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  1. #1

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    This came up on TalkBass recently, and I thought some of you here might be interested. The reason for discussion is that the changes for soloing over are different from the head changes. If you all know this already...just keep walking :-)

    Changes to Goodbye Pork Pie Hat-goodbyeporkpiehat-jpg

    Changes to Goodbye Pork Pie Hat-goodbye-temp-jpg

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  3. #2

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    Yes a lot of people don’t seem to realise that. Probably doesn’t help that the old real book only has the ‘head’ changes shown (and it’s in the wrong key!).

    Interesting that in this Mingus Dynasty record which I have, they play the solos over the ‘head’ changes.


  4. #3

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    Sounds great either way.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Yes a lot of people don’t seem to realise that. Probably doesn’t help that the old real book only has the ‘head’ changes shown (and it’s in the wrong key!).

    Interesting that in this Mingus Dynasty record which I have, they play the solos over the ‘head’ changes.

    Those real book sheets are often from specific recordings, so who's to say what is right or wrong.

    The older real books from around 1980, many of the pages had what recording the lead sheet was based on. For example, Black Orpheus, at the bottom of the page it is written, Wayne Shorter - "Shorter Moments".

  6. #5

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    They seem to reference 3 versions.

    Changes to Goodbye Pork Pie Hat-f392fdf2-2d38-449d-b1bc-34d32f88de57-jpg

  7. #6

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    McLaughlin’s version is quite intense considering it’s just acoustic guitar.


  8. #7

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    Regarding McLaughlin's version...

    I once slept rough in Paris for a whole summer - a very interesting experience! Lot's of odd things happened, including being awoken at about 4am by a Swedish guy who was also sleeping rough. He had an acoustic guitar with him, and was playing McLaughlin's arrangement - or so he said. It sounded unbelievable under the stars, with Paris all around us. Happy memories.

    I was young then. I need my comfy bed these days!

    There was a bad actor dressed as the Hunchback of Notre Dame - turns out (of course it did) that he was Scottish, from Glasgow. He used to terrorise children as a way of extracting money from parents. At the end of his summer season he gave me a lift in his car all the way back to Scotland.

    Sorry...I'm reminiscing. Better stop now, before I remember the things I shouldn't!

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    There was a bad actor dressed as the Hunchback of Notre Dame - turns out (of course it did) that he was Scottish, from Glasgow. He used to terrorise children as a way of extracting money from parents. At the end of his summer season he gave me a lift in his car all the way back to Scotland.
    Sounds like the beginning of a Stephen King novel - glad you survived the journey!

  10. #9

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    It was fun. Carefree days.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Yes a lot of people don’t seem to realise that. Probably doesn’t help that the old real book only has the ‘head’ changes shown (and it’s in the wrong key!).

    Interesting that in this Mingus Dynasty record which I have, they play the solos over the ‘head’ changes.

    Same problem with ‘Django’

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Yes a lot of people don’t seem to realise that. Probably doesn’t help that the old real book only has the ‘head’ changes shown (and it’s in the wrong key!).

    Interesting that in this Mingus Dynasty record which I have, they play the solos over the ‘head’ changes.

    Makes it easier to play along at home...

  13. #12

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    Yes. This is the chart I did several years ago.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    McLaughlin’s version is quite intense considering it’s just acoustic guitar.

    mclauglin overdubbed acoustic guitars on his version...ala the earlier guitar duo version by bert jansch and john renbourn

    jeff beck covered it later..and his version was inspired by mclaughlins

    mingus recorded it 3x... on ah um and mingus mingus mingus mingus mingus and three or four shades of blues


    there's an interview with one of the original ah um horn players about recording the original...and how the recorded arrangement really wasn't as mingus had originally intended...

    cheers

  15. #14

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    Those Columbia and Atlantic sides were edited, but I'm not sure how much it was not intended as Mingus wanted. I hope you can site more evidence. Was it John Handy? Booker Ervin? Jimmy Knepper? I would trust Booker. Handy and Jimmy might have axes to grind which doesn't make it untrue, but needs to be accompanied with a footnote. LOL. The chord changes were always minor blues. Those were the changes. Who knows? Maybe he simplified them in the studio if the musicians had a hard time negotiating the changes.

  16. #15

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    john handy!

    interview @- John Handy Talks With Night Lights: Part 2 | Night Lights Classic Jazz - Indiana Public Media

    DBJ: I wanted to ask you about "Goodbye Porkpie Hat." How did that composition and recording come about?

    JH: Oh, it‘s very interesting. We were working at the Half Note, and we were on the bandstand when we got the news that Lester Young had died. Well, you know, it was very sad news, and Mingus started to play a very slow, mournful blues in C minor…very slow…and he had me play first, and he just kept goading me to play longer and longer, and so I played a long time on it before anybody else did, so… I believe we took a break and, you know, we were just saddened and walked off for quite awhile. And we were recording within a day or two, and he came up with that melody…and I think we actually had it on the bandstand, and it was in a totally different key. It was in E flat minor. And he had written these very complicated changes that were nothing like most blues (laughs) or any kind of tune that anybody had ever played. It was totally unique to that particular composition. And since he never gave us the chords to anything, it didn‘t really matter, because you had to, kind of had to go for yourself no matter what. What he had written, if you didn‘t hear it, you didn‘t get it right, it was recorded that way, if it wasn‘t right! (Laughs) So, luckily what he did on the recording is they played straight minor blues, you know, more traditional, something that we were all used to. That saved me, and it saved the tune.


    cheers

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    john handy!

    interview @- John Handy Talks With Night Lights: Part 2 | Night Lights Classic Jazz - Indiana Public Media

    DBJ: I wanted to ask you about "Goodbye Porkpie Hat." How did that composition and recording come about?

    JH: Oh, it‘s very interesting. We were working at the Half Note, and we were on the bandstand when we got the news that Lester Young had died. Well, you know, it was very sad news, and Mingus started to play a very slow, mournful blues in C minor…very slow…and he had me play first, and he just kept goading me to play longer and longer, and so I played a long time on it before anybody else did, so… I believe we took a break and, you know, we were just saddened and walked off for quite awhile. And we were recording within a day or two, and he came up with that melody…and I think we actually had it on the bandstand, and it was in a totally different key. It was in E flat minor. And he had written these very complicated changes that were nothing like most blues (laughs) or any kind of tune that anybody had ever played. It was totally unique to that particular composition. And since he never gave us the chords to anything, it didn‘t really matter, because you had to, kind of had to go for yourself no matter what. What he had written, if you didn‘t hear it, you didn‘t get it right, it was recorded that way, if it wasn‘t right! (Laughs) So, luckily what he did on the recording is they played straight minor blues, you know, more traditional, something that we were all used to. That saved me, and it saved the tune.


    cheers
    Yeah. John Handy - I don't want to talk trash about the guy, but I think some of it might be true. But the way they played it on Ah Um is very specific. They're not searching for the chords to play. Those aren't hunt and peck changes. And they aren't regular minor blues either. Handy blew a great solo on TENOR. That wasn't Booker. But I don't believe a lot of what he says.

    Also Handy played with Mingus for just a short time. A very short time. Yet he likes to make his role a lot larger than it was.

  18. #17

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    Charles Mingus' compositions and performances are better not pigeonholed. They are related to his complex personality, but above all to his basic way of working with band members:

    Mingus provided the ideas, but rarely the final form. As a composer, too, he wanted to remain an improviser, to be able to react ad hoc, to add new voices at short notice or to change everything again. He saw himself as a "spontaneous composer" and finally refused completely to present his fellow musicians with score at all. So he sang his voice to everyone or played it on the piano [after Thelonious Monk's model], usually only four bars at a time. Even arranged passages should keep their free and individual character, and sound expressive and dynamic. Many a fast run in the wind parts, however, always remained a bit blurred and muddled. The soloists were neither presented with chord symbols nor were they able to orientate themselves harmoniously with a quick glance at a score. The composer without sheet music asked his improvisers to be creative: he made them co-composers. His “Jazz Workshop” was not called that for nothing: here ideas were tried out, further developed, dropped and replaced by others. Everything was changed again and again - and often enough spontaneously in the middle of the concert. Everyone involved had to be so dreamily sure in the music that nothing unforeseen threw them off track.


    His music became increasingly complex, yet he ceased to be a "pencil composer"; he relied instead on "mental score paper". His sidemen were expected to do the same: Mingus sat down at the piano and taught them his music note by note, without scores or charts, so that, as he explained, "it would be in their ears, rather than on paper, so they’d play the compositional parts with as much spontaneity and soul as they’d play a solo." Mingus chose musicians who could not only play his compositions but complete them in the heat of performance: the composed parts should sound improvised, the improvised parts composed. (From: An Argument With Instruments: On Charles Mingus | The Nation )


    One of the few really great original musicians and composers on Jazz Olympus - he is very much missed!

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fret
    Charles Mingus' compositions and performances are better not pigeonholed. They are related to his complex personality, but above all to his basic way of working with band members:

    Mingus provided the ideas, but rarely the final form. As a composer, too, he wanted to remain an improviser, to be able to react ad hoc, to add new voices at short notice or to change everything again. He saw himself as a "spontaneous composer" and finally refused completely to present his fellow musicians with score at all. So he sang his voice to everyone or played it on the piano [after Thelonious Monk's model], usually only four bars at a time. Even arranged passages should keep their free and individual character, and sound expressive and dynamic. Many a fast run in the wind parts, however, always remained a bit blurred and muddled. The soloists were neither presented with chord symbols nor were they able to orientate themselves harmoniously with a quick glance at a score. The composer without sheet music asked his improvisers to be creative: he made them co-composers. His “Jazz Workshop” was not called that for nothing: here ideas were tried out, further developed, dropped and replaced by others. Everything was changed again and again - and often enough spontaneously in the middle of the concert. Everyone involved had to be so dreamily sure in the music that nothing unforeseen threw them off track.


    His music became increasingly complex, yet he ceased to be a "pencil composer"; he relied instead on "mental score paper". His sidemen were expected to do the same: Mingus sat down at the piano and taught them his music note by note, without scores or charts, so that, as he explained, "it would be in their ears, rather than on paper, so they’d play the compositional parts with as much spontaneity and soul as they’d play a solo." Mingus chose musicians who could not only play his compositions but complete them in the heat of performance: the composed parts should sound improvised, the improvised parts composed. (From: An Argument With Instruments: On Charles Mingus | The Nation )


    One of the few really great original musicians and composers on Jazz Olympus - he is very much missed!
    If you are looking for a definitive transcription, the one Rob posted is about as good as you'll get. The transcription is by Don Sickler in collaboration with Charles' widow, Sue Mingus and comes from an early '90s publication, Mingus - More Than a Fakebook. The book reminds me of Allan Slutsky's two excellent folios on James Brown and Motown in that it's as much a biography and history of the recording sessions as it is a collection of lead sheets.

  20. #19

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    Well I don’t see how the one Rob posted is any more definitive than the one I posted. Just saying! lol.


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  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    Well I don’t see how the one Rob posted is any more definitive than the one I posted. Just saying! lol.

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    Also excellent, Henry. I missed your transcription on first viewing of the thread (it's an attached PDF rather than jpeg so didn't come up automatically).

  22. #21

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    Learning the Jeff Beck version has been on my to-do list forever, love it. I have an old Guitar Player transcription of the whole thing in my bookshelf, but I will give it a crack learning it on my own by ear first. I have to try to scrounge up the changes to the JB version to make some sense of it, I understand they tweaked it a bit? Interesting to see the Mingus changes too.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeezebox
    Learning the Jeff Beck version has been on my to-do list forever, love it. I have an old Guitar Player transcription of the whole thing in my bookshelf, but I will give it a crack learning it on my own by ear first. I have to try to scrounge up the changes to the JB version to make some sense of it, I understand they tweaked it a bit? Interesting to see the Mingus changes too.
    Mingus didn’t like the JB version because he didn’t play the changes.


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  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    Mingus didn’t like the JB version because he didn’t play the changes.


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    I watched a Jeff Beck documentary recently and Mingus apparently sent a very complementary note to Jeff about the cover and suggested other compositions of his to Beck?

    Still doesn't stop me from enjoying the JB version, even with altered changes.

  25. #24

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    The tune kept puzzling me for years, always struggling with the changes.
    but recently I discovered some amazing stuff...
    • Even the Mingus dynasty soloists struggle with (some part of) the changes
    • The best soloists, Like John McLaughlin or Michael Brecker (on Joni Mitchell’s live version) emphasize the Blues Scale and only play some of the “weird chords” like the Gblydian chord or the DblydDominant, but play it like a minor blues with some major inflections.
    • Intuitive” musicians, who don’t really know harmony, like Joni Mitchell, seem to struggle less, cause they just hear the song for what it is, a minor blues. And they hear those weird bass notes that inspire them to break free of blues clichés
    • lastly. If we write tunes, we keep the chords simple so as not to make it hard on the bass player. How naive. When Bass players write tunes, like Scott LaFaro, Jaco or Mingus, they use all kinds of reharms, like they normally do. Check out Gloria’s step, 3 views of a secret and... Duke Ellington’s sound of Love or George Mraz’ Wisteria. They never tell us how sophisticated they are for fear our heads would spin and finally fall to the ground.
    • Check out Steve Kuhn’s Ballad album where he plays with Harvie Swartz, the way Harvie harmonizes Body and Soul. Makes me shiver. Or the way most Monk’s bass players played Rhythm changes, with descending cycles of fifths starting on the bII of the key! Ron Carter! Avishai Cohen! Just shouting out random bass players’ names, but still



    Devious and mischievous peoples, those bass players. Here, I said it!

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeezebox
    I watched a Jeff Beck documentary recently and Mingus apparently sent a very complementary note to Jeff about the cover and suggested other compositions of his to Beck?

    Still doesn't stop me from enjoying the JB version, even with altered changes.
    Yes, well of course. Mingus was very aware and proud that other people were playing his music, like Jeff Beck, who was coming from an entirely different genre. In those days composers made serious money from royalties. I'm sure he got some fat checks from Beck!

    Towards the end he tried to sell his music to other artists. He wasn't like Monk. A lot of people covered Monk tunes Mingus' were more complicated in terms of form and not as great improv vehicles.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    Yes, well of course. Mingus was very aware and proud that other people were playing his music, like Jeff Beck, who was coming from an entirely different genre. In those days composers made serious money from royalties. I'm sure he got some fat checks from Beck!

    Towards the end he tried to sell his music to other artists. He wasn't like Monk. A lot of people covered Monk tunes Mingus' were more complicated in terms of form and not as great improv vehicles.
    From Tonight At Noon: To Mingus With Love album review @ All About Jazz:

    In her memoir Sue Mingus recalls playing him British rock star Jeff Beck's version of "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat." She asked him, "What does this sound like, Charlie?" The great man listened for a while, then grinned slyly. "It sounds like money," he said.

  28. #27

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    Lol. There you go. I have that book but haven’t read it yet.


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  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Regarding McLaughlin's version...

    I once slept rough in Paris for a whole summer - a very interesting experience! Lot's of odd things happened, including being awoken at about 4am by a Swedish guy who was also sleeping rough. He had an acoustic guitar with him, and was playing McLaughlin's arrangement - or so he said. It sounded unbelievable under the stars, with Paris all around us. Happy memories.

    I was young then. I need my comfy bed these days!

    There was a bad actor dressed as the Hunchback of Notre Dame - turns out (of course it did) that he was Scottish, from Glasgow. He used to terrorise children as a way of extracting money from parents. At the end of his summer season he gave me a lift in his car all the way back to Scotland.

    Sorry...I'm reminiscing. Better stop now, before I remember the things I shouldn't!
    These are the kind of slight diversions from the original subject that are pearls.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Yes a lot of people don’t seem to realise that. Probably doesn’t help that the old real book only has the ‘head’ changes shown (and it’s in the wrong key!).

    Interesting that in this Mingus Dynasty record which I have, they play the solos over the ‘head’ changes.

    Man, what a great recording that I’ve never heard! Thank you!

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Man, what a great recording that I’ve never heard! Thank you!
    That was the first jazz record I ever bought, along with Mingus Ah Hum. I wanted to get the original Goodbye Porkpie Hat record, but the record shop also had the Mingus Dynasty album, so I took the plunge and bought them both.

    It was in a little record shop in Sheffield, it had loads of jazz, folk and blues stuff. Places like that hardly exist any more!

  32. #31

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    This tune is a bit of a folk standard for some reason


  33. #32

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    I think Joni Mitchell covering it got it on the folk radar...

  34. #33

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    I know Tony, and have played in a concert where we both did solo spots. He's a fantastic player, and has also recorded music by Bach. He started out with jigs and reels, but has gone way beyond that. He also has a Truefire course.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by guido5
    I think Joni Mitchell covering it got it on the folk radar...
    I think it was more likely from folkies like John Renbourn and Bert Jansch who recorded it in the 1960s.


  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    I know Tony, and have played in a concert where we both did solo spots. He's a fantastic player, and has also recorded music by Bach. He started out with jigs and reels, but has gone way beyond that. He also has a Truefire course.
    I love his playing, and I was wondering if you might know him.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by guido5
    I think Joni Mitchell covering it got it on the folk radar...

    It's not what you said, but i wouldn't call it Folk.


  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I think it was more likely from folkies like John Renbourn and Bert Jansch who recorded it in the 1960s.

    As mentioned on another thread the Folk/Jazz border was pretty porous (Davy Graham, Donovan, Pentangle etc, even Martin Carthy apparently.) It just seems like Mingus was really important to musicians in the 60s. Is it just me or is he not mentioned as much today?

    I think some musicians have got a bit sidelined by the history narrative.... Mingus stands out from that linear progression, he’s very unique.

  39. #38

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    I suspect Mingus appealed to the folk/blues guys because of the strong blues/gospel element in some of his tunes.