#1
So guys, I've become interested in analyzing this song, despite my basic theoretical knowledge, and maybe even do a 'simplified' version with my band.

If i'm not wrong, the chords are E7 and D7, but, what the hell is going on with the solos? was Miles thinking of a specific mode? How should I approach soloing in this song?
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#2
Taken from "Bitches Brew" article on Wikipedia:
"A few pieces on Bitches Brew were rehearsed before the recording sessions, but at other times the musicians had little or no idea what they were to record. Once in the recording studio, the players were typically given only a few instructions: a tempo count, a few chords or a hint of melody, and suggestions as to mood or tone. Davis liked to work this way; he thought it forced musicians to pay close attention to one another, to their own performances, or to Davis's cues, which could change at any moment. On the quieter moments of "Bitches Brew", for example, Davis's voice is audible, giving instructions to the musicians: snapping his fingers to indicate tempo, or, in his distinctive whisper, saying, "Keep it tight" or telling individuals when to solo."

So maybe you should do that: just play the song and improvise a solo
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Last edited by British Josh at Nov 1, 2011,
#3
Two years ago I 'played John Mclaughlin' in a Bitches Brew tribute show. I do remember the E7 and D7 thing. I might not be able to get to it tonight but I'll pull my charts for the tune and show you what I learned...after dissecting that whole album I can definitely say I learned a lot.

I have snippet-type charts that were given to us all layout the cues and basic modal direction but there was much more going when learning the music. I copped the guitar work pretty close but also found some new directions to go too. Then I interspersed the original lines inside my solo.

I'll come back with charts, my notes, amd videos from the gig. The line up was the same as the album...2 drummers, 2 keys, 2 bassists, 2 percussionists, bass clarinet, trumpet, saprano sax, guitar, etc...the rhythms were right and the solo's were sparse and soaring.
Last edited by MikeDodge at Nov 2, 2011,
#4
that would be awesome
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#5
If you are into Miles Davis you should check out the book "The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet. It doesn't cover Spanish Key, but does cover the period 1965 - 1968 and gives a lot of background and analysis of the songs. Below is a preview in Google books...

http://books.google.com/books?id=ZMlQ6jIhuwMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=miles+davis+quintet&hl=en&ei=boiwTufsEsWjtgfGxdyAAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CEAQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=spanish&f=false
#6
I'm not familiar with the song. However if the chord progression is simply an E7 - D7 vamp, it's highly likely the song is in the mixolydian mode.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#7
^ in traditional theory, maybe. but dom seventh chords in jazz are pretty much open season for any scale. diminished whole tone, half-whole diminished, lydian dominant, phrygian dominant (i'd imagine this or regular phrygian is what it is mainly if it's called "spanish key"), etc. the tension of the dom 7th chord lends itself to pretty much any altered tones.

TS, i recommend transcribing bits of the solo you like. see where they lie. even when miles was "modal" he really wasn't. modal jazz is a misnomer because they go outside the bounds of the given mode all the time.

http://www.freejazzinstitute.org/uploads/20100826063139_HalfNelson.pdf

maybe that could help a bit? looks to be mainly implying phyrgian (at least what this dude claims).
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at Nov 1, 2011,
#8
Quote by primusfan
^ in traditional theory, maybe. but dom seventh chords in jazz are pretty much open season for any scale. diminished whole tone, half-whole diminished, lydian dominant, phrygian dominant (i'd imagine this or regular phrygian is what it is mainly if it's called "spanish key"), etc. the tension of the dom 7th chord lends itself to pretty much any altered tones.


You'd be hard pressed to argue that an E7 - D7 vamp wasn't mixolydian. A phrygian vamp would be more like E - Fmaj7.

If you want to go down the CST route, sure anything goes.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
I still have to pull the charts but I listened to it again this morning, the E7 is actually a E7#9. So the scale used is an altered scale.

Here's some of the vids from the BB show...

Pharoah's Dance guitar solo excerpt: http://youtu.be/xzYrfe0fmP4

Piano solo from Voodoo: http://youtu.be/UaHAU2Z0Yi0

These vids have crappy audio (recorded from the side of the stage) but are full songs...


John Mclaughlin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8glk_UyMik

Bitches Brew (audio's pretty irritating on this one until the song gets going) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-Wj4i047ho

Sanctuary - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-Yqlx6I8lo
Last edited by MikeDodge at Nov 2, 2011,
#10
I haven't forgot about this, I just haven't been able to get the lead sheet and my notes scanned in. Although, it's pretty similar to the one that was posted. I think it will be my notes that will give more insight to the key elements of the piece as well as to the endless possibilities and directions you can go with it and still stay in the same vein.
#11
again, that would be cool, haha
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#12
#13
Miles davis used the term spanish scale to refer to the phygrian dominant scale (also known as the freygish scale in klezmer music)

Miles davis has got modes all up in that bi.tch btw