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  1. #1

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    I think we'll get this week started as I'm not sure if I'll have any time near a computer this afternoon.

    Our tune this week is Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance."

    JGBE Virtual Jam (Round 9) - Dolphin Dance-1615067788998-jpg


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  3. #2

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    I also just wanted to post a few quick thoughts on this tune, as I think it might be the most brilliant tune written in jazz history.

    It's kind of a microcosm of everything jazz was in 1965, and certainly everything Herbie was into. The form itself is very interesting.

    There's a four bar intro that introduces what I'll call the "melody contour." A melodic rhythm that appears several times in the form, but with different pitches. A motif.

    It doesn't sound like an intro, though. It just sounds like we are jumping straight into the tune. But those 4 bars never repeat. Instead, we get the same melody contour at the end of the form, with wildly different harmony.

    The A section can be thought of as functional, or really just hanging around C minor.

    The B section re-intoduces our melody contour, but now with a more modern, suspended sound in the background, travelling from G to Fsus sounds...but we're not done.

    The C section I think of as kind of a fanfare, a climax of the tune, and it's followed by a "cool out," a brief modal vamp, and then finally, that familiar melody contour returns one last time, but over some seriously heavy harmony.

    This is a tune I've played before, but in no way do I feel "comfortable" or "free" over it. This is a tune you could spend a lifetime on!

    Oddly enough, I recorded a version of this about one year ago, right at the beginning of the first corona lockdown...I'll have to see if I can find it, I'm not sure I put it on YouTube, it might just be floating around social media somewhere. I'm guessing my solo is pretty similar-- I tend to play it safe on this one. My goal is to go deeper this year, becuse I love this tune so much.

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 03-12-2021 at 11:20 AM.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I also just wanted to post a few quick thoughts on this tune, as I think it might be the most brilliant tune written in jazz history.

    It's kind of a microcosm of everything jazz was in 1965, and certainly everything Herbie was into. The form itself is very interesting.

    There's a four bar intro that introduces what I'll call the "melody contour." A melodic rhythm that appears several times in the form, but with different pitches.

    It doesn't sound like an intro, though. It just sounds like we are jumping straight into the tune. But those 4 bars never repeat. Instead, we get the same melody contour at the end of the form, with wildly different harmony.

    The A section can be thought of as functional, or really just hanging around C minor.

    The B section re-intoduces our melody contour, but now with a more modern, suspended sound in the background, travelling from G to Fsus sounds...but we're not done.

    The C section I think of as kind of a fanfare, a climax of the tune, and it's followed by a "cool out," a brief modal vamp, and then finally, that familiar melody contour returns one last time, but over some seriously heavy harmony.

    This is a tune I've played before, but in no way do I feel "comfortable" or "free" over it. This is a tune you could spend a lifetime on!

    Oddly enough, I recorded a version of this about one year ago, right at the beginning of the first corona lockdown...I'll have to see if I can find it, I'm not sure I put it on YouTube, it might just be floating around social media somewhere. I'm guessing my solo is pretty similar-- I tend to play it safe on this one. My goal is to go deeper this year, becuse I love this tune so much.

    Enjoy!
    I was afraid you might call this I've played it for years, but never fully gotten the hang of it. Not that that ever stopped me

    John

  5. #4

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    Agreed on all fronts.

    They used to call this tune A LOT in the college jam sessions I attended.

    I used to stumble HARD over this tune.

    That said, it is one of the few "modern standards" that is in the same league as "Lush Life" or "Body and Soul."

    A BEAUT of a tune But this tune makes you WORK for that beauty to come out in your improvisation.

    Mr. B, that solo sounded very pretty and yet... very gritty (like Grant Green, who we all love on this thread )

    This will be the tune where all my warts come out

  6. #5

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    Ha, I did find my take from last year...at least I'm not wearing exactly the same flannel

    A lot more notes here. I think I tried a hip hop groove here, which is just iReal. I dunno. Not bad I guess.

    Interesting to see what changes and what stays the same.


  7. #6

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    Both fine takes, Jeff with great tone. I'd prefer the newer version, it sounds a bit more relaxed to me...

  8. #7

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    Yea... have always loved this tune. here's an old vid I posted 10 years ago.... a little weird but does show one of the 12 step melodic development approaches, that is #6 or #7 ,I believe, playing melodic idea and trying to develop or expand each time through until you get where you want. Listening now... pretty rough, but I was just posting BS examples back then.

    Feel free to rip it up... I'll try and actually get out one of my guitars and post some of the previous Jam of the week tunes...work backwards LOL

  9. #8

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    Downloaded a chord sheet and a lead sheet - this is a real tough one re: complex changes, not sure if I can cut it. Other than that: ordered the album since I don't have it.

  10. #9

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    TOMMO (and anyone) here's how I'm navigating, as a guy who doesn't like to go too deep in to theory that I don't really understand.

    So the solos start from the 5th bar of the head, if you will, on the Cm. So I'm calling that first bar of Cm BAR 1 of the solos...

    The first 12 bars of the form aren't too tricky. Mostly Cm, a trip to G. Bars 5-8 you can just "play changes," before settling back to Cm and then a 2 bar ii V to G in bars 11-12.

    Now we get into 8 bars of suspended sounds. Four over a G pedal tone, 4 over an F.

    With the four bars of G pedal, I hear triads over bass...starting with just G, then F, then A, and that last sus chord can be Dm/G. So Gmaj, F/G, A/G, Dm/G

    Then with the F pedal you can think Fsus, but really it's kinda heading back to Cm. F13sus is like a Cm9, the chord in bar 18 which I see sometimes notated as D/F is like an F13b9, back to Cm, then a ii V in bar 20 that doesn't go to Dmaj like expected...

    Bars 21-26 again can just be played as written. That Eb7 in bar 21 is definitely a 7#11 sound.

    Then we got the modal "cool down." Again triads over bass, this time D and C over an E. You can go all Allman brothers and think A Dorian really, or think Bm and Am as well.

    Then those crunchy last 4 bars, triads are back! Eb in bass, but the chord are complex...I mess with Fm, G, C, and G+ triads in bars 31-34 respectively, getting back to Cm.


    This probably isn't all "right," but it helps me hear it. Maybe it'll help you.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    TOMMO (and anyone) here's how I'm navigating, as a guy who doesn't like to go too deep in to theory that I don't really understand.

    So the solos start from the 5th bar of the head, if you will, on the Cm. So I'm calling that first bar of Cm BAR 1 of the solos...

    The first 12 bars of the form aren't too tricky. Mostly Cm, a trip to G. Bars 5-8 you can just "play changes," before settling back to Cm and then a 2 bar ii V to G in bars 11-12.

    Now we get into 8 bars of suspended sounds. Four over a G pedal tone, 4 over an F.

    With the four bars of G pedal, I hear triads over bass...starting with just G, then F, then A, and that last sus chord can be Dm/G. So Gmaj, F/G, A/G, Dm/G

    Then with the F pedal you can think Fsus, but really it's kinda heading back to Cm. F13sus is like a Cm9, the chord in bar 18 which I see sometimes notated as D/F is like an F13b9, back to Cm, then a ii V in bar 20 that doesn't go to Dmaj like expected...

    Bars 21-26 again can just be played as written. That Eb7 in bar 21 is definitely a 7#11 sound.

    Then we got the modal "cool down." Again triads over bass, this time D and C over an E. You can go all Allman brothers and think A Dorian really, or think Bm and Am as well.

    Then those crunchy last 4 bars, triads are back! Eb in bass, but the chord are complex...I mess with Fm, G, C, and G+ triads in bars 31-34 respectively, getting back to Cm.


    This probably isn't all "right," but it helps me hear it. Maybe it'll help you.
    Thanks Jeff! Do you keep an eye on a chord sheet or do you have the progression memorized? Anyway: it's a most beautiful tune that I've known before but never listened to intensely. I will try if I can make something out of it.

  12. #11

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    You are welcome!

    And yes, I think I prefer the newer take as well, thank you.

    Re: sheets

    I try to do without. I've actually gotten very good at committing a tune to short term memory by looking at form. It's getting those tunes over to long term memory that takes more work for me

  13. #12

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    I did a lot of this back in 2018, several takes. Luckily I can't remember much about it but it is a pretty tune. So I'm going to do it fresh. I'm not going to read any of the 'how to do it' posts because I want to explore and discover it myself.

    I notice Tommo told Mr. B his current version sounds more relaxed than the previous one... Well, see, that's what happens, Jeff. Just wait another 30 years :-)

  14. #13

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    Decided to head over to Mr. Sunny Bass's jam. I think he hypnotized me.



    John

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I think we'll get this week started as I'm not sure if I'll have any time near a computer this afternoon.

    Our tune this week is Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance."
    JGBE Virtual Jam (Round 9) - Dolphin Dance-1615067788998-jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Ha, I did find my take from last year...at least I'm not wearing exactly the same flannel

    A lot more notes here. I think I tried a hip hop groove here, which is just iReal. I dunno. Not bad I guess.

    Interesting to see what changes and what stays the same.

    I have to say I dig both. I like the way you bring out the harmony to the tune. You hit the changes without "chasing them", and give it a nice bop-ish feel on the new one one, and I like the energy and more burning approach to the earlier one. I deliberately didn't listen before doing mine just because I like to do these with a clean palate, so to speak, but I could do with a bit more of what you do on both of these.

    John
    Last edited by John A.; 03-12-2021 at 01:01 AM.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Decided to head over to Mr. Sunny Bass's jam. I think he hypnotized me.



    John
    Beautiful lines, John!

  17. #16

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    Here's one. My current headphones have given up the ghost so I can't tell whether the sound's balanced properly or not. You can tell me.

    I found this quite easy despite the chords. Nice, slow and dreamy, of course, so that's okay. There's lots of opportunity for some zippy pentatonic stuff but I wasn't very adventurous. Maybe another time. It's better than the one I did in 2018.



    Nice chordal stuff at the beginning there, John. Something I should do more of.

  18. #17

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    For serious headbanging, try -



    No, I haven't... yet.

  19. #18

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    Very nice, ragman! The tune sounds great with just acoustic guitar(s). Balance is perfect to my ears.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Decided to head over to Mr. Sunny Bass's jam. I think he hypnotized me.



    John
    I really feel stumped by this one. But you've got my mind turning again.

    And really, I can't pull my eyes off that guitar. What a beauty!

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Decided to head over to Mr. Sunny Bass's jam. I think he hypnotized me.



    John
    Very nice take. You have found the atmosphere of the song perfectly. Super sound and very atmospheric playing.
    Best
    Kris

  22. #21

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    John and Rag, nice takes both.

    John you do a lot of stuff I like in this, but there's one lick in particular I just love, at 1:37...this cool modern pentatonic thing. I need to get more of that in my playing!

    Rag, your unhurried style really fits this one. Sounds more like your creating a new melody than soloing. That's a good thing.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I really feel stumped by this one. But you've got my mind turning again.

    And really, I can't pull my eyes off that guitar. What a beauty!
    It's definitely a challenge. I've been playing it for decades and I still feel pretty much lost over parts of the tune, especially the last 4 bars of the solo form. I've gotten to the point were little melodic ideas come to me, but I can't really explain them. Jeff' reply to Tommo above is a good roadmap. This is a good analysis of the tune that opened some doors for me. If you listen to what I played, you'll notice that I actually miss the changes a bit, but it sounds OK because I'm just playing against a bassline and not clashing with any other harmony.


    John

  24. #23

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    Lawson, one thing that really helped me was trying to find a whole note melody that travelled through the tune. So one whole note on each chord that sounded strong. And then that becomes like a simplified melody to play off of.

  25. #24

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    You all are braver than I!

    Rags, I bought that Barry Greene class last night.

    Highly recommended. Sometimes his classes get too chord scaly and theoretical. There are a handful of classes where he gets the balance JUST RIGHT. Tasty lines. The bare minimum of theory to get the point across in a digestible manner. His "Dolphin Dance" class is one of such classes.

    This is a tune where going at it pure ears can be a bit tricky. The whole tune plays on your assumptions of what harmony is supposed to sound like, and then the tune does the unexpected and you land on your arse for resolving a line incorrectly.

    That said, this is a BEAUT of a tune. Love Herbie Hancock's playing and compositions, especially from his "Blue Note" period.

    I will post soon, and I'll try not to steal everyone else's ideas when I come up with my own take .

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by PickingMyEars
    Sometimes his classes get too chord scaly and theoretical. There are a handful of classes where he gets the balance JUST RIGHT. Tasty lines. The bare minimum of theory to get the point across in a digestible manner. His "Dolphin Dance" class is one of such classes.
    I thought he was getting some very interesting sounds out of it. Maybe at the end of his performance he was getting a bit carried away :-)

    But I really loved the way he played the tune, lovely bluesy sound and a light touch. Great musicianship.