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  1. #151

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    Hey Christian... I believe there are pretty big differences between

    V to I
    IV to I
    V7b9 to I
    IV to I
    IV- to I

    even if you do fill in with b6

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  3. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Hey Christian... I believe there are pretty big differences between

    V to I
    IV to I
    V7b9 to I
    IV to I
    IV- to I

    even if you do fill in with b6
    Differences in sound? Of course!

    Differences in function - not so much. These are different resources you can draw on for improvised lines. They are, as far as I can tell in the music of the mid-century, essentially interchangeable.

    I first clocked this transcribing and analysing Lester Young, Charlie Christian, Django, Dexter Gordon, Bud Powell, and Bird, and thinking I was very clever for realising that these guys were playing off the IV or IVm as much as V over II-V-I's and the like.

    Of course, it slowly dawned on me that was covered and vastly extended by Barry Harris's system - of which I already understood the basics - which not only encapsulated those ideas but vastly extended the range of options.

    And this just the tip of the iceberg. By developing ways - such as BH 8 note scales - you can lead the harmony through into the target chords in all kinds of subtle ways, and leave the shackles of vertical thinking behind.

    The second part is the realisation that when improvising a melody over an essentially static area of harmony (such as a turnaround, or a single chord vamp) - the b6, for example, (or any other 'handle with care' notes like the 4 or the #1) can be introduced purely as movement in a more or less free way in melody lines - if you know how these can be resolved, and can hear them.

    Vertical analysis might call that note a b9 of this, or a b5 of this, but from the point of view of melodic improvisation within a key it has one clear name and address, and this I am more or less certain is what these guys were hearing when soloing over a Rhythm Tune... The turnarounds in a Rhythm Tune are purely embellishment, for example.

    You are free to create your own movement in whatever way pleases you best - whether that's simple neighbour tone lines, or whole strings of harmonic movement described in arpeggios. This counts for the rhythm too - layers.... This is the incredible freedom and openness offered in bebop improvisation as I see it. The gift that Bird gave us...

    What Steve Coleman calls 'Invisible Paths.'

    There are no chords, only movement, as Barry says.

    Anyway I feel I've only scratched the surface with this... Jazz, for me (by which I really mean bop, swing and similar music), is fundamentally contrapuntal, not harmonic.

    EDIT: I feel I should point out that I rarely play with pianists. Pianists change everything.

    And of course, it depends very much on the type of music you want to play. Bebop shell voicing comping practically encourages this type of playing, for example, in the soloist, as does the simple voicings of swing rhythm guitar (and its short sustain).

    Washy Jarret style stuff, or fancy intervallic voicings from a guitar player, not so much.

    As always, it's about listening. From both sides. You have to know the sounds.

    Anyway, you know all this by ear, of course. I think you systemise these sounds very differently. I heard about one guy (an amazing player) who said he could only play Charlie Parker when he realised the b6 was purple. I kind of know what he means in a strange way.
    Last edited by christianm77; 01-04-2016 at 08:16 PM.

  4. #153

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    Ok... my ears are very different... If I decide to just call everything basically a 12 tone modal reference and give no notes or intervals characteristics or predetermined organization... maybe I can talk my self into it... but most of the times I've heard BH perform he played very functional. Some of his solo wk gets... hmmm... very camouflaged. I personally think his teaching thing is a little over the top.

    It's difficult to ignore root motion when moving in common patterns. But... I understand and like the concepts... Barry's about the only guy I know who's able to use the system. What guitarist actually use the system in real time... and sounds like something one might use with a large % of tunes performed. Rubato and ballads can use basically anything right...

    Yea... purple sound, colors and spices... I'm getting hungry...

    I did like your post, that approach to learning to comp was my approach as a kid... works for me. Your a cool guitarist, well spoken and great approaches to... well more that just music.

  5. #154

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Ok... my ears are very different... If I decide to just call everything basically a 12 tone modal reference and give no notes or intervals characteristics or predetermined organization... maybe I can talk my self into it... but most of the times I've heard BH perform he played very functional. Some of his solo wk gets... hmmm... very camouflaged. I personally think his teaching thing is a little over the top.

    It's difficult to ignore root motion when moving in common patterns. But... I understand and like the concepts... Barry's about the only guy I know who's able to use the system. What guitarist actually use the system in real time... and sounds like something one might use with a large % of tunes performed. Rubato and ballads can use basically anything right...

    Yea... purple sound, colors and spices... I'm getting hungry...

    I did like your post, that approach to learning to comp was my approach as a kid... works for me. Your a cool guitarist, well spoken and great approaches to... well more that just music.
    Cheers!

    Purple is my favourite colour. There's something in it.

    I'm interested in your statement 'BH is the only guy who can use his concept in real time' and I can see that using the system for four voice + harmony on the guitar could be cumbersome. And yes the teaching thing can get 'over the top' - I don't think it's unfair to say that Barry enjoys the contrarian stance. That's one of the things I really like about him as a teacher!

    But I listen to and play fusion and contemporary jazz and other stuff that he would hate haha....

    Roni Ben Hurr and Pasquale Grasso both studied with Barry, but I don't know if they use the BH concepts in 'real time' or not. Pasquale's solo guitar is incredible.

    Have you spoken to them about it, or have some reference regarding this? Perhaps Alex Kingstone has talked about it on the forum somewhere?

    I know a couple of long time BH guitarist students (Ofer Landsberg and David Friedman) in London but I've not really talked to them about it. They are very quick at going through Barry's examples in the workshops, but these are largely the standard patterns that BH tends to teach all the time. I should really go and have a sit down with them and see what they say. I'm operating in my own little world with this one, although I have been to enough of the workshops with the man himself to get the basics together.

    BH only plays functional, of course. It's a very old fashioned approach to jazz harmony, and going from how you play (I hope you don't mind me saying you are essentially a post-bop player stylistically) this is just not what you are hearing in any case, as much as you might appreciate the system in itself.

    In any case, watching your Body and Soul video, IIRC you swap bIIIo7 for VI7b9 (perhaps I heard it wrong?). On this basis I conclude to things:

    1) You don't have the same stylistic aesthetics as BH who loves a bIII diminished... Which is purely a taste thing.
    2) You do see 'moving chords' 7's 7b9s, dim7s etc as interchangeable on some level beyond the modal possibilities/tritone subs/US etc. Or you have a vertical logic to it that you didn't mention in the video.

    In fact I would say you went further with it than I had. I've since used that sub myself, for reasons of melodic freedom...
    Last edited by christianm77; 01-05-2016 at 11:01 AM.

  6. #155

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    And in case everyone thinks this is getting ridiculously OT, it really boils down to whether you like the type of harmony that is reflected in the original Stella changes, or the 'Miles Davis' ones (I think these more ii-V based changes were in use earlier. I believe Jim Hall uses them, for example.)

    The Stella lead sheet I posted also acts as a great example of how these changes can be made stylistically without affecting the soloist too much. The only problem is if you favour A altered over the A7b9 chord (as I did for ages) as it is becoming common for musicians to favour a Bb diminished scale tonality here - for example, someone once suggested C/Db for the first chord on a jam session once. Try it.

    If the chord had a shorter duration, it perhaps wouldn't matter so much...

  7. #156

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    Hello all, I finally was able to fix my home recording system so here is my version of Stella By Starlight. I will try to do at least 1 more version since most of us decided to take more time on this one. This version is primarily "by ear".

    My dance band gig in on hold until more of the dance band members are back from Holiday vacations.
    I really love this old standard since it offers a lot of different approaches due to its' harmonic content. This thread is probably the best participation we have ever had and a lot of good information and excellent versions ha been submitted.
    I will put together a poll for February very soon.

    wiz (Howie)

    Stella--->https://app.box.com/s/fkt584bz65azw4jwn66r20nh84kq6y64

  8. #157

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    Love it, Howie. Laid back and tasty.

  9. #158

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    Listening to the great live version by Miles, for some inspiration!


  10. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Listening to the great live version by Miles, for some inspiration!

    I love that Miles cut, only have it on vinyl so haven't heard it for a while.


    Here's another great one by one of my favorite improvisors



    Ron Carter provides the harmony, and Joe does his crazy unique thing.

  11. #160

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    Yea...guilty on all accounts... But...I do play a lot of very straight gigs covering standards... basically use triads, 6ths and 7th chords. Only use II Vs when they're part of the tune's harmony. Basically only use V I's and passing dim. chords to create movement.. and never during the heads etc... Extended harmony is 7ths... sometimes notes from basic key of tune.
    Generally I would not get called back if I started using BH's approach for adding notes and organizing harmony.( I might get kicked off the gig if I started performing in my style)

    I get his approach... it's not that complicated... but the voicings on string sets and inversions... generally posted and usage... just doesn't really work. It becomes pretty muddy after one tune... let alone actually playing with that harmonic approach for a few tunes in a row. Have you tried to actually use the voicing when comping... not just memorizing and chunking out some of the patterns... comping for a soloist etc...

    OK... personal choice.

    Don't personally know either guitarist... yea dig Pasquale's solo wk... amazing...but from what I've heard he's very straight with harmony. When he stretches harmony it sounds worked out... memorized performance approach to improvising with a harmonic concepts as compared to improvisation of using the harmonic concept. Not sure that came out right... But it obviously doesn't make any difference to him... his playing speaks for its self, at least for me.


    Howie... nice post, cool use of rhythm with and within your phrases...

  12. #161

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    Stella by Starlight, with my trusty L-5 from 1970




    Nightsky veiled by clouds..I comfort myself by playing Stella by StarlightDecember 2015 - Stella By Starlight-sh2-101tulip-nebula-jpg
    Tulip Nebula SH2-101,from my observatory

    cheers
    HB
    Last edited by Hyppolyte Bergamotte; 01-06-2016 at 07:06 AM.

  13. #162

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Yea...guilty on all accounts... But...I do play a lot of very straight gigs covering standards... basically use triads, 6ths and 7th chords. Only use II Vs when they're part of the tune's harmony. Basically only use V I's and passing dim. chords to create movement.. and never during the heads etc... Extended harmony is 7ths... sometimes notes from basic key of tune.
    Generally I would not get called back if I started using BH's approach for adding notes and organizing harmony.( I might get kicked off the gig if I started performing in my style)

    I get his approach... it's not that complicated... but the voicings on string sets and inversions... generally posted and usage... just doesn't really work. It becomes pretty muddy after one tune... let alone actually playing with that harmonic approach for a few tunes in a row. Have you tried to actually use the voicing when comping... not just memorizing and chunking out some of the patterns... comping for a soloist etc...

    OK... personal choice.

    Don't personally know either guitarist... yea dig Pasquale's solo wk... amazing...but from what I've heard he's very straight with harmony. When he stretches harmony it sounds worked out... memorized performance approach to improvising with a harmonic concepts as compared to improvisation of using the harmonic concept. Not sure that came out right... But it obviously doesn't make any difference to him... his playing speaks for its self, at least for me.


    Howie... nice post, cool use of rhythm with and within your phrases...
    Yeah I see what you are saying, I find the Barry thing quite 'brown' if that makes any sense. I like to mix it up with other concepts.

    I haven't worked on the chordal approach heavily - I've been more interested in using the 6th-dim scale as a source of movement in single note lines (to construct arpeggios etc) and his (separate) improvisation material. The latter I find great for turning standard scales (major, melodic minor etc) into convincing jazz language. I find that in the improvisation stuff there's no 'concept' here - just a huge body of knowledge on how to play bebop. Which is fine with me.

    That said, the basic patterns (6th/dim7 etc going up the scale) are extremely useful for a lot of the gigs I do - that is swing and gypsy jazz stuff.

    I've used them for years - but in essence it's 4-way close harmony (with drops) and Barry did not invent that. Great for walking bass/comps though. This can easily be embellished by use of borrowed notes in between chords (top voice is the easiest and most obvious), for example:

    x x 7 9 8 8
    x x 6 7 6 8
    x x 6 7 6 7
    x x 5 5 5 7
    x x 5 5 5 5

    etc

    But that stuff is quite simple, and I daresay you've tried that stuff out yourself. This stuff was familiar to the big band arrangers of the '30s AFAIK, which is why it works well for this era of jazz. This isn't BH harmony per se, but I did get into it through his teaching.

    That said, these days I really don't give a stuff about style, and play what ever I want on solos.

    No one seems to mind as long as I comp in the right way (i.e. straight 4's for a swing gig). I 'm trying to allow my ears and experience guide me to play something that works musically.

    I'm interested in what you can do with 2 and 3 part harmony and the system though.

  14. #163

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyppolyte Bergamotte
    Stella by Starlight, with my trusty L-5 from 1970




    Nightsky veiled by clouds..I comfort myself by playing Stella by StarlightDecember 2015 - Stella By Starlight-sh2-101tulip-nebula-jpg
    Tulip Nebula SH2-101,from my observatory

    cheers
    HB
    Very nice playing...

    Great photo too.... What kind of set up do you have?

    I miss astronomy. The skies are pretty bad in South London!

  15. #164

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    ... nice HB... everything...

    Brown... yea that's great analogy. Do you mean 2 and 3 part arranging... like horns covering a melody.... or 2 and 3 part comping... with only 2 or 3 notes, would need to be rhythmically busy to not become very brown....

  16. #165

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    Hi Christianm77
    settings:

    Mount:Takahashi EM 200 GoTo
    Scope: Takahashi APO FS 128
    Ccd :SBIG ST 10
    Soft: PRISM ,Photoshop

    Only 2 to 3 opportunities per month to see the night sky ,here,30 km south of Brussels ,not better than
    yours!
    cheers
    HB
    Last edited by Hyppolyte Bergamotte; 01-06-2016 at 11:34 AM.

  17. #166

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    An interesting Stella version:


  18. #167

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    Even Charlie Parker had a crack at it, possibly one of the first jazz versions:


  19. #168

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    Those Peter Mazza videos are cool. Took me about four seconds before I hit the subscribe button.

    Found another good guitarist here.
    Last edited by targuit; 01-14-2016 at 06:09 AM.

  20. #169

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    OK just sneaked mine in on the very last day, so it's still legal!


  21. #170

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    I just heard on Jazzradio.com a really fine performance of "Stella by Starlight" on solo acoustic guitar--it actually sounded like a flat-top (?!) by a player named Rolf Sturm. I haven't had a chance to hunt down who this guy is, but he was really killing Stella. Again, that is. (movie allusion)

  22. #171

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    Hope this party is not over yet, finally got around to working out this tune, so sharing some simple ideas I'm playing around with at the moment, still a work in progress... Stella is not an easy tune to solo over



  23. #172

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  24. #173

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    Very nice feel! Thank you ragman!

  25. #174

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Even Charlie Parker had a crack at it, possibly one of the first jazz versions
    some more goodness. Frank S 1947 sung his heart out,

    I did not know the Pink Panther had anything to do with Stella orig soundtrack, great
    now you know why Birdy did it after hearing these