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  1. #51

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    Chris'77 has a great point about Lydian Dominant

    I'm obsessed with that Blue Note sound these days, and before that I listened to a lot of swing and bebop. I tried getting some lydian domiant lines to work, but it wasn't vibing with me. I just think of that #11 as a color of the chord (and, I guess in a swing mentality, the color of the key--I dunno about the whole "chord as an independent entity" thing, Parker grew up in the swing tradition before he started developing his own language so he was definitely aware of that big picture melodicism that comes from keeping the key first and foremost--it's not generalizing, it's contextualizing)

    I think this is where CST fails us (yes, I'm bringing that up again ). You can't expect to make music by plugging in scales ad nauseum. I'd argue, that even on those Wayne Shorter tunes, Herbie tunes, and Steve Swallow tunes--and you play those just by calculating "what scale goes over what chord" you won't end up with music. There has to be some kind of cohesion. If there's cohesion and unity in Schoenberg and Berg, why is it so hard to fathom that there's a melodic and harmonic cohesion in "post-bop" tunes? If one chord follows another in the context of time (free or "traditional") then, by the nature of the ear, there is a connection between those chords and an overall big picture created by hearing all those chords in succession. I'll stand by this even if I have to leave JGF again (I don't want to, I really like you folks) but, as an avid educator myself, we have to get beyond this "chord--chord--chord as separate entities" mentality. Wayne Shorter built stories on his complex tunes--because he could hear the cohesion, the big picture.
    Last edited by Irez87; 06-12-2019 at 12:17 PM.

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I would never analyse Regs lines as having anything to do with CST. He doesn’t sound like that type of player. Kurt, 100%, Reg, no.

    That’s the way he thinks harmonically but he plays quite old school language.

    He has his own way of talking about what I just posted above. I think we think quite similarly, I just tend to convert everything to the simplest scale description because I find it easier to deal with. I reckon Reg played the way he does before he went to Berklee and retroactively analysed and developed his approach after taking CST classes.
    By which I mean Regs CST approach is in the background. In many contemporary players the CST side of it is foregrounded through use of intervallic approaches etc.

  4. #53

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    Chris'77, I mentioned what you said about Reg on the Performance Ear Training Journal--but I was talking about his feel and groove. I think listening to what Reg plays is immensely more useful than just reading what he talks up with his theoretical analyses.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    Chris'77 has a great point about Lydian Dominant

    I'm obsessed with that Blue Note sound these days, and before that I listened to a lot of swing and bebop. I tried getting some lydian domiant lines to work, but it wasn't vibing with me. I just think of that #11 as a color of the chord (and, I guess in a swing mentality, the color of the key--I dunno about the whole "chord as an independent entity" thing, Parker grew up in the swing tradition before he started developing his own language so he was definitely aware of that big picture melodicism that comes from keeping the key first and foremost--it's not generalizing, it's contextualizing)

    I think this is where CST fails us (yes, I'm bringing that up again ). You can't expect to make music by plugging in scales ad nauseum. I'd argue, that even on those Wayne Shorter tunes, Herbie tunes, and Steve Swallow tunes--and you play those just by calculating "what scale goes over what chord" you won't end up with music. There has to be some kind of cohesion. If there's cohesion and unity in Schoenberg and Berg, why is it so hard to fathom that there's a melodic and harmonic cohesion in "post-bop" tunes? If one chord follows another in the context of time (free or "traditional") then, by the nature of the ear, there is a connection between those chords and an overall big picture created by hearing all those chords in succession. I'll stand by this even if I have to leave JGF again (I don't want to, I really like you folks) but, as an avid educator myself, we have to get beyond this "chord--chord--chord as separate entities" mentality. That's how Wayne Shorter built stories on his complex tunes--he could hear the cohesion, the big picture.
    And Wynton Marsalis for one would agree with you.

    CST has to be understood in historical context. It developed after the period of about 15 years of remarkably consistent common practice after Charlie Parker, at a point in time when jazz musicians were moving away from standards, but does not really encapsulate the music of Wayne or Trane.... Ethan Iverson talks about the importance of Bill Evans here. All I can say about Bill is - I hear it - but there’s a mess of bop in Bill too.

    CSTs spread in popularity is also associated with musicians important to the jazz rock movement.

    Ultimately that era of Berklee and the education movement it influenced created a new common practice. This eventually spread to common practice on standards too. But I don’t think it was ever the original intention of CST to model the earlier common practice of the 50s.... I mean it really is rather shitty at that.

    It’s easy to see why figures who had guru status in the Blue Note era such as Barry Harris feel aggrieved by this - ‘they didn’t ask Thad Jones, they didn’t ask me.’ But that’s the way it went.

    Upshot is - if you like Kenny, Grant and Wes, Lydian Dominant isn’t so very important.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    Chris'77, I mentioned what you said about Reg on the Performance Ear Training Journal--but I was talking about his feel and groove. I think listening to what Reg plays is immensely more useful than just reading what he talks up with his theoretical analyses.
    I was saying this five years ago. Reg could play random notes and it would swing.

  7. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    By which I mean Regs CST approach is in the background. In many contemporary players the CST side of it is foregrounded through use of intervallic approaches etc.
    I would assume that much of it has to do with harmonic rhythm etc. A lot of his applications to standard tunes are "weak side" subs etc., heard mostly as "blue notes" etc, but he's using harmony to organise his blue note approaches. It has a lot of implications for the way he comps etc as well.

    The really fast lines he plays are probably more the unintended consequence of trying to fill in more micro level harmonic rhythm, a lot of back and forth tension/release which can't be conveyed with fewer notes. Anyway, it all leads to a style which is some of the most inside-sounding "outside playing" I've heard. Can sound as vanilla or out as he wants by just leaning slightly more on the harmonic rhythm one way or another.

  8. #57

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    Furthermore there’s the obvious point that if you don’t listen to players that make a lot of use of the LD you probably won’t be able to hear it to play it either...

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    I would assume that much of it has to do with harmonic rhythm etc. A lot of his applications to standard tunes are "weak side" subs etc., heard mostly as "blue notes" etc, but he's using harmony to organise his blue note approaches. It has a lot of implications for the way he comps etc as well.

    The really fast lines he plays are probably more the unintended consequence of trying to fill in more micro level harmonic rhythm, a lot of back and forth tension/release which can't be conveyed with fewer notes. Anyway, it all leads to a style which is some of the most inside-sounding "outside playing" I've heard. Can sound as vanilla or out as he wants by just leaning slightly more on the harmonic rhythm one way or another.
    I need to listen to him in more depth. But I would say that I think his concepts are analogous to those I have learned from others. The concept of tonal targets for instance.

    Rhythm is 9/10ths of the law though... you can’t make an altered scale on V sound like music if you can’t make it work rhythmically let alone anything more out there.... that’s what makes outside sound good.

  10. #59

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    I don't have anything against musicians who craft lines informed by CST--I have a problem with how it's taught.

    And this goes way beyond Wynton--this traces back to how we hear over how we think.

    Even Kurt, Lage Lund, and Mike Moreno--if you listen to them play--there's a sonic cohesion to how they improvise. It's not chord-chord-chord--it's a complex sound created by harmony--that's all tied to some sort of melodic/ harmonic commonality.

    Ear over mind.

  11. #60

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    Also I might add that from what I understand of it Regs approach is a very horizontal, dynamic approach to CST.

    I don’t get that so much from transcribing Kurt or whoever.

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    I don't have anything against musicians who craft lines informed by CST--I have a problem with how it's taught.

    And this goes way beyond Wynton--this traces back to how we hear over how we think.

    Even Kurt, Lage Lund, and Mike Moreno--if you listen to them play--there's a sonic cohesion to how they improvise. It's not chord-chord-chord--it's a complex sound created by harmony--that's all tied to some sort of melodic/ harmonic commonality.

    Ear over mind.
    Well I listen to them play a lot.

    Their approaches from a note choice POV are actually quite diverse, I wouldn’t lump them in together. The most unifying thing about them is their modern legato approach to articulation.

    The reason I bring up Wynton is he said almost the exact same thing as you about Wayne. I’ll dig out the interview.
    Last edited by christianm77; 06-12-2019 at 01:25 PM.

  13. #62

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    My brain must be wired differently from you lot, I would just play the same melodic ideas on the dominant as I usually do, just including the #4 note in whatever way appeals to me within the melodic line of the phrase. I don’t think about all that scale stuff etc.

    Right now I can hear an example in my head, e.g. I would play a line starting with the notes 6, 5, #4, 6, 5, and then continue the line from there. So starting with some kind of enclosure around the 5th but including the #4.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    My brain must be wired differently from you lot, I would just play the same melodic ideas on the dominant as I usually do, just including the #4 note in whatever way appeals to me within the melodic line of the phrase. I don’t think about all that scale stuff etc.

    Right now I can hear an example in my head, e.g. I would play a line starting with the notes 6, 5, #4, 6, 5, and then continue the line from there. So starting with some kind of enclosure around the 5th but including the #4.
    Yeah there are a lot of bop and swing lines that do that sort of thing.... Lester leaps in is a good example off the top of my head, but doing it on the I chord.

    However that’s just a passing tone. It’s when you lean into it you get that sound. You have to hear it as a note you can sit on.

    Otherwise, you can go back to Mozart or whatever, they used the #4 in that way all the time, but never as a note you can sit on.

  15. #64

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    I'd love to see the interview , I just didn't want you penning me as a crazy old traditionalist (I've got gray hairs, but c'mon)

    One last post on this thread--then I have to get back to my own practicing, taking care of a sick child (she is napping right now), and preparing for interviews--I'm saying this out loud so I can actually do it

    ...I think I'm the American version of Chris'77--my wife also says that I'm what's wrong with the internet

    Okay, so I'll make one last parallel and then I'll just read what happens on this thread. In education--and Chris'77, I think you've come across this as well in your own studies. By the way, when do you graduate? We can throw you a party over at JGF and clink digital lagers over the interwebs--okay, back to my point. When you study to become a teacher, you come across a concept called Backwards Planning. Jay McTighe goes into detail in his key text "Understanding by Design". So, you plan everything--you're lessons, your tests, your projects, your unit plans, the scope of the entire school year, with the end in mind. Here's the kicker, the end in mind shouldn't just be "how do I achieve ______ skill"--that's incredibly important, but it ain't all of it. The end should focus on this overarching essential question that may not even be answered.

    Okay, quickly, when I approach improvisation--at home, at jam sessions, playing out, etc.--I think of the moment and where that moment leads--to the end of the tune. I backwards plan my hearing so I know how the first chord of the tune sonic-ally pulls back to the key that the composition is in. I do this for Stompin' at the Savoy, Rhythm Changes (I hear the bridge in Bb) Just Friends, Giant Steps--and I am working on doing this with Wayne's tunes as well--however, and I said this before, with Wayne it's less of a key center that holds everything together. It's more of a tonal collection of notes that the harmony moves around (in a less than obvious fashion--that's what makes it so interesting to listen to). All notes that occur outside of the key center or tonal collection act to create movement and tension.

    That's it... hopefully, I explained it all right--this isn't my idea to take credit for.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Yeah there are a lot of bop and swing lines that do that sort of thing.... Lester leaps in is a good example off the top of my head, but doing it on the I chord.

    However that’s just a passing tone. It’s when you lean into it you get that sound. You have to hear it as a note you can sit on.

    Otherwise, you can go back to Mozart or whatever, they used the #4 in that way all the time, but never as a note you can sit on.
    I don't think I consciously make that distinction, it's an interesting colour to me so I might 'lean' on it or I might just include it in the line.

    Irez wanted examples, I found a few examples in the last video I did, e.g. 0.53, 1.25, 1.30 to 1.32, 2.07, 2.43. I think in a couple of these I started the phrase by leaning on the #4.

    Last edited by grahambop; 06-12-2019 at 02:35 PM.

  17. #66

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    Well every colour that ends up as a note you can sit on starts off by being leant into more and more... if that makes any sense?

    (Metaphor failure)

    Another way of putting it is that today’s appoggiatura is tomorrow’s upper extension.

    (Appoggiatura literally means ‘leaning note’)

    So, I’m thinking of Lady Bird now. Bars 4 and 8.

    So, Jordan Klemons reckoned the E on Bb7 (bar 4, classic bVII7#11) was a an actual extension on the chord while the A on the Eb7 in bar 8 was actually a lower neighbour to the Bb on the Abmaj7 on the following bar and therefore not a upper extension but a passing dissonance.

    I hear it that way too now, but it demonstrates how subtle and elastic the distinction can be. It’s all in how you hear it.

  18. #67

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    This reminds me, Emily Remler talked about how to get the Lydian sound on ‘non-resolving dominants’ in her bebop and swing video (i.e. where the dominant is not a V going to I, and is not altered). I think she said it’s a sound Wes would use quite a lot.

    I probably got some ideas from that originally, but also by hearing what people like Jimmy Raney, Chet Baker etc. do in this context.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    This reminds me, Emily Remler talked about how to get the Lydian sound on ‘non-resolving dominants’ in her bebop and swing video (i.e. where the dominant is not a V going to I, and is not altered). I think she said it’s a sound Wes would use quite a lot.

    I probably got some ideas from that originally, but also by hearing what people like Jimmy Raney, Chet Baker etc. do in this context.
    TBH I don’t think I’ve ever looked at Wes in that situation. I wonder what a good non functional dominant tune would be for him?

    One thing I got from Wes is how you can mix up the minor with the whole tone.... and how he mixes Dorian and melodic minor together on tunes like Nica’s Dream.

  20. #69

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    I think the real key is to learn the Jazz Standards repertoire. Like any language
    One needs to immerse oneself in it,to understand it.

    Especially when trying to improvise with harmony that involves chord tones above the 7th degree. It isn't that difficult once you absorb the melodies and song forms. Just keep learning and listening and it becomes more natural to your ear.

  21. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    My brain must be wired differently from you lot, I would just play the same melodic ideas on the dominant as I usually do, just including the #4 note in whatever way appeals to me within the melodic line of the phrase. I don’t think about all that scale stuff etc.

    Right now I can hear an example in my head, e.g. I would play a line starting with the notes 6, 5, #4, 6, 5, and then continue the line from there. So starting with some kind of enclosure around the 5th but including the #4.
    I'm a little slow on the uptake but have come around to your perspective. For me it was a matter of something as inconsequential as the name of the scale. When I think "lydian dominant" I automatically think that I have to emphasize the #4. So instead of an option, it somehow becomes a requirement. It's restrictive. OTOH when I think mixolydian #4 I'm starting from a more comfortable place, a basic 7th chord with the option to incorporate the #4 if it's in the flow. This way it's less abstract to me and more natural too. I can treat the #4 as a passing tone, emphasize it or omit it.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    I'm a little slow on the uptake but have come around to your perspective. For me it was a matter of something as inconsequential as the name of the scale. When I think "lydian dominant" I automatically think that I have to emphasize the #4. So instead of an option, it somehow becomes a requirement. It's restrictive. OTOH when I think mixolydian #4 I'm starting from a more comfortable place, a basic 7th chord with the option to incorporate the #4 if it's in the flow. This way it's less abstract to me and more natural too. I can treat the #4 as a passing tone, emphasize it or omit it.
    G lydian Dominant
    Fourth mode D melodic minor
    G mixolydian #4.

    Or, as one of my teachers called it, "G7b5" scale. Actually he should have called it G7#11. Maybe he said b5 because he was talking to a older guitar player.

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    I'm a little slow on the uptake but have come around to your perspective. For me it was a matter of something as inconsequential as the name of the scale. When I think "lydian dominant" I automatically think that I have to emphasize the #4. So instead of an option, it somehow becomes a requirement. It's restrictive. OTOH when I think mixolydian #4 I'm starting from a more comfortable place, a basic 7th chord with the option to incorporate the #4 if it's in the flow. This way it's less abstract to me and more natural too. I can treat the #4 as a passing tone, emphasize it or omit it.
    That's the right answer. Phew! :-)

    After all, the #4 is just a half-step into the 5 (C#-D over G7) so it needn't become that important. But they do recommend using the lyd dom over a 7b5 or 7#11 chord. In that case the #4 might need some emphasis, like using it on a strong beat, as a chord tone and using the mixo#4 is as good a way as any. Or, rather than too much emphasis on 'scales', constructing a line that includes that note in the right place.

  24. #73

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    An important thing to be able to do is identify the difference between a chromatic embellishment and a harmonic tone.

    Basically the distinction rag makes covers it pretty well. (Thing is, you can use any note as a passing tone or embellishment.)

    If you lean on the #11 you get more of the harmonic sound.

    If you lean on it and refuse to resolve it to the 5th AT ALL you get more again.

    You could do much worse than study the melody and shout chorus of Chelsea Bridge.

  25. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    That's the right answer. Phew! :-)

    After all, the #4 is just a half-step into the 5 (C#-D over G7) so it needn't become that important. But they do recommend using the lyd dom over a 7b5 or 7#11 chord. In that case the #4 might need some emphasis, like using it on a strong beat, as a chord tone and using the mixo#4 is as good a way as any. Or, rather than too much emphasis on 'scales', constructing a line that includes that note in the right place.
    I think where I got in trouble was automatically using lydian dominant wherever I encountered a non-resolving dominant chord, like the D7 in A Train. But just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. The raised 4th has an ethereal sound to me, and on reflection, it can wind up being too much of a good thing, or just too much. Your comments helped clarify something I already do but hadn't summarized that well, specifically that the #4 is sometimes a passing tone (off beat) and sometimes it's a chord tone (strong beat.) Lastly, I find that I'm less reliant on "scales" and relying more on (moron?) my ear and intuition to guide my soloing. Appreciate you!

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    An important thing to be able to do is identify the difference between a chromatic embellishment and a harmonic tone.

    Basically the distinction rag makes covers it pretty well. (Thing is, you can use any note as a passing tone or embellishment.)

    If you lean on the #11 you get more of the harmonic sound.

    If you lean on it and refuse to resolve it to the 5th AT ALL you get more again.

    You could do much worse than study the melody and shout chorus of Chelsea Bridge.

    These are all concepts that I've used but your comments help me clarify how to be more intentional with my use of #4. You know, someone (correctly) identified me as a "Blue Note" guy, which is about right. That said, I'm not particularly aware, as others have commented, that there's much lydian dominant in that genre. Many thanks as always.

  26. #75

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    I quite like Charlie Christian’s concept of ‘worry notes’ - notes that you worry away at.

    Whether you worry away at #11 will determine whether your lines have that Lydian vibe.

    It’s not unknown in Blue Note stuff but I always feels it’s more emergent from using the very melodic and old school major seventh in minor lines on dominant chords rather than a conscious modal concept of the type we use today.
    Last edited by christianm77; 07-11-2019 at 05:41 PM.