Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Posts 51 to 75 of 108
  1. #51

    User Info Menu



    Many different approaches have been going on for a long time.
    Playing off the melody does not yield a singular predictable result.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

    User Info Menu

    You can clearly hear the influence of the melody of Someday My Prince Will Come in Miles Davis's solo (below). It shouldn't surprise anyone because why would Miles Davis go out of his way to pick a standard to record for his precious album only to completely ignore the melody once it's played. Obviously something about the composition inspired him and he recorded the standard with his band to express this inspiration.

    Of course the attitude of "Thank God the head is over, now I'm gonna blow over the changes and show off my altered lines" exists. But mostly in jam sessions. I don't think you'll find very many examples of that attitude in the recorded jazz history.

    By the way I'm not above that attitude. We work on chord specific material hoping we'll get more conversant with them and transcend practiced patterns and guide tone resolutions etc and be more expressive melodically while negotiating the harmony. Playing off of melody doesn't mean literal embellishments. It can be more impressionistic with occasional direct references. Those are my proudest moments when I improvise.

    I've never played high stakes gigs on big stages. My live playing experience is modest. Small restaurants, parks, jam session etc. But I always strive for playing in a way that satisfies my own expectations. That's all I can offer to a listener (if there is any ).

    Last edited by Tal_175; 11-25-2021 at 04:00 PM.

  4. #53

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    But you're assuming playing the changes without reference to the cadences of the tune. It's not like that. One is guided by both the sound of the changes and the feeling of the melody.

    It's all in the listening. The listening is more important than both melody and changes.
    I assume you’re assuming I’m assuming something that I’m not not assuming in which case I must assume you assume erroneously.

  5. #54

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    In a lot of Monk's solo work, he just embellished the melody the whole time lol! I think I'm gonna start doing that.
    Not to anybody in particular. Could someone please post a single line solo here from Tal Farlow, Joe Pass, Pat Martino, the Raneys, Herb or Barney that can be perceived as an embellishment of the melody in its entirety? So not a phrase, a quote, a reference or even the "mood" of the melody? I mean one prolonged single line impro on the melody during the whole solo from a to z.

    TIA

    DB

  6. #55

    User Info Menu

    I like both approaches and use both.

    A couple of observations, though.

    I have been scolded, inappropriately I think, for interpreting a melody while playing the head. That person said that respecting the composer required playing the melody strictly as originally written. Of course, there are countless examples of the most highly regarded players interpreting melody. One example: when I heard Robert Glasper at the Blue Note pre Covid, he played something that was only identifiable as Stella for moments here and there -- and then took a long solo on a loop of the last 8 bars. To RG, the tune was raw material for something else and I'm sure it was not disrespect for the composer.

    If all you ever did was improvise around the melody, most audiences wouldn't complain. But I think the issue isn't which approach you adopt, it's how well you execute it.

  7. #56

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Not to anybody in particular. Could someone please post a single line solo here from Tal Farlow, Joe Pass, Pat Martino, the Raneys, Herb or Barney that can be perceived as an embellishment of the melody in its entirety? So not a phrase, a quote, a reference or even the "mood" of the melody? I mean one prolonged single line impro on the melody during the whole solo from a to z.

    TIA

    DB
    I posted this earlier in the thread. I hear the solo as clearly based on the head. Joe Pass is not just playing independently over the changes but it sounds like he is hearing the melody in his head as he is playing the solo.

    He already plays the head itself in a wonderfully embellished way. Then his solo takes it further. There is a strong thematic continuity between the head and the solo. That's how I hear it.

    Last edited by Tal_175; 11-25-2021 at 04:21 PM.

  8. #57

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Can that stuff I don't care about. I know you can play it. Can we just skip to the encore?
    The message was for ronjazz who brought up the audience. What encore?

  9. #58

    User Info Menu

    I listened to the Joe Pass's solo again and picked one of the (many) moments that shows he is thinking the melody the whole time and checked the notes:
    At 1:35 - 1:36, a climactic moment in the tune, Dm to Bm7b5, melody ascends Dm outline hitting the note E on Bm7b5. That's pretty much what Joe Pass plays there (in an embellished way).
    Last edited by Tal_175; 11-25-2021 at 05:37 PM.

  10. #59

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I posted this earlier in the thread. I hear the solo as clearly based on the head. Joe Pass is not just playing independently over the changes but it sounds like he is hearing melody in his head as he is playing the solo.

    He already plays the head itself in a wonderfully embellished way. Then his solo takes it further. There is a strong thematic continuity between the head and the solo. That's how I hear it.

    Hmmm ... yes there are clear references - and this is a pretty good example because the references are long - but there is a lot of generic Joe Pass there in too. I would not call this a 100% embellishment of the melody, as stated by the OP. I question the existence of a pure melody based approach and even if there are some examples, they will be very, very rare. Most of the time Joe just plays over the changes like everybody else. Very melodically often even. Sometimes with genuine references to the melody, often not. To me being able to play jazz is being able to negotiate changes firstly. Lyricism comes next when you have mastered the first.

    You could argue too that not being able to play changes makes somebody want to mess around with the melody only as an escape? I have heard that happen at jams.

    DB

  11. #60

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Hmmm ... yes there are clear references - and this is a pretty good example because the references are long - but there is a lot of generic Joe Pass there in too. I would not call this a 100% embellishment of the melody, as stated by the OP. I question the existence of a pure melody based approach and even if there are some examples, they will be very, very rare. Most of the time Joe just plays over the changes like everybody else. Very melodically often even. Sometimes with genuine references to the melody, often not. To me being able to play jazz is being able to negotiate changes firstly. Lyricism comes next when you have mastered the first.

    You could argue too that not being able to play changes makes somebody want to mess around with the melody only as an escape? I have heard that happen at jams.

    DB
    Yes, I think getting fluent with playing the changes to a degree that one can express higher melodic ideas while negotiating the harmony is where improvisation really starts happening.

  12. #61

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Yes, I think getting fluent with playing the changes to a degree that one can express higher melodic ideas while negotiating the harmony is where improvisation really starts happening.
    Exactly. After you can play the changes anything goes. But I see no substitute for that in the way as stated/asked by the OP.

    DB

  13. #62

    User Info Menu

    Yea... different gigs, different approaches. I would advise being able to do both... and also be able to do what the other musicians might want to do.

    The other side.... man I've played some tunes a thousand times.... I'm sick of the heads, really. hell I'm sick of hearing the same solos... over and over.

    I'm generally performing for audiences... and on someone else's gig, or for events through one of the agents I work with.

    Most jazz audiences already know the heads, or melodies etc... They want to be entertained, they can listen to a million versions of any tune anytime they want.

    In the end... you can only do what you have the skills to do. At least try and make it LIVE and not some pre-arranged memorized embellishments of the melody. We're not playing 50 years ago, those days are long over...

    I do get it... sometimes gigs are just background BS... and we're their for visual atmospheric effect... go through diatonic transpositions of melodies and smile...

  14. #63

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    I don’t think they are mutually exclusive. I do feel that what I need to play creatively or at least not play my usual stuff is an organising principle to stop the playing being too automatic. Melody is a good choice.

    it is good aspire to be able to play changes without clams and bop language etc. Once you are able to do this fluently other considerations raise themselves
    I wasn't trying to imply that the 2 approaches have to be separate. I meant that me practicing melody work in solos has taken a back seat to chord only improv. Melody work comes easier to me and I value the chord only approach because I view it as integral to the tradition and being a competent jazz musician kind of like you said.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 11-25-2021 at 08:45 PM.

  15. #64

    User Info Menu

    @ tal and donovan: I think you 2 made good points about a level of depth that the melody can influence harmonic choices. I had not considered that before. However, my opinion of those tunes is that they hint at the melody in a few key areas, but otherwise the solos seem to be created mostly from the chords to my ear and mind. Now they may have shaped the whole solo to suit the feeling of the melody and tune, but I still feel that there's not really any evidence to show that they weren't mostly playing creatively off the chords. Especially the Joe solo. It's very arp, scale, and pattern based. I don't know how you can prove that's not mostly chord soloing. It sounds like the melody because the chords and melody are linked and playing harmonically representative notes is suggestive of the tune.

  16. #65

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Funny how some people think they are living without an established ideology or belief system. Everybody has one, sometimes they are not fully self-aware, sometimes they are in denial, but we all have core convictions and perceptions about what we need to be doing. The trick is learning to live through those creatively and fruitfully. Everyone has a philosophy of life. Not everyone has a good one.
    That's how I view it. I find it's helpful for any discipline or view and certainly not counterproductive to the task like some argue. If you don't have a structure for what you're doing, you're not going to be adept at it. Doesn't matter if it's intuitive and natural or taught and regimented. You see it across every field. Music is no different.

  17. #66

    User Info Menu

    @ kris and reg. I think if the performer(s) do well at doing the job of 'playing jazz' then listeners are impacted by it. If the groove is there and the melodies are propelled with the groove, I think it's always impactful regardless of the style or service to the melody or the knowledge of the listeners.

  18. #67

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I have been scolded, inappropriately I think, for interpreting a melody while playing the head. That person said that respecting the composer required playing the melody strictly as originally written.
    That's just false. It's totally hip and part of the tradition to interpret the melody as the main pass. Again, you'll want to be able to do both - play the melody strictly and interpret a bit and have it sound good. The degree to which it's interpreted is up to the player, but I tend to prefer to be able to mostly understand the melody as written.

  19. #68

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Of course the attitude of "Thank God the head is over, now I'm gonna blow over the changes and show off my altered lines" exists. But mostly in jam sessions. I don't think you'll find very many examples of that attitude in the recorded jazz history. Playing off of melody doesn't mean literal embellishments. It can be more impressionistic with occasional direct references.
    See I don't agree with this at all. I thought all of the solos especially Hank and Wynton were pure changes playing. It sounds like the melody cuz the players are fuckin good. And playing changes solos at a high level is suggestive of the melody because the changes and melody are linked. I don't know how you can prove that they're playing the melody impressionistically. I think most of jazz is changes soloing and melody inspired soloing is the minority.

  20. #69

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Not to anybody in particular. Could someone please post a single line solo here from Tal Farlow, Joe Pass, Pat Martino, the Raneys, Herb or Barney that can be perceived as an embellishment of the melody in its entirety? So not a phrase, a quote, a reference or even the "mood" of the melody? I mean one prolonged single line impro on the melody during the whole solo from a to z.
    Boy that's a tough one. I think I've heard that besides Monk but I can't be sure.


  21. #70

    User Info Menu

    IMO there is a continuum between playing the melody entirely as written, and playing totally unrelated notes and lines over the same changes. Anywhere on the continuum is valid, and most players will vary along it in either direction on different tunes at different times. I don't think playing random lines over changes is the same thing as playing the tune, they're at opposite ends, but it's up to the musician to decide where (s)he wants to be, and to go.

  22. #71

    User Info Menu

    But if you're any good you'll naturally follow at least something of the melody as a natural matter of course, even if it's only the first few notes. You can't help it, it's good soloing. But that's quite different from setting out consciously to use the melody. Then you've automatically restricted yourself and that'll show in your playing.

    Surely someone understands the difference!

  23. #72

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    But if you're any good you'll naturally follow at least some of the melody as a natural matter of course. You can't help it, it's good soloing.
    I personally really like that, but I don't think it's ubiquitous.

  24. #73

    User Info Menu

    My purely theoretical considerations...:
    First, it would be necessary to explain what the magic word 'Jazz' means to everyone ...
    ...and then what does it mean to play jazz?
    You can go on and ask about the means of the jazz language, etc.
    Jazz improvisation techniques are usually described in any good book.
    Improvisation close to the head, quoting the phrases of the head, playing inside and outside ... etc.
    Of course, we can talk about these topics for fun.


  25. #74

    User Info Menu

    ^ Head in my hands moment as a keys player from that clip lol.

  26. #75

    User Info Menu

    Miss Betty Carter would like a word.
    What say you about embellishing the melody the whole time like Monk?-itsnotaboutthemelody-jpg

    (I'm just being a jerk)
    Last edited by A. Kingstone; 11-26-2021 at 10:48 AM.