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Old 02-07-2007, 04:13 PM   #1
elvenkindje
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SotM February: Blue Bossa

Todayís standard of the month will be Blue Bossa. Itís a standard written by Kenny Dorham. It was one of the first standards that Iíve learned and I still jam to it at least once a week. Because of that, I have a lot of experience and I want to kick the SotM with something nice.

Code:
|:Cm7 | Cm7 | Fm7 | Fm7 | | Dm7b5 | G7 | Cm7 | Cm7 | | Ebm7 | Ab7 | Dbmaj7 | Dbmaj7 | | Dm7b5 | G7 | Cm7 | Dm7b5 G7:|


Above us are the changes. As you might see, the song consists of two different keys, that is if you say that the C Harmonic minor and C Aeolian are sort of the same. Not that this is correct, but w/e.

First four bars: Cm7 - Cm7 - Fm7 - Fm7. This would be a i - i - iv - iv progression in the key of C Aeolian. This would let you play a C Aeolian scale over the Cm7 chord and F Dorian over the Fm7 chord. This is not what I myself try to do. I really like the Dorian sound and with two bars of Cm7, you have time enough to really show it. So, my option would be to play C Dorian over Cm7 and switch to F Dorian on Fm7. Make sure not to keep playing the C Dorian over Fm7 (resulting in F mixolydian because youíd have the 3 of the scale and b3 of the chord that would clash horribly. Other honorable mentions include C Phrygian over Cm7 and F Aeolian over Fm7. Ah well, just go with any mode that has 1 b3 5 b7 over that chord.

Second four bars: Dm7b5 - G7 - Cm7 - Cm7. This is a ii - V - i - i in the key of C Aeolian. However, it isnít strictly the Aeolian scale. It moves a bit to C Harmonic Minor (or G Phrygian Dominant.. if you look at the chord being played) when the G7 comes in. The G7 is there for the leading note towards the C note. Ah well. If weíd strictly play in the key of C Aeolian, it would result in D Locrian over Dm7b5, G Phrygian over G7 and C Aeolian over Cm7. This is a reasonably well to work with option, but limited.

Why is that? The locrian scale isnít my favourite, because I think the b9 of that scale clashes jķst a bit too hard with the chord. So, I deflat the b9, resulting in a 9 (=2), so.. Iíd play D Locrian Natural 2 over Dm7b5.

Playing G Phrygian over G7 isnít too bad, but not great either. G Phrygian creates the tensions over G7: 1 b9 #9 11 5 b13 b7. Could be an option, but I think itís a bit lame. Nice options would include G half-whole, G Phrygian Dominant, G Lydian Dominant, G Mixolydian b6 and even G Dorian.

Playing C Aeolian over Cm7, again.. Not that great imo. Iíd go for C Dorian again. Again, the two bars should give you enough time to bring out the Dorian flavour.

Third four bars: Ebm7 - Ab7 - Dbmaj7 - Dbmaj7. This is a ii - V - I - I in the key of Db. If youíd play strictly in the key of Db, youíd get Eb Dorian over Ebm7, Ab Mixolydian over Ab7 and Db Ionian over Dbmaj7. Could be a nice option, if you do it well. However.. Thereís something you shouldnít forget: Tritone substitution. If you donít understand this, I recommend you to look in the MT Sticky FAQ.

So.. Tritone substitution works well in this progression. Itís a regular ii - V - I, so it can easily become a ii - bII - I. I hear you think: Whatís that you say? Simple.. The progression changes, see below.

Code:
Old: | Ebm7 | Ab7 | Dbmaj7 | New: | Ebm7 | Ebb7 | Dbmaj7 |


What happens now is that you have a chromatic movement downwards. However, this would ruin your scale choice if you made the wrong choice. Just look at it.. Play Ab Mixolydian over Ebb7 (for simplicity called D7 now.. Enharmonic notes, but theoretically incorrect, but hell).

Code:
Notes: Ab Bb C Db Eb F Gb Functions: b5 b13 b7 7 b9 #9 3


I think we all agree that this is.. very limited. Could be cool to mix with the arpeggio and add the chord tones, but for simplicity, I suggest the next example.

Iíd go for Ab Lydian Dominant. This would destroy the Db and make it into a D, resulting in a nice #11 over the Ab7 chord (which imo is better than the 11) and.. Should the rhytm section suddenly decide to do a tritone sub, you get the D (or Ebb) Altered scale! Hurray!

Over the Dbmaj7, you could simply play Db Ionian. Wouldnít be bad, wouldnít be great. Iíd suggest trying Db Lydian here: The #11 is a nice tone to have over maj7 chords.

The last four bars are simply the second four bars over again, but with a slight twist: In the last bar, it has a quick ii - V in the key of C Aeolian. This is a turnaround, thus not played if itís the last time played. If itís the last time around the changes: Just keep playing Cm7.

Also.. The whole changes just sound really natural. Why is that? Itís because most of the roots go up a fourth! C to F, D to G, G to C, Eb to Ab, Ab to Db.. Only ones that are left out are C to D (which is used to create tension), F to D (substitute) and Db to D (which is just changing the root, while keeping the other tones). Also, the C to Eb root change, thatís a little weird, but itís ultimate use in the end resolves (through Eb-Ab-Db-D-G-C) so itís just a long tension :.

So.. in short. My Ďultimateí scale/mode suggestions to play over Blue Bossa.

Code:
|:C Dorian | C Dorian | F Dorian | F Dorian | | D Loc 2 | G Phr Dom | C Dorian | C Dorian | | Eb Dorian | A Lyd Dom | Db Lydian | Db Lydian | | D Loc 2 | G Phr Dom | C Dorian | D Loc 2, G Phr Dom |


So, some nice ideas ?

- C Dorian in the second bar : End the bar on the 6 (A) and right on the beginning of the third bar, move it down a half step to Ab (The b3 of the Fm7 chord !)
- D Locrian 2 of the fifth bar: Play 1 9 b3 b5 of the chord. In the next measure (with G7) play 5 b6 b7 b9 (in relation to G, of course)
- From bar 8 to 9, you get another minor chord, but a minor third up. You can create a nice leading to it by going ĎC C Db Dí all quarter notes (bar 8). Or make all those notes min7 arpeggios or chords or whatever. End bar 9 on the Eb note/min7 arpeggio.
- Substituting Cm7 for Ebmaj7 in the seventh and eighth bar. Play the Ebmaj7 arpeggio. Bar 9: Make the arpeggio minor. Godly.
- Substituting Cm7 for Ebmaj7 in the seventh and eighth bar. Play the Ebmaj7 arpeggio, followed by a Dmaj7 arpeggio. Bar 9: Dbmaj7 arpeggio.
- Same could be done with Cm7 - Bm7 - Bbm7 in those bars.
- Bar 12: Play Dbmaj7 arpeggio. Bar 13: Play Dm7b5 arpeggio. The difference between those is one note thatís altered a semitone! Kickass.
- Bar 12: Play Dbmaj7 arpeggio, followed by Dmaj7 arpeggio. Bar 13: Play Ebmaj7 arpeggio.
- Bar 16: First half, play (all sixteenth notes) D C Ab D C Ab D C. Second half, play (all sixteenth) D B Ab D B Ab D B. End next chorus on a C note. Lovely!


If you have any questions, comments and/or additions to the analysis, feel free to post.

So, as a final word. Hereís my recording, hope to hear yours soon! http://guitarmark.dmusic.com/
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:21 PM   #2
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Excellent, excellent! This is an amazing start to what could be one of the most useful things around this place. Lots of great ideas here, I even learned from Elven, who would have thunk.

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Old 02-07-2007, 04:30 PM   #3
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Oh, I just thought of something. Just for fun, play F Minor Pentatonic over the whole lot.
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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I will read this later, but i have (surprise surprise) jazz practice.

If we play this I don't know what I'll do
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Old 02-07-2007, 05:52 PM   #5
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This is way to much for me to read now, but I have a suggestion. We should include suggested fingerings for chords. Perhaps we could also write it in an easy key (C, Am, G, Em), but that's not all that important.
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:20 PM   #6
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Good job Elven

Just to make things clear for anyone who might read this and is wondering where to get chords etc from, there are books that are called fake books or real books (not going to bore you with the origins of those names) that contain most jazz standards, their chords, and possibly (most of the time) the head and/or verses. If you're interested in getting one, I recommend Hal Leonard: The Real Book sixth edition. Obviously because that's the one I have

Here's a picture of Blue Bossa in aforementioned realbook: Blue Bossa.

As you can see, the chords differ slightly from the ones elven uses, but that's okay. There are no really universally accepted ones for this particular tune, and they're just reharmonisations anyway, it's all to be interpreted loosely.

Just thought I'd point all this out.
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:26 PM   #7
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Just to add: http://www.gianpierobruno.com/spartiti/BlueBossa.jpg This is the version that I used for analysing.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:44 AM   #8
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That's a cool looking lesson there, bit scary looking but I'll try that sometime soon.
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:01 AM   #9
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To be honest I didn't understand any of that.

Can you not give some licks to play over the chords?
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:43 PM   #10
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Nice job, elven, finally got to read it.

The only thing about all this is that it seems that these might be a bit scary for most non-jazz players. I mean, I didn't start playing jazz on something like this; I would play a blues, or a progression with two or three chords, so I could work out playing changes at a much slower pace.

However, I'd rather not dumb down the standard of the month. But, I would be willing to make perhaps a "Beginner's jazz tune of the month" or something. I know we don't want huge amounts of threads stickied, but I think an analysis of a tune for someone trying to get in to jazz would be beneficial.

If this idea is something people are interested in, perhaps we could make a thread somewhere to discuss it.
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodelia
Nice job, elven, finally got to read it.

The only thing about all this is that it seems that these might be a bit scary for most non-jazz players. I mean, I didn't start playing jazz on something like this; I would play a blues, or a progression with two or three chords, so I could work out playing changes at a much slower pace.

However, I'd rather not dumb down the standard of the month. But, I would be willing to make perhaps a "Beginner's jazz tune of the month" or something. I know we don't want huge amounts of threads stickied, but I think an analysis of a tune for someone trying to get in to jazz would be beneficial.

If this idea is something people are interested in, perhaps we could make a thread somewhere to discuss it.


I'm guessing that'd be a good idea. Judging by the limited response in here I think it goes over the top of many heads.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:58 PM   #12
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Nice, elven. I understood it, but it does seem a bit hard to digest. Kind of like just jumping into the pool for me though. I like psychodelia's idea.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:54 PM   #13
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>_>

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Old 02-11-2007, 11:25 PM   #14
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I love this song, one of the first ones I learned as well. I'm playing this song along with Chameleon for my school's battle of the bands. I'd like to hear your recording but for some reason dmusic never seems to work on my computer.
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodelia
Nice job, elven, finally got to read it.

The only thing about all this is that it seems that these might be a bit scary for most non-jazz players. I mean, I didn't start playing jazz on something like this; I would play a blues, or a progression with two or three chords, so I could work out playing changes at a much slower pace.

However, I'd rather not dumb down the standard of the month. But, I would be willing to make perhaps a "Beginner's jazz tune of the month" or something. I know we don't want huge amounts of threads stickied, but I think an analysis of a tune for someone trying to get in to jazz would be beneficial.

If this idea is something people are interested in, perhaps we could make a thread somewhere to discuss it.


That's a great idea. I would love to understand jazz and get better at it, it seems so interesting and it's incredibly helpful for chord constructions. Please do this Psychodelia. I somewhat understood Elven, but it'd take me a year to figure out all of the scales you mentioned and after that I'd forget what song I was playing Nice recording and analysis though. I'm assuming you went to music school right? Please tell me where, I am very interested because I am thinking of studying music too.
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:39 PM   #16
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Psychodelia has a nice idea. Any ideas for easy standards? Autumn Leaves perhaps? Or Black Orpheus? Those two are relatively easy.

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Old 02-13-2007, 03:24 PM   #17
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Autumn Leaves seems like a great idea, perhaps a jazz blues would also be a nice introduction.
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Old 02-13-2007, 04:10 PM   #18
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Jazz Blues as in Mixolydian of the respective chord or something else? I have a jazz blues thing worked out here, but that's probably worse than the Blue Bossa thing
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Old 02-13-2007, 05:14 PM   #19
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Well I just mean a jazz blues standard, Mr. P.C., All Blues, Blue Monk,... Take your pick.
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:20 PM   #20
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Yeah, a jazz blues might be good. Just showing people basics of playing changes, and having to change only one or two notes in scales instead of requiring drastically different scales.

Autumn Leaves is a good beginner tune and is largely diatonic, but I think it's maybe one or two steps ahead of a jazz blues, it might help to let people adjust to the concept of paying attention to the changes.


And elven, if your "jazz blues" thing is your thread that included about five hundred substitutions, that's way the **** in the wrong direction for beginners
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