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#2015881 - 01/17/13 01:48 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
BTW -- have you guys kept count of how many tunes you've all played? I remember at the start that I played 20 tunes or something. Now I'm playing so many tunes a month, I've lost track. I just recall the 200 or so on my iRealB app that I use for set lists.

I thought it was impossible to remember so many. I just it just comes naturally.




You've memorized 200 tunes? Wow. I might have about 50 or so that I really know. I've played many more though, but I wouldn't say they're memorized, especially if a singer wanted me to play them in F# or something. I always go by what tunes I can actually play both the melody and chords in more than one key. What's your criteria for saying you know a tune?
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#2015887 - 01/17/13 02:16 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Perfectly Memorized? No. Probably not 200.

Played frequently. Yes.

Played frequently enough that I'm just doing a rough glance at the changes. Yes. I've probably got it memorized again by the second chorus.

Memorized the head? Well some will require a short prep to remember (by ear).

Because I'm playing at gigs and jams so frequently, I can't help but remember, especially the 80 or so that get overplayed.

I can't change key without advanced practice. I haven't had that kind of time to work on tunes yet. Just the usual things that get played in multiple keys (AL, Green Dolphin St., etc.). I just use iRealB to transpose.

Anyway, I think being under fire at a gig puts the pressure on to remember. Now you do realize though that except for the unusual tunes, some many changes are duplicated anyway right? So it's pretty easy to come up with a high number -- Blues, Rhythm Changes, Minor Blues, Variations of Minor Blues (Mr PC, Stolen Moments, Footprints), Variations of minor ii-V-I's (Softly, Sugar), Variations of circle of fifths (AL)...And you only know 50?


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#2015889 - 01/17/13 02:19 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Just an example. These are the tunes played frequently at our jam. These aren't the only tunes I know but the ones everyone else seems to know. This alone is a list of 100+. I probably know the changes to the bulk of these.

All Blues
All of Me
All the Things You Are
Angel Eyes
April In Paris
As Time Goes By
At Last
Autumn in New York
Autumn Leaves
Beatiful Love
Beatrice
Besame Mucho
Billie's Bounce
Black Coffee
Blue Bossa
Blue in Green
Blue Monk
Blue Skies
Body and Soul
Bye Bye Blackbird
Caravan
Cantaloupe Island
Centerpiece
Ceora
Chameleon
Cissy Strut
Chan's Song
Corcovado
Dat Dere
Days of Wine and Roses
Desafinado
Dindi
Devil May Care
Dolphin Dance
Don't Explain
Estate
Falling Grace
Fever
Fly Me to the Moon
Footprints
Four
500 Miles High
Frim Fram Sauce
How High the Moon
Giant Steps
Girl from Ipanema
God Bless the Child
Good Morning Heartache
I'll Be Seeing You
Inner Urge
In Walked Bud
Insensitive
Invitation
Impressions
I've Got You Under My Skin
Jeanine
Joy Spring
Just Friends
Killer Joe
Look of Love
Lullaby of Birdland
Manha De Carnaval
Maiden Voyage
Meditation
Mr PC
Moment's Notice
My Foolish Heart
My Romance
My Funny Valentine
Manha de Carnaval (Black Orpheus)
Mercy Mercy
Naima
Night in Tunisia, A
On Green Dolphin Street
Out of Nowhere
Recordame
Red Clay
Route 66
Satin Doll
Softly as In the Morning Sunrise
Solar
Someday My Prince Will Come
So What/Impressions
Song for My Father
Soul Eyes
Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most
Stella by Starlight
Stolen Moments
Sugar
Summertime
Take Five
Take the A-Train
Tenderly
There Will Never Be Another You
They Can't Take That Away from Me
Very Early
Wave
Waltz for Debby
Whisper Not
Windows
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#2015970 - 01/17/13 07:24 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
I keep a spreadsheet of tunes for which i have memorized head and changes and work on them daily.

Keys?

Real men use the transpose button!

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#2016013 - 01/17/13 09:27 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
Someone up a ways mentioned Con Alma. I was at first unsure how to make that sound right for a piano trio until I came across Ray Bryant's version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg225cUah3o

Nice version and a really fun solo by Bryant, a guy I really don't know much about.

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#2016087 - 01/17/13 11:46 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: knotty
I keep a spreadsheet of tunes for which i have memorized head and changes and work on them daily.

Keys?

Real men use the transpose button!


LOL - Real men use iRealB to transpose! ...And Real men negotiate with the singer with half steps to move keys away from E, A, D, F#!

...although seriously, those keys don't bother me anymore.
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#2016089 - 01/17/13 11:55 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jjo]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: jjo
Someone up a ways mentioned Con Alma. I was at first unsure how to make that sound right for a piano trio until I came across Ray Bryant's version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg225cUah3o

Nice version and a really fun solo by Bryant, a guy I really don't know much about.


That version was way too tame for me. This is what I wanted to emulate (piano wise). If in doubt, I think my taste should be pretty obvious. I tend to like more avant-garde (sorry Knotty, I don't like sounding Frenchie here...LOL) in my tune selection. Maybe that's why I shy away from standard bebop.

In any case, jjo, I'm surprised you haven't learned this tune since it's usually played Latin (being our Latin Jazz artist here now).

BTW the version below has a lot of reharms. I tried to transcribe the voicings but I'm not sure I got it right.

printer1? Maybe you can tell just by listening.

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#2016112 - 01/17/13 12:38 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
That's a very cool version, although not one I'm capable of pulling off, for sure! That's your former teacher, no?

Curiously, I do not like playing pieces where they switch in the head form latin to swing or vice versa. Maybe my group just doesn't do it well, but I feel like it disrupts the groove and I always want to do the whole tune in latin or swing. To me, also, it never sounds like both grooves work. In the Con Alma, for example, the swing in the B section sounds kinda slow and draggy, but the tempo is perfect for the Latin. Just a personal quirk of mine!

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#2016116 - 01/17/13 12:42 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Interesting read:
"BRANFORD MARSALIS: MIRTH, MELANCHOLY, ART BLAKEY AND YOUNG PEOPLE."
http://www.tomajazz.com/perfiles/marsalis_branford_intvw_2012.htm
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#2016129 - 01/17/13 12:58 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jjo]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: jjo
That's a very cool version, although not one I'm capable of pulling off, for sure! That's your former teacher, no?

Curiously, I do not like playing pieces where they switch in the head form latin to swing or vice versa. Maybe my group just doesn't do it well, but I feel like it disrupts the groove and I always want to do the whole tune in latin or swing. To me, also, it never sounds like both grooves work. In the Con Alma, for example, the swing in the B section sounds kinda slow and draggy, but the tempo is perfect for the Latin. Just a personal quirk of mine!


FINALLY I find someone who agrees! I too have a problem with the groove shift with swing/latin. But ONLY during the solo. I have no problem with it on the head. It's really difficult to phrase because suddenly you arrive at the groove switch point and then you either have to drag your line (swing) or suddenly move up to the top of the beat (latin), and it's clunky.

So lately, I've switched with my band. Only one groove on the entire solo. I don't particularly care if one soloist goes swing and one goes Latin or switches per chorus. I just don't switch in the middle of a chorus (like a B).

I still like giving the rhythm section some latitude so they can have some fun.

--Yeah, former teacher. Not taking lessons now from anyone. But the last thing he told me was that some of those are #5. So just from listening, I gather the major chords would be Emaj7#5.

He did tell me what he was doing on the solos and it's simpler than I thought (augmented triad shapes). He's basically outlining the reharm. But it surely sounds different when you go past the theory.

His logic has always been, he never plays outside. He always determines his harmony first and then outlines it. So in a sense, he's always reharming as the initial step (i.e. he syncs the LH with the RH -- though not necessarily with the bass player)...which is WAY beyond my pay grade smile
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#2016175 - 01/17/13 02:33 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: chrisbell]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1732
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Interesting read:
"BRANFORD MARSALIS: MIRTH, MELANCHOLY, ART BLAKEY AND YOUNG PEOPLE."
http://www.tomajazz.com/perfiles/marsalis_branford_intvw_2012.htm


Thanks Chris...it was a good read. Normally I don't read about what too many jazz people have to say but I like Branford. I met him and got to know him a tad out here when he was doing the Leno show. Him, Kirkland, Tain and Hurst had a steady Thursday at a hotel on Sunset. It was a very popular hang at the time. Some of the best quartet jazz I'd ever heard came out of that room on some of those Thursday nights..
Kenny, a few times, was indescribably great. Branford's a good guy, he never let all that Hollywood s...t inflate his ego. We share very similar viewpoints on the playing of jazz, the state of and young people.

Regarding Con Alma. The last bar of the bridge goes to Fm7 Bb7. Instead of going back to E for the last eight, try transposing the last 8 DOWN to Eb. The Fm7-Bb7 sets it up nicely and then ending on the B Maj 7 chord sets up the top in E again nicely.

A little side tidbit. Bassist Steve Bailey, who used to work with Dizzy, in fact I believe he was Dizzy's last bass player before he died, told me the story of how Dizzy set the music for Con Alma in front of Hank Jones. This was before he recorded it or was playing it out. He said, "Hank play this through for me, I just wrote it, tell me if it makes sense to you". Hank got to the end of the bridge and instinctively/automatically transposed the last 8 down to Eb. Dizzy said...Wow ! perfect! now why didn't I think of that ?!

If you check out a lot of recordings by NY guys, they do the last 8 down to Eb.

Regarding the head on Inner Urge. The late great pianist James Williams long ago showed me how he and many other friends of his at the time played the line with the LH and played the chords with the RH. All up until it gets to the E Maj7 to C Maj7 parts.

If I think of it, I'll record a slow example of how that would work. It sounds much cooler to me then playing the first part with the RH. Also the bass can double the line and it sounds cool.


Edited by Dave Ferris (01/17/13 03:11 PM)
Edit Reason: added thoughts
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#2016205 - 01/17/13 03:35 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: knotty]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: knotty
I keep a spreadsheet of tunes for which i have memorized head and changes and work on them daily.

Keys?

Real men use the transpose button!


I don't think I have a transpose button on my piano. I've tried the damper pedal, but it just seems to make all the notes run together.
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Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#2016210 - 01/17/13 03:46 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Just an example. These are the tunes played frequently at our jam. These aren't the only tunes I know but the ones everyone else seems to know. This alone is a list of 100+. I probably know the changes to the bulk of these.

All Blues....Windows


Yes, of those I probably can play about 50 in any key without music, and can reharm at will. About 30 more I can remember more or less without music, but wouldn't be confident playing the head in any key besides the original, and the remainder I could sight read, or read and play as needed, and transpose to at least two related keys (F to Bb etc), albeit slower than a tempo.

I've probably played upwards of 500 different jazz tunes at least once in my life. Some I've played several times. But the only time I'd tell anyone I know a tune is when I can confidently play the melody and chords and potential reharm in any key I (or they) choose. So the list becomes much more modest. Maybe I do know over 100 tunes to this extent, but I doubt it. I'm just careful about overestimating my abilities these days. However, if you would've asked me how many songs I knew when I was in my 20s I would have told you 1000, despite the fact that I couldn't even name 1000 songs.
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Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#2016252 - 01/17/13 05:15 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
Dave: That's a great story, and I'm going to have to try that. Unlike Hank Jones, I'll have to write out the final A section in Eb. Do you keep that harmonization in the solos?

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#2016258 - 01/17/13 05:26 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jjo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: jjo
Curiously, I do not like playing pieces where they switch in the head form latin to swing or vice versa.
But when it works - it's wicked!
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#2016259 - 01/17/13 05:29 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: Dave Ferris]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Interesting read:
"BRANFORD MARSALIS: MIRTH, MELANCHOLY, ART BLAKEY AND YOUNG PEOPLE."
http://www.tomajazz.com/perfiles/marsalis_branford_intvw_2012.htm

Thanks Chris...it was a good read. Normally I don't read about what too many jazz people have to say but I like Branford.
You're welcome Dave (nice story btw). Here's another good interview with Branford, he certainly succinct: http://jazztimes.com/articles/60457-like-it-is-the-branford-marsalis-interview
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I never play anything the same way once.

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https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#2016262 - 01/17/13 05:40 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 731
Loc: Leicester, UK
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

In any case, jjo, I'm surprised you haven't learned this tune since it's usually played Latin (being our Latin Jazz artist here now).

BTW the version below has a lot of reharms. I tried to transcribe the voicings but I'm not sure I got it right.

printer1? Maybe you can tell just by listening.


jazzwee ... What I can hear pretty easily is there are a lot of triads geting played over roots so you get #5 kind of things on maj 7 (and other similar alterations)... i'd have to sit down w/it to really see exactly what's going on. also when he solos he's extending the reharms with more triads and symmetrical stuff. that's really gorgeous playing. i think that's gene perla on bass?

when you were asking about tunes to learn before, funny thing ... i was thinking about con alma ...

here's the version i really like ... stan getz, chick corea, grady tate, and ron carter :

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


ray bryant was very active in nyc for a long time. he used to play quite a bit w/jimmy rowser (bassist) ... and it was a style you had to see and hear in person. junior mance was another fabulous pianist in the same vein who was very active in nyc duo clubs.

DF mentions Inner Urge played in the left hand ... that does sound great (as he says) when the bass doubles the head. it was a style of playing that used to be heard alot at bradleys in nyc ..



Edited by printer1 (01/17/13 05:41 PM)

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#2016271 - 01/17/13 06:14 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Dave F,Printer1 -- I actually play the 1st 8 bars of Inner Urge on the bass. Too difficult for me to go further. I cheat-- I just cross my hands. I actually heard it done by Bill Charlap/Renee Rosnes (I have their record). And it really sounds good lower. However, it's hard enough to do on the RH. I'm not going to try the LH especially starting at bar 9. smile

It's really funny Dave Ferris mentioned that since I was trying to do that.

On Con Alma -- that version is such a great example of intervallic playing. I need to do more of that since it has a really nice effect especially with a different rhythmic flow. If anyone can figure out his voicing that would be great. I don't have ears sharp enough to figure it out.
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#2016274 - 01/17/13 06:20 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: scepticalforumguy]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California


Originally Posted By: scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Just an example. These are the tunes played frequently at our jam. These aren't the only tunes I know but the ones everyone else seems to know. This alone is a list of 100+. I probably know the changes to the bulk of these.

All Blues....Windows


Yes, of those I probably can play about 50 in any key without music, and can reharm at will. About 30 more I can remember more or less without music, but wouldn't be confident playing the head in any key besides the original, and the remainder I could sight read, or read and play as needed, and transpose to at least two related keys (F to Bb etc), albeit slower than a tempo.

I've probably played upwards of 500 different jazz tunes at least once in my life. Some I've played several times. But the only time I'd tell anyone I know a tune is when I can confidently play the melody and chords and potential reharm in any key I (or they) choose. So the list becomes much more modest. Maybe I do know over 100 tunes to this extent, but I doubt it. I'm just careful about overestimating my abilities these days. However, if you would've asked me how many songs I knew when I was in my 20s I would have told you 1000, despite the fact that I couldn't even name 1000 songs.


Not sure why you're being so macho with the definitions. You're trying to justify for the jazz police? smile But I have to admit that last year, I probably knew less than 50 by heart.

BTW are you saying you can't even play head melodies by ear? I don't like sight reading so I do faster just remembering it by ear, especially if the keys are changed. Well -- there's nothing to sight read if the keys change.
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#2016277 - 01/17/13 06:32 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Continuing on Con Alma -- that tune requires some serious analysis. I'm not sure how to attack the first two bars of the A section.

What are you thinking when you see those two bars? Right now I'm just thinking of common tones since I don't know what to make of it.

Maybe that's why Pasqua used | Emaj7#5 G#7 | then you stay in the scale a little longer...which would also make sense with the next bar to reharm to | C#-7(b13) B7 |

...maybe I just figured out his reason for a reharm.
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#2016303 - 01/17/13 07:22 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1732
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Continuing on Con Alma -- that tune requires some serious analysis. I'm not sure how to attack the first two bars of the A section.

What are you thinking when you see those two bars? Right now I'm just thinking of common tones since I don't know what to make of it.

Maybe that's why Pasqua used | Emaj7#5 G#7 | then you stay in the scale a little longer...which would also make sense with the next bar to reharm to | C#-7(b13) B7 |

...maybe I just figured out his reason for a reharm.


Yeah it's a hard tune without a doubt. Add in it's in E makes it even tougher. I don't reharm it since imo it's hard enough as it is. I do try and find as many common notes as the chords are flying by. I try and turn those into little melodies or phrases. Yes the first 2 bars are applicable to use those Augmented scale structures...I still try and keep it not no scale oriented but thinking melody . It's a very challenging tune, again especially since it's in E.

Yes jjo I do keep the same harmony/changes going down the half step in Eb. In a way, it's almost a sigh of relief after playing the first two A sections in E. laugh By all means write it out. I did when I first learned it. The more you play it of course the less you have to refer to the music.

Here's an ad-hoc version at a noisy hotel awhile back. We were backing up a singer and doing a few tunes out front.The place was FAR from being considered "a jazz/listening room". So not a platform for ones most inspired creative playing but we were doing our best trying to play with the obnoxious din..

Disclaimer on the end--as we were coming to the end of this tune, the manager came up to me in my ear/face and said..."hey when's the singer coming on ?! People are getting restless".... frown I lost my concentration space and the ending just kinda morphed into this ambiguous finale...not how I planned. But I don't do well playing a complex piece and having somebody in my ear talking to me... wink

Anyway here's Con alma...back ground noise, rude hotel manager and all
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris/con-alma-live-trio-recording


Edited by Dave Ferris (01/17/13 07:46 PM)
Edit Reason: added thought
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#2016337 - 01/17/13 09:03 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 731
Loc: Leicester, UK
jazzwee! common tones are your friend! always! that's important so i'll repeat: COMMON TONES ARE YOUR FRIEND! particularly in con alma.

one way to practice CA is play it really REALLY slowly. break the voice leading down into a bass line and one note above. go really slowly you can exactly hear how one chord leads to the next. absorbing the simplest possible version of the tune is crucial. the advanced stuff (as in the video you posted) only happens after the simple stuff is absorbed.

something that might seem difficult at this early stage but is still worthwhile is play CA in a few keys (even if you have to write those different keys out). if you just transpose CA down to Eb - actually, just transpose the first few chords, you might notice those first 3 chords are the exact same 3 chords that many players use at the beginning of "Like Someone in Love." Another thing to see (maybe you already do) is the 1st 4 bars and the 2nd 4 bars (of the A section) are the same progression, just transposed ... so getting comfortable with that sequence in a few keys will bring out that similarity even more.

to go way out on a limb ... follow at your own risk ... if it doesn't make sense or doesn't seem relevant, well you've been warned!! .....

start with the E major triad at the front of the A section. Travel to the C major triad that ends the A section. What's the difference between an E major chord and C major chord? 2 notes! ... Meaning, begin with an E major triad and then move G# down a half-step and B natural up a half-step, well, you've reached a C major triad.

What can we take from that?

1. Dizzy's showing you (in the A section) a very long SEQUENCED way to get from E maj to C maj.
2. Dizzy'z playing on a transition (major third from E maj to C maj) that Franz Schubert used a million times over a couple hundred years ago.
3. Dizzy's playing on a transition that another major jazz player who basically wrote the book on chord progressions that traverse major thirds used. Who might that be and what's is the tune that's "the book" on major third chord relations? (the player who wrote that "book" tune played in dizzy's big band in the 40's ...)

... i looked up con alma on spotify and did a bit of listening. there are so many good versions, it's way past amazing. dizzy gillespie (several different versions), oscar peterson, lalo schifrin, FRED HERSCH, aaron goldberg, alec dankworth, mulgrew miller, WES MONTGOMERY, tito puente, ron carter, michael wolf, cedar walton, george garzone with dave kikowski. dizzy gilespie's version on the eternal triangle with sonny rollins, sonny stitt, and RAY BRYANT and his brother tommy (on bassist)

hope this helps!


Edited by printer1 (01/17/13 09:05 PM)

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#2016443 - 01/18/13 12:25 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

Not sure why you're being so macho with the definitions. You're trying to justify for the jazz police? smile

Ha! No, I'm just realistic about my ability level I guess.

Originally Posted By: JW

BTW are you saying you can't even play head melodies by ear? I don't like sight reading so I do faster just remembering it by ear, especially if the keys are changed. Well -- there's nothing to sight read if the keys change.

I can play almost any melody by ear with enough time, but that's not the same as playing on the bandstand and someone calling Windows in Ab. I've played Windows, I can play it with the chart in front of me, and I might even be able to sound half decent on it. But I'd never include it in a list of tunes I really know. Its one of the several hundreds that I've played, and liked, but haven't spent enough time considering how to really play it. I consider knowing a tune is a much deeper thing than simply being able to play it.

I've been telling my students something similar recently about knowing key signatures. One can say they know Bb major if they know all the notes in the scale, but they can't say they know Eb major if they sort of understand the same common tones it shares with Bb major (Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G). To know Eb major means really understanding that it is a different scale.

I guess I think the same mentality sometimes arises with jazz players that they see tunes as chords first, then look for the similarities these chord changes have with other tunes, and then say that the tune is learned without really understanding the melody AND chords together.

So yes, I guess I'm a stickler for details sometimes. I still stand by the fact that I only really know 50 (or probably less) tunes really well. I'm ok with that though, because I know them so well I can do a lot with them to keep me amused for a long time.
_________________________
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#2016464 - 01/18/13 02:04 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: scepticalforumguy]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

Not sure why you're being so macho with the definitions. You're trying to justify for the jazz police? smile

Ha! No, I'm just realistic about my ability level I guess.

Originally Posted By: JW

BTW are you saying you can't even play head melodies by ear? I don't like sight reading so I do faster just remembering it by ear, especially if the keys are changed. Well -- there's nothing to sight read if the keys change.

I can play almost any melody by ear with enough time, but that's not the same as playing on the bandstand and someone calling Windows in Ab. I've played Windows, I can play it with the chart in front of me, and I might even be able to sound half decent on it. But I'd never include it in a list of tunes I really know. Its one of the several hundreds that I've played, and liked, but haven't spent enough time considering how to really play it. I consider knowing a tune is a much deeper thing than simply being able to play it.

I've been telling my students something similar recently about knowing key signatures. One can say they know Bb major if they know all the notes in the scale, but they can't say they know Eb major if they sort of understand the same common tones it shares with Bb major (Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G). To know Eb major means really understanding that it is a different scale.

I guess I think the same mentality sometimes arises with jazz players that they see tunes as chords first, then look for the similarities these chord changes have with other tunes, and then say that the tune is learned without really understanding the melody AND chords together.

So yes, I guess I'm a stickler for details sometimes. I still stand by the fact that I only really know 50 (or probably less) tunes really well. I'm ok with that though, because I know them so well I can do a lot with them to keep me amused for a long time.


In my case, I know the really difficult tunes well. It's the more common variety (which are easier to memorize) that I don't know as well but I know I can survive. My teacher before forced me to learn only hard things.

So things like Windows, Giant Steps, Very Early, etc. is easy for me to remember. That's probably how I get my numbers up. Things like There Will Never Be Another You, or Four for example are things I could just play by ear. There's really value to just learning the difficult heads. The ear can fill up the rest. And no, I couldn't play Windows by ear. In fact, I only play it in B-. Some guitar players have asked that I play it in Bb- and I say no. The head is too difficult.
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#2016468 - 01/18/13 02:16 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
printer1, I hope you don't get bored but here's the 3rd time I played Inner Urge with a band. Out of four head repeats, I think I did the arpeggios correctly once! LOL. Well a little gig jitters is enough to tense up the hands. Anyway, my solo started out kind of without focus but I think I started to find something later on. So please listen and let me know what you think. I'll keep doing it at every gig until it's second nature.

Inner Urge - V3
https://www.box.com/s/zwa4yxba9o4x1ma693d4

BTW - I didn't try to play the melody down low. I didn't want to risk it. It's hard enough keeping it steady.
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#2016478 - 01/18/13 02:52 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: Mark Polishook]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: printer1
jazzwee! common tones are your friend! always! that's important so i'll repeat: COMMON TONES ARE YOUR FRIEND! particularly in con alma.

one way to practice CA is play it really REALLY slowly. break the voice leading down into a bass line and one note above. go really slowly you can exactly hear how one chord leads to the next. absorbing the simplest possible version of the tune is crucial. the advanced stuff (as in the video you posted) only happens after the simple stuff is absorbed.

something that might seem difficult at this early stage but is still worthwhile is play CA in a few keys (even if you have to write those different keys out). if you just transpose CA down to Eb - actually, just transpose the first few chords, you might notice those first 3 chords are the exact same 3 chords that many players use at the beginning of "Like Someone in Love." Another thing to see (maybe you already do) is the 1st 4 bars and the 2nd 4 bars (of the A section) are the same progression, just transposed ... so getting comfortable with that sequence in a few keys will bring out that similarity even more.

to go way out on a limb ... follow at your own risk ... if it doesn't make sense or doesn't seem relevant, well you've been warned!! .....

start with the E major triad at the front of the A section. Travel to the C major triad that ends the A section. What's the difference between an E major chord and C major chord? 2 notes! ... Meaning, begin with an E major triad and then move G# down a half-step and B natural up a half-step, well, you've reached a C major triad.

What can we take from that?

1. Dizzy's showing you (in the A section) a very long SEQUENCED way to get from E maj to C maj.
2. Dizzy'z playing on a transition (major third from E maj to C maj) that Franz Schubert used a million times over a couple hundred years ago.
3. Dizzy's playing on a transition that another major jazz player who basically wrote the book on chord progressions that traverse major thirds used. Who might that be and what's is the tune that's "the book" on major third chord relations? (the player who wrote that "book" tune played in dizzy's big band in the 40's ...)

... i looked up con alma on spotify and did a bit of listening. there are so many good versions, it's way past amazing. dizzy gillespie (several different versions), oscar peterson, lalo schifrin, FRED HERSCH, aaron goldberg, alec dankworth, mulgrew miller, WES MONTGOMERY, tito puente, ron carter, michael wolf, cedar walton, george garzone with dave kikowski. dizzy gilespie's version on the eternal triangle with sonny rollins, sonny stitt, and RAY BRYANT and his brother tommy (on bassist)

hope this helps!


Amazing specificity printer1! Let me chew on this and sit on the piano and see what I'm understanding here. I just returned to Con Alma today. I started it briefly but set it aside.

Dave Ferris -- thanks too for the comments on Con Alma. I heard that version you posted too. Great stuff!

I like these kind of tunes. Challenges the brain. I'll get back to Con Alma. I don't want to speak out of hand without sitting at the piano and studying this.
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#2016556 - 01/18/13 08:03 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 731
Loc: Leicester, UK
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
here's the 3rd time I played Inner Urge with a band. Out of four head repeats, I think I did the arpeggios correctly once! LOL. Well a little gig jitters is enough to tense up the hands. Anyway, my solo started out kind of without focus but I think I started to find something later on. So please listen and let me know what you think.
Inner Urge - V3
https://www.box.com/s/zwa4yxba9o4x1ma693d4


jazzwee, i gotta say WOW! ... do keep playing IU. It's a funny thing but we don't get to choose the tunes that we play well. The tunes we play well choose us! I think IU chose you!

Your time feel is very nice. Your lines are developing very nicely and coherently. Your LH is more or less supporting your RH and it's definitely not intruding on it.

I hear a conga in the mix, yes? Or some kind of hand drum ... I've always found
that a conga player with a nice feel helps the whole band focus and direct their time feel. In fact, I played trio for a while w/just bass and conga. So I'm saying this because the level of your time feel a few weeks ago is not the level you have now. You've seriously, seriously improved! Keep in mind when things aren't going as well as you'd like that you are in fact improving significantly. This recording demonstrates that!

The head ... no one who plays IU gets it right in the beginning unless they're mega-experienced to start. Having said that, slow, slow, relaxed practice is the way to to get the difficult parts under control. You might also try singing, best as you can, those difficult parts.

Just as technical practice, you'd probably get a lot from playing the parts of the head that you can in your LF and the chords in the RH. If you get the bass player to double that w/you it'll really sound fantastic. It's one of those things that sounds much better when listening than it feels to play. Hopefully that makes sense.

Now, you might - and I really mean "might" - practice singing some solo lines, whatever comes out is fine. Whatever .... I'm suggesting this because although your lines ARE VERY GOOD (that's for sure ... no doubts about it) ... singing your way through IU might open a whole new way to look at it. It might be, for example the difference between playing like Stan Getz (singing) and playing in a very saxophone instrumental kind of way. It's not a matter of you "must" do this. Only that raw singing (in practice) might lead you to places you wouldn't otherwise get. And of course super-slow relaxed practice will always lead to those good places!

Hope this helps!














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#2016560 - 01/18/13 08:08 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 731
Loc: Leicester, UK
jazzwee .. just a few more CA words ... those first 3 chords bars in con alma ... the progression is also in the last part of how deep is the ocean. actually is a really common progression. it's moves from a I major 7 chord to a vi minor 7 chord and passes through a dominant to the vi chord on the way ... AND the third is more or less held as a common tone through all 3 chords. (that kind of dominant is often referred to as a "secondary" dominant." whether or not you use that terminology isn't important ... sometimes it's labeled as V/iv. But, again, that's not the important part.

so those first three chords show us that ANYTIME you're moving from I to vi you can do it exactly as you see in con alma. in rhythm changes, in blues, in other standards whatever.

hope this helps!



Edited by printer1 (01/18/13 08:08 AM)

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#2016733 - 01/18/13 01:27 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: Mark Polishook]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: printer1
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
here's the 3rd time I played Inner Urge with a band. Out of four head repeats, I think I did the arpeggios correctly once! LOL. Well a little gig jitters is enough to tense up the hands. Anyway, my solo started out kind of without focus but I think I started to find something later on. So please listen and let me know what you think.
Inner Urge - V3
https://www.box.com/s/zwa4yxba9o4x1ma693d4


jazzwee, i gotta say WOW! ... do keep playing IU. It's a funny thing but we don't get to choose the tunes that we play well. The tunes we play well choose us! I think IU chose you!

Your time feel is very nice. Your lines are developing very nicely and coherently. Your LH is more or less supporting your RH and it's definitely not intruding on it.

I hear a conga in the mix, yes? Or some kind of hand drum ... I've always found
that a conga player with a nice feel helps the whole band focus and direct their time feel. In fact, I played trio for a while w/just bass and conga. So I'm saying this because the level of your time feel a few weeks ago is not the level you have now. You've seriously, seriously improved! Keep in mind when things aren't going as well as you'd like that you are in fact improving significantly. This recording demonstrates that!

The head ... no one who plays IU gets it right in the beginning unless they're mega-experienced to start. Having said that, slow, slow, relaxed practice is the way to to get the difficult parts under control. You might also try singing, best as you can, those difficult parts.

Just as technical practice, you'd probably get a lot from playing the parts of the head that you can in your LF and the chords in the RH. If you get the bass player to double that w/you it'll really sound fantastic. It's one of those things that sounds much better when listening than it feels to play. Hopefully that makes sense.

Now, you might - and I really mean "might" - practice singing some solo lines, whatever comes out is fine. Whatever .... I'm suggesting this because although your lines ARE VERY GOOD (that's for sure ... no doubts about it) ... singing your way through IU might open a whole new way to look at it. It might be, for example the difference between playing like Stan Getz (singing) and playing in a very saxophone instrumental kind of way. It's not a matter of you "must" do this. Only that raw singing (in practice) might lead you to places you wouldn't otherwise get. And of course super-slow relaxed practice will always lead to those good places!

Hope this helps!





Thank you for your kind words printer! Probably way too kind than I deserve smile I noticed that in this tune, it was hard to get an idea started. So I had a very weak start I thought. It was nice of you to find some coherence there. In any case your specific comments on singing and such already gave me ideas and what the issue is.

I'm so glad that at least my time got more solid. The rushing isn't always there. It's more obvious when it's a tune I'm not comfortable with. But I figured out that the way to prevent it is to not rush into the solo. Notice I just comped for a chorus before I started. This seems to work so I will do it for awhile until I get rock solid.

I really appreciate the specific advice you give. I think I'm reading every word you say since there's just a ton of material there. I've got a short break from gigs and can woodshed before I try this again. It certainly feels like it's coming together so onwards to Con Alma!
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

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#2016735 - 01/18/13 01:33 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Though I seem to have conquered the rushing, I've now discovered that on some tunes, I get into a habit of sticking to stepwise movement and less arpeggiations. I need to practice to counter this. I think I got so used to hearing the melodies in a linear motion. Here's an example. Also my "sentence" construction needs improvement.

Solar
https://www.box.com/s/sk2o0qbcnl7xvklccaf9

Audience loved it though (lots of attentive nodding heads), I'm sure because the groove was there.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

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