Hey guys! I was at a jazz workshop with the jazz society in my college, of which I am a member, and I asked the guy doing to workshop to give me some theory to learn. So, here's what I have so far: (In the key of C)

Major Two-Five
The Major two-five is a common sequence in jazz that moves between the IIm7 chord and the V7 chord. This then resolves on the IMaj7 chord. Soloing around this is done in the Mixolydian Mode.

Example: Dm7 ->G7 ; -> CMaj7 Soloing in G Mixolydian

Minor Two-Five
The Minor Two-Five is also a common sequence found in jazz that moves between the IIm7b5 chord and the V7 chord. This then resolves on the Im7 chord. Soloing around this is done in the Harmonic Minor scale.

Example: Dm7b5 -> G7 ; -> Cm7 Soloing in C Harmonic Minor.

Is this correct? Thanks guys!

I'll delete this once I get an answer, don't worry!
Last edited by conor-figgy at Oct 12, 2011,
There is no Mixolydian in the major 2-5-1 (Dm7-G7-Cmaj7). Mixolydian is used for I7 chords, not V7 chords.

The "jazz way" is you use C Major for Dm7 and Cmaj7, but use Ab Melodic Minor for the G7 chord.

Breaking down the theory you get this common jazz sound from the progression:


This helps you play in a direction instead of over one chord, then the next, then the next. It helps create complete lines...by simple drawing a straight line from chord to chord (the chromatic Root movement).
Quote by conor-figgy
Would you not use D dorian for Dm7?

If you want to think of it that way, sure. I can see that in this case since Dm7 and Cmaj7 are separated by some non-diatonic extend harmonies (G7alt, which is G7 and Db7 super imposed). It can be thought of as just C Major or D Dorian if you like.
Ok, thanks! I just have to go off and ask the guy about the Ab Melodic Minor and why he said Mixolydian

Appreciate the help!
As a clarification, Mike is talking about doing what is called a tri-tone substitution with the melody over top of a potentially non-substituted V chord.
Quote by conor-figgy
Would you not use D dorian for Dm7?

It depends.

If you look at the chords as a family that are functionally connected together, and resolving on C you have a ii V I in C, and so what you think is Dorian, isn;t anything "new" at all in terms of scales, but basically since you think it's the key of C, it's still C.

If you don't think of these chords as having any sort of key, but rather, each chord introduces a new Tonal Center, (the Note D over Dm7, G over G7, and C over C Major 7) and resolve the melody over each chord, then you can play that any way that you want.

So, over Dm7, you could play D Dorian - resolve it to D before the change. You could play D Nat Minor, D Phrygian, etc and as long as you resolve it and maintain that tonal center before the chord changes, you're more correct in your thinking, in my opinion.

Unless you have enough separation in your playing, to the ear, most likely it will all sound like C Major and want to pull the ear and resolve it on C.

The Ab Melodic Minor over the G7 is something that includes lots of possibilities for Altered Dominant chords that are more often used in situations, than straight dominant 7ths.