


And now that I write this, I'm still not sure I can play it...



For the longest time I hated rhythm changes. So hard to find anything interesting to play. One day it just clicked though, although I still don't like playing on those cycle of 5th changes that much. I was trying to do it solo piano today but without any backing its hard to maintain the rhythmic drive. 20 minutes of that is quite a workout.


Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy


And what is a double harmonic scale? Could you spell one out, please?



There are several. Double harmonic is just my name for it, I don't know if there is a more standard name, basically a scale with 2 'harmonic' bits ...
for instance C D Eb Fshrp G Ab B C
You could use this on Cm with a sharp 7th, for instance.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy


Also, are you up for another workshopping idea then?



Sure I'll try to post something soon. Anything in particular?

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/22/10 04:01 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss

...C D Eb Fshrp G Ab B C...

I think that might be one of the Persian scales (I should've paid more attention in Ethnomusicology), but it would start on with the D to D usually. I never thought of using it in a jazz setting. Thanks!

Originally Posted by beeboss

Sure I'll try to post something soon. Anything in particular?

How about you choose this time. Or give a small list of possible tunes that you've wanted to try. I would like to hear the rough version though to see what you've come up against. I'm definitely willing to do the same (that's what I did on Nef, remember? I just haven't posted any follow-up recording yet)

So how about we all post our worst stuff this time? Or at least the stuff that we'd like some ideas on? I'll even go first again. I'm really trying to get the workshop idea in front here, and put aside my ego (and others) in the process. So you're up for sharing ideas/criticisms? That's great!

Anyone else care to join the fray? I'm betting Jazzwee is back in. Mr. Ferris? 7? The more the merrier. It would kind of be like youtube all over again except without the 23.5 million teenagers posting comments like WTF? or Epic Fail! ...Of course, I may be tempted to post those comments now... ROFL.

lol
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/22/10 04:47 AM

Hey Scep, I was trying to record Nef tonight but I got too tired of messing up everytime the red light goes on. So let me not rush it. I'll have it shortly. And then I followup with posting GBPPH after a short review.

The good news was that as I tapped along Uri Caine's version of this at 250bpm or so for 7 minutes or so, I didn't get lost. So it must be sinking in.

Whatever you guys figure for the next round, maybe the rest of you do two tunes for each one I do as I don't have the 30 years of playing Jazz to keep up smile
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/22/10 04:17 PM

7Note and Dave,

Thanks for posting up versions of Nef...Your solo piano renditions are very excellent.

Here is my first crack at Nef - no easy task, no tempo, really. Just working through the melody and modfified chord structure - some of it makes sense, some of it does not, some of it is painful. It's going to take some more work getting this familiar enough.
http://www.box.net/shared/tuz2s5m77x

Another version of GBPPH
http://www.box.net/shared/21nfeqf70z

A new version of Nature Boy, with a bit of attempted swing at the end
http://www.box.net/shared/e0j0plnfeu

Glen
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/22/10 09:09 PM

You got ahead of me Glen. Good early version here. Looks like you're figuring it out.

Glen, since we are closer in level here, I'm going to act like Scep here and ask you what your thought process was in figuring this out. I know it is a painful process and I'm glad I'm not alone in experiencing it. These other guys are more advanced and don't struggle as hard as we do. But I remember that at one point, you said you didn't understand what we are talking about. Yet it's clear you understood something.

I laid out a lot my theoretical and learning framework in many posts, so the result will have to be judged on what my end product is. It's not going to be at the level of these other guys obviously. I need more time to absorb this.

But let's compare notes. I'll expand on my thought process as well once I get a recording in.


Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/23/10 12:44 AM

Nice one Glen, I think Nef works in that kind of free time ballad way. Looking forward to yours JW.

As Scep asked me to post some unpracticed stuff here are a few things I did today.
Blue in green, I didn't what tune I was going to play even when I started playing but somehow Blue in green came out, sort of. I haven't played that in at least 5 years. I may have taken a few liberties with the sequence.
http://www.divshare.com/download/10849245-884

And a couple of free jazz impros in contrasting styles. There are obviously not structured at all in advance.
http://www.divshare.com/download/10849259-bc5
http://www.divshare.com/download/10849263-ba7

Just to give you an idea of the kind of stuff I practice really. These are not really performances so they probably won't stay up for too long, I don't really perform free jazz ever so this it is just for fun.



Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/23/10 04:17 AM

Hey BB,

Just listening to the Improvs right now. Question for you: Do you find your improv is now different with a different piano? I suspect your Yamaha has some better sustain and bass?

When I got my new piano a bit over a year ago I recorded mainly improvs every week. What was strange for me, though was that I mostly stopped playing jazz during this time, and recorded things that the instrument was invoking me to play. I've since gotten over that and am back to working on the music I choose.

I really like the improv 2, btw. Reminds me of my obsession with bass when I was in university and played lines like that just because they sounded so cool.

Here's a lullaby from a about a year ago: http://www.box.net/shared/5m6qu63bh9
It's a bit long, but it kind of took that long to get to the actual chords I was basing things on.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/23/10 04:27 AM

Originally Posted by Inlanding


Here is my first crack at Nef - no easy task, no tempo, really. Just working through the melody and modfified chord structure - some of it makes sense, some of it does not, some of it is painful. It's going to take some more work getting this familiar enough.
http://www.box.net/shared/tuz2s5m77x


Glen, some really great voicings there. I especially like the tone clusters that are just on the edge of the tenor section. I also like in a few places you've chosen to resolve those thick chords with a pure, or relatively pure triad.

For my own work, I'm still trying to really understand the original chords and how they were 'intended' to work together.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/23/10 05:35 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss

As Scep asked me to post some unpracticed stuff here are a few things I did today.
Blue in green, I didn't what tune I was going to play even when I started playing but somehow Blue in green came out, sort of. I haven't played that in at least 5 years. I may have taken a few liberties with the sequence.
http://www.divshare.com/download/10849245-884
Just to give you an idea of the kind of stuff I practice really. These are not really performances so they probably won't stay up for too long, I don't really perform free jazz ever so this it is just for fun.

Listening to you 'noodle' is pretty cool. When you discovered that you were playing Blue in Green, did you notice how your focus shifted from exploration to 'revisiting'? Sometimes it may be a subtle shift from the liberty of going where one wants, to all of a sudden having the burden of a tune to reproduce. I'm interested in what happened at the very end there. You know, the part where Keith snuck in and was trying to show you what he was doing at the Koln Concert? Did you abandon Blue in Green because you were recording and didn't want to screw up the chords, since you played them mostly correct? Or were you just taken by the moment and decided to do a pedal thing?

For me, when I am recording my playing always changes, especially if I am trying to reproduce something (another person's tune mostly). But even when I'm doing 'free improv', if I'm recording I take far less risks because even though there may never an audience listening to the recording, somehow I'm never certain of that, and will tidy things up.

Have you noticed that too? Or does it really not matter?
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/23/10 07:01 AM

.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/23/10 10:49 AM



Hi Sceptical,

Nice Lullaby, that is real improvisation going on there. You really set up a great mood and I really like the way you have blended the simple harmony with the more chromatic choices.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

Do you find your improv is now different with a different piano?



Yes I think so, but mainly because I enjoy the sound more.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

I suspect your Yamaha has some better sustain and bass?



Oh yes, and then some. Better in so many ways.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

When you discovered that you were playing Blue in Green, did you notice how your focus shifted from exploration to 'revisiting'?



No not really, it just happened.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

Sometimes it may be a subtle shift from the liberty of going where one wants, to all of a sudden having the burden of a tune to reproduce.



I know exactly what you mean but I didn't feel obliged to play the chords or melody, in fact I am not sure I ever did play a full melody or sequence, so I didn't really have that burden.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

I'm interested in what happened at the very end there. You know, the part where Keith snuck in and was trying to show you what he was doing at the Koln Concert? Did you abandon Blue in Green because you were recording and didn't want to screw up the chords, since you played them mostly correct? Or were you just taken by the moment and decided to do a pedal thing?



The latter, I just felt it was time for a change and the groove crept in. It lasted 10 minutes but I deleted it as I didn't like it. Few players seem to do that groove kind of stuff, probably because it inevitably will be compared with Jarrett and nobody wants that! But I love it.

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

For me, when I am recording my playing always changes, especially if I am trying to reproduce something (another person's tune mostly). But even when I'm doing 'free improv', if I'm recording I take far less risks because even though there may never an audience listening to the recording, somehow I'm never certain of that, and will tidy things up.
Have you noticed that too? Or does it really not matter?



Yes many times I have noticed that. Especially when in a studio where the time is being payed for or I have some kind of expectation of how it should sound. At home then not nearly so much, but sometimes when doing a long classical piece I am so pleased to have got through it without any serious mistakes that I will badly mess up right at the end. Do you know that feeling where you think 'something is not quite right I am going to make a mistake any second', and then you do? That is exactly the reason why I try to turn off that critical voice that nags in my ear when I am playing. I am getting better at it but there are still lots of mistakes. I don't want to change my playing for the tape but it is difficult not to.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 04:19 AM

Ok my turn to be hammered on Nef.

http://www.box.net/shared/22tuflh2ab

I tried to play this at tempo but it takes too much brain power right now. Maybe I'll try again a week from now. Like Glen, I was in a LOT of pain. I think my head hurts from all the thinking. So the playing itself sucks. It's a challenge enough to pick the notes to the changes, let alone make it make sense.

Anyway, what I attempted here is just not think about performing but just noodled. My goal eventually is to play this in swing, which I was actually practicing but unfortunately, I could not consistently make the changes.

The good news is that I think I can figure this out but it has to be so well absorbed that I can concentrate on swing, time, phrasing, etc. Right now 90% of the brain power is in note picking.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 04:48 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Nice one Glen, I think Nef works in that kind of free time ballad way. Looking forward to yours JW.

As Scep asked me to post some unpracticed stuff here are a few things I did today.
Blue in green, I didn't what tune I was going to play even when I started playing but somehow Blue in green came out, sort of. I haven't played that in at least 5 years. I may have taken a few liberties with the sequence.
http://www.divshare.com/download/10849245-884

And a couple of free jazz impros in contrasting styles. There are obviously not structured at all in advance.
http://www.divshare.com/download/10849259-bc5
http://www.divshare.com/download/10849263-ba7

Just to give you an idea of the kind of stuff I practice really. These are not really performances so they probably won't stay up for too long, I don't really perform free jazz ever so this it is just for fun.





Awesome Beeboss. You are really creating beautiful piano sounds there. You're filling up my Ipod here really fast. It sounds like a concert hall.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 05:05 AM

OK, I just had a listening session.

JW -- why would you get hammered for posting? I thought it was a solid post. You didn't overplay. When you weren't 100% sure, you laid out, which is always the right choice. side note: you really let the melody sing out over the harmony. That kind of internal dynamics is something that I really listen for and appreciate.

Glen -- your Nef has an almost classical presentation to it. Kind of Scriabin/Shostakovich flavored. I can hear you searching in the moment which makes it feel spontaneous and not overly rehearsed. I think this is a good path for you.

SFK: Lullaby has a firm harmonic grounding. Kind of neo-romantic and post modern in parts. You stretched time-- laying it out slowly and patiently. I liked it much better that way than I would have a three minute version, so the timing and content were very much in agreement.

Dave: you should do more free improvisation. Not only is it very sophisticated, it is completely loose and unself conscious. It had depth and import. I absolutely loved it.

As a general explanatory note: These comments are not bromides, but true impressions. That said, I always find it more interesting to listen for strengths in one's playing. It's easy for a listener to pick out wrong notes, timing errors or deficiencies. That is also better done in private. It is more of a challenge and takes more skill on the listener's part to pick out the stronger attributes of someone's playing and accurately describe it.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 05:44 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Ok my turn to be hammered on Nef.

http://www.box.net/shared/22tuflh2ab

I tried to play this at tempo but it takes too much brain power right now. Maybe I'll try again a week from now. Like Glen, I was in a LOT of pain. I think my head hurts from all the thinking. So the playing itself sucks.

Sucks? Not at all. You've learned the chords, obviously, and you've put some interesting melodic lines in places. The hard part is over now. Now the really hard part comes next as you say:
Originally Posted by jazzwee

It's a challenge enough to pick the notes to the changes, let alone make it make sense.

So how are you trying to make it make sense? Are you thinking cadences and resolutions and static points? Are you thinking 'I should be doing this scale for this chord' or are you saying 'the melody is this, so I should be playing these notes'
An idea that might work (that I'm going to try) that you were sort of doing at one point, but maybe weren't aware of is to have two soloists playing, kind of like trading twos or fours, but of course it's just you but having a melodic idea a fifth up, then the same thing in response a fifth down in whatever chord you get to. This may help relieve some of the tension felt in going between such ackward chords. Take a listen to your recording again, and you'll hear a place where you do that. Maybe build on it a bit?
Originally Posted by jazzwee

Anyway, what I attempted here is just not think about performing but just noodled. My goal eventually is to play this in swing, which I was actually practicing but unfortunately, I could not consistently make the changes.

Ya, that's kind of what happened to me, except it was the voicing of the changes that never satisfied me, so it affected my ability to groove big time.
Originally Posted by jazzwee

The good news is that I think I can figure this out but it has to be so well absorbed that I can concentrate on swing, time, phrasing, etc. Right now 90% of the brain power is in note picking.

Well, I'm thinking that this tune does require some more thought than others. I'm actually really happy with your recording, JW. It sounded like you really didn't sacrifice the changes to make the melody sound better, or to flow. The trouble now is that, like me, you may feel compelled to make something work that may never work.

Maybe you think this might be a bad idea, but have you considered playing it in another key to see if things make more sense? In Db or D it works pretty nicely, especially if you're sticking to the dense chords that work a bit better up a fourth or so.

In any case, I think that was a great first effort, and it's evident that you really care to get this tune right.

I think we'll all work on C jam blues next just to step things up a notch.


Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 06:35 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode

JW -- why would you get hammered for posting? I thought it was a solid post. You didn't overplay. When you weren't 100% sure, you laid out, which is always the right choice. side note: you really let the melody sing out over the harmony. That kind of internal dynamics is something that I really listen for and appreciate.
s part to pick out the stronger attributes of someone's playing and accurately describe it.


Tom, I appreciate the nice comments. I posted this so as not to appear like I'm buying time since obviously this tune is way difficult for me. It is not ready. But I'm not afraid to show where it is as I will now feel like I have the time to concentrate on the other aspects of this (timing, swing, etc.)

Frankly, it may be a ways off before I can produce an acceptable product. But I will do it. I just can't put a time to when it all sinks in. So stay tuned for another try at one point.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 07:01 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
So how are you trying to make it make sense? Are you thinking cadences and resolutions and static points? Are you thinking 'I should be doing this scale for this chord' or are you saying 'the melody is this, so I should be playing these notes'
An idea that might work (that I'm going to try) that you were sort of doing at one point, but maybe weren't aware of is to have two soloists playing, kind of like trading twos or fours, but of course it's just you but having a melodic idea a fifth up, then the same thing in response a fifth down in whatever chord you get to. This may help relieve some of the tension felt in going between such ackward chords. Take a listen to your recording again, and you'll hear a place where you do that. Maybe build on it a bit?



First of all Scep, the discussion has really been helpful and as much as I discuss a lot of theory, I think you may realize here that when I actually play it, it goes out the window. No I'm not aware of cadences and resolutions and static points. I don't even know what you mean by this and I would be interested in an explanation.

My training was really simple. Let the harmony ring out in the melody. I've talked about Chord tones on downbeats but obviously I'm not thinking about that at all. I'm just making sure I hear the harmony in what I'm playing. This is why I can't think of simplified/reduced scales. Instead I'm seeking to highlight what makes each chord stand out. This is why this is difficult because I've never heard or worked with a progression like this. So my ears have to be trained to follow it.

I wish to get to a point where I'm following an internal melody line and playing around it. When I relistened to this, I can hear myself searching for that internal melody (mine) and it's getting there. When I get there, you will know, because I'll be able to solo on this at 220bpm. smile I will no longer be thinking of it.

You guys are amazing at picking up this stuff so fast.


Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Well, I'm thinking that this tune does require some more thought than others. I'm actually really happy with your recording, JW. It sounded like you really didn't sacrifice the changes to make the melody sound better, or to flow. The trouble now is that, like me, you may feel compelled to make something work that may never work.


I'm curious -- which part of it did you feel may 'never work'? I know some parts took me awhile to get away from just running a scale. For me it was the chords following Emaj7#11.

First EMaj7#11 to A7Sus. Like I to V rather than V to I. This is but one that stumped me. It probably took a week of running through the scales to make sense of it.

I'll be happier with this tune when my nervousness in playing goes away. I couldn't even remember that timing of the head by the time I got to the end. I was that distracted. I think solidifying the form/time will be a big deal and I'll concentrate on that first.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 11:24 AM


JW, I liked your Nef. There was a bit where you were soloing just over a bass note and I liked the harmonic ambiguity of that. Having the melody statement at the end was a good idea as well. All in all it doesn't sound like you are struggling very much, just a few slight hesitations here and there, but we all have those. My guess is that probably you are hearing it very differently being the player than we are as the listeners - you are listening in a different way than us. Maybe you feel it is not ready but that is how I feel when I listen to my version as well. I can always hear many ways that I could have played it better when I hear myself and often not the strengths of the way that I did play it. When I hear you I hear the strengths in what you play and a few slips here and there doesn't bother me in the same way.

Originally Posted by sceptical

Maybe you think this might be a bad idea, but have you considered playing it in another key to see if things make more sense? In Db or D it works pretty nicely, especially if you're sticking to the dense chords that work a bit better up a fourth or so.



Hi sceptical,
That is a good good idea as the melody is not really in the right range for the piano. Taking it up may well help with that. I always find that because I am more familiar with different patterns in different keys that I always get something new when I transpose it.
btw I just realized I haven't heard your version of Nef, I think I was away when you did it and now I can't find the link anywhere. Could you post the link again?

Originally Posted by 7note

Dave: you should do more free improvisation. Not only is it very sophisticated, it is completely loose and unself conscious. It had depth and import. I absolutely loved it



Hi 7note, Thanks, I am glad you liked it. I play free improv every day but don't really play it at gigs or put it up on youtube due to lack of audience interest. But I love playing it.

Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 02:38 PM

Thanks, Scep, Dave, 7N and jazzwee

Jazzwee - that was a fantastic Nef first run. You did a smashing job, much more polished. No doubt on future recordings, it will sound even better, guaranteed! Look forward to our next Nef run.

Yes, 7Note, It was clear in my playing I was "searching" as I was making my way through the "melody", at times hitting the mark, the rest of the time searching for the mark.

Dave,

I really liked your free-jazz improvs. As well, I find myself doing that perhaps more than I should, as it has a tendency to take from focused practicing time, (Chopin Nocturnes, the closest thing to jazz - heck, it is most likely Chopin writing transcriptions of his improvs, like most of the Romantic Composers did, using complex chord changes and rhythmic right runs against left hand, ie., 13/4, then 11/4).

Here are a few recent recordings of my noodling. I think that without noodling as one type/method of practice, it'd be more difficult to take chances with improvisations. Anyway, I suppose we play like we practice, hence the obvious reason I need to use a metronome more often!

Cmin-Blooze
http://www.box.net/shared/bl7v66o2gu

Gm Piece
http://www.box.net/shared/b69yr4f9sd

Major Minor Noodling
http://www.box.net/shared/dbcriych5g

Bflat-min
http://www.box.net/shared/f2kgd7puiq

Folk Piano
http://www.box.net/shared/z5ruu1ovol


Glen
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 03:36 PM

Glen, I'm excited about doing another round together. Don't worry, no rush smile

Actually I was going at it again briefly this morning and I'm noticing significant improvement even in form and time. I guess, it's that percentage allocation of the brain thing. Each day moves more of it subconsciously. And BTW Glen, I agree that it is from the noodling that we discover this. Is that how you figured out what to play? Just noodling without awareness of scales/etc.?

Looking at Nef with a fresh outlook again today, I was noticing that there could be really two approaches here. So far, I've focused on "trying" to highlight the harmony melodically. But everyone's been talking about the common tones over and over and I realize that this can also be played as a completely modal tune, particularly with lots of quartal shapes. I think Scep mentioned this before.

That's really sinking in now and it gives me much more freedom to shift to modal and then back to accurate harmony.

Now here's a rhythmic kicker here. Sometimes I hear Nef with a Latin type of beat. I'm just noticing that as I was practicing this morning, I had a completely different feel.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 03:59 PM

Sure, a Nef with latin-flavored rhythm would be a nice order. I'd be happy with keeping straight time wink

There is no way for me to figure out exactly what to play on Nef. Noodling might not be the exact word for it, however. (it might be if it were a simple progression like a i iv, vii, iii, vi, ii, iv, i progression).

For example, a Dflat-sus chord seems to provide a direction for a set of notes, just as the C7 aug 5, aug 9 chord, depending on what note or chord comes next. Because the melody line is so sparse, it opens up for even more possibility, but I lack the skill-set to take it too much further than that.

Cm-Blooze
http://www.box.net/shared/bl7v66o2gu

Love is Here to Stay
http://www.box.net/shared/ld76nlztm9

Gm Piece
http://www.box.net/shared/b69yr4f9sd

Major Minor Noodling
http://www.box.net/shared/dbcriych5g

Bflat-min
http://www.box.net/shared/f2kgd7puiq

Folk Piano
http://www.box.net/shared/z5ruu1ovol


Glen

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 04:16 PM

Glen, clearly you are understating your understanding of this wink You were definitely coming out with ideas on Nef and that wasn't just random noodling. It's really interesting how each of us goes about it.

So to delve into this deeper, it sounds like you just looked at each chord individually and then looked to connect it to the next chord.

Did you look for common tones between sets of chords and play with that as a guide at all?
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 04:30 PM

Yes, Jazzwee, it was an 'in limbo' experience because some of this I understand and some of it is beyond my reach. Some of it, admittedly, is intuitive. - ouch.

For me, there are leading tones and leading chords, so to speak. For example, a change from B7 to Eflat 7th, aug 9, sounded unnatural, so I split the four count B7 measure and played Bflat min7 - aug 5 - aug 9th before going to Eflat 7th aug 9. Based on the notes I choose in the right hand, I choose which notes to leave out or play in the left hand so as to provide more dissonance or resolution.

Glen
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 04:53 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss

Hi sceptical,
That is a good good idea as the melody is not really in the right range for the piano. Taking it up may well help with that. I always find that because I am more familiar with different patterns in different keys that I always get something new when I transpose it.
btw I just realized I haven't heard your version of Nef, I think I was away when you did it and now I can't find the link anywhere. Could you post the link again?

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1380863/Re:%20Jazz%20Study%20Group%202:%20Interm.html#Post1380863

I think the first of the three takes is probably the roughest, and you may want to skip it...
Remember, it was the first day on this back then...
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 05:05 PM

Good versions of Nef, Scep. Thanks for re-posting some of your ideas. Along with Jazzwee, 7note, and Dave, it gives me something to shoot for! I am definitely reaching beyond my grasp with this piece... It is good for my brain. wink

Glen
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 05:55 PM

Hi Sceptical, sorry I missed your links first time round. I was on my holidays. Thanks for re-upping them.
I enjoyed your versions, especially the 7.5mb one, I liked the way you went on the harmonies, good choices there. The other version with the chromatic bass line was a pretty good idea as well. The chords are so out there anyway it doesn't take much reharm to make it almost impressionistic and I like that.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 06:28 PM

Scep, it was great to relisten to your stuff again. Thanks for moving it up. Everyone was getting lazy to search to the middle of the thread.

I have to study your LH here too as you had a lot of interesting bass movement even from the 1st recording (which I liked a lot BTW, more than the last).

Now I seem to hear more of the common tones thing so it's more modal sounding than I was doing. I see that this is an alternative approach with a completely different sound. I was just experimenting with this for the first time today.

My lesson is tomorrow so I'm going to really listen hard to my teacher's feedback. Doing chord tones is one thing but if the goal is modal, then it's no holds barred.

I don't know which is better so I'm thinking of mixing it up. The problem with completely modal/common tone stuff is I'm not sure how to build up tension and release. Ideas?


Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 06:34 PM

JW, my simple rule and guess is, the more augmented or diminished the chord, the more tension, the simpler the resolving chord (root possibly), the more release. This applies to the leading notes and resolving notes in the melody.

Glen
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 06:52 PM

Originally Posted by Inlanding
JW, my simple rule and guess is, the more augmented or diminished the chord, the more tension, the simpler the resolving chord (root possibly), the more release. This applies to the leading notes and resolving notes in the melody.

Glen


In this particular case though, if you're playing through the changes from let's AbMaj7#11 through Bb-7(11), you're playing mostly the same notes (using this modal approach I'm talking about). Think of Db Eb Ab Bb here. So it will sound like the melody is droning while the harmony moves.

If the solo line focuses on these notes, then it seems to me that there's no change in tension, at least for the duration of these 6 bars or so. Particularly if you use quartal types of lines here, there's not enough tension to develop a strong release. Maybe that's the point but if you compare Miles Davis doing modal, you can see that he just starts implying different chords while the base chords stay constant (like So What). Here in this tune, it's sort of a reverse. The chords are moving but the solo notes are not moving as much -- I'm talking about using common tones here.

Now I have a Uri Caine version of this (uptempo as I said earlier). I think he may handled the tension and release by going outside (exact opposite of using common tones). I have to listen to it again.

My approach has not been to focus on common tones. At least in the first recording. I'm actually following the harmony. I'm just deliberating the different approaches here.

Glen, are you saying that even if the common tones are played that their function within the chord changes their tension level (even if they're just being repeated)?
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 07:03 PM

I know it is an oversimplification, but if you play the same upper note repeatedly, for example, and change the chord below as you repeat, it will either create more dissonance or less dissonance, depending. Also, if I play an inverted chord of the same name, basically same notes, it will have a more dissonant or consonant sound as well.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 11:33 PM

Originally Posted by Inlanding
I know it is an oversimplification, but if you play the same upper note repeatedly, for example, and change the chord below as you repeat, it will either create more dissonance or less dissonance, depending. Also, if I play an inverted chord of the same name, basically same notes, it will have a more dissonant or consonant sound as well.


+1

So, even though the melody note choices for two or three chords may be identical, or close to it, once the harmony changes the tension and resolution take care of themselves. Maybe think back to the Mary Had a Little Lamb exercise and how the melody was perceived differently when the backing chords were subbed.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/24/10 11:40 PM

I understand the oversimplification though because by definition, avoiding some chord tones means you're not stating the chord at its maximum quality and thus you're introducing vagueness (typically reducing the tension and the release).

But as I tried it on the piano earlier, I can see that it depends on the progression. It looks like sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

It sounds a bit like I'm trying to leave my premise of the melody implying the harmony strongly, but I'm thinking only for short periods.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/25/10 01:52 AM

Hi everyone,

I've got a question for all that have participated in this thread so far:

What have you learned by posting and discussing Nef here? Any insights into the tune? Into yourselves?

I'll go first: So far, I've realized that the more I have to clarify myself the more I have to look at the tune in the way I'm trying to describe it. Such as, if I'm giving a suggestion about why the b9 HAS to be in the Gm7b5 chord I go back to the piano and see what it is I'm really trying to say, then try some different things to either prove myself wrong, or to support what I thought was right.
Also I've noticed that in preparation to post the tune again I realize that even though this is supposed to be a workshop of sorts, I'm trying to make damn sure that I sound as good as possible.
As well, I've taken to heart Tom's idea about groove, and really tried to learn the tune to the point to make the ideas sit in the groove well.

From hearing others, I hear many of the same stumbling blocks that I've encountered, and thought I overcame, but to find that I will still stumble in some way until I really understand what it is that caused the awkward sound.

I'm also happy to hear others' voicings and chord choices, and to see what they have found most important to emphasize, or what they decided they could change.

One thing that I wish for, though, is more criticism (constructive of course) of what others think that I should try or think about to enhance my playing. I think everyone is qualified to do that because we can all now bring our own experience of learning this piece to the table.

So, in preparation for a few more versions of Nef (at least from me) I'm hoping thus far that I'm not the only one benefitting from all of this.

Well?

Oh, and lurkers, any insights from the outside are welcome, too. We were all lurkers once...
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/25/10 01:57 AM

Re tension and release:
Originally Posted by jazzwee
I understand the oversimplification though because by definition, avoiding some chord tones means you're not stating the chord at its maximum quality and thus you're introducing vagueness (typically reducing the tension and the release).

One thing that I've just found for me is that the tension builds up to the exact middle of the piece (Eb7#11 to the E chord, bars 8 and 9) and then slowly resolves down again. At least that's how I was approaching it today. So for me, all the other tensions and stable areas are secondary to this one (at least at the time of this writing), and it's made the map of the piece easier to see.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/25/10 04:03 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Re tension and release:
Originally Posted by jazzwee
I understand the oversimplification though because by definition, avoiding some chord tones means you're not stating the chord at its maximum quality and thus you're introducing vagueness (typically reducing the tension and the release).

One thing that I've just found for me is that the tension builds up to the exact middle of the piece (Eb7#11 to the E chord, bars 8 and 9) and then slowly resolves down again. At least that's how I was approaching it today. So for me, all the other tensions and stable areas are secondary to this one (at least at the time of this writing), and it's made the map of the piece easier to see.



Interesting. I just realized that in my it is Eb7#11(b9). So an A7 tritone sub.

So if you think of it as | A7 E | it's like | IV7 I | instead of | V I |. You see why I have a problem with the tensions and release? It's hard to hear a peak.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/25/10 04:12 AM

Scep, this has been an incredibly helpful workshop. Even just overnight, I've improved on this almost 100%. I was almost ready to record again.

It's been quite a learning experience and I would do it again on another difficult tune. I think my ears will react differently now just from the deep deep search for a connection between chords that most of us probably will not normally find.

Seriously, I'm ready to attack Giant Steps after this. At least that has lots of ii-V's.

I think others should give it a try and not shoot for a finished product. Because in the end it doesn't matter. A month from now, I believe I'll be playing this as comfortably as ATTYA. But at the moment, the struggle itself is a wonderful experience.

Especially if you stick to the actual unsimplified changes (of whatever version), you're really forced to deeply understand the harmony. I do approach other tunes differently already. I'm not sure what's happening yet but it's like I'm finding new melodies.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/25/10 02:21 PM

Excellent commentary!

It's been a bit of a mind-bender trying to put some type of cohesive sound to Nef. Abstraction in this regard is new ground.

Could it be I have a short attention span, don't care for the piece that much to spend all this time on it, or could understand how to approach it? It's a combo plate.

One thing's for sure, the exercise's been genuinely well-received. I appreciate the expertise, suggestion, demonstration, entertainment, and good sound.

C-min Blooze
http://www.box.net/shared/bl7v66o2gu

Glen

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/25/10 10:38 PM

I had a nice lesson today and we worked on both Nef and GBPPH. GBPPH was pretty straightforward and basically my teacher was commenting on my reharm and he likes what I did.

Now to Nef -- he wanted me to play it as a slow ballad and I actually played it reasonably well for him which was good. Shows how much effort I've put into this. But he really went back to the original changes with Dbsus. We did rework a lot of the voicings to Herbie versions.

When I heard him play this, I really had a fresh view of this tune. He played it very simply with beautiful melodies and no streams of 16ths at all. After hearing that, it shows that we are under-appreciating this tune.

He actually commented about how I made great choices learning Nef and GBPPH (Thanks 7 smile ).

So for my actual lessons, I will continue to work with Nef.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 04:50 AM

Hey Scep, my teacher played this exactly as I thought. No Ab here. It was all melody and chord tones highlighting the harmony, kind of like I thought I was approaching it. Very strict with that as I would have expected.

However, he made me use the chords with Dbsus. I realize now that the original changes (I used New Real Book) had better extensions indicated and the harmony sounds different to me because of it. He did change some of the chords though. And also validated the fact that Herbie was changing some of the chords at different parts (explaining the different versions).

Another observation was that he didn't swing it and relied on a strong quarter note pulse as the driver.

And by slowing it down for me, the tune actually is acquiring a sort of simplicity.

Once I re-memorize these changes (some of it required a change of applicable scale), I'll record it again. I think the answer that I found here for me is that it is best not to over-play (which was what Tom said).
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 05:09 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
I think the answer that I found here for me is that it is best not to over-play (which was what Tom said).


Yes, In the original recording, the repeated melody with no improvisation by the horns gave me the impression of a minimalist intent by MD and WS.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 05:56 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Hey Scep, my teacher played this exactly as I thought. No Ab here. It was all melody and chord tones highlighting the harmony, kind of like I thought I was approaching it. Very strict with that as I would have expected.

However, he made me use the chords with Dbsus.

And how did he play that Dbsus? with a Gb in there, or as an Eb over Db chord? Or...? I think I've been approaching it as the latter. I'm not sure how I'd think of the Gb unless as a precursor to the F# in the C7#11 chord.

In any case I'll have to go back and listen, but I don't recall a Gb in that chord. For some reason I thought HH did two versions of fourths, one as C F Bb, and the other as G C F, and in both cases they have the 3rd in there. Now I'm confused.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 06:17 AM

Scep, definitely a Gb.

I'm now playing it:

Db Gb C F Bb

Like two unrelated quartal voicings. Obviously the scale changes too.

There were other things that changed how I was doing it and altered the emphasis of the solo. For example near the end, instead of E7sus, he made sure I voiced it E9Sus.

He did accept that the last few chords could be varied (Eb7#11 etc. since it was stated as A7b9(b13) in the latest Real Book.

One thing that was clearer to me, and it was natural to you guys was that he played a lot of the bass notes lower than I was doing it. Actually to be honest, I had a stack of real books on the lower part of the keyboard so I covered up the keyboard. smile That probably discouraged me from going low.

In any case, since a lot of his voicings were quite low, I was noticing how light his touch was on the LH. Something easy on my Steinway, but extraordinarily difficult on the Yammie P-155. Next time I look for a new keyboard, I'm going to focus on the lower register.

In any case, he played this quite pianistically and spread out high and low so I'm not sure he had a problem with the key not being suitable for piano.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 02:29 PM

Last night, I worked on Nef on my girlfriend's piano. Too bad no recorder was present for the final arrangement, because previous trials were a complete disaster, and I finally landed on an arrangement that worked pretty well.

For this piece of music, how do you maintain any sort of consistency? Sometimes it makes sense, (connectedness of chords/melody), and other times it is enough to make one's blood curdle. Help! How do folks like Cecil Taylor do it?

Glen
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 03:29 PM

Originally Posted by Inlanding


For this piece of music, how do you maintain any sort of consistency? Sometimes it makes sense, (connectedness of chords/melody), and other times it is enough to make one's blood curdle.

Nef is like the serial killer who lived next door, unfortunately. You THOUGHT you knew him...


Originally Posted by Inlanding

Help! How do folks like Cecil Taylor do it?

Is this a serious question? The NY guy that plays so outside all the time that nothing is recognizable, even when he is just humming the melody to One Note Samba?
Is there another Cecil Taylor, or is he playing differently now?


I thought I was doing pretty good on Nef, and I do like how I've progressed, but take a listen to my latest version to see how things have changed. If you can manage to the end I cover some different approaches along the way.
Some things you'll here: backbeat comping evolving to downbeat comping, melody transposed with static harm, and also starting in another key.
Oh, and as for Red Dot Syndrome, yes, I still screw up. This just suggests to me that I really don't know what I think I know to the degree that I should.

http://www.box.net/shared/qqmty9zi2c
It's the one labelled Nefertiti mar 23
Criticisms welcomed. Seriously, bring them on, please!
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 03:52 PM

Scep - that was a good one! I like the simple left-hand structure and consistently noticeable, simple beat. It is clear you are connecting with the music, delivering your own expression. This is a great example of what can be done with a repeated melody line. From 3:30 on you really open up, show intensity, then a sense of calm in an already dissonant structure, then back again - love the circularity of your arrangement that matches the circularity of the piece.

Yes, Nef is an ever-elusive, moving target - I like your analogy. The Cecil Taylor comment was a rhetorical question...;)

From your latest rendition, it is motivation for me to get back in front of the keyboard with Nef.

Glen
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 04:14 PM

Hey Sceptical, that is sounding really good. You are finding plenty of interesting stuff to play on that difficult sequence, and you have really made it sound your own which is the most any of us can hope to do.
I know you want criticism but it's difficult to find something to say when there is nothing which is wrong. If I had to find one thing that would have improved it for me I would say that maybe you stated the tune a few too many times. I felt you could have kind of moved away from it more and then just brought it back towards the end. Yours was more like a set of variations, which is also an interesting way to play.
All in all it goes to show how creative you can get when you get really inside a tune. Great job.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 04:59 PM

Thanks Glen and Dave!

But come on now...how about "Are you really sure about those transition bars between 8 and 9? Because it always sounds vague, where the surrounding stuff sounds more stable. It is especially evident you don't really know this point because when you changed keys, you also changed the chord there to make it easier at one point."

Or "Be careful not to speed up. Do you know why you do it?" "Sometimes your fast runs tend to be out of sync..."

And BB, the melody repetition--it was my way of reassuring myself what key I was in again because I took the melody in three places (Db, Ab, Eb I believe, I'll have to check again), and I tried to avoid confusing myself. So, ya, unless my intent was to be like the original Nef recording, which was all just melody, then I may want to look at that again.

So people, put aside your kindness! I mean, I like it and all, but it just feeds my ego at the expense of distracting me from further work to be done. Also, it keeps me honest. Sometimes if I do something that others don't catch (remember talking about rhythm changes BB?) and they either think it is cool or whatever, but I don't like, then I feel like I've fooled people, and in doing so fooled myself into believing I'm better than I am.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 05:18 PM

Scep,
The piece is not well-enough under my fingers to provide much of a detailed critique - I happen to like your style, to boot!

You are you own best critic here...I, too, have a tendency to get louder when I speed up, lose my sense of tempo.

It also might be perhaps that my general lack of experience with relatively non-melodic tunes from that era leaves me with more questions than comments. I've never been shown even what to look for when it comes to improvising on music from that free-form, bebop, cool and modal jazz era.

As a result, I rather enjoyed the repetition of the melody theme winding through the piece and how you worked your way around it.

Perhaps trying to syncopate the bass-line with the right-hand melody? There is no way I can do that at this point with this piece, but it seems like that would be another option for you. Keep 'em coming, Scep!

Glen
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 05:22 PM

Wonderful job Scep! Totally new style here. thumb

I can totally hear the harmony in your solo. Much more defined now (something I shoot for so I listen to it).

Now what I was surprised about was even with that soft LH comping that suggests a ballad, you're actually playing this very uptempo (for this tune). It felt like 170bpm maybe. But the interesting thing is that it felt like half time, with the rhythm you were using. It works and I like the result.

Downbeat comping works for this tune. In fact that's how I'm evolving on this myself.

The effect of this version is very impressionistic. Similar to Beeboss's version. The main difference being that you're running through the changes twice as fast. That's pretty good that you kept up with that. It shows your familiarity with this tune after a month.

As critique, if you remember, we keep talking about horizontal playing. Seeing that you're playing fast here, you can actually have more opportunity to hold the notes over the barline. I think that kind of variation will sound good. And now I realize that long melody notes in the solo are in keeping with the original, at least I think some should be in the mix.

Nice round here buddy!

Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 05:51 PM

Okay...here we go Jazzwee. Please define for me what you are talking about when you mention horizontal and vertical playing.

Glen
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 06:23 PM

Scep, the best way to understand Horizontal vs. Vertical playing is to think about Miles Davis.

Typical Bebop playing is vertical, which means you pick notes for the solo based on the current chord. So if you're playing rhythm changes, you're being judged by how quickly you can "play the changes" (or keep up with it). So in the Nef theme, it's like looking at each chord as an island to itself.

Horizontal playing involves looking for themes so you can connect several chords at once, so the melody seems connected over several chords. In practice this is done by looking for common tones between sets of chords and then creating melodies over those common tones.

Often we can do the horizontal approach automatically when we work with a progression we know well (like a ii-V-I or a familiar tune like ATTYA, AL, etc.) But on Nef, it does not come automatically unfortunately, it does require work to search for it. Sometimes it comes from noodling around the common tones.

To best hear horizontal playing -- listen to Miles Davis records. He'll lay out a long drawn melody note applying to several chords. Although it doesn't mean that long notes mean horizontal. It just means you hear a consistent theme over several chords.

I think it is harder to develop horizontal concepts in soloing. Playing to the changes is much easier and often in bebop, the challenge is more in quantity and speed of notes.

Often my teacher will suggest to me to change an approach on a tune and think more horizontally. Typically, step 1 for him: play to the changes (vertical), step2: think more thematically (horizontal).



Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 07:39 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee


As critique, if you remember, we keep talking about horizontal playing. Seeing that you're playing fast here, you can actually have more opportunity to hold the notes over the barline.


There! You caught me. It's those common tones that are still illusive when soloing. I know what they may be thinking in vertical chord (I'm on this chord now, now I'm on this chord), but when I think about the common tones that actually sound good, and are not just played because I may know them that is where things are still shakey. Good ears on you JW. So yes, the default is to do rapid notes in those places at times.

I'm going back at it tonight. I'm in D these days though. For me, my fingers fit better here for now. Db was pretty good too, but I think I'm done with Ab for a bit because now my chord choices are becoming a bit staid for my tastes.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 07:44 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
Scep, the best way to understand Horizontal vs. Vertical playing is to think about Miles Davis.


Er, Glen, pay attention, I think he means you... smile
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 07:49 PM

That's quite an exercise to be playing this in multiple keys. I don't want to do that though because I'm trying to get it to a point where the changes themselves are in my subconscious. Anything else I add to the mix at this point requires a conscious effort. I find that when I get to that stage, I'm just listening.

I'm not thinking of what I'm playing. Then I get a big picture on the sound.

It reminds me of the few weeks spent playing the same notes on each chord. No melodic connections (because I couldn't hear any). Suddenly I started hearing 'some' melodies. In the last couple of days, I actually hear a lot so it means some of my brain power isn't occupied on making the vertical changes so much.

The rhythm of course is one big area that I'm really focused on. When I record next, I hope this part starts to gel.

BTW Scep, I may start looking at Blue in Green next because it's similar to this. So it's like working on a similar set of skills.




Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 07:50 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by jazzwee
Scep, the best way to understand Horizontal vs. Vertical playing is to think about Miles Davis.


Er, Glen, pay attention, I think he means you... smile


I'm so used to saying Scep smile.... yup, the answer of course refers to Glen. Sorry about that.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 07:58 PM

JW,
Thanks for defining vertical and horizontal playing. I suppose I do those kinds of things already, but never really defined it. Lots to learn here...

Scep,
Good point on playing in different keys. I do have a certain vocabulary when playing in certain/different keys, and physically I am used to certain patterns in some keys that just does not particularly exist in others.

I have put Nef and GBPPH into two keys as well, so I will give that a try.

Blue in Green will get a looksee now, too, but one key at a time.

Glen
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 08:04 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
That's quite an exercise to be playing this in multiple keys. I don't want to do that though because I'm trying to get it to a point where the changes themselves are in my subconscious. Anything else I add to the mix at this point requires a conscious effort. I find that when I get to that stage, I'm just listening.

Actually for me the new keys were so I could really learn the changes not as chords but as numbers. Remember the number thing? In any case, once I did this the chord progress became way easier in Ab, and it also allowed me to think of chord functions rather than this is an Eb#11 or whatever. I believe 7 has the same idea about approaching learning a tune insofar as if you put it in a new key (he suggests tritone away) then you're more apt to understand the chords and melody better.

Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/26/10 09:34 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee


Horizontal playing involves looking for themes so you can connect several chords at once, so the melody seems connected over several chords. In practice this is done by looking for common tones between sets of chords and then creating melodies over those common tones.



Hey JW,

I'd like to hear more about how to identify common tones. An example with Nef would be great.

Thanks--
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/27/10 07:41 AM

Hey Knotty, we're in the advanced thread here so I was hoping the more advanced will step in. I'm a babe in the woods compared to most here. But I'll give it a go since no else has chimed in.

Of course the simplistic answer is that there are crossover scale notes within progressions. For example in theory, AbMaj7#11 and Dbsus in Nef share some common notes like Bb. But in real life playing, I don't know if there is a 'official' formula. What you are really asking is, in effect, how to make beautiful melodies that create a theme over several chords. We'd be famous if the answere were so easy.

Aside from trial and error (which is all I was taught), I'm guessing that good melodies resolve on a strong chord tone like the 3rd. I'm thinking that some chord tones are great resolution tones. So within a melody line, at moments some notes, though related by scale may be more tense for some chords while turning into resolution notes for other chords.

Even when playing a tune like Nef, I was noticing how my teacher just first played the full chord (2 handed harmony) and then highlighted the 3rd as a melody note/guide tone. Somehow if you can lead parts of a whole melody line to resolve to this chord tone, I'm guessing one might feel a connection in an otherwise strange progression like Nef.

So let's take that original progresison in Nef of AbMaj7#11 Dbsus. Which is the more important tones to make the two chords connect? Would you think Bb because it is shared? I think not, because Bb is functionally unimportant. I would probably think of F F# G. G is the #11 in AbMaj7#11 and F is the 3rd of Dbsus. A connection between these 3 notes might be interesting. Another strong connection could be C which is the 3rd of AbMaj7 and the 7 of DbMaj7. So here you now have an available pool of notes which would sound connected over the two chords.

This is just an example of a thought process. Imagine though how this has to occur at millisecond speed in actual playing. I can't do that. I've got to noodle around it for awhile to notice these.

BTW - this is why I think saying play in 'Ab' is completely off here. I couldn't think Ab at all especially after I've redone my voicings.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/27/10 10:32 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee


Horizontal playing involves looking for themes so you can connect several chords at once, so the melody seems connected over several chords. In practice this is done by looking for common tones between sets of chords and then creating melodies over those common tones.



That is one way to do it. Another may be to deliberately choose the notes that are different in the tonality of the new chord to emphasize the freshness of the new sound. It all depends if you want the transition between the chords to be as smooth as possible or not. I always had a fascination for flattening out the harmony between the chords to approach everything in as modal a way as possible but now tend to think that the fresh notes are the really important ones as they define the change in tonality. And they make for a more interesting melodic line with more tension.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/27/10 10:59 AM

Interesting beeboss, thanks. When you are in the moment improvising, do you think "I'm going to play a chord tone note", "Now I'm going to play a tension note ?"
Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/27/10 02:18 PM

Interesting perspective. I feel like common tones are a great way to make sense out of a progression that the ear isn't tuned to. Thanks for the explanation.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/27/10 03:54 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by jazzwee


Horizontal playing involves looking for themes so you can connect several chords at once, so the melody seems connected over several chords. In practice this is done by looking for common tones between sets of chords and then creating melodies over those common tones.



That is one way to do it. Another may be to deliberately choose the notes that are different in the tonality of the new chord to emphasize the freshness of the new sound. It all depends if you want the transition between the chords to be as smooth as possible or not. I always had a fascination for flattening out the harmony between the chords to approach everything in as modal a way as possible but now tend to think that the fresh notes are the really important ones as they define the change in tonality. And they make for a more interesting melodic line with more tension.


Actually, this I do more often and I associate it with 'Vertical Playing'. The focus being the chord tones of the new tonality. This is more automatic I think. But the other one of weaving a theme over all this means that at some chords, you ignore/bypass the tonality (hitting extensions temporarily) raising tension and then being released on the most defined tonality.

It's some sort of balance I think. I watch my teacher do this effortlessly and it is a fascinating experience.

Scep referred to an old thread I had on Reharmonizing Mary Had A Little Lamb and that illustrates the point. The melody itself is well known. The chords where changed and many a time the melody did not define the chord underneath (meaning the melody was not a major chord tone). And then when the melody ends typically the chord and the melody both resolve. This is a backward way of looking at this (reharming). In soloing of course, it's the reverse. Can you come up with a melody that just skirts the harmony at points but the melody itself is so strong that it drives the music?

That's what makes great music. And this is the essence of what people refer to as Horizontal playing.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 12:55 AM

Originally Posted by custard apple
Interesting beeboss, thanks. When you are in the moment improvising, do you think "I'm going to play a chord tone note", "Now I'm going to play a tension note ?"


Hi Custard,
I don't know. I guess at some level those choices are being made but I am not really consciously thinking about it. For one thing chord tones are pretty arbitrary, and any note can become a chord tone at any time just by being included in the chord. Each note has a different level of dissonance when played with any particular chord voicing as well, regardless if that note is part of the stated harmony. Basically there are too many factors to consciously think about, but as your ear develops you get better at finding the right sound to play at each moment somehow.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 01:17 AM

Beeboss, I agree. I'm working hard on ear training and I'm picking up better how a given note sounds within the particular chord.
Also I've studied two Dave Frank masterclasses on improv and composition, I'm going to start focusing on the phrase not just the note.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 06:39 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode

I am listening to your new Nef. You asked for candid feedback. I offer what I hope is constructive criticism. Your chops are good. Your strongest element is your harmony by far. Melodies are good, but a bit scale like. Not a lot of singable melodies, which is my preference. There are loud and soft passages, but not enough micro dynamics of a rise and fall within a single phrase, giving the phrase a beginning, middle and end. Pedaling is a bit too wet in places, but that is a minor issue. The area most ripe for improvement is timing. You struggle a bit to hold a consistent pulse. The basic elements of jazz timing seem to be missing in your playing. It comes across that you don't yet know very well how to swing or how to portray a jazz sensibility in your time flow - even when playing straight. If your harmony progresses, and your timing doesn't, it will lead to even more uneven playing. My preference is a well balanced player rather than someone who is uneven with highs and lows in various skill levels. It's really a matter of what you choose and what is important to you. Pursuit of a better balance between harmony, melody and timing would be my recommendation based on my perspective. Kudos for posting your work and progress and putting yourself out there for scrutiny.


Note: this was a PM that I asked Tom if he'd mind if I made public, so searching the thread won't turn up this post.
My reply below.
Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

Hi Tom,
Just got in. Now my hopes and dreams are crushed after reading this message.

All is lost....all is lost.


Ha! Just kidding! You know, this is good advice you've given. The way I look at it is that we all have different perspectives and what we view as important, and that if I want to progress (according to you) that I should heed your advice. And you know, I agree with you about the timing and the lack of singable melodies. However, I'm still at a bit of a loss as how to tackle the swing issue since what I hear is different than what you or others hear. I'm not sure if it a 'back to the drawing board approach' that is needed, or a different perspective. In any case, what I do know is that a tune like Nef doesn't make it easy to swing unless I do reduce it down to something that is not how I'd want to play.


In any event, would you mind if I posted your email to the forum? I'm trying to learn from all of this, and at the same time I don't think I have any problem with others learning from what you said about my playing.


So there. I've got the ball rolling. This is what I wanted. Others can chime in about the issues at hand (with my playing or not) and if any feel brave enough can invite the same frank comments from others.

I don't view this as 'Beat up on Scep Day' or anything, so you needn't take sides, or even come to my defense, since this is really just an exploration about how to get better at a given tune on a given day. If my issues reach beyond Nef, then I'll need to examine them further of course, and I do suspect my timing issue is something that I've needed to address in general.

As for others learning from this, well that's kind of the idea. Every player has their own issues and sometimes it takes others to bring it to their attention.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 07:14 AM

'Let him who has no sin cast the first stone' smile

How am I supposed to criticize you when I know my own problems are even worse? My time problems are abominable and I don't seem to progress as fast with it. It affects everything for me actually because when I hear my time going south (especially when I have no beat to latch on to). But some issues aren't solvable overnight. I'm feeling that awareness of it is half the solution.

But on the melody front, I think that's easily solvable. I don't think I have a problem with that myself. Definitely teacher's influence for me is big here. The solution I think is to slow down and make simple melodies using eighth notes and quarters and avoid using sixteenths too often.

I'm playing Nef with very slow and simple stuff right now and focusing just on the timing and phrasing. The way I've changed playing this, which is with a fuller harmony most of the time, I think additional complexity in the lines is not needed. I'm going to post something soon but I had to unlearn the changes and voicings and start from scratch so that screwed me up.

BTW - I think pedalling is quite an issue with with this tune. I hate playing Nef on a digital because it's really quite a "piano" piece when you put your mind to it. Lots of nuances that need to be practiced, including dynamics. Fortunately it will apply to other things but it's going to take time to perfect.

Overall, Tom's comments are right and apply to many of us (plus more negatives). Fortunately, I'm under no illusion that I have to guess what they are. I just work on it a bit at a time until it's all worked out. Things do improve if one focuses.

I'm confident my next version will be much better. So if everyone has the same confidence, just keep posting and set ego aside. The final result will speak for itself.

Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 11:01 AM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

However, I'm still at a bit of a loss as how to tackle the swing issue since what I hear is different than what you or others hear. I'm not sure if it a 'back to the drawing board approach' that is needed, or a different perspective. In any case, what I do know is that a tune like Nef doesn't make it easy to swing unless I do reduce it down to something that is not how I'd want to play.



Hi Sceptical,
I think it is probably true that the rhythmic aspects are the weakest element for every person posting here. I know that is true for me. The difficulty is that it is pretty easy to learn about harmony and scales (it can be done in a few years) and melody we have been unconsciously learning since we were very young, but rhythm takes a really long time and a lot of work to develop, and progress is very slow even if we work hard at it. Added to that solo piano is particulatly difficult in the rhythmic aspect.

There are lots of ways to develop a better rhythmic sense but it is not always easy to work out exactly what the problems are, especially from a solo piano performance. What I would suggest is to post a recording of you playing a medium swing tune with rhythm section (aebersold for instance) as then it will be much easier to hear where your rhythmic difficulties lie. 1/8 notes over a nice easy tune would be a good idea (not a wayne shorter tune just a basic standard) should illustrate everything that needs attention.
Maybe I will try one later on so there is something up here for analysis.
Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 12:45 PM

I would gladly take you up on that. Here's a quick recording of ATTYA, mostly sticking to 1/8 notes.

http://www.box.net/shared/hsdqx5o6te

Sorry for the poor quality of the recording and background chatter. Hopefully that is clear enough.

Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 01:33 PM

Hi Knotty,
To me the weakness sounds like it is in your left hand which basically states the harmony on the first beat of each bar. That is definitely something to move away from and should be easily achievable with a few exercises. Just practice putting the chord on some different places in the bar and (almost) never on the first beat. Also try to make the left hand sound as if it has some connection to what the right hand is playing, either playing the chord at the the high point of a phrase or in between phrases maybe.
The right hand is doing better though, maybe you could try without any left hand chords and see how much of the harmony you can bring out with the right hand alone.
Just a few ideas for a start.
Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 01:54 PM

Ah yes. I left the LH totally out of the equation. Still trying to focus solely on making melodies with RH and thinking in 4s.
Will need to work on the LF at some point. I'm on a pretty strict regimen and the LH work is purely ear training right now. Thanks for the feedback.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 03:36 PM

Haha! Knotty, sounds like a lot of activity in that room while you were recording :-)
Knotty, what I hear is you doing the work to move forward rhythmically speaking. What else can any of us do. If your goal is to swing more solid, I would drop the left hand and play the head in locked octaves trying to get in the pocket as deep as I can. This will confer swing to your left hand as well, and not divide your attention. To build your LH comp, just comp LH alone and hum the head. Make an arrangement of LH comping that is more difficult than what you can play spontaneously and do it for a dozen different tunes. That vocabulary will eventually become more spontaneous. I would also try to move to a metronome beat on the two and the four only. You could transition with a drum program that did a very weak one and three and strong two and four.

Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 03:44 PM

Quote: Skep said, "I'm not sure if it a 'back to the drawing board approach' that is needed, or a different perspective."

I would go with the different perspective. If you frame working on rhythm as taking a step backwards, then it is already a toxic construct in your mind and you will probably resent working on it. I have had that conversation with myself many times over basics that I'm weak on as well. I reframe it and think of it as something with which I am not yet familiar. I'm just familiarizing myself with something new. (Thank you Kenny Werner!) It wasn't that you didn't know Nefertiti, you just hadn't familiarized yourself with it yet :-)
Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 03:55 PM

-- Haha! Knotty, sounds like a lot of activity in that room while you were recording :-) --
It is Sunday morning after all smile
It doesn't get much more quiet than that though. And to be fair, I'm probably the one making the most noise... errr, music I meant.

-- To build your LH comp, just comp LH alone and hum the head. Make an arrangement of LH comping that is more difficult than what you can play spontaneously and do it for a dozen different tunes. That vocabulary will eventually become more spontaneous. --

That's one of the things we're doing. LH composition. The other thing is to just take a progression / voicing, run it through 12 keys while saying the chord names. We do that very slow, like 2-3 minutes per chord. That's what I meant earlier by ear training. I am actually surprised by how well this simple technique works.

-- If your goal is to swing more solid, I would drop the left hand and play the head in locked octaves trying to get in the pocket as deep as I can. This will confer swing to your left hand as well, and not divide your attention. --
Now there's a challenge. Let's see if I can get the LH in shape smile
I'm a big fan of Phineas Newborn Jr., he took your exercise to a whole new level.

thanks for the feedback.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 04:20 PM

Knotty, you've come a long way here my friend. thumb This is quite an achievement compared to last year for example. You are moving up!

BTW - at this tempo it is very easy to pick out exactly what notes you are playing. So I'm going to make comments about the content and not the rhythm. If you want to improve your melodies, you need to see what notes you are stating on the downbeats. What Beeboss said is quite true. See if you can state the harmony without the left hand. If you highlight an extension on a downbeat then you have lost the definition of the harmony.

In the first section, I thought the harmony was defined well. Then I felt I got lost in the form after when I heard an extension note emphasized. You've heard me play ATTYA a million times here. I think you'll hear the chord quality without my LH. Even when I played it at 220bpm.

It didn't come automatically. It was based on my teacher harping on me that I need to state the harmony on the downbeats (for years). Now it is the least of my problems wink

I think it is an essential element to constructing melodies based on eighth notes. I know you hear us talking about horizontal/thematic playing as it applies to Wayne Shorter's work. But this is really a different animal. When it comes to normal medium swing tunes with functional progressions, we've got to master the basics first.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 04:32 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

However, I'm still at a bit of a loss as how to tackle the swing issue since what I hear is different than what you or others hear. I'm not sure if it a 'back to the drawing board approach' that is needed, or a different perspective. In any case, what I do know is that a tune like Nef doesn't make it easy to swing unless I do reduce it down to something that is not how I'd want to play.



Hi Sceptical,
I think it is probably true that the rhythmic aspects are the weakest element for every person posting here. I know that is true for me. The difficulty is that it is pretty easy to learn about harmony and scales (it can be done in a few years) and melody we have been unconsciously learning since we were very young, but rhythm takes a really long time and a lot of work to develop, and progress is very slow even if we work hard at it. Added to that solo piano is particulatly difficult in the rhythmic aspect.

There are lots of ways to develop a better rhythmic sense but it is not always easy to work out exactly what the problems are, especially from a solo piano performance. What I would suggest is to post a recording of you playing a medium swing tune with rhythm section (aebersold for instance) as then it will be much easier to hear where your rhythmic difficulties lie. 1/8 notes over a nice easy tune would be a good idea (not a wayne shorter tune just a basic standard) should illustrate everything that needs attention.
Maybe I will try one later on so there is something up here for analysis.


Beeboss, my problem is that in solo piano, I don't have a good internal beat especially in slower tunes. With a rhythm section it is less of an issue and I worked very hard with a metronome and improved a lot of it.

Since the right foot is heavy on pedal use in Nef, there are plenty of distractions. Maybe it's the pedal that causes the problem since pedal action is often counter to the beat.

I've started to stick to metronome use here like what 7 did.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 05:14 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy

However, I'm still at a bit of a loss as how to tackle the swing issue since what I hear is different than what you or others hear. I'm not sure if it a 'back to the drawing board approach' that is needed, or a different perspective. In any case, what I do know is that a tune like Nef doesn't make it easy to swing unless I do reduce it down to something that is not how I'd want to play.



Hi Sceptical,
...rhythm takes a really long time and a lot of work to develop, and progress is very slow even if we work hard at it. Added to that solo piano is particulatly difficult in the rhythmic aspect.

There are lots of ways to develop a better rhythmic sense but it is not always easy to work out exactly what the problems are, especially from a solo piano performance. What I would suggest is to post a recording of you playing a medium swing tune with rhythm section (aebersold for instance) as then it will be much easier to hear where your rhythmic difficulties lie.

I've put some duo, trio, and quartet tunes in my biline (see below). This will illustrate that how the problems with groove are more present in some situations than others.

Check out the duo for What is this thing Called love first. I think this might be the best example of how I rush at times.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 05:22 PM

Originally Posted by knotty
I would gladly take you up on that. Here's a quick recording of ATTYA, mostly sticking to 1/8 notes.

http://www.box.net/shared/hsdqx5o6te

Sorry for the poor quality of the recording and background chatter. Hopefully that is clear enough.



The one thing that I noticed was when playing triplets or 16th notes the time is compromised. I do this too, especially when I'm not 100% certain of what I really wanted to play in the triplet run and find myself rushing to get to the end of it.

It sounds like you're really working on getting the backbeat or upbeat feel happening, which is good. I think with time it will require less emphasis and will sound even better once there is not such a large dynamic difference between the downbeats and the upbeats. It does illustrate though that you understand the importance of the rhythmic 'thrust' of the upbeats.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 06:26 PM

OK Skep, Tell me why you sound like a completely different player on ATTYA duo? Timing is in a different league than Nef. What is that about? Man, I would love to have that bass player around.

Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 06:35 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
OK Skep, Tell me why you sound like a completely different player on ATTYA duo? Timing is in a different league than Nef. What is that about? Man, I would love to have that bass player around.



er...pardon me? You people confuse me. JazzWee calls everyone Scep, and you are listening to...All the Things You are? Are you really referring to me?

If you are referring to me, I think it was probably either the Aint Necessarily So or the What is this thing called Love maybe? If WITTCL, then yes, he's a KILLER player. He was also 21 at the time of the recording I believe.

Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 08:27 PM

Yes,You are Skep and I am confused. It was WITTCL. I thought you put that up as an example of your playing. No?
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/28/10 09:35 PM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
Yes,You are Skep and I am confused. It was WITTCL. I thought you put that up as an example of your playing. No?

Yes I'm Scep. Who's on first?

Ok all clear then. I did put the link up to my playing, but I don't believe I had a duo playing ATTYA. Confusion all gone now.

So in any case, I suppose I sound different in the recordings because the circumstances were different. The duo was a studio one-off of a pretty easy tune (What is this thing), and Nefertiti is really an evil creature sent by jazz demons to wreak havoc on all those that attempt to play her as a solo piano piece and I was foolish enough to post my in-progress versions of it on a public forum with the intent of garnering feedback about how to proceed. wink

As for the other recordings, I think I sound different depending on the bassist and drums too. If I'm playing with a solid bass player everything is easy. If I'm playing with a bass player that potentially drops beats, speeds up/slows down, plays too straight, etc, I find that I get musically nervous and it shows up in my playing. Solo stuff is a different matter altogether. I'm at a cross-roads as to whether I want to explore swing in this setting because I kind of like freer rhythm in this context. I do agree that pulse is important, but question about how to achieve it sometimes.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/29/10 12:31 AM

Skep, When you play solo, just pretend you're playing with a bass, and you'll have it made :-)

Switching subjects -- When I did Nef, I kept the metronome going and did GBPPH at the same time. I was basically just focusing on syncing to a metronome and creating space. This was kind of practicing/playing. I'm trying dropbox for the link.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3193071/GBPPH%20w%20met%20100313b.mp3
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/29/10 05:18 AM

Here's a Nefertiti and GBPPH practice session tonight. So to put it in context, the first version was early in the week sometime.

This was done on my Steinway and it was difficult getting to really perform because of the busy house, so mostly I'm just noodling here. Sometimes I had to start and stop or lose my place because of people around me so I really didn't attempt to play it in strict time.

Nefertiti Practice (#2)
http://www.box.net/shared/doza93bmlk

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat Practice (#1)
http://www.box.net/shared/y7nmmhrhup

EDIT - I think it is important to post even unfinished products as I'm finding that what I think I sound like isn't what I really sound like. And putting it in here in the open, makes me re-analyze what I'm doing in a different way. One of things I was practicing was just getting the heads and the voicings right so I think I got that. Next step I think is to really solo with a rhythm and just commit to it. The next time I record this, I'll just keep the solo simple and focus on time.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/29/10 05:20 AM

Originally Posted by 7notemode
Skep, When you play solo, just pretend you're playing with a bass, and you'll have it made :-)

Switching subjects -- When I did Nef, I kept the metronome going and did GBPPH at the same time. I was basically just focusing on syncing to a metronome and creating space. This was kind of practicing/playing. I'm trying dropbox for the link.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3193071/GBPPH%20w%20met%20100313b.mp3


You have such great time Tom and just made the recording pop. Lovely!

I also notice your balanced touch in controlling which notes stand out and it is very well done.
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/29/10 01:46 PM

Thanks, JW.
Your Nef is very clean with really nice feeling/dynamics to it.
I know it's early w/ PPH. My impression was way too many notes.
As a learning exercise, you may want to:
Learn melody in both hands locked together with and without a met.
Melody in RH with single bass note representing the chord
Melody with just two notes in the left hand for comping.
Then RH improvise with the same left hand single bass note and two note method
That kind of brutal editing forces you to choose what is most important to play and gives some structure to the piece in your head.
just a suggestion :-)
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/29/10 05:25 PM

Thanks Tom. I really haven't worked with GBPPH yet, other than to memorize the progression and choose some voicings. I was just noodling while I waited for my family to quiet down. I think your comments are valid and I will keep that in mind for the next round. Your playing is a fine example to compare against.

BTW - I don't consider Nef#2 'clean', yet. Other than for the voicings, I realized that I didn't play it like my teacher wanted me to do to begin with (for one I needed to be slower). What is clearing up for me though is the harmony. Note choices is not so hard now I think. What's more difficult is phrasing and time, and some technique issues like pedal and more refined dynamics. I think I have a lot more improvement possible here before I reach the next wall.

The big change in this version of Nef is the changes. I'm using the early changes (with DbSus, and double BMaj7). Not that this makes much difference in playing, but I noticed that this set of changes has more defined tension/release points.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/30/10 12:09 AM

Talking of swing and rhythm I thought I should have a go at playing some straight ahead swing stuff. So here are a few tunes I played today...
If i were a bell ...
http://www.divshare.com/download/10916634-1fc

and It could happen to you...
http://www.divshare.com/download/10916651-8bc

It could happen has a deceptively tricky sequence for me, it is quite long and easy to get lost in.
I tried to use a variety of rhythmic approaches here, some worked better than others I think.
They are not really up to a performance standard but I post them as work in progress.
Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/30/10 12:28 AM

JW,
Fantastic job!
Posted By: Wizard of 0Z

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/30/10 01:28 AM

guys, great posts here!! I've been MIA for a while due do some activities in another forum that got carried away. Lesson learned, it's useless to argue with those who have only 1 viewpoint (re: some classical players!!)

Anyways, I have a recording device for the moment so I'll be posting up some songs real soon!!
Posted By: Wizard of 0Z

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/30/10 07:25 AM

ok, here's a VERY rough go of Nefertiti. I would consider it free improv with the Nef melody interspersed in the middle. I'm going more for the mood and feeling of the song.

Forgive the out-of-tune piano and acoustics. It's a small upright and not the nice grands that you all seem to have!

I'll do a few more recordings of it soon.

http://www.box.net/shared/uxpgztuf01

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/30/10 02:52 PM

Originally Posted by Wizard of 0Z
ok, here's a VERY rough go of Nefertiti. I would consider it free improv with the Nef melody interspersed in the middle. I'm going more for the mood and feeling of the song.

Forgive the out-of-tune piano and acoustics. It's a small upright and not the nice grands that you all seem to have!

I'll do a few more recordings of it soon.

http://www.box.net/shared/uxpgztuf01




Wiz, I thought you were Kenny Werner there for a moment smile Nice! The complexity of the harmony in Nef is ripe for your approach. But you did take the easy way out smile LOL! I liked what you did though. And your piano sounded great. Look, I may have a nice piano, but the recording sounds bad because I just plunk the Zoom on top of the piano.

I'm glad you're joining the fray now. thumb

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/30/10 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by knotty
JW,
Fantastic job!


Thanks Knotty. Are you giving Nef a try? smile
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/30/10 03:08 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Talking of swing and rhythm I thought I should have a go at playing some straight ahead swing stuff. So here are a few tunes I played today...
If i were a bell ...
http://www.divshare.com/download/10916634-1fc

and It could happen to you...
http://www.divshare.com/download/10916651-8bc

It could happen has a deceptively tricky sequence for me, it is quite long and easy to get lost in.
I tried to use a variety of rhythmic approaches here, some worked better than others I think.
They are not really up to a performance standard but I post them as work in progress.


Beeboss, I feel like I'm at a Jazz gig when you post this. smile It's really fun to listen to as well as learning each time. A lot of people BTW can learn from your swing style. Both you and Tom have a nice modern swing style that I really find enjoyable.

These two sounded great. Keep postng more of these as you have a guarnteed audience here.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/30/10 07:31 PM

Hi all,

I'm leaving this thread for now. Take care.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 03/31/10 05:58 AM

Hi all,

As I was practicing Nef a bit tonight, I really felt that it was coming along, and I was enjoying the pianistic aspects of this tune. So much opportunity to play with the dynamics and resonating harmony. I think this will be one of my favorite tunes now and I like playing it slowly and choosing notes carefully. No need to play this fast at all.

I like the variation in the discussion. Perhaps next, I should record ATTYA again like Knotty to practice some slow swing, something I've not been that good at.

I'll give Nef a bit of time to mature and then maybe post a finished version. GBPPH too.

But I'm looking forward to new ideas for tunes. It's been very educational so far. Let's do it! Working as a group is really encouraging.


Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/01/10 03:04 PM

When I first started this thread, it was the purpose of learning, and I stated that anyone willing to say they're learning can join here. I would like to reiterate that the focus should then be posting work-in-progress and unfinished music as this is a quiet place to do so without undergoing too much negativity. But a friendly exchange inciting learning would really be the best result.

The thread evolved somewhat to a more workshop oriented one because of Scep's active posts and where he sought for more active criticism of anything posted here and did not want a public area for wide dissemination of music like Youtube.

Since that's not how the thread got started (sometimes you never know where it will go, since the first initial posters where Wiz and I), I'm not for any dictatorial approach here.

If you post music and seek criticism, I think one should state so. If one is posting more finished music as an example in a discussion of what can be done. I think that's fine too.

If you have an advanced jazz topic you want to debate, it's welcome here.

I'm stating this because Scep has started a different thread to continue this elsewhere and I don't intend to kill this thread which already has a big audience.

Obviously the initial posters that carried this thread have different ideas of where it should go. I kind of liked how BB interacted early on, posting trial balloons of his ideas. I did the same with blogs of my own activities. Admitedly, we had become quite productive when several worked on the same tune.

Additionally, we also have a rather large group now of interested parties from Jazz Study Group 1 who may not necessarily post here but read what's going on here.

My thoughts are that offering too much structure may or may not work at all times. At different skill levels, we don't have the capacity to learn as fast as some others. Obviously, it may take me a month or two to learn an advanced tune like Nef, but require only 1 week for 7 or BB.

I rather like the fact that we can sometimes post the same tunes and get ideas from each other. But perhaps it cannot be limited as Scep desired.

Any thoughts from lurkers and main posters?



Posted By: knotty

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/01/10 04:30 PM

JW,

You are limited by the format of this forum. It would be awesome if content could be organized better, but alas, it cannot.

So I think you're getting the best out of it. And though I belong in the other thread, I sure liked posting my ATTYA the other day, picking up on Dave's comment, and getting some good feedback. Great feedback actually, with everyone offering a different point of view.

Just keep it this way !!

++
Posted By: CMohr

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/01/10 04:55 PM

I'm just a beginner learning jazz, and I always follow this thread. Much of what's going on here is way over my head, but I certainly have learned certain things that I can add to my limited jazz vocabulary.

I enjoy the other jazz thread also (it's been a little neglected lately) and hope to get something I'm working on posted over there sometime soon.

I hope both threads continue as, at least for me, they are extremely educational. I only have my teacher for one hour each week, so everyone here helps fill the void with great insights.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/01/10 06:20 PM

Hi CMohr, apparently the other thread has not been ignored by readers as regular downloading of the materials there continue. I think they were being led by this thread which has a link on top. As long as either thread is up, it should be easy to cross reference. I think I mentioned before that separation of beginner vs. advanced was useful so that there can be no limitations on the discussion. Otherwise, beginners will need definition of every advanced concept defined here.

Knotty, I hope you don't distinguish yourself as belonging to this thread or that. Obviously you're no longer a beginner, as your latest ATTYA post proves smile

I sure appreciate the feedback. There can't be these many viewers of this thread if it wasn't interesting enough. And I thank those who've participated so far and I hope we keep going as we were (in whatever iteration).

I think what's different about this thread is we're actually talking and playing Jazz, often at the tune level. Not many forums have this level of discussion about music.

And while I kept posting in mostly this thread, I didn't even realize that I have exceeded 3000 posts....didn't notice.




Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/01/10 06:34 PM

Hey Jazzwee,

Nothing too complicated here...I think one of the limitations (expected) is that sometimes folks are not regularly available for posting as it applies to sharing ideas and musical arrangements of various pieces of music. People's busy lives dictate taking breaks sometimes, too.

I've enjoyed participating in this thread a great deal, although much of it is over my head.

We'll just keep on sharing and sharing alike - at least I will, time permitting!


Glen

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/01/10 06:36 PM

I don't know if we can continue on always with a fixed workshop approach as different levels of players limit participation at the same time (learning time differences).

But I would like to encourage all to post work-in-progress. Even without criticism, I and others have found that posting one's music freezes the moment, and allows one to reassess and work on problem areas.

I for one welcome any criticism (unlimited) but each person can state how much criticism they can handle. I've already improved much on the Nefertiti#2 I posted but I'm happy to receive a continual stream of critique. It's the only way I can learn.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/01/10 06:40 PM

Glen, since you and I are at a similar level, I do hope that we can continue working on some set tunes (more longer term than others). I certainly cannot compete with the likes of Tom or Beeboss. Our rhythm problems though can be handled with any tune...

Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/01/10 06:42 PM

The range of folks that can participate is large - that is good. I hope folks with lots of professional and/or teaching experience have the inclination to join in the fun.

This is another method of practice and learning I find valuable. I would hope others would also as they see fit. You and I will continue to share and share alike - I think it is great.

I look forward to others chiming in when they can. Everyone has something to offer and something to receive from participating.

Yes, you and I will share ideas and techniques regarding the tunes we are working on. It is very good practice, fun too!

Glen

Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/02/10 04:07 PM

.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/02/10 04:52 PM

Looking forward to it Dave
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/02/10 06:18 PM

Scep, if you're still around, I spent some more time listening to your Nef version.

Scep's Nef:
http://www.box.net/shared/021z8r7acx#/shared/021z8r7acx/1/38379564/408484374/1

I was actually quite impressed. For one your note choices always clearly delineated the harmony. You obviously didn't do the Dbsus thing or C7b5b9 which has a very distinct sound. There was even more variety here than I initially realized because at the end you did it more in the style I was shooting for, which was the sparse version.

When I heard my teacher play this very simply I was actually surprised. I was thinking he was going to blaze me with sixteenths and play it at 250bpm like Uri Caine. But instead he focused on the harmony.

Now rhythmically, I enjoyed the variations here. I didn't mind the restating of the melody as it seemed to demarcate sections. Heck if Keith Jarrett can repeat the melody (see his video on Solar) who are we to argue? smile

Now your chords are more simplified than what I did in my last. I think the whole sound changed when I really stuck to the first version changes. For example do I not hear the F# in D7#9? Or hear it emphasized? After hearing the more full harmony, I'm not biased towards following it exactly.

Given the complex harmony though, does playing it this fast allow you to really make the harmony ring? That's a creative choice of course but maybe it wasn't so obvious here anyway with the less complex changes.

So overall, it was quite a performance. My beef is with the harmony.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/03/10 12:07 AM

Hi all, I'm proposing some tunes that people can work on for awhile. We could propose a set of tunes that everyone pick from. At least if several people know the same tunes we can get some knowledgeable feedback. Those who already know the tunes can post their rendition (BB, Tom, Dave F.?).

My proposals are:

Very Early - Bill Evans (very difficult tune)
Falling Grace - Steve Swallow (very interesting chord progression).

Already in Progress...
Blue in Green - Bill Evans
Nefertiti - Wayne Shorter
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat - Charles Mingus



I'll edit this list if some sell us on one we can add. I think they should be 'learning tunes', i.e. complex and challenging.

It might be good to have a larger list so can rotate back and forth as desired.

RULES: None. Get feedback if you want, otherwise not necessary. Obviously some will play better than others. I don't really care about that myself. It's not a competition. Those who rise to the challenge will improve. Those who stay in the background will not. No time requirement here. Just post when you feel you've arrived at a certain level.


Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/03/10 05:32 AM

.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/03/10 09:30 AM

Dave,
great version of Falling Grace. I love your relaxed groove, you make it sound so effortless. The whole piece has a really nice shape the way the solo builds and then comes down again.
'Very early' is one of my faves as well. I just got a great cd by Bobo Stenson with an amazing version on it, hopefully should be good for inspiration.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/03/10 04:24 PM

Dave, great to see you participating. That was quick and nicely done. I couldn't tell it was Falling Grace though until I got the hint at the end. Looks like you wanted to keep the KC people guessing. smile We're off to a great start.

I mentioned these two tune choices before and no one made a comment. But I think they are really good learning tunes. They were on a list my teacher wanted me to do. Now I don't know which to start first.

One of the interesting things about Very Early is that the progression has no functional relationship often as well. Not unlike Nef. Adding to that is a Waltz rhythm. However, to the ear, it's much easier to follow than Nef and there will be no dispute about changes, I'm sure.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/03/10 10:34 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee
However, to the ear, it's much easier to follow than Nef and there will be no dispute about changes, I'm sure. Unless that jerk Scep shows up.


Hey, that's not fair! Stop calling me names! smile
Posted By: 7notemode

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/04/10 02:17 AM

Dave, The sound/recording is beautiful. Playing has your signature sound. I find your playing readily identifiable. I really like the straight timing. It is busy and calm at the same time. Excellent take.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/04/10 04:22 AM

.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/04/10 05:44 AM

Dave, I've known your playing for awhile and I now realize it is very distinctive with the straight style. I just realized that 7 hit the nail on the head. Of course it's always with these lush voicings that show how much time you spend hammering it out. I think voicings have to be your specialty. Sounds great!

I haven't figured out that tune yet, but I'm not giving up quite yet.

Btw - if any of you get tired of some of the named tunes (whatever we come up with) you can all do some reharms just like KC. I'm sure we shall all be entertained while the less experienced among us take a little longer on new tunes.

No rules here as I said.

Posted By: Doug McKenzie

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/04/10 11:30 PM

Dave - your Falling Grace is terrific - really sensitive touch on a great sounding piano (which one in your collection was it?)

My offerings are more modest in terms of complexity. I have a Youtube 'Very Early' video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgqRaAVAxCc
that is fairly straight ahead. It has been annotated with a few comments on different techniques used which might encourage others to have a go at a great Bill Evans song to play.
And I really enjoy playing 'Falling Grace'. I did a midi file ages ago, and more recently a bass player picked it up from my web site and using great technology/recording skills re-cast it using his bass playing and a variety of midi instruments.
http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=8423744&q=hi&newref=1

Doug
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/04/10 11:45 PM

My goodness, even Doug is here. It's a Youtube convention. Welcome Doug! I'm sure I've linked many a video of yours in the Jazz Thread 1. I've learned from your videos/mp3's for so many years all the way from LJP.

And lovely playing of Very Early. I've never thought of Very Early as a ballad and this is a very, very nice example. You made it sound so easy.

Glad you're lurking around.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/04/10 11:50 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy


Hey, that's not fair! Stop calling me names! smile


Hey! I almost missed this smile Stop lurking you fool. Post some music smile smile

I know what I'll do. If you post your music elsewhere, I'll copy the link over here and criticize you over here. wink No escape buddy.

We like you here. Though you are a bit of a pain...

Can you handle Very Early? Should be Child's play.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/05/10 12:04 AM

By the way, any more tune suggestions? I might suggest Invitation as well but I know many of you play that. But at least for those who want to workshop a beautiful complex tune.

Maybe other tunes of this nature should be kept on the list, and the advanced players can always reharm if they know the base version.

I think it would be helpful to have a collection of contribution examples.

Thoughts?

Personally, I've started on Very Early and Falling Grace.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/05/10 07:32 PM

Hmm, for tunes, I was thinking of taking pop or rock songs and "jazzing" them up. Like what Herbie Hancock did with his New Standards album, all mainstream songs. I especially like Peter Gabriel's Mercy Street so I will try that one. Sting's got some good songs too, Fragile, Every breath you take, Message in a Bottle.

Interesting that Andy Summers, the guitarist for the Police is a huge jazzer, he's done pure jazz albums.

Him and Sting did a nice Round Midnight. and of course Sting's done tons of jazz covers, especially for movie soundtracks.

Something fun to try. I like standards but the main thing is to play music we like, of any genre.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/05/10 07:53 PM

Hey Wiz, just wanted to explain that the purpose is to develop some new skills. So it isn't about showing off what we know but to see if we can play something difficult and then learn from it.

That's why I was asking for tunes that are more complex. I do believe that each time we stress our brain to figure out a new concept, we grow and our handling of even basic tunes begins to improve.

It's a fairly traditional way of learning Jazz.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/05/10 08:34 PM

True, learning and mastery of the art is constant, but we have to remember the heart of music is for pleasure, so you have to play what you like, otherwise what's the point?

Jarrett can make a simple tune like Over the Rainbow sound so poignant, and why is that, the chords and notes aren't that difficult. It's the touch, expression, and nuance...

I mean, we could do Shorter tunes to the moon, but look at Miles Davis. He wanted to simplify things and focus on the music, hence So What, with only 2 chords, but man it's a beautiful tune.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/05/10 08:47 PM

Yes Wiz, it's really about the concept of learning something in particular and then everyone can contribute. Because multiple people could be working on the same thing, there's an opportunity for exchange.

You can suggest any tune you want if there's some learning concept involved and others think the concept is interesting enough. If you're just posting what you know how to play, I'm sure it will be enjoyed, but others may not join in.

BTW - when my teacher played Nef for me, it blew me away. He did it so simply yet completely horizontally integrated, meaning extremely melodic. After hearing that, I realized that there is much to learn. No one here played it like he did. Don't forget that Nef is a Miles Davis tune (though Shorter composed it). It just goes to show that some unexpected things can happen with an open mind and that unless you're Keith Jarrett or Chick Corea (etc.), there's room for LOTS of learning.

Now I was exposed to this because of this thread so I'll be active here as long as I'm learning something.




Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/05/10 11:28 PM

Dave, no idea what that 'guess this tune' was, but I liked it.

And Doug, I enjoyed your 'very early'.

I was playing that today, there is so much that can be done with it, but I couldn't get it to hang together properly. Probably just haven't played for such a long time I need to re-memorize a bit. The chords go past so fast. I'll post something if I can churn out something that isn't painful.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 12:32 AM

.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 03:14 AM

Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
I've posted this before on KC...

Dave, could you supply a link to KC reharm link? I've found the Keyboard Corner, but couldn't find Reharm as a thread.

If Dave or anyone could supply that, I'd appreciate it.
Posted By: Elssa

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 03:28 AM

Jazzwee,

Would really appreciate any directions/instructions on playing and improvising the blues (I know the blues scales but am still a beginner at this).

BTW, what happened to this station that was recommended here:
http://luckysevenradio.com/
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 04:17 AM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Dave, no idea what that 'guess this tune' was, but I liked it.

And Doug, I enjoyed your 'very early'.

I was playing that today, there is so much that can be done with it, but I couldn't get it to hang together properly. Probably just haven't played for such a long time I need to re-memorize a bit. The chords go past so fast. I'll post something if I can churn out something that isn't painful.


I was just thinking to myself how fast these changes go (Very Early), as I was practicing it. And the way I'm trying to play this is way difficult a little like stride.

Please don't rush BB. Forces me to go at this faster than I can handle.

There's a lot more going on here then Nef.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 04:17 AM

Originally Posted by Elssa
Jazzwee,

Would really appreciate any directions/instructions on playing and improvising the blues (I know the blues scales but am still a beginner at this).

BTW, what happened to this station that was recommended here:
http://luckysevenradio.com/


Elssa, me take this to the other thread.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 04:26 AM

.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 04:34 AM

Dave reposting here is a good idea. Believe it or not, we seem to have a bigger audience here. Maybe it's because PW has 50,000+ members (not counting Google lurkers).



Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 04:53 AM

.
Posted By: Mike A

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 05:14 AM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
Hmm, for tunes, I was thinking of taking pop or rock songs and "jazzing" them up.

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
Jarrett can make a simple tune like Over the Rainbow sound so poignant, and why is that, the chords and notes aren't that difficult. It's the touch, expression, and nuance...


jazz + contemporary pop + poignant + high artistry ...

Alan Pasqua, Wichita Lineman

Tom/7notemode, I Can't Make You Love Me

Brad Mehldau, She's Leaving Home
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 05:52 AM

.
Posted By: Mike A

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 02:32 PM

Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
I like Brad's version. I think we both recorded this tune around the same time--I think his version has reached a few more ears than mine. smile
http://www.divshare.com/download/2547187-f1a


Hi Dave ... very nice!

And another ...

McCoy Tyner, She's Leaving Home
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/06/10 07:35 PM

Originally Posted by Dave Ferris


Sure , it's a little tricky to find. It's buried in that sub-forum "sticky" that says "key threads" on the first page :

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/1912657/page/1



Thanks! I'll see if anything interesting turns up there.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/13/10 03:40 AM

Ok, Jazzwee, here's your welcome back recording. Maybe I should call it "Hello Porkpie Hat", but then you'd have to start wearing a bowler.

http://www.box.net/shared/2nsttq85sb

It's actually my first attempt at recording this thing, so lots of bugs and slip-ups, but you can get the idea of the direction I'm going.

Also, I had to rescue this thread from the second page. Don't make me do that again.

J
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/14/10 02:48 AM

.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/14/10 04:02 AM

Thanks for the dedication Scep. Nice blues stylings here, man. Enjoyed that a lot. You've got a really nice touch there and are really comfortable with blues. So nothing to critique from my end.

And thanks for rescuing the thread, but don't worry, it'll come back up. The thing about the stuff we do, we can't post something everyday. Some things take a little more time to practice.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/14/10 04:07 AM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
hey wee, did a little free improv for you, call it a musical "get well" card. Enjoy.

http://www.box.net/shared/sjs9600b5d


Thanks Wiz! Like I said, you're following in Kenny Werner's footsteps. For some time I actually subscribed to a channel where he just played stuff like this all the time and it was just published for his subscribers.

Glad to see you putting your recording device to work and sounds great!
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/14/10 08:28 AM

no problem wee, I've been watching some of Werner's stuff, I really like his philosophy for music. What kind of channel are you referring to, on youtube? I will have to check it out.
Posted By: Swingin' Barb

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/14/10 11:55 AM

Wiz - Have you read Kenny Werner's "Effortless Mastery"? If not, put it on your must read list. thumb

Barb
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/14/10 03:31 PM

Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
no problem wee, I've been watching some of Werner's stuff, I really like his philosophy for music. What kind of channel are you referring to, on youtube? I will have to check it out.


This was some time ago and he ended that. He had a special website for it under ArtistShare. Now he has a mailing list and then you get a linkto a video. It's not about his music though, it's mostly about Effortless Mastery. You can probably sign up on his website. He just automatically transferred us from the old site.

I really like the way Kenny plays. He has a very nice touch and also specializes in the odd rhythm, something he shares with Mehldau (who studied with him before). I would definitely classify him as modern jazz.

He had a gig locally just recently (a week or so ago) but unfortunately I couldn't make it.
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/15/10 02:03 AM

I've been watching some of his master classes on youtube and like his approach and thinking to the music, very cerebral.

Just checked the lineup for our summer jazz festival, Chick Corea's doing a solo piano concert. That's top of the list to see!
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/15/10 05:03 AM

I just realized I had a ticket to Kenny Barron this coming week. That should be good especially after missing Jarrett. frown

Anybody else doing Very Early? I've been working on this and I can get through soloing on the changes without losing my place maybe 95% of the time. So it's getting better. But the chord changes fly on this and until my eye is not drifting to the LH to make sure I got the chord right, I will not be able to focus on getting some good soloing on the RH. You don't have much time to think here. The changes themselves are complex because most of the progression is unrelated. So much of it is very vertically oriented and moving so quickly.

Those who have learned this before, how long did it take you? My teacher told me it took him a long time to learn this, especially trying to make some intelligent connections in the progression.



Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/15/10 06:49 AM

.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/15/10 07:44 AM

JW, when you said that Brad M had odd rhythm, do you mean he drifts between 4/4 and 3/4 time ?
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/15/10 03:22 PM

Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
Originally Posted by jazzwee

Those who have learned this before, how long did it take you?


A long time smile ---like everything else, " still a work in progress".


Now you make me feel better. smile This tune has a lot of potential but some aspects require a lot of practice. Today I was just experimenting with the melody being voiced as thirds (and fourths). It's really hard to remember and you're dealing with the whole keyboard all the time, both hands stretched. Tough tune.

But I should be able to get something accomplished here eventually.

Nef seems so easy in comparison.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/15/10 03:24 PM

Originally Posted by custard apple
JW, when you said that Brad M had odd rhythm, do you mean he drifts between 4/4 and 3/4 time ?


Hi Custard, 'Odd Rhythm' is a term for music that's not 4/4. Maybe it's in refrence to Odd vs. Even. So 3/4, 7/8, 5/4 would be in this category.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/16/10 12:52 AM

OK JW I understand. Thanks !
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/17/10 12:15 AM

Beeboss, what happened to your 'Very Early'? How're you doing on this?

Scep, you want a challenge? Here it is.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/17/10 03:43 AM

Ya,
I've listened to it...not sure if I want to tackle it right now because of all the changes, and I refuse to learn it from a book as of yet. However, if I fall in love with the tune in the next while I'll consider playing it. But I'd still rather not use a book, so this may take me some time, and lead to some arguments later on about what chords are actually being played. smile

I'll listen again right now as a matter of fact.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/17/10 04:06 AM

If you want a challenge to play, this is one of them. The chords are all basic though. There's nothing unusual here. So you should be able to pick it up by ear. They're just your typical diatonic chords. The difficulty with this tune is the fast modulations. Often every bar. Almost Giant Steps like. And the keys are seemingly unconnected. Same concept as Nef with the challenge of connecting harmonies.

I'd be shocked, BTW, if someone just learns this in a few days. Memorizing the changes is hard enough.

As you can see, I prefer the more difficult tunes to practice with as they really help to develop the skills. I think learning is different than just playing. For example, I got a little bored with GBPPH because aside from figuring out the voicings, the solos don't really have any complexity in them.

I wish there were more Youtube video examples of this. But at the moment, one will have to rely on multiple Bill Evans versions. He approaches it differently each time.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/17/10 10:55 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Beeboss, what happened to your 'Very Early'? How're you doing on this?



Hi JW, I am playing it a bit but I am struggling to find something to play on it that works. I was at a John Taylor gig last night and he played it which was inspiring (John Taylor is one of my fave players). Actually the whole gig was a kind of Evans tribute - 30years since he died. I will post something as soon as I get an hour to play it through a few times.


Originally Posted by jazzwee

or example, I got a little bored with GBPPH because aside from figuring out the voicings, the solos don't really have any complexity in them.

Are you soloing over the head changes or the solo section changes? The solo section changes are simpler so if you want more complexity you can always use the head changes. But really the complexity comes from what you do to the changes, any tune can be played in a complex way. Do you know the Joni MItchell version? If not check it out for some inspiration. Herbie provides some amazing harmony and Jaco plays just the best ever, and Wayne is genius as always.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/18/10 04:44 AM

Hi Beeboss, it would just be interesting to discuss problem areas and then it might give me a clue on how to approach it as well. Tonight I just sat down and studied each melody note against the chord to make sure I really have it memorized. Before I was playing it mechanically. But when I changed voicings, I totally lost my place.

Problem number 1 with this tune is just remembering every bit of it by heart. Also, as I played it initially, I had a busy LH (stride-like) and that wasn't good for thinking of the solo which is moving too fast. So I had to simplify.

Re: GBPPH, I didn't know there were solo section changes. I just solo over the head changes. Although the changes sound really great, the solo is mostly blues oriented and I'm not that keen on playing it blues style. But I guess that's what the tune calls for. I still play it regularly.

Harmonically it's a great tune though.

John Taylor --he's one of my favorite Jazz pianists. My kind of playing. Lucky you to see him play. He's probably not likely to come this way.
Posted By: Doug McKenzie

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/18/10 05:42 AM

And one of my favourites (John Taylor) - especially the stuff he does behind Norma Winstone's vocals.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/18/10 06:31 AM

JW,

I assume you've learned Very Early from a book? I going to suggest once again this is probably the problem with understanding the chords and melody. I've spent now probably 2 or more hours trying to figure out the exact chords that were played and can say with certainty that I know how they work and why they work, and that truly they are all very, very clear as to why they are there. I still have one or two chords that I'm repeatedly listening to, but unfortunately the recordings on youtube are so bad that I could possibly be out by a semitone for the bass note (or Gomez could've straddled the two notes, who knows). But by doing this everything is falling into place pretty well. By doing little bits over and over until I am certain of them, and in the process doing a bunch of other trial and error chords using my vastly superior musical intelligence smile I've really come to understand how most of this tune works.

It occurs to me that the few songs I really know were learned by ear. I've played probably 100s, if not 1000s of tunes, but know hardly any of them. I can also attest to the fact that most musicians I've played with that are reading the tune, or learned it from a book sound very different from the ones that used their ears to learn it. Also, I believe the time balances out in the end. After the intial grind (in this case) I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to play it in multiple keys as I can Nef and GBBPPH.

What, for instance, seems strange to you, or hard to get your head around? Maybe if you worked on that particular section in another key, which in my mind has the same effect as learning a tune by ear, you'd get the understanding of it a bit deeper. And I'll also add that looking at the notes as numbers of a scale will really help get this tune down.

So, I'm tempted to post a very early version of Very Early as I've done with the other two pieces, but... who knows.
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/18/10 06:34 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

I wish there were more Youtube video examples of this. But at the moment, one will have to rely on multiple Bill Evans versions. He approaches it differently each time.


Could you link some of those? I've only found two, both with Gomez, and the second in France.

And yes, I've started Very Early. How could I resist? Another seemingly ugly melody that once learned really grew on me. I hate you people. smile
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/18/10 10:13 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Hi Beeboss, it would just be interesting to discuss problem areas and then it might give me a clue on how to approach it as well.


Hi JW, the chords are easy enough in isolation, it's just that they go to unexpected places and I have to really focus to not forget where the next movement is. The bits I have most trouble remembering are going to the D maj in bar 9 and the first few bars of the B section. As the changes go past quite fast there is no time for any hesitation or memory lapses.


Originally Posted by jazzwee

Re: GBPPH, I didn't know there were solo section changes. I just solo over the head changes. Although the changes sound really great, the solo is mostly blues oriented and I'm not that keen on playing it blues style. But I guess that's what the tune calls for. I still play it regularly.



If you listen to the original (or the Joni Mitchel version) you can hear the solo changes are completely different and also much less complex. The part with the Booker Ervin sax solo is rather memorable so I am surprised you have not noticed. On the version I played I quoted the sax solo for about the first 8 bars as to me the tune is completely unthinkable without it. On the Joni Mitchel version she has added lyrics to the sax solo as well which is so seamlessly integrated with the original melody that it flows perfectly into it.

I found a chart on the web that has the solo section on it. It is in Fm rather than the usual Ebm, but you can get the idea.
See it here...
http://www.divshare.com/download/11089398-c75
or on Ed Byrne's website (but it crashes my browser everytime I go there) There is also some harmonic anaysis there.

Originally Posted by jazzwee

John Taylor --he's one of my favorite Jazz pianists. My kind of playing. Lucky you to see him play. He's probably not likely to come this way.


I am having a bit of a week going to gigs actually. In the last week I have seen Django Bates, John Taylor, Joey Calderazzo and in a couple of days there is Stefano Bollani (another of my faves) and Gwilym Simcock (the best of the new generation of British players). I am feeling a bit spoilt really.

Dave Ferris posted some great links to a few John Taylor tunes on the web. Well worth checking out. Thanks for those Dave.

http://www.plushmusic.tv/movies/1XE/breve-pure-and-simple.html
http://www.plushmusic.tv/movies/20G/breve-so-it-goes.html

Hope you are recovered now JW.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/18/10 11:35 AM

Hi Beeboss
What venue is Stefano Bollani playing at ?

Hi JW
I thought you were going to take it easy ! Hope you are going fine.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/18/10 12:25 PM

Hi Custard,
Bollani is playing at Turner Sims in Southampton. No London dates this time I don't think, but I did see him play in the new Kings Place a few months ago.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/18/10 04:42 PM

Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
JW,

I assume you've learned Very Early from a book? I going to suggest once again this is probably the problem with understanding the chords and melody. I've spent now probably 2 or more hours trying to figure out the exact chords that were played and can say with certainty that I know how they work and why they work, and that truly they are all very, very clear as to why they are there. I still have one or two chords that I'm repeatedly listening to, but unfortunately the recordings on youtube are so bad that I could possibly be out by a semitone for the bass note (or Gomez could've straddled the two notes, who knows). But by doing this everything is falling into place pretty well. By doing little bits over and over until I am certain of them, and in the process doing a bunch of other trial and error chords using my vastly superior musical intelligence smile I've really come to understand how most of this tune works.

It occurs to me that the few songs I really know were learned by ear. I've played probably 100s, if not 1000s of tunes, but know hardly any of them. I can also attest to the fact that most musicians I've played with that are reading the tune, or learned it from a book sound very different from the ones that used their ears to learn it. Also, I believe the time balances out in the end. After the intial grind (in this case) I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to play it in multiple keys as I can Nef and GBBPPH.

What, for instance, seems strange to you, or hard to get your head around? Maybe if you worked on that particular section in another key, which in my mind has the same effect as learning a tune by ear, you'd get the understanding of it a bit deeper. And I'll also add that looking at the notes as numbers of a scale will really help get this tune down.

So, I'm tempted to post a very early version of Very Early as I've done with the other two pieces, but... who knows.

Scep, I don't have your kind of patience sitting there and looping a tune over and over to figure out the chords. Although here, the chords are basic enough. But I already learned the chords and melody of this tune several months ago and then abandoned it. So I can't help but know the chords now. Too late to figure it out by ear. However, truly, I didn't know them intimately.

That's why I started just slowing down and understanding where each melody note is instead of the way I had them just memorized. The problem with memorization is that it's not strong enough to keep one in the form. So I hear you on understanding this at every step. So that's what I'm doing, though in my own way (not transcribing).

The Evans versions that I'm talking about are from my collection. Not from Youtube.

BTW - one of the real problems with the tune is how fast it goes. I saw a guy play this in 6/8, which is a strategy to slow it down. I'm shooting for playing this as written, in 3/4 and at the medium tempos that Evans played this in (he plays it with variances in tempo but still medium swing).

My teacher says that not one of his students (at the University) have picked it up quickly, even the really good pianists. So if you and others here pick this up really fast, then I'm impressed with the crowd I'm hanging with. smile
Posted By: scepticalforumguy

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/18/10 09:16 PM

Who says I've picked it up? I'm now at the stage of looking at the tonal centres and how all the surrounding chords are either moving or staying or both.

I especially like how the Dbmaj chord in the 5th bar is actually a tonic and a V chord at the same time. Also at the beginning of the B section the Bmaj9 chord acts as a ii for the Db a few bars later, and then a similar Bmaj chord (bar 21 I think) is acting as a ii of C.

So, what I've found that has helped me solo so far is that the first 4 bars are all in C, and the next 4 in Db, then next four in D, then next 4 in Db. I think the B section starts in Db for 4 bars, then 4 bars in C, then what seems like Db, but is actually an extended V of C.

Now before people start chiming in to dispute this, I'd suggest thinking in these terms while soloing to see if it helps your lines. From what I understand about Bill Evans he probably wrote the tune with this structure in mind.

Also JW, you give me far too much credit suggesting that I have patience. I've just found that this is probably the easiest way to absorb a tune I'd like to learn. I have nothing against reading other things for practice, but I know from experience it will just be in through the eyes and out through the fingers again with little retention in the process.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/18/10 09:44 PM


Originally Posted by beeboss

Hi JW, the chords are easy enough in isolation, it's just that they go to unexpected places and I have to really focus to not forget where the next movement is. The bits I have most trouble remembering are going to the D maj in bar 9 and the first few bars of the B section. As the changes go past quite fast there is no time for any hesitation or memory lapses.


Yup. Those are my same problem areas. I guess the jump is so big (tonally) that it's not easy to think of a melodic connection. But seeing that this is a common problem spot, then it looks like it pays to work on the transitions here.

You're right. The chords themselves are not difficult in isolation.

Although rhythmically, I'm challenged here too. Playing this with Eighth notes gets boring.


Originally Posted by beeboss

If you listen to the original (or the Joni Mitchel version) you can hear the solo changes are completely different and also much less complex. The part with the Booker Ervin sax solo is rather memorable so I am surprised you have not noticed. On the version I played I quoted the sax solo for about the first 8 bars as to me the tune is completely unthinkable without it. On the Joni Mitchel version she has added lyrics to the sax solo as well which is so seamlessly integrated with the original melody that it flows perfectly into it.

I found a chart on the web that has the solo section on it. It is in Fm rather than the usual Ebm, but you can get the idea.
See it here...
http://www.divshare.com/download/11089398-c75
or on Ed Byrne's website (but it crashes my browser everytime I go there) There is also some harmonic anaysis there.



Thanks for the special insights here. I will listen more closely and see what I can gain. My point though is that I'm looking for a way to not play this like blues. And I find I'm going against the grain when I do that.


Originally Posted by beeboss


Hope you are recovered now JW.


Thanks. I slowed down quite a bit for a week after hospitalization but I'm ok now. Fortunately piano isn't physically strenous smile So I'm building up the time again on piano.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/18/10 10:20 PM


I finally got a chance to record a bit of Very Early, here it is....

http://www.divshare.com/download/11095029-578

It is frustrating as I can hear how I want it to go in my head but when I play it the ideas don't really resolve as I want them too. Instead of a nice development of ideas it comes out as one idea after the other. Probably there is just too much going on for my brain to cope with. Anyway I tried out some different ideas on it.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 12:31 AM

My goodness Beeboss, that was incredible! First of all that was SO fast. Some of it I have to relisten to, to absorb. I wasn't sure if you were reharming it or you created an alternate harmony in your solo. You must really know the tune inside out to do this. Perhaps you can explain your idea here.

Rhythmically, the overlaying of multiple rhythms was fascinating. That strong 2 against 3 made me forget the 3 and it sounded like 2/4 most of the time. Sometimes I thought I heard a tertiary rhythm. Was that a 4/4 against a 3/4? All I know is you went over the barline. But it all resolved back. I don't know how you did that though.

Such a complex and enjoyable approach! thumb Explain the details more so I can understand how you did this. Amazing talent my friend.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 02:30 AM

Hi beeboss
Nice part of the world. It's great that these awesome jazz pianists play in the smaller auditoriums, the acoustics must be really special.
Another very talented Italian jazz pianist whom I like to listen to is Dado Moroni. Check out his solo from 3:47.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn5eSYpbC60&feature=related
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 04:42 AM

BTW Scep, I just wanted to let you know that one of the versions is off by a half step. Maybe it's a slowed down recording or maybe Evans changed key. But just to make sure we're all talking about the same thing, the first chord in Real Book is CMaj7. So if you're listening to one that sounds like BMaj7 then discuss it with a half step up.

Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 07:23 AM

.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 09:48 AM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

I wasn't sure if you were reharming it or you created an alternate harmony in your solo. You must really know the tune inside out to do this. Perhaps you can explain your idea here.


Hi JW,
glad you liked it. Yes I was just experimenting with overlaying different rhythms over the basic pulse. One thing I was trying is doing a basic LH stride (in 2) and then playing a solo in 3/4 in the RH in 1/8s, and then in 4/4 for variety. Also there was some 4 agaisnt 3 going on. Maybe a little 5 against 3 crept in as I have been working on that recently.
With the harmony I was trying to think at times a little poly-harmonically, using secondary chords above the basic chords to create a new sound. Like for example playing an F major chord over a Ab13b9 or playing C major over the Bb7 or Eb major over the A7. I was experimenting with displacing these to give a slightly strange alternative sounding sequence. I didn't change the basic sequence at all except where I slipped up (quite frequently).
All in all I need to play it a lot more before it really feels comfortable as a solo piano piece.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 09:50 AM

Originally Posted by custard apple

Another very talented Italian jazz pianist whom I like to listen to is Dado Moroni.


Hi Custard,
yeah I like Moroni. There is a great clip on youtube of his version of Aint Misbehaving. I have a recording somewhere of him playing with Pieranunzi, who has done loads of amazing stuff.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 10:07 AM

Cool, beeboss, if one day you do happen to stumble across this recording, I would like to listen to it.
Have a nice day.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 02:44 PM

Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by jazzwee

I wasn't sure if you were reharming it or you created an alternate harmony in your solo. You must really know the tune inside out to do this. Perhaps you can explain your idea here.


Hi JW,
glad you liked it. Yes I was just experimenting with overlaying different rhythms over the basic pulse. One thing I was trying is doing a basic LH stride (in 2) and then playing a solo in 3/4 in the RH in 1/8s, and then in 4/4 for variety. Also there was some 4 agaisnt 3 going on. Maybe a little 5 against 3 crept in as I have been working on that recently.
With the harmony I was trying to think at times a little poly-harmonically, using secondary chords above the basic chords to create a new sound. Like for example playing an F major chord over a Ab13b9 or playing C major over the Bb7 or Eb major over the A7. I was experimenting with displacing these to give a slightly strange alternative sounding sequence. I didn't change the basic sequence at all except where I slipped up (quite frequently).
All in all I need to play it a lot more before it really feels comfortable as a solo piano piece.


That rhythmic stuff looks and sounds impossible for me to play smile Very challenging. 2 against 3 is typical in 3/4 but you gave it a strong bias towards the 2/4 which matches the melody. A very interesting approach. thumb

Can you explain the concept of your secondary chords? What is the logic for F over Ab13b9?
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 03:17 PM

Originally Posted by jazzwee

Can you explain the concept of your secondary chords? What is the logic for F over Ab13b9?


Sure, it's just straight forward upper structure stuff. Take the chord, Ab13b9sharp11 for example, work out the scale that works with it (Ab diminished - 1/2,1 mode), and then work out what other chords can be found within that scale and then experiment with superimposing then over the original chord. The diminished scale is great for this approach being symmetrical. You can find Fmaj, Abmaj, Dmaj, Bmaj triads Fm, Abm, Bm, Dm triads, Fdim, Abdim etc triads, F7, D7, B7, Fm7, Dm7, Bm7, D7b9, F7b9, B7b9 and many many more.
So if you want an interesting voicing for Ab7 you can try F triad in the RH over Ab7 (or Ab13) in the LH or any of the other possibilities. It opens the way for many different harmonies.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 03:38 PM

Beeboss, I get the diminished cycle stuff (I think we discussed it earlier in this thread). I think I just misread what you said. I thought you said you were playing Fmaj7 against the Ab13b9. I would have thought you'd play a dominant against a dominant. But apparently you were playing a triad so I didn't see that.

BTW - I did hear some 5/4 stuff over it too but I wasn't sure as it kept shifting. Apparently I wasn't losing my mind. I know you've been working specifically at this odd meter overlay stuff. I'm surprised you're not a bigger Mehldau fan with this kind of interest smile (I am of course, though I can't even begin to develop this odd meter skill.).

I have a teacher that has no interest in odd meters. To him, traditional jazz has enough that it's not necessary to go beyond 4/4 and 3/4. But to me it's fresh and modern sounding. Unfortunately, I will have to develop this skill for myself as he does not have the expertise to teach it.

Playing an odd meter is one thing but overlaying two different meters is mind boggling smile
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 04:53 PM

Hi JW,
Oh ok sorry for repeating the diminished cycle stuff again. I guess you could use Fmaj7 over Ab7 without a problem as long as you are careful about the E clashing. You can take the secondary chords from other scales as well as the diminished.

I love what Mehldau's trio does with the rhythm, it is very clever stuff. But something about Mehldau doesn't grab me, I don't think I can explain it. I much prefer the approach of Chris Potter, Craig Taborn, Dave Holland and Ari Hoenig. Those guys play different rhythms in the way I would like to.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 06:29 PM

Then if you're thinking Ari Hoenig, do you also like the Kenny Werner approaches? I saw them once when they are still a trio. Ari is an incredible drummer. But these guys are not overlaying rhythms as much as Mehldau.

I was just curious because you were overlaying the rhythms here, not just playing in an odd meter. Impressive skill to even get to this point (regardless of your percieved perfection smile ). Someday I want to be able to do that too. But it will take awhile...

Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 07:06 PM

I don't have any good kenny Werner recordings but I did once go to workshop of his and to see his playing at such close hand was rather impressive. I have read his book which is interesting. And I would really love to hear him play with Ari, I shall have a look for that at Smalls website.
I have an interesting instructional dvd from Ari about metric modulation. It completely fries my brain but it is good for getting an idea of what they are doing. Learning all the various cross rhythms and getting them solid is a good start though.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 08:47 PM

BB, does he sell this DVD? It will be interesting to see.

BTW - I hope nobody here gets an expectation that any of us will be playing Very Early with metric overlays smile I for one will be playing it in the traditional way...

You set a high bar here Beeboss! (Of course that will always be the case).

It's a beautiful tune though and Doug McKenzie's version shows that it works well as a ballad because it is really made to work with piano. It's a tune that requires some finesse with one's touch I find.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/19/10 10:47 PM

You can find it at amazon...just search
intro to polyrhythms- ari hoenig and johannes weidenmueller

it is a book with dvd included.

I wouldn't exactly recommend it even though I found it very interesting. It's a weird blend of extremely easy and extremely complicated at the same time.


Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/20/10 03:05 AM

.
Posted By: custard apple

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/20/10 10:34 AM

Hi Dave Ferris
It's my pleasure, I really like those wonderful tensions too.
They lift the song to another planet. It must be great to be able to identify them away from the piano, I'm nowhere near that stage. But ONE day I hope that my ear training will pay off.
Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/25/10 03:08 AM

I tested out playing Very Early, Nefertiti and GBPPH at a music store smile That's a way to test if I really know it. Very Early is getting close and is starting to feel automatic.

I have no idea how good it sounded other than the fact that the salesperson actually came by and said it sounded great and asked me if I wanted to turn up the speakers. He said he had to walk back and see who was playing.

Maybe he says that to everyone or he has low standards smile but in any case, it gave me a little bit of confidence.

I should be able to have one of these ready for the Recital here on ABF.

Of course, let it be known now that I'm playing it in a simple waltz. Nothing fancy.

Posted By: jazzwee

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/25/10 03:12 AM

BTW - I forgot to report that I was at the Kenny Barron concert and had a great time. I wished there was more of Kenny playing something more complex. But mostly it was easy listening since there was a vocalist (Kurt Elling). But even the little of Kenny sounded great. His super fast fingers reminded me of Mulgrew Miller.

The real treat for me was that they actually played a tune composed by my teacher which was kind of neat. Nice to know he was getting applause without being present.
Posted By: beeboss

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players - 04/25/10 09:50 AM

Hi JW, is it a secret who your teacher is? I have noticed that you mention him a lot but never by name. I am just curious.
Posted By: jazzwee</