Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Posts 1 to 25 of 85
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Been playing that tune for over 20 years. Finally checked the Real Book notes against Bird's and ... bars 2 and 6 are totally wrong (check vid below). Bird does not play that. With Bird, you have to go to the source apparently.

    Did Bird play it differently over time? Different note choices in different recordings?

    DB

    Last edited by Dutchbopper; 10-29-2021 at 06:52 AM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    It appears that nobody is playing the head as it is transcribed in the RB for "Straight No Chaser" either. Note 3 bar 4 is left out completely on Miles' classic take for example.

    This how RB notates it:



    DB

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Fake books are notoriously inaccurate and inconsistent, from the earliest mimeographed hand transcriptions to the current ebooks. I made pdfs of 13, including the original Real Books and several imitators, and I keep them on a cheap Android tablet in my gig bag. But I “know” hundreds of tunes cold and rarely open a book unless I’m not certain of a bridge or other specific part. Our bass player opens every tune on his tablet just to be sure, and every week at least 1 or 2 that we decide to play are different in his book and mine. So I’ve started comparing his to mine and picking one to keep us together.

    I just went through this last week with Georgia on my Mind. The multiple RB versions are all different, and none is identical to Carmichael’s original (which used only a few simple changes). When playing solo or with only bass & drums, I like to walk the 3rd bar Dm (starting on the first beat of the 3rd bar “the whole day through”) down in quarter note chords through some variants of Dbm, Cm, and Cdim to an open G9 inversion with a B on the bottom (under the word “through”) and then through Bbm7 and Eb7 on “just an” before back up to the F for “old sweet song”. Some book versions come close to this, and others are nowhere near it. And the turnaround varies enough to make you wonder if some transcribers ever heard the original.

    I also found this on Scrapple while working out a solo chart for myself and comparing fake book sheets to multiple recordings by the big boppers. Even the last few notes of the first phrase differ from version to version. Here’s Parker playing the last two notes as G C:


    and here’s Dexter Gordon playing it E C, which is what’s in Real Book 1:


  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Oh hell, I've stopped even looking at the RB. Never forgave it for Scrapple lol.

    Seriously, even the Omnibook is a bit dodgy. You have to go to the recordings.

    The New Real Books are vastly improved. But I don't learn bop heads from charts any more. I find it easier by ear tbh.

    EDIT someone at this point will often say 'oh but you have to check the version specified under the lead sheet, often the chart is accurate to that version'; weeellllll the chart says Charlie Parker "Swedish Schnapps" which is the recording DB provides in the OP. So.... nope, not in this case. It's OK, the people who transcribed the real book were young students, not infallible. What is inexcusable is the tendency to take these dodgy old charts as somehow authoritative, as many still do.

    - The New Real Books are much much better for what it's worth.
    - No-one ever read the 6th ed erata, which corrects some, but not all issues in the charts
    - I haven't worked with 7th ed.
    - use yer bloody lugholes, and treat all charts with skepticism unless they come from the composer direct (and even then things get changed from the chart)

    EDIT EDIT: There's an interesting sidebar that not everyone who played those tunes in the day did so accurately. Bruce Forman had some interesting thoughts about the fact that there was a natural 'telephone' effect as people just couldn't transcribe in as much detail and accuracy as players learning in the Digital age as there was only a limited number of time you could play a record till it wore out. So, you get the variations such as those with Scrapple above. Bruce described it as a beneficial thing for the evolution of the music - getting things wrong = adaptation via mutation perhaps.

    However, when those students wrote the Real Book, they inadvertently created a template for the way EVERYONE would learn those tunes. OTOH everyone is super hung up on accuracy these days so, and there's a hardcore that eschew everything to do with the real book ... eh. Generational thing? Personally I find it interesting to explore the history of a tune. Takes longer, but charts, recordings and so on are all documents in this process. It's more musical than looking at one lead sheet and taking it as gospel, I think.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 10-29-2021 at 04:52 PM.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Chords are wrong too - or don't match up to what is actually written as the melody.. E.g. RB Blues for Alice has Em7b5 in bar 2, and the melody as WRITTEN has a prominent B, which is one of the things they get right haha..

    Again, it's not a professionally edited text, it's probably unreasonable to expect perfect accuracy. Problem is not who wrote it, it's how its used....
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 10-29-2021 at 04:57 PM.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Problem is not who wrote it, it's how its used....
    And for gigging, the problem is that multiple players can be using different books at the same time without realizing it. That's why I finally made a folder with pdfs of all my fakebooks and gave a copy to each of the guys with whom I regularly play. If one of them likes a different version, I'm happy to play whatever they want - the music and the sound of the band are more important than my personal preferences. We bring guest players up after our set every Thursday night, so we're asked to play a lot of tunes that at least one of us hasn't played in years. The only way to provide professional backing is for the whole band to play the same tune the same way

    I often find inspiration in out-of-the-box ideas that conflict with a fakebook version. So I print out a simple sheet for the gig, along with rhythm cues for our drummers. Both the regular member of the trio and our first call sub are very musical and well trained - they love having charts, and it really shows. I hate playing the same tune the same way every time, so we try not to duplicate anything for weeks to months. And we change up rhythms, tempos, major-minor etc. A few weeks ago, we did All Blues in 4, ATTYA in 3, Manhã de Carnaval as a straight swing tune, and Let's Get Away From It All as funk.

    I've been playing with our bass player off and on for about 30 years, our drummer steadily for over 10, and our first call sub drummer for over 20 - so we're pretty sensitive to each others' ideas and we hang together with a common fake book as a basic framework. But I provide charts for other subs and guests who can read, to keep them from blindly following the fakebook rather than listening and responding. If a player clearly can't hang with our innovation, we'll do his or her tune from his or her fakebook or play a simpler version. And FWIW, I really don't care if we're playing a head exactly as anybody else played it unless we decide to do that.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Manha de carnaval - well as soon as we start talking about Brazilian tunes, the quest for good charts becomes more difficult. And that really is quite an important thing I think, it's not ii-V-I territory.

    It's good to have a pad for a band. The next challenge is to get them off the charts.

    But often with working bands I find myself checking charts against recordings and making suggestions sometimes where I think a change might improve things; usually harmony is my realm so I get quite anal about that, and it's good for my ears. Details are important, I'm thinking now of tunes by Ellington/Strayhorn, Jobim, Wayne Shorter that kind of stuff... Those people are real composers, it's actually a pleasure to take time to pick through their music. I also think it's a good use of my time when I have the opportunity and the wherewithal to do it.

    Parker otoh was more grounded in improvisation on standards, so his tunes often evolve. Sometimes he plays a head one way, sometimes another. Even the guys on the records don't always match up. But, I usually think what Bird plays is worth learning. Some people can be very douchey about this stuff though... but it is aggravating to spend all this time and then end up with musicians who can't be bothered, so I kind of get it, but there's no excuse, because you can get so much better results by being easy to get on with.

    Truth is not everyone has oceans of time to listen to multiple versions of every tune - I certainly don't. I feel I'm still unlearning versions of tunes I learned years ago from charts that are a little bit wrong and every so often it comes out at a gig. Basically if I know the melody well, that's a good start, because at least then I can iron out any weird chords I may have picked up over the years (like that Em7b5 in bar 2 of BFA haha) and at the very least I can play something that works with the tune even if it's not a super hip or super legit version of changes. Usually I do a basic chord melody arrangement now to see who the melody and changes line up - doesn't have to be Ted Greene, just basic block chords is fine. Working melody first saves time when learning standards and heads.

    (And yes, not all iReal or RB charts actually harmonise the tune correctly!)

    So, with reference for Blues for Alice, there's rarely an instance where anyone I know would pull a chart out for this. Soooo... the possibilities for clashes are there right away... There are ways of dealing with this. Most of the important notes will be the same, so emphasise those and ghost the others for example. Listen and feel, and so on. Or play chords of course. Awareness of the type of player you are working with - amateur, green jazz student, experienced non specialist, bop expert, etc etc. The goal is always the same - try and make good music.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Basically if I know the melody well, that's a good start, because at least then I can iron out any weird chords I may have picked up over the years (like that Em7b5 in bar 2 of BFA haha) .
    I learned that E-half to A dominant change in bar 2 of BFA and always imagined it came from Another Ewe. Same thing in Confirmation. Why do you say it’s wrong, and what’s your preferred alternative?

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    I have to say that, just for fun, I googled Blues For Alice lead sheets. Lots, of course, but the ones that have a m7 in bar 2 far outnumber the ones that have a m7b5. In fact I stopped looking.

    Then I looked at the backing tracks available on YouTube. There it's the other way round, most of them have the m7b5. But they might be old, of course.

    So -

    Blues for Alice is wrong in the RB?

    Depends on the RB.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    I have to say that, just for fun, I googled Blues For Alice lead sheets. Lots, of course, but the ones that have a m7 in bar 2 far outnumber the ones that have a m7b5.
    The Omnibook has Em7b5 as does Voepel, Charlie Parker for Guitar, fwiw. Neither is perfect but both are better than many fakebooks. But then there is that B-nat in the melody …

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    What is "accurate?" What is "inaccurate?" Who is the arbiter of accurate versus in accurate? It seems like being "accurate" rather than innovative, spirited, emotionally communicative, is now the new standard for "good" jazz.

    I go back to something Gene Bertoncini said at jazz camp: "if it sounds good, it is good." Not original but true. Tal Farlow pointed out in an interview that Charlie Parker frequently played lines that were unmoored from the underlying harmony, but they sounded so good that nobody cared. B natural against an E-7b5? So what? Maybe that's what was actually played (I have not gone back and listen to the original recording to check).

    I think a lot of this ends up being like counting angels dancing on the head of a pin. Who's "right" and who's "wrong" often just becomes something to beat each other with. We are playing an improvisationally based form of music, with every musician on the stage improvising at all times; we are not reading canonical Bach orchestrations passed down from the hand of the Maestro.

    that said, some stuff is just plain wrong!

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    I learned that E-half to A dominant change in bar 2 of BFA and always imagined it came from Another Ewe. Same thing in Confirmation. Why do you say it’s wrong, and what’s your preferred alternative?
    it should be Em7. The function is the same it’s that the melody has a B in it so it can’t be Em7b5. If you are playing shells of course it doesn’t matter, but the symbol is incorrect.

    Confirmations melody relates differently to the chords as does TWNBAY, as for that matter Georgia on My Mind and any of the million other tunes that modulate to relative minor. It’s almost like these tunes have melodies as well as chords or something. I know, I know I’m meant to be a guitarist or something.

    Also by viewing the second chord as Em7b5 you miss something interesting about the way Parker (and other pre-CST players) handle secondary dominants.

    Anyhoo, many charts have this right, but not the RB

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    What is "accurate?" What is "inaccurate?" Who is the arbiter of accurate versus in accurate? It seems like being "accurate" rather than innovative, spirited, emotionally communicative, is now the new standard for "good" jazz.

    I go back to something Gene Bertoncini said at jazz camp: "if it sounds good, it is good." Not original but true. Tal Farlow pointed out in an interview that Charlie Parker frequently played lines that were unmoored from the underlying harmony, but they sounded so good that nobody cared. B natural against an E-7b5? So what? Maybe that's what was actually played (I have not gone back and listen to the original recording to check).

    I think a lot of this ends up being like counting angels dancing on the head of a pin. Who's "right" and who's "wrong" often just becomes something to beat each other with. We are playing an improvisationally based form of music, with every musician on the stage improvising at all times; we are not reading canonical Bach orchestrations passed down from the hand of the Maestro.

    that said, some stuff is just plain wrong!
    Even Bach scores are sourced from separate historical sources that may have differences or even errors. The editors job is to reconcile these differences. But often what’s in the edition reflects personal choice; check out a few different editions of the lute suites for instance, you’ll find many differences.

    I don’t mind ‘inaccuracies’ in charts so much - as you say there is no definitive ‘text’ in jazz, and there are plenty of clashes in jazz generally (the Eb on C7 near the end of BFA is a lovely example.)

    the problem is that there is tacit definitive text for those just getting into jazz, and it’s not the records. For my generation at least it’s those problematic Rb Charts.

    This leads to student players sometimes not checking out the music direct and making theory based assumptions that smooth over more particular aspects of the music. ‘It’s a minor ii V I so ii is half diminished that’s what it says in the jazz harmony book I have’…. You have to be careful of this stuff as a guitar player (because often we are just thinking of chords.) if you get a good teacher or mentor they can alert you to this stuff.

    So this is not some idle pedantry or counting angels on pins. Nothing you say or quote contradicts what I’m saying, and I’d be the first to agree, but I have to say such a line of argument can be used as an excuse which I don’t think was the intention of Farlow etc.

    So, while you can indeed do what you like when soloing (and I would probably play Em7b5 when soloing most times), the real challenge, and what you get gigs for most times, is comping well.

    if you do stuff like comp Bm7b5 in East of the Sun or Out of Nowhere or a Bbm7 in Days of Wine and Roses you are going to make a singer’s life much more difficult and you won’t get the call. (It may also sound acceptable with a horn, or really BAD with another guitar player or a pianist.)

    full disclosure- that player used to be me! I was too basic to even realise what I was doing haha. Jonathan Kreisberg is quite funny about this type of guitar playing, it was him who woke me up to this actually.

    any professional would tell you that learning a tune means learning the melody and seeing how it relates to the harmony, not just memorising a chord chart. So if anyone if looking for a way to improve their ears, musicianship and harmonic knowledge as a jazz player, there’s no better use of your time.

    And yes - ‘if it sounds good it is good’ that’s absolutely the only golden rule. But while it hands you artistic agency as a musician, it also has a flip side of great responsibility for actually really hearing what you and others are playing, and working on your ears to be able to hear more. that’s not something that comes right away for most of us; theory is way easier. What it is not is a fig leaf for amateurishness (although it’s often quoted to encourage beginners, and there’s nothing wrong with that.)

    if you honestly think Em7b5 sounds good as a comp in bar 2 of BFA knock yourself out, screw theory, but if it’s something you never even considered and just play it mechanically cos you learned it from the RB ages ago, it may be something to consider.

    in short, learn the bloody songs properly and you can do what you like. That’s what I’ve got from the top players I’ve been lucky to learn from. it’s a pretty consistent line.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 10-30-2021 at 05:49 AM.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    On the original recording of Blues for Alice, the pianist (John Lewis) is virtually inaudible at the beginning. Sounds like he just plays a couple of really quiet minimal/shell chords on the second bar.

    On the final head he again plays a very minimal chord then a sort of little counter-melody.


  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Apologies for the loaded use of ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ btw. It’s a failure of me to think of better words.

    I don’t mean to cause offence to or denigrate players who are as keen as anyone to develop their playing but have no intention of earning a living from it. Pro music also has not as much to do with sheer ability as is often portrayed. The amateur and pro thing, correctly used has nothing necessarily to with ability.

    But hopefully you get my meaning. Top players know this stuff, intermediate players could get a lot out of diving into it like Graham does for instance.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Even Bach scores are sourced from separate historical sources that may have differences or even errors. The editors job is to reconcile these differences. But often what’s in the edition reflects personal choice; check out a few different editions of the lute suites for instance, you’ll find many differences.

    I don’t mind ‘inaccuracies’ in charts so much - as you say there is no definitive ‘text’ in jazz, and there are plenty of clashes in jazz generally (the Eb on C7 near the end of BFA is a lovely example.)

    the problem is that there is tacit definitive text for those just getting into jazz, and it’s not the records. For my generation at least it’s those problematic Rb Charts.

    This leads to student players sometimes not checking out the music direct and making theory based assumptions that smooth over more particular aspects of the music. ‘It’s a minor ii V I so ii is half diminished that’s what it says in the jazz harmony book I have’…. You have to be careful of this stuff as a guitar player (because often we are just thinking of chords.) if you get a good teacher or mentor they can alert you to this stuff.

    So this is not some idle pedantry or counting angels on pins. Nothing you say or quote contradicts what I’m saying, and I’d be the first to agree, but I have to say such a line of argument can be used as an excuse which I don’t think was the intention of Farlow etc.

    So, while you can indeed do what you like when soloing (and I would probably play Em7b5 when soloing most times), the real challenge, and what you get gigs for most times, is comping well.

    if you do stuff like comp Bm7b5 in East of the Sun or Out of Nowhere or a Bbm7 in Days of Wine and Roses you are going to make a singer’s life much more difficult and you won’t get the call. (It may also sound acceptable with a horn, or really BAD with another guitar player or a pianist.)

    full disclosure- that player used to be me! I was too basic to even realise what I was doing haha. Jonathan Kreisberg is quite funny about this type of guitar playing, it was him who woke me up to this actually.

    any professional would tell you that learning a tune means learning the melody and seeing how it relates to the harmony, not just memorising a chord chart. So if anyone if looking for a way to improve their ears, musicianship and harmonic knowledge as a jazz player, there’s no better use of your time.

    And yes - ‘if it sounds good it is good’ that’s absolutely the only golden rule. But while it hands you artistic agency as a musician, it also has a flip side of great responsibility for actually really hearing what you and others are playing, and working on your ears to be able to hear more. that’s not something that comes right away for most of us; theory is way easier. What it is not is a fig leaf for amateurishness (although it’s often quoted to encourage beginners, and there’s nothing wrong with that.)

    if you honestly think Em7b5 sounds good as a comp in bar 2 of BFA knock yourself out, screw theory, but if it’s something you never even considered and just play it mechanically cos you learned it from the RB ages ago, it may be something to consider.

    in short, learn the bloody songs properly and you can do what you like. That’s what I’ve got from the top players I’ve been lucky to learn from. it’s a pretty consistent line.
    Fisrt of all. Thanks all for the replies. I am on this "angel counting on a needle's pin" nerdy trip of creating a video with Bird heads on guitar over the original recordings. Just for my own fun. Because I want to play the heads along with Bird I apparantly need to go to the original sources indeed and not rely on the notation in the various RBs. So I compared what I read and heard and was a bit surprised to find all these errors. I am not a paper guy to begin with so that is no problem. I have always advocated going to the sounds directly and not the after the fact phantasies of CST and - as it turns out - even the after the fact notation of bebop heads. I just thought that lead sheets were more reliable.

    As I type this, I am counting about 10 Parker heads under my fingers. About a handful more to go. It's been entertaining and educational.

    After that I probably go to more bop heads by others. A number of those under my fingers already.

    DB


  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Apologies for the loaded use of ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ btw. It’s a failure of me to think of better words.

    I don’t mean to cause offence to or denigrate players who are as keen as anyone to develop their playing but have no intention of earning a living from it. Pro music also has not as much to do with sheer ability as is often portrayed. The amateur and pro thing, correctly used has nothing necessarily to with ability.

    But hopefully you get my meaning. Top players know this stuff, intermediate players could get a lot out of diving into it like Graham does for instance.
    Ah yeah. The amateur/pro thing. Different discussion. Agreed, has everything to do with the economic side and little with skill. One of the most popular Youtube jazz guitar stars is a total amateur and a really good player. I have played with him. Matt Otten. Know him?

    DB

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Fisrt of all. Thanks all for the replies. I am on this "angel counting on a needle's pin" nerdy trip of creating a video with Bird heads on guitar over the original recordings. Just for my own fun. Because I want to play the heads along with Bird I apparantly need to go to the original sources indeed and not rely on the notation in the various RBs. So I compared what I read and heard and was a bit surprised to find all these errors. I am not a paper guy to begin with so that is no problem. I have always advocated going to the sounds directly and not the after the fact phantasies of CST and - as it turns out - even the after the fact notation of bebop heads. I just thought that lead sheets were more reliable.

    As I type this, I am counting about 10 Parker heads under my fingers. About a handful more to go. It's been entertaining and educational.

    After that I probably go to more bop heads by others. A number of those under my fingers already.

    DB

    Yeah, likewise. These days when I see RB charts usually find myself think ‘wha…???’ The only prob for me now is that some of the tunes I learned years ago, I learned from the RB … so there’s some stuff I’ve never learned properly and forget until it gets called at a gig… hopefully getting around to all that stuff though.

    BTW the Omnibook is also full of errors, which isn’t often as commented on as the RB. It’s better, but needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    I always prioritise learning heads above solos with students at first cos it’s a bit easier to get into - you practice using your ears of course and you get loads of useful vocab, but also something you can play on gigs.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Yeah, likewise. These days when I see RB charts usually find myself think ‘wha…???’ The only prob for me now is that some of the tunes I learned years ago, I learned from the RB … so there’s some stuff I’ve never learned properly and forget until it gets called at a gig… hopefully getting around to all that stuff though.

    BTW the Omnibook is also full of errors, which isn’t often as commented on as the RB. It’s better, but needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    I always prioritise learning heads above solos with students at first cos it’s a bit easier to get into - you practice using your ears of course and you get loads of useful vocab, but also something you can play on gigs.
    Another thing is the fingerings and the position on the guitar you ply those Bird heads in. I noticed that Youtube vids and books (notably the book "50 bebop heads arranged for guitar") often use fingerings that are way too high up te neck. You find yourself playing in 13th, 14th and 15th position quite often. Not only does that sound "plinky" bad but it also renders the fingerings unnecessarily "cramped."

    Joe Pass very often played bebop heads in the low register, even on the lower strings. IMHO that sounds way better. Personally I would avoid anything high up the neck. Unfortunately I learned "Confirmation" that way earlier ...

    DB


  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Another thing is the fingerings and the position on the guitar you ply those Bird heads in. I noticed that Youtube vids and books (notably the book "50 bebop heads arranged for guitar") often use fingerings that are way too high up te neck. You find yourself playing in 13th, 14th and 15th position quite often. Not only does that sound "plinky" bad but it also renders the fingerings unnecessarily "cramped."

    Joe Pass very often played bebop heads in the low register, even on the lower strings. IMHO that sounds way better. Personally I would avoid anything high up the neck. Unfortunately I learned "Confirmation" that way earlier ...

    DB

    Guitarists often play them down the octave. I tend to think of the guitar as a ‘tenor sax’ if that makes any sense- it fills up a trio or a quartet better in the lower octave. However the alto sax/guitar unison texture is really pretty, so it’s also good to learn them at pitch.

    it’s crazy that something as simple as moving a phrase by an octave is such a headache on guitar. Certainly a thing to work on and it does force me to hear the lines and make sure I understand how they relate to chord tones etc, so it’s good practice. Could always use P4 tuning I guess (cheating!)

    Also different keys can be useful. Pete Bernstein plays Dexterity in F IIRC. Transposing heads is a good way to get to grips with the vocab in them as well. Or coming up with harmony parts.

    Ah it’s all work. Wouldn’t like to give the impression I have confirmation down cold in all 12. Some do though!

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Guitarists often play them down the octave. I tend to think of the guitar as a ‘tenor sax’ if that makes any sense- it fills up a trio or a quartet better in the lower octave. However the alto sax/guitar unison texture is really pretty, so it’s also good to learn them at pitch.
    Yeah, unisono playing is great for guitar and horn. We are going to do a number of heads in my trio like that. Like in the vid below. Lovely trio by the way!!!!!!!!


  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    it should be Em7. The function is the same it’s that the melody has a B in it so it can’t be Em7b5. If you are playing shells of course it doesn’t matter, but the symbol is incorrect.

    Confirmations melody relates differently to the chords as does TWNBAY, as for that matter Georgia on My Mind and any of the million other tunes that modulate to relative minor. It’s almost like these tunes have melodies as well as chords or something. I know, I know I’m meant to be a guitarist or something.

    Also by viewing the second chord as Em7b5 you miss something interesting about the way Parker (and other pre-CST players) handle secondary dominants.

    Anyhoo, many charts have this right, but not the RB
    You have convinced me (although I was already more than halfway there as per my earlier post). And now I realize that in comping on this head for decades I have consistently used [R]-3-7 shells so never ran into the obvious clash, all the whole thinking half-dim as taught but in fact not playing any flavour of 5. So thanks for that.

    By the way, looking at the Omnibook version, there is a Bb early in the second half of bar 2 in most choruses - think Bbm6 for A7alt - but on the final chorus bar 2 starts with a triplet surround Bb-C-Bb and no Bnat (and no Bb in the second half of the bar). Haven’t compared it to the recording though.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    You have convinced me (although I was already more than halfway there as per my earlier post). And now I realize that in comping on this head for decades I have consistently used [R]-3-7 shells so never ran into the obvious clash, all the whole thinking half-dim as taught but in fact not playing any flavour of 5. So thanks for that.

    By the way, looking at the Omnibook version, there is a Bb early in the second half of bar 2 in most choruses - think Bbm6 for A7alt - but on the final chorus bar 2 starts with a triplet surround Bb-C-Bb and no Bnat (and no Bb in the second half of the bar). Haven’t compared it to the recording though.
    So it’s complicated, because you have to ask ‘what are the changes on a lead sheet for?’

    As cunamara I think notes above (relating what Tal Farlow said) Parker’s lines can play fast and loose with harmony in a way that stands in contrast to modern chord scale oriented players (such as Kreisberg.)

    Are we to use the chord symbols to record
    1) the basic vanilla harmony of the tune?
    2) the chords incorporating the extensions implied by the melody note?
    3) the harmony expressed by the soloist alone? (Not relevant for a lead sheet but maybe reasonable for a transcription book)
    4) the composite harmony of soloist + accompanist (which may not even make sense from a CST perspective)?

    Different editions will use different approaches. Old school tune-dex style charts do 1). The New Real Book does 2). The Omnibook IIRC does 4) to some extent but is generally pretty basic. The original Real Book has no fucking idea and is wildly inconsistent (multiple authors, no editor). Big band charts can vary too.

    (I like 1) with 3) in red above it for analysis.)

    And then do we have different soloing changes from head changes? Happens sometimes when the head is super arranged and the blowing is something a bit simpler, but the sensible tack for something like this when you want to keep it on a page is have the chords fit the written head and sufficiently experienced and able soloists can take liberties.

    Anyway, the main thing to take away from this is that it’s not actually set. in the bop era the alterations and extensions are kind of at the disposal of the soloist. Accompanying chords were generally pretty simple (ie shells, triads and 6th chords) so this wasn’t the problem it might be with more post-bop style comping. Even then, soloist often clashed with background chords. Ethan Iverson points out that pianists such as Red Garland often clashed with themselves.

    This is preserved in Barry Harris’s teaching. In Cherokee for example we might think it’s Bb7#11 from the melody, but soloing we have the option to play a simple Bb dominant sound (Bb13); in fact Parker does this clearly in Koko. The Gb in the Db dominant scale against G7 is not some unruly note to be avoided, but a part of the music, and so on. So the melody extensions (and for that matter even the vanilla chords) are not honoured in the soloing necessarily; that’s a more modern idea.

    In confirmation the harmonic vibe in the second A of that bar is much more A whole tone for example, which is an interesting colour.

    Here in the head of BFA it’s clear that Parker is doing something a lot of players used to do including Wes and Charlie Christian which is just viewing a secondary dominant or minor key dominant as simply a major key dominant and ignoring the prevailing modality. Even Sarah Vaughan does this sometimes and she’s a bloody singer haha.

    it’s nice to know that option exists?

    That doesn’t mean Parker does it every time - actually I think a really strong trait of Parker compared to Charlie C or Prez, say, is to favour the b9 on the secondary dominant: but he may prepare that note with one semitone up, creating a three note line cliche in a minor ii V I (eg B Bb A for Em7 A7b9 Dm) often rhythmically displaced so it’s not so obvious.

    Which is what we have in BFA (BTW I’m doing the Barry Harris thing and viewing the Em7 A7 as simply A7 for the purposes of making lines.)

    Christian might go A9 or even A13 straight to Dm (check out I Found a New Baby for instance.)

    Anyway, it simply shows another path is possible than the textbook minor ii V I stuff.

    So this may seem to contradict what I said above…. And Cunamara IS right. But it doesn’t really contradict, the two perspectives are compatible. If we are playing by the rules of Berklee jazz theory Em7b5 is wrong. But if we are actually playing this music we are using our ears and taste not charts… that’s not an excuse to go ‘the card says moops’ and unthinkingly play Em7b5 in either case lol.

    My favourite example of this type of stuff is Cool Blues BTW. Have a listen to the studio recording and see what you notice.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 10-30-2021 at 05:27 PM.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Forget the waffle, this is how to play it!


  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Lead sheets are "wrong" most of the time and there are several reasons for that. Standard notation and chord symbols cannot provide a true representation of a recording. Most of the time we think of a recording as the "original" and we don't know what was scribbled on a paper napkin in the studio.

    We have no problems to accept that the "head" obviously have to be a simplified, stylized version of a melody that we will soulfully express with variation and enhance with improvisation.

    The problem is harmony. We hear that those chord symbols aren't right, but we don't know how to fix them. The standard defense mechanism is to claim that "anything goes", that "this is jazz and we could re-harmonize it anyway we want". This is when I call the Jazz police.

    The chief Inspector turns to us and speaks:

    You must not play the wrong chords. You have to listen to select recordings to get a grip on harmony. This is not an easy task. It takes years of practice. Maybe you think that's the job of the piano player? wrong! The band must be in agreement and have the same understanding of harmony. It's all about harmony! Use the correct chord symbols and understand that they are wrong most of the time in your lead sheets.