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  1. #26

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    well, sorry if I over analyzed things, but what's the point of studying music if you never apply what you know, right?

    I played this one for a couple hours last night, and it isn't really hard to noodle over, that's for sure, but I knew that when I was a teenager

    organizing my music thoughts so that I'm going someplace and not just wandering around...that's another story

    that is why I looked so hard at the form and melodic features

    anyway, on the A section I take triads out of Db (remember, I think in triads, not modes so that is just how I do things)

    now since I'm effectively tuned up a half step, that for me meant key of D. Also, any 3rds, 6ths, or 10ths will follow the key of D (sounding as Db)...AND I have open D and G strings.

    then in the 3rd bar, you have to leave that and create tension. Side slipping will suffice, but I also played symmetric runs over that bar, too. I also at one point drew triads from Gb to create tension, which is something I'll try and remember to play when I record next so you can hear that

    what I had trouble with last night was finding interesting things to say in the B section and keeping the bass part going

    In the next couple days I'll post a clip of what I've got going so far. I have to go up to town tonight, but its only April 6th so I figure I got a couple days

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  3. #27

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    No worries, I'm not sure it is over-analyzing...I just genuinely wondered if it was making any lightbulbs go on for you guys--because I was getting confused!

    Vladan, I maintain it's simple...but simple tunes can be the hardest

    It's actually reminding me of learning a Shorter tune now...functional analysis goes out the window...you're left with tension and resolution, harmonic "environments" where ears are uber alles...you find a note set that agrees with your ears that you can visualize...internalize, a roadmap...and you go.

  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    It's actually reminding me of learning a Shorter tune now...functional analysis goes out the window...you're left with tension and resolution, harmonic "environments" where ears are uber alles...you find a note set that agrees with your ears that you can visualize...internalize, a roadmap...and you go.

    that's exactly why I resorted to Schenkerian techniques because functional analysis wasn't gong to tell me anything

    when it comes to music theory, the whole point is to try and get some sort of insight that is going to help your interpretation. At the same time, its good to remember what the first four letters of "analysis" are.

    There were two things that came out of our discussion yesterday that helped

    the first was the idea that the first chord was (aside from being a Bb minor9) was a Db maj7. I had doubts about Ab from the beginning. Now I'm not as interested in the official tonality as I am which key center to draw triads from. But Db worked out better than Ab for that, so that was a good thing

    the other part I was thinking about was related to what I was saying about the range the melody was filling. This helped me to have some sort of direction. For example if the A section comes around twice, then the first time I am filling in a smaller interval than the second. I'm also aware of when I play the highest note in each section

    but I like the idea of really learning to play this tune as a solo guitar piece. Yea, sure its simple. ...Until you try and move around on it

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    So, to start an actual conversation--this is a cool piece that isn't really "functional" in it's harmony...my first run through here is by ear, so you can hear a little tentativness as I'm working things out.

    Today, I sat down and tried to actually figure out what the "harmonic environments" I was hearing are...here's where I'm at now:

    (I'll analyze in Ab, the common key, keep in mind to use the low open E as a pedal in my solo version I moved the tune up a half step)

    So the first four bars go between Dorian and Mixolydian sounds--to my ears. So a Bb Dorian sound to an Eb Dorian, then two descending dominant sounds to an Abmaj sound. Most charts seem to talk b5 or #11 on the dominants, which is cool, but the 13th is the most important note in those...

    In the bridge, we get a little Spanish...4 bars of Phrygian and Phrygian Dominant alternating...and then some stuff I'm not so sure what to call yet...I'll be reporting back again in a bit, once I can put a name to these note sets and not sound like an idiot.
    I love this tune. The version from the Village Vanguard with Eric Dolphy is one of things that got me into jazz!

    Not to disagree with a modal analysis - but I think it's actually pretty functional as far as it goes. Most of it anyway...

    The first second is essentially a decorated ii-V-I over a pedal... I hear the following:

    Bbm9/Eb Ebm9 B13/Eb A13/Eb Ab/Eb

    Nothing too weird about this. Bass pedals V of Ab (Eb) throughout.

    The real book has B7#11 A7#11 which directly relates the the whole tone scale from a D7#5 chord - although the melody is not based on the whole tone scale, but agrees well enough with the chords.

    I actually hear Amaj7/Eb Gmaj7/Eb Ab/Eb here, which is a sideslip on the Ab chord - pretty common throughout jazz history

    The most unusual thing in fact is the Ebm9 chord, which could be understood as a type of modal interchange if you like, or just the the progression basically derives from Bbm Ebm Eb7(+) Ab.

    The second progression is:

    B/Bb Bb13

    Now, I understand this to be a sub of minor ii-V - in this case I am thinking going to Ebm. The bass changes in this section from Eb to Bb which seems to underline the slight change in tonality.

    Bmaj7 is a common sub for a Fm7b5, and putting the V pedal (Bb) in the bass is also standard.

    V13 going to Im might seem a little odd to us (me), but it was again really common in the late swing-bop era. Check out Charlie Christians lines on minor V-I's on I Found a New Baby for example - the V7alt chord was not taken as read in minor.

    I actually play Bb13b9 or G/Bb here...

    Then we have this, my favourite bit - all over a Bb (V) pedal:

    E13(#11) Bmaj7 Bb13sus Gb9

    Well this is a progression strongly in Ebm (we have a bII, a bVImaj7, and , which is a fancy way of saying V7alt IIm7b5 V, that is V7) going to this Gb9 chord which sets

    I actually play this:

    Dmaj7#5/Bb Bmaj7/Bb Abmaj7/Bb Emaj7

    You'll notice a nice minor third symmetry here - D-->B-->Ab, with the E setting us up nicely for the Ebm(ish) A section - it's a phrygian/neopolitan chord/bIImaj7 and we can see that first chord Bbm9/Eb as an Ebsus chord...

    The B section is a case study in building tension using pedals and chromatic changes, yet the whole thing has a strong tonality to it... You always feel you are in a key. At least I do.

    Learned an awful lot from this tune when I really analysed it a while back... To illustrate I might try and post some examples of Niama-isation of other standards rather than my own reading of the tune as well as a reading of it...
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-06-2016 at 11:54 AM.

  6. #30

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    I've been messing about with this tune and for soloing over the progression, I just found it easiest to do a sort of Pat Martino 'minor conversion' job on it.

    So A section is just Bbm, Ebm, then those 3 relatively quick major chords A, G, Ab.

    B section just alternates up and down between Abm, Fm, then the high bit goes up to Bm (here I use the Bb note a bit, to give it that Bm/maj7 sound and keep the Bb pedal note in sight). Then come back down the same way (Abm, Fm) and finish the B section on E major.

  7. #31

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    very nice analysis, Chris!

    "we can see that first chord Bbm9/Eb as an Ebsus chord..." that is interesting because I was hearing that as a kind of Eb but I talked myself out of it

    "The most unusual thing in fact is the Ebm9 chord, which could be understood as a type of modal interchange if you like, or just the the progression basically derives from Bbm Ebm Eb7(+) Ab." I thought that was one of the more interesting features, too. I said that Trane was obscuring the Ab tonality by flatting the leading tone in that chord

    but all around, that was a very interesting read. I'm going to try that out later when I get a chance

  8. #32

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    Ok, here's day 2...ish. Noodling on the changes....just getting ideas, this is more notes than I'd probably play for real...getting somewhere...I think.

    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 04-07-2016 at 08:59 AM.

  9. #33

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    nice work. I could tell where you were the whole time, too

    hey, just out of curiousity....did you hit a harmonic off your E string for the pedal in the B section the first time through?

  10. #34

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    Actual conversation I'm having in my head during that 3 minutes...

    "Hey, that harmonic was a good idea...should I do it again?....nah, don't overdo it...we should do the chicken with a spinach salad tonight...shit, that harmonic was good, how else am I gonna get a B drone? Whoops, dom#11 chord time!"

  11. #35

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    well, that was a brilliant idea. A very practical solution, really. The whole reason I tuned my A string up and reduced my instrument to a 4 string was so I could have my hands free and not be tied down to a fret.

    necessity being the brother of invention or something like that


    and on the fly, too. That's a jazz man right there.

  12. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzthebee
    I notice the long melody notes on the last 4 bars of the B section spell a descending Eb7, interesting as the tonal centre is about to shift back to Ab. Similar to giant steps melody spelling a Ma7
    Good thinking fuzz. This is probably the best way to analyse the harmony on this tune - with reference to Coltrane's harmonic thinking during the Giant Steps period (nobody's mentioned it yet as far as I can see, but Naima first appeared on that album; and the Atlantic 1311 reissue of Giant Steps includes 2 out-takes of Naima, both with JC solos.)

    By the way fuzz I really like what you've done with Naima - I had to track you down on soundcloud (because most soundcloud links here are not clickable from my region), but it was worth it!

    @Vlad, yes your rock blues noodling should work well - JC spent more time playing minor pentatonics than any other jazz player I know of; but of course he was doing it over a harmonic framework that was from another space-time continuum, cheers buddy.

    But personally, I wouldn't attempt to analyse this tune too much.

  13. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnysideup
    Good thinking fuzz. This is probably the best way to analyse the harmony on this tune - with reference to Coltrane's harmonic thinking during the Giant Steps period (nobody's mentioned it yet as far as I can see, but Naima first appeared on that album; and the Atlantic 1311 reissue of Giant Steps includes 2 out-takes of Naima, both with JC solos.)

    By the way fuzz I really like what you've done with Naima - I had to track you down on soundcloud (because most soundcloud links here are not clickable from my region), but it was worth it!

    @Vlad, yes your rock blues noodling should work well - JC spent more time playing minor pentatonics than any other jazz player I know of; but of course he was doing it over a harmonic framework that was from another space-time continuum, cheers buddy.

    But personally, I wouldn't attempt to analyse this tune too much.
    This had occurred to me too.... What interested me with this is the way that third cycles in triads (B --> G --> Eb, say) could be used as cadences. I'm not sure if that is what Coltrane was thinking but it sort of pops out to me...

    BTW - Vladan - if you haven't explored this - Coltrane pentatonics are often on the fourth below the root. So you could play an A minor pent against a D minor or D7 chord, or an A major pent against a Dmaj7. It's a good way of introducing some upper structure and it's great to break them up into fourths and so on intervallically rather than just go up and down.

    Another tune which (I think) is relevant is Central Park West (which is a minor third cycle as opposed to GS's major third cycle...) although that was released a few years later...

    Another lovely JC tune with some interesting harmony is After the Rain...

  14. #38

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    I dunno...I hear Naima as much more a foreshadowing of what was coming on "Ole" and beyond.

  15. #39

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    As for Naima being a pretty ballad; of course it is, JC felt it to be the "best" melody he wrote
    Did he? It was always my favourite of his pieces. For me I love the JC slow stuff best... Giant Steps and all of that is cool, but never touched me so much, and as a composition Giant Steps doesn't do it for me (as I mentioned elsewhere to flame-tastic results ;-))

    Anyway, I look forward to hearing your version of the tune.

  16. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    BTW - Vladan - if you haven't explored this - Coltrane pentatonics are often on the fourth below the root. So you could play an A minor pent against a D minor or D7 chord, or an A major pent against a Dmaj7. It's a good way of introducing some upper structure and it's great to break them up into fourths and so on intervallically rather than just go up and down.
    .
    Thanks, but I'll keep going up and down in whatever is the key. I will try to explore some pentatonics, though. It never occurred to me pentatonics could be used in blues music.

  17. #41

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    Just transcribed the head as played on the first vanguard recording...well I'd this don't change things...

    Just a teaser, will report back later...

  18. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    So what are you guys gaining by "compartmentalizing" the harmony? It's interesting to me, but it doesn't seem particularly useful.
    Never got around to answering this.

    For me it's because I really like the harmony of Naima and I want to see if it's possible to use it in other tunes. Buy understanding the overlap with functional harmony, it makes it possible.

    It's not to discount your modal interchange approach at all, in fact they coexist very nicely.

  19. #43

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    This is what I would do on What is This Thing, for example:

    Original changes:

    Gm7b5 | C7b9 | Fm7 | % |
    Dm7b5 | G7b9 | Cmaj7 | % |

    Could become:

    Db/C | C13b9 | Db/C | Bb/C |
    Ab/G | G13b9 | Cmaj7 | % |

    So, maybe using US triads for fun and profit:

    Db/C | A/C | Db/C | Bb/C |
    Ab/G | E/G | Em/C | % |

    Another tune that works well for this is Stella - anything with loads of minor ii-V's really!

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Never got around to answering this.

    For me it's because I really like the harmony of Naima and I want to see if it's possible to use it in other tunes. Buy understanding the overlap with functional harmony, it makes it possible.

    It's not to discount your modal interchange approach at all, in fact they coexist very nicely.

    Oh, I agree, and I never thought you were discounting my take.

    I'll have to play through that WITTCL reharm...cool idea.


    So, back to Naima...now at the Vanguard in '61, 'Trane plays a completely different melody, following the same harmonic rhythm...some things of note...

    In the second bar, he hangs on a C.

    In the first bar of the bridge, the melody note is a G...very interesting...

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Oh, I agree, and I never thought you were discounting my take.

    I'll have to play through that WITTCL reharm...cool idea.


    So, back to Naima...now at the Vanguard in '61, 'Trane plays a completely different melody, following the same harmonic rhythm...some things of note...

    In the second bar, he hangs on a C.

    In the first bar of the bridge, the melody note is a G...very interesting...
    The harmony doesn't fit the tune of WITTCL btw... It's more a jumping off point... Would be good for solos or perhaps a new composition.

    Re Naima, I vaguely remember someone saying it was an inversion of the melody?
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-08-2016 at 01:06 PM.

  22. #46

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    Okay, getting a little more comfortable...long way to go on this one. Next step is basing improv off the alternate reversed melody, and mixing and matching.



    By the way, it took a third set of eyes, but I'm starting to feel relating things to major 7th over a pedal. But in addition as opposed to instead of.
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 04-08-2016 at 07:18 PM.

  23. #47

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    There's very few notes over the harmony that sound bad...but only a few that sound great...if that makes any sense

  24. #48

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    And this is what it might sound like if someone made a set of Naima windchimes...


  25. #49

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    And Jeff, man, I love what you're doing with this tune. I'm hoping for videos right up until May.

  26. #50

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    wow, Jehu that was great