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  1. #1

    George Shearing's "Conception"

    This is a tune I've been playing a lot lately. There are some tricky spots and I wonder how folks think about them. The specific section I mean is the Gb - F7 - Bb7 - A7 - Ab7 - G7 - Gbm7

    The melody just uses a two note common tone thing, F-Gb which kinda works.

    Kurt Rosenwinkel's version on "Intuit", sometimes he nails the changes, sometimes he seems to play some Eb minor-ish sorta things. On "flight of the bluejay", most of the soloists seem to generally play guide tones and such.

    I've always found descending chromatic things to be relatively challenging to solo over. a lot of times, it sounds good enough that I just lay out during this section, which Kurt does sometimes as well. The common tone thing is cool too.

    How do y'all hear these sections?

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  3. #2
    I don't think it matters, especially at that speed. Play some chromatic thing... as long as you hit the ii-V-I in E nicely. Probably the rhythmic phrasing is more important.

    Put in the tritones and it looks like:

    Gb7/F7 - E7/Eb7 - D7/Db7 - F#m

    The G7 tritone Db7(C#7) is the V of F#m. It's just a run-down to F#m.

  4. #3
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    George Shearing's "Conception"

    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    This is a tune I've been playing a lot lately. There are some tricky spots and I wonder how folks think about them. The specific section I mean is the Gb - F7 - Bb7 - A7 - Ab7 - G7 - Gbm7

    The melody just uses a two note common tone thing, F-Gb which kinda works.

    Kurt Rosenwinkel's version on "Intuit", sometimes he nails the changes, sometimes he seems to play some Eb minor-ish sorta things. On "flight of the bluejay", most of the soloists seem to generally play guide tones and such.

    I've always found descending chromatic things to be relatively challenging to solo over. a lot of times, it sounds good enough that I just lay out during this section, which Kurt does sometimes as well. The common tone thing is cool too.

    How do y'all hear these sections?
    Yeah I think sometimes it’s good not to feel pressured into nailing the changes. It is basically in Db major/minor and the passing dominants are pretty fleeting.

    It is a cyclic progression which means that we are at least thinking of returning to the central key (well E major in this case, rel major)

    This is a really tough tune. I don’t think I have internalised it yet.

    One classic approach is to play 1 2 3 5 on everything that lasts less than a bar.

  5. #4
    I love this tune but it's tough , I've never mastered it .

    Chet Bakers' version is interesting , in the passage you mention he mostly just leaves a space , which is always a valid aesthetic choice .
    Also check his beautiful unhurried phrasing of the melody .

    There's always a temptation , because we spend so much time learning and practicing how to outline harmony melodically or ' make the changes ' , to feel that we have to mark every chord . That's not always the most musical thing to do . You could play one sustained note through the whole passage and then resolve it , or play one repeated note with some rhythmic interest ( a bit like the melody in those bars ) , play a blues phrase , chord tones going down chromatically ( Chuck Wayne does this in the video ) , arpeggiate the chords , or play a long phrase based on the subsequent harmony ( II-V in E major ) and wait for it to resolve .

    Actually now you've mentioned it I think I'll dig this tune out and do some work on it , it's a classic .

  6. #5
    It was really interesting for me to go back and listen to some recordings and listen for what people do over these parts specifically. I couldn't agree more that when we are studying jazz, there's definitely a "make all the changes and don't skip over the tough things like the last 4 bars of lady bird" mentality, but, often the masters of the music do stuff like lay out over these things, because it's a musical choice. For the parts where the harmony is moving fast and in interesting ways, that's all the listener sometimes needs!

    I recently played with a very good, very experienced jazz pianist who mentioned how great walking bass solos always sound. There's a little part of me that feels like that's "cheating", but, upon reflection, that voice inside my head is just BS! walking bass solos sound incredible.

  7. #6
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    1-2-3-5
    1-2-3-5
    1-2-3-5
    1-2-3-5

    Be a good boy.

  8. #7
    LOL I hate that sound usually. if I'm being honest, also triad pairs.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    LOL I hate that sound usually. if I'm being honest, also triad pairs.
    You could always shake it up and do 1-3-2-5

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    Actually have you noticed how triad pairs only sound good on Tenor Saxophone?

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Actually have you noticed how triad pairs only sound good on Tenor Saxophone?
    I am being flippant, obviously improvisors far greater than I'll ever be, use both these sounds effectively. But too often, these approaches, taken too literally, sound somehow too obvious to my ears. I blame jerry bergonzi.

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    I'm a bit worried that the outside triad Garzone thing that McCaslin does that I was transcribing today will only sound good on Tenor Sax :-(

  13. #12
    Triad pairs sound awesome on all saxes and flute and irredeemably wack on piano and guitar . I don't know what they sound like on the bassoon . Or the crumhorn .

    I've been looking at Conception the last couple of days a couple of things have occurred to me .

    1- it's a lot easier if you transpose it down a semitone to C . Sounds stupid but Chet Baker played it in that key and I think Miles did as well . It helps you get to grips with a difficult tune by taking one element of difficulty out .

    2- the A section is 12 bars long which is surprisingly offputting


    3- break it down into 2 bar chunks - you've got

    minor II-V for 2 bars

    modified LadyBird turnaround for 2 bars

    II-V in F# , F7 is a passing chord ignore it

    the chromatically moving dominant bit that you reference , well you find a similar thing in bar 7and8 of a blues leading to the turnaround also in ' I'm coming Virginia ' and Sweet Georgia Brown

    then just two II-V-Is

    see it's actually quite simple but I still can't play the bastard .

  14. #13
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    Yeah, sure the A section is a thing in Db with a bit of major/minor interchange and some backcycling dominants. Complicated, sure. But it's key centric.

    So, you can get away with more than you could on, say, Giant Steps (although there are tricks there too, of course.)

    Not sure if I grasp why putting it in C would help a guitarist?

  15. #14
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    I love the tune. I first heard it in Bud's version.

    I must give it a try. There is something really cool in it.

    Thanks for bringing it up.

    I'll keep following the thread so far..

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