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#2103649 - 06/17/13 02:20 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
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Loc: So. California
Blue Bossa from last Friday Gig
https://www.box.com/s/fev5umo7zypfzra38k0d

My solo starts in the middle. I had an absolutely horrendous migraine during the gig and it took a lot of concentration to stay on my bench. But the "show must go on". First time for me to be sick while playing. I told the drummer to give me the 'eye' if I start rushing and that probably kept me from rushing.

Anybody else ever play while sick?

BTW the recording didn't sound bad at all which was a shock.
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#2103678 - 06/17/13 04:41 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
BTW the recording didn't sound bad at all which was a shock.
Nice solo Jazzwee! (next time ask the guitarist to lay out during your solo) nice use of space and dynamics.
(lovely vocalist, keep her!)
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#2103706 - 06/17/13 07:13 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Nice job Jazzwee!
I took a video of us Sat. night and one of the tunes is blue bossa. I'll try to post it soon.

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#2103800 - 06/17/13 11:53 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Thanks guys!

Chris--it's a wonder a find a guitar player who can lay out this much. He is the least of obtrusive of all the guitar players I know that's why I stuck with him.

He's useful for playing heads like Joy Spring smile But I'm losing him. He's moving out of town. So my future gigs will be guitar-less and more trios. Which means I have to master more heads...
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#2103945 - 06/17/13 04:35 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
I like that guitar player.

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#2104172 - 06/18/13 01:28 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: knotty
I like that guitar player.


Me too. He's not flashy. He doesn't have the chops of the other guys but he's tasteful, melodic, and knows when to lay out. And for a guitar player, he also knows how to control his volume.

My last gig with him is on Thursday. I'm going to stress him out with Giant Steps and Inner Urge (and Joy Spring) so he departs with a bang!

This is a recording of Giant Steps we did in March and I thought he did a pretty melodic solo on it. I think it was the first time he played it at a gig. Really great to play with people with good ears. They teach me a lot.

Giant Steps
https://www.box.com/s/vhw1fc19jvkv45la7vk4
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#2104286 - 06/18/13 09:50 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jjo Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
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Loc: Chicago
Volume control is key. It's way easier to tell someone to turn it up than to tell them to turn it down!

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#2104347 - 06/18/13 11:55 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jjo]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: jjo
Volume control is key. It's way easier to tell someone to turn it up than to tell them to turn it down!


So how's it working with your guitar player? Although it was a duet wasn't it? Like the Brad Mehldau / Pat Metheny duo?
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#2104373 - 06/18/13 12:42 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jjo Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
We had a trio, piano, guitar and bass. This guitar player is very easy to work with. He has a very gentle sound. I asked him to turn it up as the noise level in the room got louder. He is also very sparse in his comping, even under my solos. In heads where I play the melody, he'll do a lot of single note lines filling in gaps, which I like a lot, too. In a lot of pieces he does the Freddy Green style chord strumming, which I like a lot, if played gently. It adds a nice rhythmic drive without interfering with the piano comping, which is usually off the beat.

As I said earlier, my problem with a guitar comes in a jam session or any group where there is a vocalist or sax, etc. Then, in my biased view, the piano should be the main comper, and the guitarist should lay back and fill in. I've actually heard the guitar and piano player at my jazz camp talk about this, and they said the piano is the main comping instrument and the guitar should react more to the piano than the other way around.

I really recommend listening to the early Oscar Peterson trio with just guitar and bass. It's great music, but it also seems to involve the seamless use of piano and guitar.

Your guitar player is very good and you two seem to work well together.

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#2104423 - 06/18/13 01:55 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
I've never been fond of the Freddie Green comping. We had a master class with Bill Cunliffe last year and he specifically discussed Freddie Green comping as being an old-fashioned style. It fits certain swing tunes but it can make a band sound dated very easily. Bill by the way is a specialist in older style jazz so this was a meaningful comment.

After the masterclass, you would think the guitar players would get the hint on backing down the volume since Bill made a pointed comment about Guitar vs. Piano comping. But lo and behold, at the next jam, everyone was still comping hard with volume up.

The issue, as you can imagine, is that everyone is focused on themselves instead of using their ears to listen to the band. If there's something I've learned from gigging, it's to have the Big Ears as much as I can. Unfortunately, guitar players are a dime a dozen so many have never learned to interact, particularly in comping. Too much rock influence.
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#2104517 - 06/18/13 05:01 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jjo Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
I guess I'm a bit old fashioned! I certainly wouldn't want Freddie Green comping all the time, but if you play a Duke Ellington tune or something like that, it makes things swing, and there ain't nothing wrong with that. It sure worked for Basie.

A year or so ago I was at an open house at a music school and I went to what was a latin jam session. We had a great afro-cuban groove going and then the guitars arrived. They just turned those little knobs they have until they can hear themselves, and pretty soon, that's all you heard. I suppose, however, there is a guitar forum somewhere where they are complaining about uppity keyboard players right at this moment.

That's one thing that is nice about afro-cuban music, by the way. There is no issue there on comping. The piano montuno is king and has to be heard. A guitar must take a back seat to that.

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#2104524 - 06/18/13 05:09 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
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Loc: So. California
Definitely fits on a Duke Ellington tune! But maybe not so well on a Miles Davis tune. But just like piano comping, we've got to have variety. The problem with the Freddie Green comping is that it's TOO recognizable.

It takes a guitar player with taste to determine when to use it.

Maybe it's because I've noticed that my own comping has been changing. I'm getting more attuned to making it sound different and better use of space. So that's why I get sensitive to the "other" comping instrument.

Are you saying that over several tunes, the Guitar player will comp Freddie Green style?
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#2104580 - 06/18/13 06:52 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jjo Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
I think we are in agreement, really. No way on a Miles Davis tune. Really just on an old time mid-tempo swinger. This guy uses is sparingly, but he and his bass playing buddy like to play a lot of vintage tunes. Think Lullaby of Broadway, In A Mellow Tone, Satin Doll, Just Friends, etc. He also wouldn't do it over a whole tune; just for a bridge, or half a chorus. I guess you're making me appreciate even more his taste! I think ideally a piano should be the foundational comp, whereas a guitar player should add spice. Some chords, some single notes lines during gaps in the melody, and then flat out comping in something like the blues. I also defer to him almost entirely when we play a bossa because he's got that finger picking technique down and I think the guitar sound, when down right on a bossa, is much more authentic than a piano.

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#2104583 - 06/18/13 06:59 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
This discussion makes me think of some older jazz tunes I hear on the radio. I noticed that the piano comps much more heavily on the older tunes than the more modern jazz.

Although, we could say Herbie comps very heavily but always so varied.

But Herbie excluded, am I wrong in this observation? If anything, I feel I should comp less. More space.

And what occurred to me just recently is that I didn't really play with dynamics in comping before. Now I'm becoming more aware of that.
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#2104852 - 06/19/13 11:49 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jjo Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
I'm not sure if it's older v. newer. Maybe by older you mean bebop? I think the comping in bebop is very active because the soloist play so much. When to get to more modal or modern tunes, space becomes more important. It would be very valuable to spend some time listening to just comping in a wide variety of styles.

No doubt I play too much when comping. It's fun to feel part of the rhythm, but, particularly during a solo, there are times when we should really hold back. My teacher always emphasizes the melodic element of comping more than the dynamics. Of course the rhythm has to be right, but she says it needs to be melodic just as much as a solo. This means focusing on the top note in your voicing. If you listen to Herbie, Wynton Kelly and other great compers, their comping has a melodic line to it. This is something I work on but rarely achieve. It does sound great, however, when you make the top notes of your comping sing.

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#2104858 - 06/19/13 12:04 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
I really don't like a guitarist comping during my solo, I find that "they" get in the way. But if I could find one like Sam Brown I wouldn't mind:


Btw, this is a really good new album (piano trio + trumpet): http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=44740
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#2104953 - 06/19/13 04:54 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Yes jjo, by older I mean early Bebop. I'm just thinking that if you emulate that era than in theory you would comp more. But I think the later crowd of players -- 60's up -- seem to view comping more pianistically.

That's just my impression lately. Herbie is a different animal though because he's adding a lot of texture to the sound. Obviously he can do things with his hands that require tons of chops.

But I think the listening has to develop here to see if the comping is helping the melodic line or not.

I think Dave Frank preferred less rhythmic comping and more whole notes (butt in Dave if I misunderstood you). The comping becoming more of a constant harmonic layer.

The other comping style I see is where you comp only in the open spaces. This makes it less obtrusive. I guess like any other aspect of jazz, this is part of one's taste. But I'm leaning now towards less. As I listen to my own recordings, I'm thinking: what did that extra stab here and there contribute to the sound?

In general though, I observe that comping requires variety both rhythmically and dynamically. At least that's what I hear in the modern styles.

And Chris --understandably, if one has a vision of what the comping should sound like, two comping instruments make you lose control of that. I tolerate it with my Guitar player because the volume is at least toned down.
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#2105443 - 06/20/13 05:28 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Lost Woods Offline
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Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 104
Loc: The Netherlands
*edit: delete*


Edited by Lost Woods (06/20/13 05:31 PM)

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#2112526 - 07/04/13 12:28 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
The Wind Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/13
Posts: 468
Hello everybody. Just saw this solo jazz piano video which was astounding, left me speechless.

Footprints by Geoffrey Keezer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5V4Udahi8s

Just listen and be in awe.

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#2112580 - 07/04/13 03:13 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Unbelievable chops....though his lines on the RH reverted mostly to repeated patterns. But still the chops are out of this world.
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#2112833 - 07/04/13 01:41 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: The Wind]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Originally Posted By: The Wind
Hello everybody. Just saw this solo jazz piano video which was astounding, left me speechless.

Footprints by Geoffrey Keezer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5V4Udahi8s

Just listen and be in awe.


I gotta say it kind of left me cold. It must have been nice to see live though.

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#2112835 - 07/04/13 01:44 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Theory wizards,

Out of nowhere, the last 8 go something like this
A- | b- E7 | A- | F7 then turnaround.

How do you analyze the F7 here? It's kinda clear what to play with the #11 in the melody, lydian dominant is good, but how do you see that chord in the context of the progression.

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#2112837 - 07/04/13 01:51 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jjo Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
Amazing virtuosity. Interesting that most people play this tune (including Miles) way, way up tempo. But the original version by Wayne Shorter on his Adams Apple album (one of my all time favorites) is medium tempo, which I think creates a more interesting mood and allows for more melodic soloing. Herbie Hancock's solo also has a great section where he changes the feel to 4 over 3, I think. He's doing something with the time feel.

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#2112838 - 07/04/13 01:55 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jjo Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
Jazzwee:

Had another gig with the guitar and bass player last night. I was trying to see why I like this setup so much. I guess the real lesson is that it's more the musician than the set up. If you really like playing with someone, that's way more important than the combination of instruments.

That said, here's what I think makes the guitar piano work:
1. He plays low volume. I frequently ask him to turn it up.
2. He's very laid back. He sits out many bars when comping, or just plays a chord or two.
3. There is a lot of variety in his playing. He'll play some chords, then sit out, then play a counter melody. He rarely gets into a pattern of just chugging away at the chords for very long, so he leaves lot's of space.

I guess the takeaway is that for guitar piano combos to work, you need two players willing to cut way back on the amount (and volume) they play, and really work to create a melded sound.

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#2112935 - 07/04/13 06:12 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: knotty]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 731
Loc: Leicester, UK
Originally Posted By: knotty
Theory wizards,

Out of nowhere, the last 8 go something like this
A- | b- E7 | A- | F7 then turnaround.

How do you analyze the F7 here? It's kinda clear what to play with the #11 in the melody, lydian dominant is good, but how do you see that chord in the context of the progression.



Knotty, there are a bunch of ways to see that F7 depending on style. In the Tin Pan Alley style Out of Nowhere comes from the F7 is more often seen as a Cm6. In the key of G that means that the F7 is a C min chord with an added 6th.


Cherokee has the exact same thing ... there's a place where the fake book says it goes from Eb maj7 to Ab7 (and Cherokee I'm sure you know is in Bb). So that Ab7 chord there very likely was originally an Eb min6.

The iv6 chords in Tin Pan Alley standards started morphing into a iv min 7 to bVII dom 7 progression during bebop days. Meaning the Out of Nowhere F7 chord could just as well be replaced with C min7 to F7. Sometimes substitutions like this fit with the melody. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes they're used when they fit with the melody and sometimes they're used anything even if they don't fit! Sometimes they're not used during the head but then they get slotted in during solos.

These days this kind of progression is sometimes called a "backdoor" dominant.

I studied a long time ago with Tony Aless, a bebop guy who played on Charlie Parker recordings with strings. The system he taught was say in the key of G, for example, Am7 - D7 was interchangeable with Cm7 - F7 and that was interchangeable with Ebm7 - Ab7 and that was interchangeable with F#m7b5 - B7. Tony wasn't saying just freely switch chords where ever you want. His method had more to do with finding places where those kinds of chords worked in some context or another.

In the 371 Bach Chorales (the bible of jazz voice leading as said by Fred Hersch), you'll find iv chords all over the place in major keys. It's a very common sound in tonal harmony. But what the Chorales also show about stuff like this is these things we call "chord progressions" are very very dependent on voice leading.

Hope this helps ...

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#2112954 - 07/04/13 07:04 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Thanks Printer,

In Cherokee, that section is in Eb. So it goes
Bbmaj7 for 2 measures, then F-7 | Bb7 Ebmaj7 to Ab7, that's a typical lydian dominant that you find in so many standards. The major 4th is also very common.

That particular F7 is a bit different.
Cm-7 F7 doesn't work well here because of the B natural.


C-6 works pretty good but to me at least, it would sound like a reharmonization, it's a lot more tense than the plain F7.

Maybe I'm looking for something that isn't really there. It's just that remember that particular progression is somewhat tricky.

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#2112960 - 07/04/13 07:21 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
The Wind Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/13
Posts: 468
hey guys, just wanted to ask how's the scene for jazz gigs in the city you live?

I'm in Vancouver Canada. There is not much real demand for jazz here, only 1 proper "jazz" club. Most of the time gigs are for corporate events or weddings. I do some solo piano gigs too but don't market it as jazz, more pop stuff with standards.

We just had the annual jazz festival come through down, some big names like Herbie and Esperanza Spalding, but as usual alot of "non jazz" stuff too. I am finding it's the same locals that do all the smaller gigs though.

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#2112968 - 07/04/13 07:39 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: knotty]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 731
Loc: Leicester, UK
Originally Posted By: knotty
Thanks Printer,

In Cherokee, that section is in Eb. So it goes
Bbmaj7 for 2 measures, then F-7 | Bb7 Ebmaj7 to Ab7, that's a typical lydian dominant that you find in so many standards. The major 4th is also very common.



Of course you can look at it like that. I'm only suggesting if you take a look from the standpoint of who used it in which style and in which tunes you may find approaches that help you to see it in a different way ... robert frost's "road less traveled"

Originally Posted By: knotty

That particular F7 is a bit different.
Cm-7 F7 doesn't work well here because of the B natural.


Stuff doesn't always work stock out of the box. but especially if you look at this stuff and hear it in terms of voice leading you can find ways around that clash (if you want to avoid it).

Originally Posted By: knotty

C-6 works pretty good but to me at least, it would sound like a reharmonization, it's a lot more tense than the plain F7.


again, i'm just suggesting options without qualifying them. what you do with them is according to what you like ...



Originally Posted By: knotty

Maybe I'm looking for something that isn't really there. It's just that remember that particular progression is somewhat tricky.


again, i'm giving you a historical overview. if that progression is tricky then work with it in 12 keys. that can often help.

it's just a question of finding the key that unlocks it for you ... which key is of course totally and completely your choice!

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#2112981 - 07/04/13 08:16 PM 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)
Thanks Printer for your advice. I think you are absolutely right.
I bet now I'll start hearing that F7 better ;-)

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#2112984 - 07/04/13 08:23 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: The Wind]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Originally Posted By: The Wind
hey guys, just wanted to ask how's the scene for jazz gigs in the city you live?

I'm in Vancouver Canada. There is not much real demand for jazz here, only 1 proper "jazz" club. Most of the time gigs are for corporate events or weddings. I do some solo piano gigs too but don't market it as jazz, more pop stuff with standards.

We just had the annual jazz festival come through down, some big names like Herbie and Esperanza Spalding, but as usual alot of "non jazz" stuff too. I am finding it's the same locals that do all the smaller gigs though.


Hey Wind,

The scene is in DC seems to be blooming. Over the last few years, several clubs have opened or re-opened. The bethesda blues and supper just recently opened (very close to me), Blues Alley still going, Twins, and also Bohemian Cavern with a nice residence big band as well as many guests performers of course. Then of course the beautiful Kennedy center and newly opened Strathmore.

There are also many jam sessions across town.

As an amateur pianist, I don't have that much trouble finding gigs. I could probably book myself close to every evening with gigs that pay the 1970s rate.
Corporate gigs are my favorite. There are many in embassies and international groups like IMF and world banks. Those are usually cool, much better than restaurants anyway.

And then several Jazz fest throughout summer. It's not bad really.

You should come visit !!

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