1 CHAPTER I The II-V-I Progression and Its ... - Synapse Music

1 CHAPTER I The II-V-I Progression and Its ... - Synapse Music

1 CHAPTER I The II-V-I Progression and Its ... - Synapse Music


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<strong>CHAPTER</strong> I <strong>The</strong> <strong>II</strong>-V-I <strong>Progression</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Its</strong> Variations<br />

<strong>CHAPTER</strong> 2 <strong>II</strong>-V-I in Transient Modulations<br />

<strong>CHAPTER</strong> 3 General Modulations<br />

<strong>CHAPTER</strong> 4 Beginnings<br />

<strong>CHAPTER</strong> 5 Classic Bridges<br />

<strong>CHAPTER</strong> 6 Chords In Symmetry<br />

<strong>CHAPTER</strong> 7 Other <strong>Progression</strong> Cells<br />

<strong>CHAPTER</strong> 8 More Recent Traits<br />

THE LIST - a list of songs, discussed in the text<br />



<strong>The</strong> <strong>II</strong>-V-I <strong>Progression</strong> <strong>and</strong> its Variations<br />

?? <strong>II</strong>-V-I IN MAJOR<br />

?? <strong>II</strong>-V-I IN MINOR<br />

?? <strong>II</strong> - #<strong>II</strong>° - <strong>II</strong>I<br />

?? IV - #IV° - I<br />




?? EXTENSIONS OF <strong>II</strong>-V-I<br />



Of all the progression cells taken up in this book, none is even remotely as prevalent as<br />

the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression.<br />

Although contemporary jazz compositions have been moving away from it for quite<br />

some time, the <strong>II</strong>-V-I remains the basic unit of tonal organization of the jazz,<br />

popular, Broadway, st<strong>and</strong>ard, <strong>and</strong> bossa nova tunes that comprise much of the jazz<br />

musician's repertoire. And those tune-types are still the common denominator for jazz<br />

musicians today, even in the many countries other than the U.S. in which jazz music is<br />

performed.<br />

However complex the harmonic traits of modern jazz may become, those tune-types<br />

will still form an essential part of the jazz repertoire, <strong>and</strong> they are heavily-laden with <strong>II</strong>-<br />

V-I's.<br />

Lest the reader surmise that the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression was invented by the composers who<br />

wrote the tunes that comprise the jazz repertoire, underst<strong>and</strong> that the foundations were<br />

laid several centuries ago by European Classical composers, who very frequently used<br />

the progression cell <strong>and</strong> its variations, though in slightly different ways than it appears<br />

in the jazz <strong>and</strong> pop tunes of this century.<br />

It was at the core of what musical analysts refer to as "tonic-dominant harmony," a<br />

harmonic system which stresses the use of "key centers" (represented by tonic, or<br />

simply I chords) that were prepared/preceded <strong>and</strong> supported by "dominant seventh<br />

chords" (V7), <strong>and</strong> the latter were often preceded by chords of the "subdominant<br />

function" (IV or <strong>II</strong>).<br />

<strong>The</strong> classical analyst generally labels this progression cell as ii6 - V7 - I (small case<br />

Roman Numeral on the <strong>II</strong> chord indicates a minor chord <strong>and</strong> 6 indicates first inversion<br />

of that chord, which was the usual form).<br />

<strong>The</strong> jazz analyst usually omits the use of small case Roman Numerals, owing to the<br />

rather high frequency of chords which are altered from the structure that is formed<br />

naturally within a diatonic system.<br />


For example:<br />

?? a chord built on the second degree of a major scale (as in d - f - a of a C major<br />

scale) is a minor chord, yet in tunes used by jazz musicians that chord often<br />

appears as a D7 (a dominant seventh structure on <strong>II</strong>), for a variety of reasons that<br />

are unnecessary to discuss at this point.<br />

?? An even more significant example is the chord that is naturally formed on the<br />

sixth (VI) degree of a major scale, which is a minor chord (or minor seventh<br />

chord), as in A C E (G) of the C major scale. Yet the VI chord in jazz tunes<br />

appears far more often as a dominant seventh chord (VI7) than as a minor<br />

seventh chord (VIm7).<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> IV chord is major, when formed naturally within a key, but it frequently<br />

appears as a minor chord, as in the "back door progression" that will be<br />

discussed later in this chapter.<br />

?? Altered Roman Numerals (b<strong>II</strong>I, #IV, b<strong>II</strong>, #<strong>II</strong>, etc.) are even more freelystructured,<br />

depending upon the needed function of the moment.<br />

?? Finally there is the problem created by, say, a half-diminished seventh chord,<br />

which is neither major nor minor, hence a classical analyst's ii7 designation for<br />

a <strong>II</strong>ø, even with supplementary markings could be confusing.<br />

For all the foregoing reasons, only large case Roman Numerals will be used in this<br />

book, whether the chord is major, minor, augmented, or diminished, <strong>and</strong> whether the<br />

chord's root is within the scale of the key or an altered scale-tone.<br />

Nearly all tunes used by jazz musicians are "tonal" (as opposed to "atonal"); that is,<br />

there will be at least one "key center" in each tune.<br />

Often there will be several key centers within the overall length of a given tune.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first requirement of a key center is the existence of a chord which can function as<br />

I (tonic).<br />

Though a wide variety of chord-types could serve as I, such as the dominant seventh<br />

structure found in most blues progressions (I7), or the Im7 in BLUE BOSSA, the most<br />

obvious <strong>and</strong> common forms of the I chord are the major seventh <strong>and</strong> major sixth chords<br />

( in a major key), <strong>and</strong> the minor-major seventh <strong>and</strong> minor sixth chords ( in a minor key)<br />

.<br />

Whether in a major or minor key, the second requirement is a chord which functions<br />

as a V (dominant) to the tonic.<br />

Though we will explore other possibilities later in the chapter, the most common choice<br />

is the V7 chord (dominant seventh structure).<br />

<strong>The</strong> third likely chord function to be used in establishing a key center (though not<br />

always present) is the <strong>II</strong>m7 (subdominant function) or a common substitute, such as a<br />

IV major seventh chord (in a major key), or <strong>II</strong>m7b5 or IVm (in a minor key).<br />

Variations <strong>and</strong> substitutions notwithst<strong>and</strong>ing, the classic <strong>II</strong>m7 - V7 - I ( in major) <strong>and</strong><br />

the <strong>II</strong>m7b5 - V7 - I- (in minor) prevail for an astounding 63-95% of the time in tunes<br />

which outline or establish key centers!<br />


<strong>The</strong> <strong>II</strong>-V-I <strong>Progression</strong> in Major<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>II</strong>m7 - V7 - I progression is formed by three chords that are all diatonic to the key<br />

center (that is, they are naturally-formed in accordance with the key signature of I), the<br />

three chord roots are consecutive in the cycle, <strong>and</strong> move in a forward (clockwise)<br />

direction within the cycle.<br />

Figure 1-A<br />

C<br />

G F<br />

D Bb<br />

A Eb<br />

E Ab<br />

B Db<br />

F#<br />

Bb<br />

Cyclic motion of this sort is very common in most forms of tonal music, including<br />

classical music, where its use can be traced back for at least three centuries.<br />

Identifying this 3-chord segment of the cycle, when viewing part of a lettered chord<br />

progression of a tune, is one of the two "tests" needed to determine the existence of a <strong>II</strong>-<br />

V-I cell.<br />

<strong>The</strong> other aspect to be examined are the chord-types of each of the three chords.<br />

So if we see three consecutive chord roots that agree with a 3-letter segment of the cycle<br />

(in a forward direction, <strong>and</strong> the chord-types are minor seventh, dominant seventh, <strong>and</strong><br />

major seventh respectively, then we can be certain that we are viewing a <strong>II</strong>-V-I<br />

progression in a major key.<br />

It was stated earlier that the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression satisfies the requirements for establishing<br />

a key center.<br />

In jazz <strong>and</strong> pop music, this statement can be extended to include nearly every<br />

modulation to a new key center within a given tune's length.<br />

In other words, the <strong>II</strong>-V-I is frequently used as the modulating apparatus itself!<br />


<strong>The</strong> <strong>II</strong>-V-I <strong>Progression</strong> in Minor<br />

Approximately 25% of the tunes in the jazz musician's repertoire are in a minor key.<br />

Add to this the high incidence of tunes that are chiefly in major, but which modulate to<br />

one or more minor keys within their overall length (especially at the "bridge" or "B<br />

section"), it is easy to see why we cannot afford to overlook aspects found in the minor<br />

mode.<br />

Though the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression in a minor key is used in much the same way as it is in a<br />

major key, especially with regard to establishing the key center(s), the structures of the<br />

individual chords are quite different <strong>and</strong> more complex.<br />

We could relate those differences by discussing the nature of the tonic minor scale (or<br />

scales would be more accurate) from which all three chords are derived, as was done<br />

with the major version of the cell. However, it is less confusing to simply discuss the<br />

chord structures themselves.<br />

First of all, since many songs will include both major <strong>and</strong> minor key segments, there is<br />

the need to prepare the listener/player for the change of mode, so that the hearer can<br />

sense the impending change even before the tonic (I) chord arrives.<br />

We can surmise, in the case of <strong>II</strong>-V-I in major, that the fact that all three of the chords<br />

derive their notes from the major scale of the I chord, that the ear is prepared to hear the<br />

approaching I major chord even before it arrives, during the closely-related <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V<br />

chords.<br />

To prepare the sound of a minor key center, we need chord-types for the <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V that<br />

will already be hinting at the minor I chord that is to follow.<br />

?? And so we generally find that the <strong>II</strong> chord will be a half-diminished seventh<br />

chord (m7b5), instead of the <strong>II</strong>m7 that was used in major.<br />

<strong>The</strong> half-diminished seventh chord only differs from the minor seventh structure<br />

by one note, that being a fifth that is lowered one half-step.<br />

In fact, as pointed out in the Introduction of this book, an alternate symbol for<br />

the half-diminished chord is the minor seventh with a lowered fifth (b5).<br />

If we relate that b5 of the <strong>II</strong>m7b5 chord to the key center, we find it to be the<br />

lowered sixth (b6) of the key, a note that is found in two of the tonic minor<br />

scales (harmonic <strong>and</strong> natural minors).<br />

Hence the half-diminished form of the <strong>II</strong> chord prepares the ear to anticipate an<br />

approaching minor key center.<br />

Furthermore, the most common substitute for a <strong>II</strong>m7b5 is a IVm (or IVm6)<br />

chord, which has the same note for its third of the chord as the <strong>II</strong>m7b5 has for its<br />

fifth.<br />

In fact, the IVm6 is spelled with exactly the same notes as the <strong>II</strong>m7b5 of the<br />

same minor key (example: an Fm6, which is IV of C minor, is spelled F, Ab, C,<br />

<strong>and</strong> D, <strong>and</strong> a Dm7b5, which is <strong>II</strong> of C minor, is spelled D, F, Ab, <strong>and</strong> C).<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> V chord could prepare a I minor chord by simply adding a lowered<br />

ninth (b9), which is also the b6 of the key center.<br />

<strong>The</strong> more complete, common, <strong>and</strong> effective structure for the V chord, however,<br />

is a dominant seventh with a raised fifth ( + 5 ) <strong>and</strong> a raised ninth ( +9),<br />

sometimes referred to as the "altered dominant."<br />

A b9 in place of the +9 is equally effective (they can even co-exist in the same<br />


chord), still including the +5 as well, but the +9 is the most commonly-used<br />

form of the ninth in an altered dominant.<br />

We already know that the b9 helps to prepare a minor I chord, <strong>and</strong> the +5 causes the<br />

sounding of the same note that will be the lowered third of the I chord, which is a great<br />

preparation for a minor key.<br />

But what about the seemingly preferred +9?<br />

Why should that note foretell the sound of an impending minor I chord?<br />

After all, if the V chord was a G chord (V of C), the +9 would be an A#, which is an<br />

enharmonic spelling for Bb.<br />

Wouldn't the presence of an equivalent for Bb reduce the powerful effect of the "leading<br />

tone" (B natural) that is already in the V chord as its third, <strong>and</strong> which propels the chord<br />

toward a logical resolution to I?<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are several answers to this, all worth presenting at this time:<br />

?? First of all (staying in C minor for the moment), Bb does exist in the "natural<br />

minor scale" on C.<br />

?? Secondly, the "leading tone" (B natural) is still present, as the third of the G7<br />

chord.<br />

?? Thirdly, the inclusion of Bb (A#) gives the V chord the illusion of being minor,<br />

offering a sort of poetic support to the minor I chord.<br />

?? Finally, the "altered dominant" chord is, by nature of its sound, a very dramatic,<br />

almost "bluesy" chord, enhancing the usually-desired intent of composers to<br />

employ minor keys for dramatic effect.<br />

So the common form of the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression in minor is: <strong>II</strong>m7b5 - V7alt -<br />

Im(maj7)<br />

Despite the fact the chord structures for the <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V, in major <strong>and</strong> minor keys, are<br />

primarily used to prepare the listener for the expected form of I (major or minor),<br />

songwriters sometimes like to surprise us, by using a I chord we didn't expect.<br />

In nearly all of such cases, the composer will set us up to hear a minor form of I (by<br />

preceding it with <strong>II</strong>m7b5 <strong>and</strong> V7alt), but surprise us with a I major instead.<br />

Examples of this delightful sort of deception are in:<br />

?? EVERYTHING HAPPENS TO ME (measure B5),<br />

?? PENSATIVA (m.13),<br />

?? WHAT'S NEW (m.7 <strong>and</strong> B7) <strong>and</strong><br />

?? FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE (m.1).<br />

This almost never happens in reverse, where a composer precedes a minor tonic with<br />

the major forms of <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V (m7 <strong>and</strong> 7, respectively).<br />

<strong>The</strong> prototypical forms of the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression, in major <strong>and</strong> minor, are so<br />

commonplace in the tunes played by jazz musicians that it is very difficult to locate<br />

tunes which don't contain at least one <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression, even among contemporary<br />

tunes, <strong>and</strong> most tunes have many occurrences of that cell.<br />

For this reason it would be pointless, <strong>and</strong> perhaps impossible, to list all the tunes which<br />

have at least one <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression.<br />


Variation 1: <strong>II</strong>m7 - #<strong>II</strong>°7 - <strong>II</strong>Im7 (or I)<br />

This peculiar, yet popular, progression cell substitutes a #<strong>II</strong>°7 for the V7, <strong>and</strong><br />

sometimes a <strong>II</strong>Im7 for the tonic major chord (I).<br />

<strong>The</strong> latter is easier to underst<strong>and</strong>, as a <strong>II</strong>Im7 has at least two notes in common with the I<br />

chord, hence it has always been regarded as a logical substitution.<br />

<strong>The</strong> #<strong>II</strong>°7, on the other h<strong>and</strong>, has little or nothing in common with the V7. In fact, the<br />

third of the #<strong>II</strong> chord is the major seventh of the V chord, which is a virtual<br />

anachronism to a dominant function.<br />

It only works because the #<strong>II</strong> functions as a "leading tone chord" of <strong>II</strong>I (or V<strong>II</strong>°7 of <strong>II</strong>I,<br />

as a classical theorist would put it).<br />

Since V<strong>II</strong>° has long been considered as a substitute for V7, when going to I, the door is<br />

open to precede any object chord with a diminished chord whose root is a half-step<br />

below the root of the object chord (in this case, the object chord is <strong>II</strong>Im7).<br />

When the I chord is used instead of <strong>II</strong>I, it is usually in first inversion, so that its bass<br />

note (not its root) is the same as the root of the <strong>II</strong>I chord, causing the #<strong>II</strong> to become a<br />

leading tone chord (or V<strong>II</strong>) of the third of the object chord.<br />

<strong>The</strong> reader might find it hard to believe that this variation would resemble the<br />

prototypical <strong>II</strong>-V-I discussed earlier. But consider that it has been used so often in tune<br />

progressions <strong>and</strong> in arrangements that even improvisers will consciously <strong>and</strong><br />

unconsciously play the variation against a sounded <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression!<br />

<strong>The</strong> two phrases shown in Figure 1B have appeared in numerous jazz recordings, each<br />

time against the conventional <strong>II</strong>-V-I.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first one has been played by many players over the years, whereas as the second<br />

example was invented by John Coltrane <strong>and</strong> then adopted by his many<br />

followers/imitators.<br />

Figure 1B<br />

(sometimes No. 2 is used with a 2-bar duration of I maj7)<br />

<strong>The</strong> likely historical source for the <strong>II</strong>m7 - #<strong>II</strong>°7 - <strong>II</strong>Im7 (or I) progression is the solo<br />

piano style of the 20's <strong>and</strong> 30's, in which self-accompanying pianists frequently used the<br />

progression in the left h<strong>and</strong>, usually voiced in tenth intervals.<br />

<strong>The</strong> cell generally happened at times when the given chord was a relatively long<br />

duration (4 beats or more) of a tonic major chord.<br />

Since the music of that time was pretty lively, a sustained chord in the left h<strong>and</strong> would<br />

inhibit the needed pulse-like effect, hence pianists would exp<strong>and</strong>, say a one-measure<br />

duration of a tonic chord, into quarter-note durations by playing I - <strong>II</strong>m7 - #<strong>II</strong>°7 - <strong>II</strong>Im7<br />


(or I in first inversion) with the left h<strong>and</strong>.<br />

This practice was particularly noticeable in performances by Art Tatum <strong>and</strong> by the<br />

countless admirers/imitators who followed him.<br />

An even more exp<strong>and</strong>ed version of the progression was used by George Gershwin in<br />

LIZA, where the first three <strong>and</strong> one-half measures use a five-chord progression, in halfnote<br />

durations (in a fast alla breve tempo), that is I - #I°7 - <strong>II</strong>m7 - #<strong>II</strong>°7 - I (in first<br />

inversion).<br />

That same progression also forms the first three <strong>and</strong> one-half measures of Eubie Blake's<br />


Unamplified rhythm guitarists, like the legendary Freddy Green in the Count Basie<br />

Orchestra of the 30's <strong>and</strong> 40's, also needed to transform long durations of a given chord<br />

into quarter-note durations to support the pulse, <strong>and</strong> so they also were given to using the<br />

progression under discussion (<strong>and</strong> others as well).<br />

In all of the foregoing examples, whether <strong>II</strong> - #<strong>II</strong> - <strong>II</strong>I, I - <strong>II</strong> - #<strong>II</strong> - <strong>II</strong>I, or I - #I - <strong>II</strong> - #<strong>II</strong> -<br />

<strong>II</strong>I, the progressions result in a bass-note motion that rises by step <strong>and</strong>/or half-step,<br />

creating a strong feeling of climbing <strong>and</strong> a growing intensity.<br />

<strong>The</strong> excerpt shown in Figure 1-C is a classic tune that exemplifies the use of the<br />

harmonic device we are studying.<br />

It occurs in the fifth measure, tonicizing the <strong>II</strong>Im chord in the key of F (Am7).<br />

It is interesting to note that, before we encounter the device of mm.5-7, a regular <strong>II</strong>-V-I<br />

has already occurred in mm.1-3.<br />

If we listen closely to the tune, or if we play the progression on piano, the two cells can<br />

be heard to function in the same way, though they don't sound identical.<br />

As is the case with all the harmonic traits studied in this book, it is essential to learn the<br />

appearance <strong>and</strong> sound of each, <strong>and</strong> to be able to distinguish between the basic form of a<br />

trait <strong>and</strong> its common variations.<br />

Figure 1-C<br />

(bossa nova)<br />


<strong>The</strong> following tunes use the <strong>II</strong>m7 - #<strong>II</strong>° - <strong>II</strong>Im7 (or I in first inversion) progression:<br />

?? Ain't Misbehavin' (m.3)<br />

?? Got Rhythm (m.2)<br />

?? Ill Wind (B1 <strong>and</strong> B5)<br />

?? In <strong>The</strong> Wee Small Hours (m.S)<br />

?? Like Someone In Love (m.3)<br />

?? Liza (m.2)<br />

?? Memories of You (m.2)<br />

?? Once I Loved (m.5)<br />

?? Rain Check (m.1)<br />

?? Tiny Capers (m.4)<br />

Variation 2: IV - #IV° - I<br />

When compared, theoretically <strong>and</strong> aurally, it becomes clear that Variation 2 is only<br />

slightly different from Variation 1.<br />

Looking at Figure 1-D, we see that the first chord of each is a subdominant function,<br />

either <strong>II</strong>m7 or IV major, <strong>and</strong> the two chords have long been considered to be substitutes<br />

for one another.<br />

Similarly, the #<strong>II</strong>° <strong>and</strong> #IV° chords are closely related, being part of the same<br />

diminished scale that forms both.<br />

<strong>The</strong> I chord that completes the cell differs only with respect to the bass note, Variation 1<br />

being in first inversion (3rd in the bass) <strong>and</strong> Variation 2 in second inversion (5th in the<br />

bass).<br />

Each has an alternate chord form for the third chord that has the same bass note as its<br />

counterpart.<br />

Figure 1-D Variation 1: <strong>II</strong>m7 #<strong>II</strong>° I (3rd in bass) or <strong>II</strong>Im7<br />

Example: Dm7 D#° C/E or Em7<br />

Variation 2: IV #IV° I (5th in bass) or V7<br />

Example: F F#° C/G or G7<br />

Sometimes the IV chord of Variation 2 has a dominant seventh structure, rather than<br />

major, as in Duke Ellington's IN A MELLOW TONE (m.25), Clifford Brown's TINY<br />

CAPERS (B1), <strong>and</strong> in many blues progressions (m.6).<br />

Also, many of the arrangements for the Count Basie Orchestra (<strong>and</strong> others of a similar<br />

style), as well as many of Basie's improvised piano introductions, use Variation 2 with a<br />

dominant structure on the IV chord.<br />

Tunes which use Variation 2 would include:<br />

?? Blues (m.6)<br />

?? Doxy (m 9)<br />

?? In A Mellow Tone (m.25)<br />

?? Rhythm Changes (m.5)<br />

?? St. Thomas (m.13)<br />


?? Scrapple From <strong>The</strong> Apple (m.5)<br />

?? Someday My Prince Will Come (m.27)<br />

?? Tiny Capers (B1)<br />

?? Tricotism (m.5)<br />

?? You Go To My Head (m.9)<br />

Variation 3: Tri-Tone Substitution<br />

By definition, "tri-tone substitution" is the practice of replacing a V7 with a dominant<br />

seventh chord whose root is a tri-tone interval away (b<strong>II</strong>7), a harmonic trait which has<br />

been common in jazz circles since the early 40's (the incubation period for the bebop<br />

style).<br />

On the surface it would seem that two chords with roots that are a tri-tone apart would<br />

have little in common <strong>and</strong> therefore difficult to justify, theoretically.<br />

After all, the roots in question are on exact opposite sides of the cycle of fifths, 180°<br />

removed from one another, <strong>and</strong> seven key signatures apart!<br />

However, there are several very compelling reasons for the success of tri-tone<br />

substitution:<br />

1. the second most common root motion to cyclic motion is descending<br />

chromaticism, in this case b<strong>II</strong> to I.<br />

2. the third <strong>and</strong> seventh of a dominant seventh are considered to be, functionally<br />

anyway, the two most important notes of the chord, <strong>and</strong> dominant seventh<br />

chords that are a tritone apart share the same thirds <strong>and</strong> sevenths, though the<br />

names are reversed.<br />

3. the remaining notes of the G chord, G <strong>and</strong> D, are equivalent to the +4 <strong>and</strong> b9 of<br />

the Db chord, <strong>and</strong> the remaining notes of the Db chord, Db <strong>and</strong> Ab, likewise<br />

function as the +4 <strong>and</strong> b9 of the G chord, therefore the two chords could even be<br />

played simultaneously without loss offunction; <strong>and</strong><br />

4. if one of the two chords is altered (using a +5 <strong>and</strong> a b9 <strong>and</strong>/or +9) <strong>and</strong> the other<br />

is left unaltered (but with a +4, which is not really considered to be an<br />

alteration), the composer/improviser would use the same scale for both chords<br />

(see Figure 1-E) !<br />


Figure I-E<br />

the B lydian-augmented scale<br />

Applied to: G7alt. (+5,+9) Db7 unalt. (+4)<br />

B 3 7<br />

C# +4 root<br />

D# +5 9<br />

E#(F) 7 +34<br />

Fx(G) root 5+4<br />

G# b9 135<br />

A# +9 13<br />

(remember that it is necessary to apply enharmonic spellings)<br />

* <strong>The</strong> same as the notes of Ab ascending melodic minor, Db lydian dominant, G<br />

diminished whole tone <strong>and</strong> F locrian #2, in the event that one of these is more familiar<br />

to the reader.<br />

reversing the process...<br />

the F lydian-augmented scale<br />

Applied to: G7 unalt. Db7 alt.<br />

F 7 3<br />

G root +4<br />

A 9 +5<br />

B 3 7<br />

C# +4 root<br />

D 5 b9<br />

E 13 +9<br />

Tri-tone substitutions might appear in different aspects of jazz performance.<br />

That is, it is sometimes a part of the given progression to the tune (put there by the<br />

composer), as in the last measure of the 1st ending of Wayne Shorter's VIRGO.<br />

Other times it is part of a planned reharmonization of a tune, especially a st<strong>and</strong>ard tune<br />

(where the substitution is chosen by the arranger or the performer).<br />

And still other times, tritone substitution is incorporated spontaneously, at the discretion<br />

of an improviser, a "comping" keyboardist, or a bassist.<br />

It is generally known that a <strong>II</strong>m7 can be placed before a V7 (sharing its duration), even<br />

when the given progression only supplies the V chord.<br />

For example, the bridge of I GOT RHYTHM (in the key of Bb) begins with a 2-bar<br />

duration of D7, but most performers will transform those two measures into one bar of<br />

A-7 <strong>and</strong> one of D7.<br />

In this case, the D chord isn't even a V function (in Bb), but it nevertheless works, hence<br />

the principle can be applied to any dominant seventh.<br />


This being the case, a composer or performer will sometimes apply the principle to tritone<br />

substitution, so that a Db7 that is substituting for a G7 could become Abm7 - Db7.<br />

This is a relatively mild variation though it does impact the use of tri-tone substitution<br />

somewhat.<br />

For example, if the tri-tone <strong>II</strong>-V occurs over (or instead of) the regular <strong>II</strong>-V, the chord<br />

<strong>and</strong> scale spellings for the <strong>II</strong> chords will be in very sharp contrast with each other, not<br />

having the sort of amelioration <strong>and</strong> duality found on the V chords (as in Figure l-E).<br />

Also, when the given melody to the tune is being sounded, it is necessary to see if the<br />

melody notes that happen over the regular <strong>II</strong>-V will also work over the tri-tone <strong>II</strong>-V.<br />

Sometimes they will, but it should be considered.<br />

If, on the other h<strong>and</strong>, a tri-tone <strong>II</strong>-V-Is used in place of the regular V chord's duration<br />

only (as opposed to the total duration of both the regular <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V chords), the trait<br />

usually works very well.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tri-tone <strong>II</strong> does have one scale note (the seventh of the chord/scale) that conflicts<br />

with the regular V chord, functioning as an unwanted major seventh of the regular V<br />

chord.<br />

Nevertheless, the tri-tone <strong>II</strong> has been used against the regular V7 frequently, <strong>and</strong> for<br />

quite some time, by major jazz artists, Charlie Parker <strong>and</strong> John Coltrane, for<br />

example.<br />

Tri-tone substitutions, in either the tri-tone <strong>II</strong>-V or simply the tri-tone V use, can replace<br />

the regular <strong>II</strong>-V or follow it, so that both the tri-tone <strong>and</strong> regular V or <strong>II</strong>-V are used.<br />

In the case of the latter, the duration normally given to the regular change(s) is usually<br />

split into smaller fragments to accommodate the presence of the tri-tone change(s).<br />

For example: a four beat duration of a G7 (in the key of C) would become 2 beats,<br />

followed by 2 beats of Db7.<br />

A 2-beat duration of Dm7, followed by a 2-beat duration of G7 would become: 1-beat<br />

durations of D-7, G7, Abm7 <strong>and</strong> Db7, respectively.<br />

Also, it is not necessary to use the same form for both the regular <strong>and</strong> tri-tone "keys."<br />

Sometimes we see a regular <strong>II</strong>, followed by the tri-tone <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V, omitting the regular V<br />

before the tri-tone substitution.<br />

It's interesting to note that when both the regular <strong>and</strong> tri-tone versions are used, the<br />

regular always precedes the tri-tone.<br />

Despite the profusion of verbiage <strong>and</strong> examples used here to define, explain, <strong>and</strong><br />

illustrate tri-tone substitution, remember that the most important aspect of all this is that<br />

you be able to aurally cognize its presence in a progression, <strong>and</strong> in that regard, it is<br />

much easier to hear it than to explain it.<br />

It sounds logical, smooth, even familiar to most musicians, <strong>and</strong> reviewing the point<br />

made in Figure 1-E, that both the regular V7alt. <strong>and</strong> the tri-tone V7unalt. use exactly the<br />

same scale, it should be clearly understood that hearing tri-tone substitution is no more<br />

difficult to hear than an altered V7, <strong>and</strong> most students learn to hear the altered dominant<br />

rather quickly.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are "irregular" uses of tri-tone substitution, also.<br />

In Roberto Menescal's MY LITTLE BOAT (O BARQUINHO), we find the<br />

progression, G - C#m7 - F#7 - F - Bm7 - E7 - Eb - Am7 - D7 (to Bm7, which is <strong>II</strong>Im7<br />

of G).<br />

What we have is a tune that modulates down in whole-steps (keys of G, F, <strong>and</strong> Eb),<br />

approaching F by way of tri-tone substitution, instead of a C7, then approaching the key<br />


of Eb by the same means.<br />

Retaining the symmetry, Eb is followed by Am7, which conveniently brings us back to<br />

the starting key of G, though Menescal chooses to then substitute B-7 for the more<br />

obvious choice of G major.<br />

When we hear the tune for the first time, unaware that it will modulate down in whole<br />

steps in a 3-key sequence, it is difficult to anticipate where the first tri-tone substitution<br />

will take us, perhaps to B major, since the second <strong>and</strong> third chord of the progression<br />

could be <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V of that key, so the resolution to F major comes as a surprise.<br />

Michele Legr<strong>and</strong>'s A MAN AND A WOMAN has exactly the same "irregular",<br />

sequential use of tri-tone substitution.<br />

Four more examples of irregular uses of tri-tone substitution occur in Clare Fischer's<br />


<strong>The</strong> piece begins with five measures of Gb major chords (the key center), alternating<br />

with G7 chords, with the Gb chords placed in mm. 1, 3 <strong>and</strong> 5, <strong>and</strong> the G7 chords<br />

appearing in mm.2 <strong>and</strong> 4.<br />

This has the effect of strongly establishing Gb as the key.<br />

<strong>The</strong> G7 chords are tritone substitutions for Db7 (V).<br />

In the sixth measure an Eb7 is used, presumably (to the unwary listener) functioning as<br />

a VI7 in the key of Gb, which would have been a logical, time-honored move at that<br />

point, usually going on to a <strong>II</strong> chord. However, the so-called VI7 chord resolves down a<br />

half-step to D major!<br />

In other words the Eb7 chord is being used as b<strong>II</strong>7 of D major, which makes it a tri-tone<br />

substitution for A7 (V of D).<br />

<strong>The</strong> significance of Fischer's use of the Eb7 (in the key of Gb) going to D major is that<br />

he has taken a principle that normally involves a substitute for a V7 <strong>and</strong> has exp<strong>and</strong>ed<br />

the principle to a dominant seventh chord other than V, which opens doors to still other<br />

possibilities.<br />

Going on, he follows the D major chord with a G chord (simulating the common<br />

progression cell of I to IV), but G is also b<strong>II</strong> of Gb, providing an easy path back to the<br />

original key, which, in a sense, is what Fischer does, except that the Gb chord becomes<br />

a I minor chord.<br />

But what is pertinent to our discussion here is that the G chord provides yet another<br />

twist to tri-tone substitution, since it is deceptively-placed to initially sound like IV of<br />

D, but becomes b<strong>II</strong> of Gb.<br />

<strong>The</strong> fourth example occurs at the end of the bridge, where a Dm7 - G7 cell leads us<br />

back to Gb major for the final A section.<br />

<strong>The</strong> innovative twist here, however, is that the bridge modulates first to the key of C<br />

major, then to A major, so that when the Dm7 <strong>and</strong> G7 chords appear at the end of the<br />

segment in A major, we're not at all sure whether those chords are functioning as a<br />

"back door progression" in A (IVm7 - bV<strong>II</strong>7, a trait to be discussed a little later in this<br />

chapter), or signaling a return to C major (as a <strong>II</strong>-V), or as a tri-tone substitution leading<br />

back to Gb (which is the case).<br />

Anyone wishing to seriously study, hear, <strong>and</strong> practice tri-tone substitution should<br />

investigate the playalong, SOME OF THE THINGS I AM, found in Volume 16<br />



<strong>The</strong> progression is a contrafact of ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE, to which Aebersold<br />

has added eleven tri-tone substitutions, making it the most thoroughgoing study of<br />


tritone substitution in existence!<br />

<strong>The</strong> fact that it is a play-along provides the student with the best possible opportunity to<br />

hear <strong>and</strong> practice the trait.<br />

Tunes which use Variation 3 (tri-tone substitution) include:<br />

?? A Man And A Woman (mm.3 &7)<br />

?? Angela (B3 &B7)<br />

?? I Can't Get Started (m.4)<br />

?? Bolivia (B4 &B14)<br />

?? Little Dancer (m.8 & B2)<br />

?? Bonnie's Blue (mm.4 &6)<br />

?? Mr. Broadway (m.19)<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Chase (B8)<br />

?? Nutville (m.11)<br />

?? Clockwise (m.11)<br />

?? O Barquinho (mm.3 &7)<br />

?? Delores (mm.6 &24)<br />

?? Pensativa (mm.2, 4, 6, 8, &B15)<br />

?? Early Autumn (mm.2 &4)<br />

?? Sail Away (mm.10 &47)<br />

?? Ecaroh (m.4)<br />

?? Satin Doll (m.6)<br />

?? E.S.P (m 31)<br />

?? Saudade (mm.3 &11)<br />

?? Fantasy In D (mm.6 &12)<br />

?? Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (m.3)<br />

?? Four On Six (m.8)<br />

?? Some Of <strong>The</strong> Things I Am (mm.3, 4, 6, 11, 12, 14, 18, 22, 27, 28, &34)<br />

?? Gibraltar (B2)<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Girl From Ipanema (mm.6 &8)<br />

?? Virgo (mm.8 &16)<br />

?? West Coast Blues (m.4)<br />


Variation 4: <strong>The</strong> Back Door <strong>Progression</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> "back door progression," in the present, is a cell made up of IVm7 <strong>and</strong> bV<strong>II</strong>7<br />

chords, leading to I.<br />

Historically, it began as a bV<strong>II</strong>7 only, most often appearing as a brief turnaround<br />

(more on that later in the chapter) at the end of a tune's section, usually as I - bV<strong>II</strong>7 - I.<br />

<strong>The</strong> approach to I by way of a dominant seventh whose root is a whole-step below the<br />

tonic is probably the source of the name, back door.<br />

At least as early as the bebop era, the IVm7 was added to the b7V<strong>II</strong> chord, providing a<br />

quasi <strong>II</strong> function before the dominant seventh chord, in the same manner as was<br />

encountered earlier in this chapter.<br />

<strong>The</strong> back door progression generally functions in one of three ways:<br />

1. as a substitute for the <strong>II</strong>-V progression (or just the V);<br />

2. as a means of returning to the original key center after a brief modulation to IV<br />

major; <strong>and</strong><br />

3. as a free-st<strong>and</strong>ing cell, usually s<strong>and</strong>wiched between two I chords.<br />

When pondering the question as to why a back door progression should work as a<br />

substitute for the <strong>II</strong>-V (or simply the V chord), remember the well-established precedent<br />

of hearing the bV<strong>II</strong> as a turnaround chord in songs of an earlier period, as it trained our<br />

ears to accept the sound of bV<strong>II</strong> leading to I.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are melodic justifications, also.<br />

One of the most common phrase-endings for a melody is the formula of b7, b6, 5<br />

(numbers related to the key center, not the individual chords), as shown in Figure 1-F.<br />

Note that this common melodic phrase-ending can be harmonized several different ways<br />

with equal effectiveness, one of which is the back door.<br />

In other words, the harmonication of a common melodic phrase-ending also helps in<br />

establishing the tradition of hearing a back door progression lead to I.<br />

Figure 1-F<br />

When the back door is used as a substitute for the V chord only, the <strong>II</strong> chord usually<br />

precedes the back door, creating a harmonic formula of:<br />

<strong>II</strong>m7 - IVm7 - bV<strong>II</strong>7 - I<br />

By far the most common use of the back door progression is its use after a IV major<br />

chord.<br />

A very high percentage of tunes contain at least one modulation to a key a perfect fourth<br />

above the original key center, or simply to IV.<br />


That modulation is so common that it is almost pointless to use a modulation symbol<br />

(i.e., showing a modulation from C to F by using the symbol F: ).<br />

In the great majority of tunes that modulate to IV, the tenure of the key of IV is<br />

extremely brief, returning to the orginal key center within one or two measures.<br />

<strong>The</strong> brevity of the stay in IV <strong>and</strong> its probable return to I points to a need for an efficient<br />

means to weaken the IV chord shortly after its arrival <strong>and</strong> a render quick, safe passage<br />

back to I.<br />

Both needs are accommodated by the back door progression.<br />

<strong>The</strong> IVm7 instantly weakens the previous IV major chord <strong>and</strong> the bV<strong>II</strong>7, through<br />

established traditional practice, provides an acceptable precedent for the I chord.<br />

Unconsciously, the ear of even the casual listener is drawn to anticipate the return to I as<br />

soon as the IV minor chord is sounded.<br />

A much-less common use of the back door progression is its use as a free-st<strong>and</strong>ing cell,<br />

in which it is not following IV major, not really being used as a substitute for <strong>II</strong>-V, <strong>and</strong><br />

seemingly disconnected from the chords that exist before <strong>and</strong> after its use.<br />

Nevertheless, some trace of the logic behind the more common uses of the back door is<br />

usually present, though obscure.<br />

Examples of free-st<strong>and</strong>ing back doors exist in the following tunes:<br />

?? Ladybird (m.3)<br />

?? Half-Nelson (m.3)<br />

?? Yardbird Suite (m.2)<br />

?? Somebody Loves Me (mm.2 &4)<br />

?? Poor Butterfly (m.1)<br />

?? Godchild (m.4)<br />

?? I Never Knew (m.2)<br />

?? Moments Notice (m.4)<br />

?? How High <strong>The</strong> Moon/Ornithology (m.28)<br />

?? Speak Low (m.9)<br />

?? Joy Spring (mm. 4&12)<br />

?? Lush Life (m.17<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Song Is You (m.13)<br />

?? Valse Hot (m.10)<br />

?? I Get A Kick Out Of You (m.9)<br />

?? For Heaven's Sake (m.5)<br />

?? I'm Old Fashioned (m.26)<br />

?? September In <strong>The</strong> Rain (m.5)<br />

?? Desafinado (m.26)<br />

?? Too Marvelous For Words (m.30)<br />

?? My Romance (m.28)<br />

?? Rosetta (m.2)<br />

(be advised that some of the tunes on the 3 lists of progressions contain more than one<br />

type of back door)<br />


Tunes which use the back door progression as a substitute for V or <strong>II</strong>-V:<br />

?? Days Of Wine And Roses (m.7)<br />

?? Groovin' High (m.30)<br />

?? I Should Care (m.8)<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Shadow Of Your Smile (m.26)<br />

?? Tenderly (m.6)<br />

?? Georgia On My Mind (m.4)<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Christmas Song (m.5)<br />

?? On Green Dolphin Street (m.28)<br />

?? Four (m.7)<br />

?? I Gave You Violets For Your Furs (m.3)<br />

?? My Old Flame (m.4)<br />

?? Darn That Dream (m.6)<br />

?? Embraceable You (m.6)<br />

?? Over <strong>The</strong> Rainbow (m.6)<br />

?? Summer Samba/So Nice (m.7)<br />

?? Strollin' (m.28)<br />

?? I Fall In Love Too Easily (m.15)<br />

?? Stardust (m.4)<br />

?? Soon (m.7)<br />

?? When Sunny Gets Blue (m.2)<br />

?? Fools Rush In (m.26)<br />

?? It Could Happen To You (m.10)<br />

?? But Beautiful (m.28)<br />

<strong>The</strong> following tunes use the back door as a means of leaving IV major to return to I:<br />

?? Donna Lee/lndiana (m.10)<br />

?? I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face (m.9)<br />

?? Long Ago And Far Away (m.28)<br />

?? My Ideal (m.26)<br />

?? My Shining Hour (m.21)<br />

?? Time After Time (m.24)<br />

?? Will You Still Be Mine (B3)<br />

?? Little Dancer (m.11)<br />

?? Mean To Me (m.4)<br />

?? I Hadn't Anyone Til You (m.26)<br />

?? Easy Living (m.4)<br />

?? Freight Train (m.6)<br />

?? It Might As Well Be Spring (m.36)<br />

?? Meditation (m.11 &B3)<br />

?? Moon River (m.12)<br />

?? My Romance (m.9)<br />

?? Don't Get Around Much Anymore (B2)<br />

?? I Thought About You (m.10)<br />

?? It Could Happen To You (m.6)<br />

?? Mood Indigo (m.12)<br />

?? Out Of Nowhere (m.28)<br />

?? Just <strong>The</strong> Way You Are (m.10)<br />


?? Cherokee (m.7)<br />

?? Stella By Starlight (m.8)<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Night Has a Thous<strong>and</strong> Eyes (m.12)<br />

?? How Long Has This Been Going On (m.4)<br />

?? Blues ForAlice (m.6)<br />

?? Moonglow (m.2)<br />

?? Lil Darlin' (m.10)<br />

?? I Got It Bad (B3)<br />

?? Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me (m.4)<br />

?? Just Friends (m.3)<br />

?? I Remember You (m.6)<br />

?? Ray's Idea (m.6)<br />

?? You've Changed (B2)<br />

?? Good Bait (m.6)<br />

?? Street Dreams (m.10)<br />

?? But Not For Me (m.10)<br />

?? Between <strong>The</strong> Devil And <strong>The</strong> Deep Blue Sea (m.6)<br />

?? In A Mellow Tone (m.10)<br />

?? Little Girl Blue (m.6)<br />

?? Misty (m.4)<br />

?? My Foolish Heart (m.12)<br />

?? My Secret Love (B8)<br />

?? One Note Samba (m.12)<br />

?? Polka Dots And Moonbeams (m.5)<br />

?? Tangerine (m.26)<br />

?? <strong>The</strong>re Will Never Be Another You (m.10)<br />

?? Wave (m.6)<br />

?? Unforgettable (m.10)<br />

?? If I Had You (m.4)<br />

?? A Foggy Day (m.12)<br />

?? All <strong>The</strong> Things You Are (m.30)<br />

?? How About You (m.10)<br />

?? I Gave You Violets For Your Furs (m.26)<br />


Variation 5: <strong>The</strong> Coltrane Matrix<br />

Seldom are we able to credit a single individual with the invention of an innovative<br />

formula for a chord progression.<br />

Ordinarily such things evolve slowly through the compositions of many composers over<br />

an extended period of time.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Coltrane Matrix, however, came about very suddenly <strong>and</strong> involved the creative<br />

genius of a single musician John Coltrane.<br />

Even when an individual does invent a new organizational method for some aspect of<br />

music, it almost never survives to become a new, widely-accepted tradition.<br />

But the Coltrane Matrix is being studied, practiced, performed, <strong>and</strong> incorporated into<br />

new compositions by musicians all over the world.<br />

Furthermore, having survived for nearly forty years, it is safe to say that it has withstood<br />

the test of time!<br />

<strong>Its</strong> origin is an interesting story. Coltrane was a musician whose life definitely evolved<br />

in clearly discernable periods, each with its own thrust.<br />

?? In the late bebop era, one of Trane's debuts was as a featured soloist on Dizzy<br />

Gillespie's recording of THE CHAMP (by Gillespie), where he was a bluesy,<br />

honking, emotionally-charged player.<br />

?? A few years later (about 1956), Trane made a series of recordings with the Miles<br />

Davis quintet <strong>and</strong> sextet, in which his solos were marked by considerable<br />

double-time playing, thorough realizations of all harmonic substance available<br />

within the framework of the tunes selected by Davis, <strong>and</strong> in general, a very high<br />

degree of technical virtuosity. This period is often referred to as his "changerunning<br />

period," <strong>and</strong> it culminated (with his own group) in tunes like GIANT<br />

STEPS, COUNTDOWN, <strong>and</strong> 26-2, all of which were based upon the<br />

progression we now know as the Coltrane Matrix.<br />

?? Having taken change-running <strong>and</strong> exploratory chord substitutions as far as he (or<br />

anyone) could, he suddenly ab<strong>and</strong>oned those activities <strong>and</strong> turned his focus to<br />

the harmonic opposite of change-running, namely modal vehicles, which<br />

became his next developmental period, culminating in recordings like<br />

ALABAMA, MY FAVORITE THINGS, <strong>and</strong> the masterful <strong>and</strong> inspired album,<br />


?? His subsequent, <strong>and</strong> last, period found him experimenting with a whole host of<br />

new musical directions, to include free form, ethnic <strong>and</strong> international musics,<br />

new instruments, new group instrumentation, duets with drummer Rashied Ali,<br />

spiritually-inspired music etc., all the while stretching the techniques <strong>and</strong><br />

nuances of his instrument.<br />

Trane's contributions to music go far beyond those listed here.<br />

A more thorough list appears in David Baker's book, John Coltrane, from his "Giants<br />

of Jazz" series.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Coltrane Matrix was actually a product of his earlier "change-running" period, <strong>and</strong><br />

some have put forth the theory that it was originally inspired by the bridge of HAVE<br />

YOU MET MlSS JONES (a st<strong>and</strong>ard tune).<br />

<strong>The</strong> Matrix is a symmetrical arrangement of key centers that descend (by modulations)<br />

in major third intervals, as in the keys of C, Ab, E, <strong>and</strong> C.<br />

Note that the keys symmetrically divide the octave into three equal parts, so that it<br />


comes out even at the octave (C down to C).<br />

When V7's precede each of the three keys, it becomes a seven-chord progression:<br />

Cmaj7 Eb7 Abmaj7 B7 Emaj7 G7 Cmaj7<br />

C: Imaj7 Ab: V7 Ima7 E: V7 Imaj7 C: V7 Imaj7<br />

At this point in our study, the reader should underst<strong>and</strong> that the above progression has<br />

other options, such as using <strong>II</strong> functions in place of each of the V chords, or using both<br />

the <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> the V (if chord-duration time permits!).<br />

With this in mind, let's compare the Matrix with the bridge of MISS JONES.<br />

Note that even the melody of GIANT STEPS fits the bridge of this st<strong>and</strong>ard.<br />

Figure 1-G<br />

Coltrane used his matrix in a variety of ways.<br />

On an informal, spontaneous level, he could play the seven-chord matrix, giving the<br />

first six chords two-beat durations <strong>and</strong> a four-beat duration to the last one, using it over<br />

any <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression that lasted four measures in all (<strong>and</strong> there are many of those!).<br />

?? Bear in mind that when the matrix is used over a <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression, the first<br />

chord of the matrix is changed to become the same <strong>II</strong> chord as the regular<br />

changes. <strong>The</strong> remaining six chords remain the same as the ones originally<br />

presented earlier.<br />

Sometimes the matrix was built into a reharmonisation of, say a st<strong>and</strong>ard tune like<br />

BODY AND SOUL or BUT NOT FOR ME, which meant that the pianist <strong>and</strong> bassist<br />

were also using those changes in the accompaniment.<br />

At other times, though, Trane would superimpose the matrix over the regular changes<br />

without reinforcement from the rhythm section.<br />

This requires a certain degree of courage, tenacity, presence of mind, <strong>and</strong> the ability to<br />

hear the matrix independently of what is being played in the accompaniment.<br />

One of the challenges is that <strong>II</strong>-V-I changes (over a four-measure duration) causes the I<br />

chord to arrive at the third measure <strong>and</strong> be retained for the fourth measure as well.<br />

When one plays the matrix over a four-bar <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression, the I chord of the matrix<br />

doesn't arrive until the fourth measure, causing the matrix player a reasonable amount<br />

of discomfort when he/she hears the accompaniment arrive at I in the third measure,<br />

perhaps resulting in the player imagining that he/she has erred somewhere, since there<br />

are still three more matrix chords to be played.<br />


When Trane used the matrix in his compositions, we see other variations.<br />

For example, GIANT STEPS uses the matrix twice in the first eight measures, but each<br />

is shortened to five chords.<br />

In other words, he stops the matrix two chords before it returns to the starting key (see<br />

Figure 1-H).<br />

Figure 1-H<br />

In COUNTDOWN, which is a contrafactual Trane tune that is based on Miles Davis'<br />

TUNE-UP, the entire seven-chord matrix, starting on a <strong>II</strong> chord is used for each of the<br />

first three 4-measures of the 16-bar tune, which modulates downward in whole-steps<br />

(the "downstep progression," to be taken up in Chapter 2) every four measures.<br />

Coltrane also wrote a contrafactual tune that is based upon CONFIRMATION, called<br />

26-2.<br />

This time Trane ignores the exact nature of the A section progression of<br />

CONFIRMATION, which uses a significantly common chord sequence called the<br />

"Confirmation Sequence" (taken up later in this chapter).<br />

But Trane does structure 26-2, despite the matrices, so that it starts from the same chord<br />

as CONFIRMATION <strong>and</strong> matches up with each "goal" of the CONFIRMATION<br />

progression, such as the modulation to IV in the fourth <strong>and</strong> fifth bars, the <strong>II</strong> dominant<br />

seventh chord in the seventh bar, <strong>and</strong> the I chord in the last bar before the bridge.<br />

At the bridge, CONFIRMATION modulates to IV, by way of its <strong>II</strong>mV, which consumes<br />

the first four bars, so 26-2 makes the same modulation to IV, but via a shortened version<br />

of the matrix.<br />

<strong>The</strong> second half of both bridges are the same, providing, a resting place for 26-2, since<br />

the matrix is not used there.<br />

In the event that the reader is wondering why an improvising soloist would use the<br />

matrix at times when the accompaniment is not, consider that it creates a format for<br />

"outside playing" (adding tension <strong>and</strong> chromaticism to the solo) that is logicallystructured<br />

<strong>and</strong> begins <strong>and</strong> ends in a consonant manner.<br />

In time it is likely that the Coltrane Matrix will also begin to be used in minor, by using<br />

minor-major seventh chords in place of the major sevenths, <strong>and</strong> altered dominants in<br />

place of the unaltered dominants.<br />

<strong>The</strong> seven-chord matrix would then become, for example, Cm(maj7) - Eb7alt. - Abm -<br />

B7alt - Em - G7alt - Cm(maj7).<br />

In minor, the progression is even more dramatic, mysterious, harmonically-intriguing,<br />

<strong>and</strong> symmetrical than it is in major.<br />

<strong>The</strong> chord-types are stronger, the key contrasts more stunning, <strong>and</strong> the scalar<br />


applications (for the improviser) more uniform.<br />

With respect to the latter, the entire progression could be accomodated by a single triad<br />

(a B, Eb, or G augmented triad) or by a single scale (a B, Eb, or G augmented scale).<br />

<strong>The</strong> major version of the matrix doesn't have these unities.<br />

For the improviser, the minor version is more challenging (if the single triad or single<br />

scale shortcuts are not taken) <strong>and</strong> ultimately creates a more melodic, lyrical result.<br />

In major, most players, even Trane, have been forced to use a higher percentage of<br />

mechanistic content in their solos, owing to the short chord durations, the quick <strong>and</strong><br />

incessant modulations to remote keys, <strong>and</strong> the tempos.<br />

<strong>The</strong> minor version also has the problems of short duration chords, the modulations, <strong>and</strong><br />

perhaps the tempos (the more-interesting sound in minor will likely result in using<br />

slower tempos), but there are no easy solutions, like the digital patterns <strong>and</strong> changerunning<br />

when played in major.<br />

For example, the major seventh of a minor chord is more crucial to its sound than the<br />

major seventh is to a major seventh chord, to say nothing of the ninths <strong>and</strong> elevenths<br />

that are also more effective on minor chords.<br />

Also, an altered dominant is so much more colorful ( +4, +5, b9, <strong>and</strong> +9) than the<br />

unaltered dominant, that realizations such as the 1-2-3-5 digital pattern are neither<br />

possible nor aesthetically pleasing.<br />

<strong>The</strong> potential for the Coltrane Matrix in minor is currently being explored by several<br />

composers/improvisers, at both faculty <strong>and</strong> student levels, at the University of<br />

Tennessee, already producing fruitful results.<br />

<strong>The</strong> following tunes use the Coltrane Matrix (or show its influence):<br />

?? Giant Steps<br />

?? Countdown<br />

?? 26-2<br />

?? Dear John<br />

?? Do You Hear <strong>The</strong> Voices<br />

?? El Toro<br />

?? Coltrane Blues<br />

?? (<strong>and</strong> don't forget to investigate) Have You Met Miss Jones<br />


Variation 6: Extensions of the <strong>II</strong>-V-I <strong>Progression</strong> (in<br />

major)<br />

<strong>The</strong>re can be but a single tonic (I) chord in a given key center.<br />

However, what precedes the I chord (the <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V chords) has a number of interesting<br />

variations.<br />

For example, we know that tri-tone substitution makes possible a cell of <strong>II</strong>m7 - b<strong>II</strong>7 - I.<br />

We also know that sometimes the minor form of <strong>II</strong> (m7b5) is used in a major key.<br />

Though it has not yet been discussed, sometimes the <strong>II</strong> chord appears as a dominant<br />

seventh chord.<br />

Using various combinations of the foregoing, we already have six mathematically<br />

possible versions of the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression!<br />

If we substitute a <strong>II</strong>Im7 for the I chord, we increase the possibilities to twelve.<br />

By substituting #<strong>II</strong>° or bV<strong>II</strong>7 for the V chord, or IVm7 or bVIm7 for the <strong>II</strong> chord<br />

(borrowing from the "back door" <strong>and</strong> "tri-tone substitution"), the possibilities increase<br />

again.<br />

And then there is the Coltrane Matrix <strong>and</strong> partial matrices (such as <strong>II</strong>m7 - b<strong>II</strong>I7 - bVI -<br />

V7 - I).<br />

<strong>The</strong> use of <strong>II</strong>Im7 as a substitute for I, opens a very large door to yet more possibilities,<br />

mostly relating to the extension of the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression.<br />

Figure 1-I shows two cycles of fifths, one of which is the more familiar (in letters, with<br />

12 entries), <strong>and</strong> the other being a diatonic cycle (one-key approach, instead of<br />

chromatic) in Roman Numerals, with seven entries.<br />

With regard to the latter, note that the intervals between the numerals are not all the<br />

same, the distance from IV to V<strong>II</strong> being a tri-tone interval, as it is between the fourth<br />

<strong>and</strong> seventh degrees of a major<br />


Figure 1-I Lettered Cycle:<br />

C<br />

G F<br />

D Bb<br />

A Eb<br />

E Ab<br />

B Db<br />

F#/Gb<br />

Roman Numeral Cycle (diatonic):<br />

I<br />

V IV<br />

<strong>II</strong> V<strong>II</strong><br />

VI <strong>II</strong>I<br />

Looking at the cycle of Roman Numerals, we see that <strong>II</strong>-V <strong>and</strong> I are adjacent <strong>and</strong><br />

progress in a foward direction, as described at the beginning of this chapter.<br />

However, <strong>II</strong>I <strong>and</strong> <strong>II</strong> are not adjacent, separated by the VI chord. This explains, in part,<br />

why a <strong>II</strong>Im7 is so often followed by a dominant seventh or minor seventh chord on VI,<br />

causing the progression to flow smoothly on to the <strong>II</strong> chord.<br />

So if a <strong>II</strong>Im7 is used as a substitute for I, it is very likely that the next chord will be a VI<br />

chord, leading to <strong>II</strong>.<br />

This helps to explain why statistical studies have shown that the <strong>II</strong>Im7 <strong>and</strong> VI7 chords<br />

are the fourth <strong>and</strong> fifth most populous chord functions in the jazz-pop repertoire, just<br />

behind the <strong>II</strong>, V, <strong>and</strong> I chords.<br />

Actually, there are more VI7's than <strong>II</strong>Im7's, owing to the number of times that I moves<br />

to VI7, then to <strong>II</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong> sixth most-frequently occurring chord function is the VI minor seventh chord.<br />

In any event, the exp<strong>and</strong>ed cell of Roman Numerals, <strong>II</strong>I-VI-<strong>II</strong>-V-I, remains faithful to<br />

the cycle, <strong>and</strong> as a group, is the most common five-chord cell in the repertoire, used in<br />

ongoing progressions, as turnarounds, ending tags, <strong>and</strong> as introductory progressions,<br />

(especially for st<strong>and</strong>ards).<br />

<strong>The</strong> number of tunes which use this progression is so great as to nullify any attempt to<br />

provide the reader with a list, being only slightly less common than the basic <strong>II</strong>-V-I<br />

progression.<br />

However, if the reader wishes to hear the progression in a continuous, repetitive<br />

manner, so that it is thoroughly assimilated, play <strong>and</strong>/or listen to Clare Fischer's<br />

MORNING.<br />

A slightly different, not as common a progression as the <strong>II</strong>I-VI-<strong>II</strong>-V-I progression of the<br />

foregoing paragraph, is the progression VIm7 - <strong>II</strong>m7 - V7 - I.<br />

Though this cell uses the last four numerals as they were given in the first progression<br />


(so that it begins on VI instead of <strong>II</strong>I), it also differs with respect to the chord-type of<br />

VI, being a minor seventh, rather than a dominant seventh (which makes it completely<br />

diatonic).<br />

Another distinction between the two progressions is their usual placement within a<br />

progression.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first progression could occur anywhere, as an introduction, as the beginning of the<br />

tune, as a turnaround, as a tag, etc., whereas the VI-<strong>II</strong>-V-I progression is nearly always<br />

placed at the beginning of a tune's progression.<br />

When a I is added to the beginning of the cell (just before the VI, omitting the I chord at<br />

the end) it becomes a more common progression that is also used for introductions,<br />

turnarounds, <strong>and</strong> tags.<br />

Tunes which use Variation 6 (VIm7 - <strong>II</strong>m7 - V7 - I) include:<br />

?? All <strong>The</strong> Things You Are (m.1)<br />

?? How My Heart Sings (m.2)<br />

?? Fly Me To <strong>The</strong> Moon/ln Other Words (m.1)<br />

?? I Hear A Rhapsody (m.1)<br />

?? Quickie (m.1)<br />

Tunes which use Variation 6, but begin on I:<br />

?? Emily (m.1)<br />

?? I Can't Get Started (m.1)<br />

?? (<strong>and</strong> many others)<br />

Another mild variation on the <strong>II</strong>I-VI-<strong>II</strong>-V-I sequence substitutes a b<strong>II</strong>I° for the VI7<br />

chord, so that the progression becomes <strong>II</strong>Im7 - b<strong>II</strong>I° - <strong>II</strong>m7 - V7 - I.<br />

That cell is used in:<br />

?? All <strong>The</strong> Things You Are (m.31)<br />

?? Body And Soul (m.4, but doesn't quite reach I)<br />

?? Out Of Nowhere (m.29)<br />

?? Night And Day (m.11)<br />

Returning to the Roman Numeral cycle in Figure 1-I, some tunes will extend the cycle<br />

even further by using V<strong>II</strong>-<strong>II</strong>I-VI-<strong>II</strong>-V-I.<br />

Usually the V<strong>II</strong> is an altered dominant seventh <strong>and</strong> preceded by a I chord, as in I -<br />

V<strong>II</strong>7alt. - <strong>II</strong>Im7(or ø) - VI7 - <strong>II</strong>m7 - V7 - I.<br />

Though the V<strong>II</strong> chord is the only one shown here to be an altered dominant, it should be<br />

understood that any of the dominant sevenths in the progression could be altered, at the<br />

discretion of composers, arrangers, keyboardists, <strong>and</strong> even improvising soloists.<br />

<strong>The</strong> dominant seventh on V<strong>II</strong>, for example is nearly always altered, in common practice.<br />

It is interesting to note, in this regard, that certain dominant seventh chords within a<br />

key's seven potential chord roots are frequently altered, <strong>and</strong> others are almost never<br />

altered.<br />


?? Dominant seventh chords on V, VI, <strong>and</strong> V<strong>II</strong> are very often altered, whereas<br />

?? IV is almost never altered.<br />

?? <strong>II</strong>I is generally only altered if the chord is heading toward a VI minor chord<br />

(relative minor of I), <strong>and</strong><br />

?? <strong>II</strong> is seldom altered unless the tune is in a minor key or the tune has a bluesy<br />

flavor.<br />

?? I, of course, is only an altered dominant seventh if the tune is very blues-like (at<br />

that point, anyway) or being used as V of IV.<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> altered Roman Numerals (b<strong>II</strong>, b<strong>II</strong>I, bV, bVI, <strong>and</strong> bV<strong>II</strong>) are seldom altered<br />

dominants. <strong>The</strong> latter point helps to explain why, in chromatically descending<br />

dominant sevenths, the chord-types usually alternate between unaltered <strong>and</strong><br />

altered, as in C7 - B7alt. - Bb7 - A7alt. - Ab7 - G7alt., etc.<br />

In such progressions the first chord, if it is I, is often a major chord, then<br />

becoming dominant sevenths (altered <strong>and</strong> unaltered) for the remainder of the<br />

pattern. In Dan Haerle's MAGIC MORNING, for example (play-along<br />

available in VOLUME 4 of Aebersold's series), the first four chords are E<br />

(major seventh), Eb7alt., D7, <strong>and</strong> Db7alt.<br />

Extending the Roman Numeral cycle even further, a number of well-known tunes begin<br />

a phrase with a harmonic sequence whose first chord root is bV (or #IV), proceeding<br />

around the cycle to V<strong>II</strong>-<strong>II</strong>I-VI-<strong>II</strong>-VI.<br />

Looking at the Roman Numeral cycle in Figure 1-I, we don't see an altered numeral on<br />

IV or V, only their diatonic form.<br />

However, as pointed out earlier, the interval between IV <strong>and</strong> V<strong>II</strong> is a tri-tone interval,<br />

which is not consistent with the distances between all other numerals, hence the root of<br />

IV must be raised to become a #IV chord, so that it will lead gracefully to V<strong>II</strong>.<br />

So now the extension has become:<br />

#IVm7(or m7b5) - V<strong>II</strong>7 - <strong>II</strong>Im7 - VI7 - <strong>II</strong>m7 - V7 - Imaj7<br />

or in lettered symbols (in the key of C):<br />

F#m7(or m7b5) - B7 - Em7 - A7 - Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7<br />

<strong>The</strong> foregoing progression is found in the following tunes:<br />

?? Woody n' You/Algo Bueno (m.1)<br />

?? Little Dancer (m.1)<br />

?? I'll Keep Loving You (m.1)<br />

?? I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face (m.5)<br />

?? Airegin (m.30)<br />

?? Ceora (m.13)<br />

?? Mayreh/All God's Chillun (m.9)<br />

?? Moments Notice (m.8)<br />

?? In <strong>The</strong> Wee Small Hours (m.7)<br />

?? Moon River (m.14)<br />

?? Stablemates (m.8)<br />

?? Stella By Starlight (m.25, using ø on #IV, <strong>II</strong>I, <strong>and</strong> <strong>II</strong>)<br />

?? Strollin' (m.8)<br />

?? This I Dig Of You (m.26)<br />


?? Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (m.4)<br />

?? Soul Eyes (m.26)<br />

?? Our Love Is Here To Stay (m.8)<br />

?? My Romance (m.27)<br />

?? Yes And No (B 1)<br />

It was pointed out earlier that even the <strong>II</strong>-V-I has many variables, if we include tri-tone<br />

substitution, back door, #<strong>II</strong>° substitutes, Coltrane Matrix, halfdiminished or dominant<br />

seventh structures on <strong>II</strong>, <strong>and</strong> so on.<br />

<strong>The</strong> more the progression is exp<strong>and</strong>ed backward through the cycle to include more<br />

chords, like #IV, V<strong>II</strong>, <strong>II</strong>I, <strong>and</strong> VI, the more possibilities there are for slight permutations<br />

here <strong>and</strong> there.<br />

A progression that begins on #IV has a long way to go to reach I, the variables could<br />

come into play at any point in that long "road back," <strong>and</strong> some progressions don't even<br />

make it all the way back to I!<br />

We have reached the point in our expansions <strong>and</strong> permutations where it would be better<br />

for the reader to recognize, analyze, categorize, <strong>and</strong> assimilate the next list of tunes,<br />

rather than having the authors continue subdividing what's left into even smaller pigeonholes.<br />

Each of the following has a segment that begins on #IV, but the subsequent chords of<br />

the cell will vary slightly from the presented models, as well as the other tunes on the<br />

list.<br />

?? Days Of Wine And Roses<br />

?? Tour de force<br />

?? Del Sasser<br />

?? I'm Getting Sentimental Over You<br />

?? Speak No Evil<br />

?? Tenderly<br />

?? That's All<br />

?? Time After Time<br />

?? Emily<br />

?? I Don't St<strong>and</strong> A Ghost Of A Chance With You<br />

?? Night And Day<br />

?? Stranger In Paradise<br />

?? When Sunny Gets Blue<br />

?? I Thought About You<br />

?? I Should Care<br />

?? YoungAnd Foolish<br />

?? Georgia<br />


Variation 7 <strong>The</strong> Confirmation Sequence<br />

<strong>The</strong> "Confirmation Sequence" derives its name from the Charlie Parker composition<br />

of the same name.<br />

It wasn't the first occurrence of the progression, having existed in several st<strong>and</strong>ard tunes<br />

before it was used in CONFIRMATION, but the latter seemed to be the tune most<br />

responsible for the popularity of the sequence.<br />

<strong>The</strong> progressions that formed Variation 7 (expansion of the <strong>II</strong>-V-I ) all began further<br />

back in the cycle, working their way back to I.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Confirmation sequence generally begins on I <strong>and</strong> works its way to the object chord<br />

(or key) of IV.<br />

It also uses descending <strong>II</strong>-V's as a path, like those in Variation 6, but this time ending on<br />

IV7 (or major).<br />

<strong>The</strong> progression is:<br />

I - V<strong>II</strong>m7b5 - <strong>II</strong>I7 - VIm7 - <strong>II</strong>7 - Vm7 - I7 - IV7 (or IVmajor)<br />

Or in lettered symbols (in C):<br />

C - Bm7b5 - E7 - Am7 - D7 - Gm7 - C7 - F7 (or Fmajor)<br />

Sometimes the V<strong>II</strong> chord is a minor seventh chord, instead of half-diminished, but the<br />

latter seems to be the preferred forn.<br />

After reaching the IV chord, the progression usually works it way on down to I, but that<br />

segment is not the topic of our discussion.<br />

<strong>The</strong> progression shown above usually consumes five measures, but sometimes the<br />

durations are twice as long, so that it consumes nine measures (the IV either begins a<br />

new four-measure phrase or a new eight-measure phrase, hence the odd numbers).<br />

Tunes which use the Confirmation Sequence sound as though they're modulating to the<br />

relative minor, <strong>and</strong> indeed they do (by way of the nature of the second, third, <strong>and</strong> fourth<br />

chords of the cell), but then the progression continues unabatedly until the IV chord is<br />

reached.<br />

Tunes which use the Confirmation Sequence are:<br />

?? Confirmation<br />

?? <strong>The</strong>re'll Never Be Another You<br />

?? Bluesette<br />

?? Blues For Alice<br />

?? Freight Train<br />

?? Doujie<br />

(note the preponderance of blues tunes)<br />


Variation 8 - <strong>The</strong> Bebop Turnaround<br />

A "turnaround" (an alternate term is "turnback") is a brief progression cell, usually two<br />

measures in length, containing four chords, that transpires at the end of a section, <strong>and</strong> is<br />

headed for a repeat of that section or a repeat of the entire tune (as in another chorus).<br />

<strong>Its</strong> purposes are to avoid a harmonic lull that might be created by an extended duration<br />

of a tonic chord, <strong>and</strong> to prepare the listener for a repeat.<br />

It generally perpetuates the harmonic motion, sometimes in interesting ways, <strong>and</strong> keeps<br />

the listener from feeling that the tune, or the performance of it, is over.<br />

Turnarounds have been around for a long time.<br />

<strong>The</strong> following are examples of early turnarounds:<br />

I V7<br />

I V7 I<br />

I bV<strong>II</strong>7 I<br />

bV<strong>II</strong>7 V<strong>II</strong>7 I<br />

I VI7 <strong>II</strong>m7 V7<br />

I VI7 <strong>II</strong>7 V7<br />

I VI7 bVI7 V7<br />

<strong>II</strong>Im7 VI7 <strong>II</strong>7 V7<br />

<strong>The</strong> "bebop turnaround" came into being in the 40's, <strong>and</strong> was a sort of precursor of the<br />

Coltrane Matrix of about fifteen years later, as you will see.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Roman Numeral sequence of the bebop turnaround is I (or <strong>II</strong>I) - b<strong>II</strong>I - bVI - b<strong>II</strong>.<br />

Had the last chord (b<strong>II</strong>) been a V, it would have been the same as the truncated<br />

Coltrane Matrix, used by Trane on a number of occasions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> chordtypes of the bebop turnaround are somewhat variable.<br />

?? If the first chord is I, it will be a major seventh chord, or<br />

?? if it is <strong>II</strong>I, it will be a minor seventh chord.<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> b<strong>II</strong>I chord is usually a dominant seventh chord, but some times it is a major<br />

seventh type.<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> bVI is nearly always a major seventh, but it can be a dominant seventh.<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> b<strong>II</strong> is most often a dominant seventh (with a +4), but sometimes it is a major<br />

seventh chord (also with a +4).<br />

<strong>The</strong> classic formula would be: I (or <strong>II</strong>I-7) - b<strong>II</strong>I7 - bVI - b<strong>II</strong>7(+4).<br />

<strong>The</strong> following tunes use the bebop turnaround:<br />

?? Half-Nelson (m.15)<br />

?? Ladybird (m.15)<br />

?? West Coast Blues (m.11)<br />

?? I'll Take Romance (m.5)<br />

(<strong>and</strong> many other tunes of the bebop era, too obscure to mention)<br />



?? Play the progression illustrations at the piano (or or guitar) until they become<br />

familiar to the ear.<br />

?? Play the illustrations in all keys.<br />

?? Locate as many of the tunes on the lists as possible <strong>and</strong> locate the traits within<br />

them.<br />

?? Learn to see the context in which the trait occurs. What comes before <strong>and</strong> after<br />

the occurrence of th trait? In what part of the tunes does it occur?<br />

?? Learn as many of the listed tunes as possible. Locate play-alongs for them; play<br />

them at the keyboard play them at jam sessions; locate recordings of them to<br />

hear etc.<br />


<strong>II</strong>-V-I in transient modulation<br />

?? Downstep modulations<br />

?? Modulations downward in half-steps<br />

In Chapter 1 the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression was shown as the primary means of establishing a<br />

single key center.<br />

Even the various extensions <strong>and</strong> variations of the <strong>II</strong>-V-I cell (i.e., <strong>II</strong>Im7 - VI7 - <strong>II</strong>m7 -<br />

V7 - I, tri-tone substitution, etc. ), if not further strengthening <strong>and</strong> supporting a key<br />

center (I), were certainly not suggesting a new or different key center.<br />

Yet most songs, when viewed in their entirety, will indeed modulate to at least one<br />

other key, even if the tenure of that new key is brief.<br />

Furthermore, many tunes will modulate to several temporary or transient key centers,<br />

sometimes in well-organized "sequences" of keys, <strong>and</strong> that is the purpose of Chapter 2.<br />

A modulation to a new key is accomplished by the same means as was presented in<br />

Chapter 1 for creating a single or "home" key of a song... by way of a <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression<br />

(or one of its variants), but in a new key.<br />

When a series of short-duration key centers occurs in which all the keys (I's) are<br />

separated by the same interval (i.e., the successive keys of C, Bb, <strong>and</strong> Ab, each "new"<br />

key being a whole-step lower than the previous key), we can refer to that as "transient<br />

modulations in a symmetrical sequence."<br />

Other common modulations which are not so transient <strong>and</strong> are not organized in<br />

symmetrical sequences of keys will be taken up in Chapter 3.<br />

But having just taken up the foundational aspects of the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression in Chapter 1,<br />

it would be easier to recognize that substance, both in print <strong>and</strong> by ear, if the first<br />

modulations taken up are in relatively transparent, symmetrical sequences.<br />

Though there are a few examples of tunes which contain symmetrical modulations that<br />

move in an ascending pattern (such as Thad Jones' CENTRAL PARK NORTH, or the<br />

bridge of Benny Carter's WHEN LIGHTS ARE LOW, where the key centers are<br />

moving upward in minor third intervals), far more examples exist in which the keys are<br />

in a descending order.<br />

Similarly, there is a small h<strong>and</strong>ful of tunes which contain symetrical modulations that<br />

move downward by, say, intervals of a major third between keys, such as John<br />

Coltrane's GIANT STEPS (B down to G, then to Eb) or the st<strong>and</strong>ard HAVE YOU<br />

MET MISS JONES (at the bridge, Bb down to Gb, then to D), but the majority of<br />

symmetrical modulations move by minor second <strong>and</strong> major second intervals.<br />

Hence Chapter 2 will examine tunes which contain symetrical, transient modulations<br />

that move "downward by half-steps <strong>and</strong> by whole-steps."<br />

Though this book is primarily concerned with the aural recognition of harmonic traits<br />

commonly found in the tunes we play, visual <strong>and</strong> mental cognizance of those traits is<br />

also important, assisting the development of the ear by methodically introducing the ear<br />

to the challenges to be met.<br />

In Chapter 1 it was not necessary to recognize modulations visually since we were only<br />

concerned with showing how a single key center is established, along with the manner<br />

in which extensions <strong>and</strong> substitutions are formed within a single key.<br />

So, with the inevitable likelihood of modulations in most of the tunes we learn <strong>and</strong> play,<br />


how can we know (when viewing progressions in lettered symbols) that a modulation is<br />

taking place?<br />

It wouldn't be a problem if the progressions were rendered in Roman Numerals, as we<br />

could simply look for "modulation symbols" (i.e., C:, Ab:, F#:, etc.), indicating the<br />

adoption of a new I... but that's not the common practice of people who prepare the<br />

chord symbols for a tune's progression.<br />

Instead, the translation of lettered symbols into Roman Numerals is generally a mental<br />

process helping us to underst<strong>and</strong> harmonic function <strong>and</strong> to memorize <strong>and</strong>/or transpose<br />

progressions more accurately <strong>and</strong> efficiently.<br />

Chapter 1pointed out that the chord-root sequence of the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression key, major<br />

or minor) will always be a 3-note segment of the cycle of fifths, such as D, G, C, or Bb,<br />

Eb, Ab.<br />

<strong>The</strong>refore the existence of a <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression, used extensively in virtually all tunes,<br />

even when modulating to a new key or keys, may be easily confirmed if:<br />

?? three consecutive chord roots match a 3-note segment of the cycle of fifths; <strong>and</strong>,<br />

?? if the three chord-types used are appropriate functions of <strong>II</strong>, V, <strong>and</strong> I,<br />

respectively.<br />

For the benefit of readers who have received at least part of their training in Classical<br />

music theory, the term "modulation," as it is used here, could create some confusion.<br />

Classical composers generally approached modulations to new keys in a very deliberate,<br />

lengthy, <strong>and</strong> sometimes complicated manner, incorporating "pivot chords," "augmented<br />

sixth chords," "secondary dominants," <strong>and</strong> other traditional devices.<br />

<strong>The</strong> average tune from the genres of st<strong>and</strong>ard, pop <strong>and</strong> jazz is likely to have a length of<br />

approximately 32 measures, hence a lengthy, carefully-prepared modulation of the sort<br />

found in Classical music is neither appropriate nor reasonable.<br />

Instead, we generally find no more than the <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V of the new key, as modulating<br />

chords, sometimes only the V, <strong>and</strong> in a few cases neither of those chords, moving<br />

directly to the new I!<br />

Classical theorists might term such quick changes of key "temporary tonicization," but<br />

in this book they will be considered "modulations."<br />

<strong>The</strong> accelerated, fleeting sort of modulations found in jazz <strong>and</strong> pop tunes create an<br />

efficiency that allows time for several modulations, perhaps as many as 4-6<br />

modulations.<br />

Jazz improvisers have always been attracted to tunes that contain multiple modulations<br />

(especially in the bebop era), selecting st<strong>and</strong>ard tunes like CHEROKEE, HOW HIGH<br />

THE MOON, <strong>and</strong> STAR EYES, <strong>and</strong> composing tunes like AFTERNOON IN PARIS,<br />

AIREGIN, <strong>and</strong> RECORDAME.<br />


Downstep Modulations<br />

Symmetrical modulations are most often found to ke a series of key changes, usually in<br />

a descending <strong>and</strong> symmeterical order, <strong>and</strong> generally accomplished by utilizing the <strong>II</strong>-V-<br />

I progression once in each key.<br />

To refer to such modulations as transient is an understatement, as the average durations<br />

of each key is two measures, four at most.<br />

<strong>The</strong> most frequently-used interval between key centers ( I's) is descending whole- steps,<br />

sometimes referred to as "downstep modulations.<br />

<strong>The</strong> number of successive downstep modulations in a given tune will vary, from one<br />

(involving two keys) to the more common number of two (involving three keys, as<br />

shown in Fig. 2-A).<br />

Successive downstep modulations create an interesting drama of changing moods.<br />

Because it has been a part of our social <strong>and</strong> cultural ingraining, we tend to regard a<br />

major chord or a major key as happy, up-lifting, <strong>and</strong> a minor chord or key as sad,<br />

depressing.<br />

With this in mind, look at Figure 2-A, noting the intersection of the modulations, where<br />

a major chord (I) is immediately followed by a minor chord with the same root (i.e., C<br />

to Cm7).<br />

<strong>The</strong> minor seventh chords are really functioning as <strong>II</strong>m7 of the next key, but<br />

momentarily they sound like Im of the previous key, simulating a succession of rises (I)<br />

<strong>and</strong> falls (Im), emotionally.<br />

<strong>The</strong> musical effect imitates the ups <strong>and</strong> downs of human existence... we solve a<br />

problem, only to encounter another one; we move to a great, new location, only to be<br />

forced to move again; we find love, but lose it, <strong>and</strong> so on.<br />

Fortunately, songwriters generally choose to end the sequence on a positive note!<br />

<strong>The</strong> important thing to note here, is that we eventually learn to recognize the sound of<br />

downstep modulations by noticing how it makes us feel, even at those times when the<br />

progression is not provided in a written form!<br />

This is but one of the ways we can learn to aurally recognize a segment of a tune's<br />

progression... by association (with our emotional response).<br />

Figure 2-A<br />

Another way to aurally recognize a progression we're hearing, but not seeing, is to<br />

match the sound with the sound of a progression we do know.<br />

Again, we're using the associative principal, but this time from the perspective of "aural<br />

memory".<br />

For example, if we already know, hear, <strong>and</strong> play HOW HIGH THE MOON, then when<br />

we hear, for the first time, AFTERNOON IN PARIS, our aural memory can enable us<br />

to make the association between two tunes, both of which use the downstep progression.<br />

<strong>The</strong> fact that the two tunes are in different keys (G <strong>and</strong> C, respectively), or that their<br />

harmonic rhythms are different (MOON taking nine measures to accomplish its 3-key<br />

sequence, PARIS consuming only five measures to complete the same modulatory<br />


series) is immaterial.<br />

What the ear <strong>and</strong> aural memory are matching is the downstep progression of both tunes.<br />

When the entire progressions of two tunes are found to be identical (or very nearly so),<br />

one is usually based upon the other, knowingly.<br />

<strong>The</strong> "copy-cat" (or plagaristic) version is referred to as a "contrafact." <strong>The</strong> contrafact<br />

will, of course, have a different <strong>and</strong> original melody, but the progression is the same as<br />

a tune of prior existence.<br />

Such events have sometimes taken place unknowingly, unconsciously, by habit, etc.<br />

For example, it is very unlikely that Frank Sinatra was aware, when he composed<br />

NANCY WITH THE LAUGHING FACE, that the entire A section (8 measures long,<br />

played three times in an AABA, 32-measure length) is identical to the chord<br />

progression used earlier by John Green in BODY AND SOUL, which has the same<br />

form <strong>and</strong> length as NANCY.<br />

Sinatra undoubtedly knew, performed, <strong>and</strong> probably loved Green's tune, but any<br />

allusion to the latter's tune was most likely an unconscious event.<br />

Many folk <strong>and</strong> country tunes share similar or identical progressions, partly because<br />

many of the composers are primarily singers <strong>and</strong> lyricists, rather than trained,<br />

sophisticated instrumentalists, but also because the nature of those styles is not what one<br />

would term "harmonically adventurous."<br />

Starting in the Bebop Era (ca.1945) <strong>and</strong> continuing to the present, very deliberate <strong>and</strong><br />

conscious contrafacts have <strong>and</strong> do abound.<br />

<strong>The</strong> writing of contrafacts is considered to be a part of the learning process for young<br />

jazz musicians/composers, <strong>and</strong> the more-seasoned players/composers consider it a<br />

tribute to the composers from whom they borrow progressions (as was the case in<br />

Freddie Hubbard's contrafact of John Coltrane's GIANT STEPS, which Hubbard<br />

lovingly titled DEAR JOHN).<br />

<strong>The</strong> point of all this is that if you already know the tune from which a contrafact has<br />

sprung, your aural memory can make the association, making it unnecessary to see the<br />

written form of the progression.<br />

Often the method of confirming the correctness of an associative guess is to hear, play,<br />

sing, or whistle the melody of the original tune with its new contrafact.<br />

<strong>The</strong>refore, if you successfully perform or hear the melody of GIANT STEPS (which<br />

you already know) against a performance of DEAR JOHN, then you can confirm that<br />

the latter is indeed a contrafact, <strong>and</strong> so you already know the progression to that<br />

contrafact.<br />

Or, if you already know HOW HIGH THE MOON, then you can not only relate the<br />

progression's downstep modulations to those of AFTERNOON IN PARIS, but also<br />

relate the entire progression of MOON to Charles Parker's ORNITHOLOGY, since<br />

the latter is contrafactual to How HIGH THE MOON.<br />

In other words, hearing the melodies <strong>and</strong>/or progressions of already-digested tunes<br />

against "new" tunes should be a regular part of the disciplines leading to aural<br />

recognition of chord progressions or segments of chord progressions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> following tunes use downstep modulation:<br />

?? Afternoon In Paris (m.2)<br />

?? Tune-Up (m.5)<br />

?? How High <strong>The</strong> Moon (m.3)<br />

?? Joy Spring (B2)<br />


?? Watch What Happens (B3)<br />

?? Recordame (m.10)<br />

?? Ornithology (m.3)<br />

?? Solar (m.7)<br />

?? New York State Of Mind (m.18)<br />

?? Bluesette (m.11)<br />

?? Laura (m.5)<br />

?? One Note Samba (B5)<br />

?? Cherokee (B5)<br />

?? Star Eyes (mm.4, 7 & B3)<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Maestro (m.48)<br />

?? April Mist<br />

?? Joshua (B2)<br />

?? Once I Loved (mm.9 & 33)<br />

<strong>The</strong> tune, INVITATION, was omitted from the above list, though the bridge of that tune<br />

very closely resembles downstep modulation.<br />

<strong>The</strong> problem with including it in the list owes to the nature of the resolution to I, which<br />

is not major, nor is it a minor-major seventh or a minor sixth.<br />

It is instead a minor seventh chord that is used both as a Im7, then as <strong>II</strong>m7 of the next<br />

key.<br />

Yet the chord durations, chord sequence, <strong>and</strong> the altered dominants certainly cause it to<br />

feel like downstep modulations:<br />

Figure 2-B<br />


Modulations Downward In Half Steps<br />

If downstep modulations can be described as being dramatic, then modulations<br />

downward in half-steps would need to be described as very dramatic.<br />

On the surface, the two types of symmetrical modulation seem quite similar, both<br />

having key centers that are drifting downward in small intervals, <strong>and</strong> both generally not<br />

continuing beyond about three successive keys.<br />

But the similarities end there.<br />

<strong>The</strong> two sound very differently, we don't have the same chord root sounded between<br />

keys with the first functioning as I major <strong>and</strong> the next as <strong>II</strong>-7 (as we did in downstep<br />

modulation), hence removing the positive-negative syndrome, <strong>and</strong> more importantly,<br />

the adjacent key centers of the sequence are not nearly as close as they were in<br />

downstep modulation.<br />

For example, if the first two keys are a whole-step apart (i.e., C: to Bb:), as they are in a<br />

downstep sequence, they are only two keys apart (check their locations on the cycle of<br />

fifths), whereas if the first two keys are a half-step apart (as in C: to B:), they are at least<br />

five key signatures apart (seven if you count in the opposite direction in the cycle)!<br />

Figure 2-C<br />

C<br />

G F<br />

D Bb<br />

A Eb<br />

E Ab<br />

B Db<br />

F#/Gb<br />

This means that modulations downward in half-steps supply more key contrast, they<br />

will constitute more of a surprise to the ears (also harder to aurally cognize at first), <strong>and</strong><br />

the effect will be even more dramatic.<br />

When hearing modulations downward in half-steps, words like "thrilling" <strong>and</strong><br />

"inspiring" come to mind.<br />

In the Preface, the words "glue" <strong>and</strong> "hooks" were used to describe logical substance,<br />

like the <strong>II</strong>-V-I cell, which "glues" together the chords <strong>and</strong> keys of a progression, <strong>and</strong> the<br />

more stunning events, which represent the "hooks."<br />

Both of the symmetrical modulations presented in this chapter are "hooks."<br />

Consciously or unconsciously, songwriters know this, hence the tune lists might seem<br />

surprisingly long to the reader, considering the nature of the topic.<br />

Symmetry doesn't usually equate to "thrilling" or "inspiring."<br />

Figure 2-D<br />


<strong>The</strong> following tunes use modulations downward in half-steps:<br />

?? Airegin (m.12)<br />

?? Bess, O Where Is My Bess (m.18)<br />

?? Five Brothers (B2)<br />

?? Masquerade (B9)<br />

?? Angel Eyes (B5)<br />

?? Everything Happens To Me (B5)<br />

?? Peace (mm.3 & 5)<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Summer Knows (m.14)<br />

?? Clockwise (m.2)<br />

?? Skylark (B7)<br />

?? Soul Eyes (m.10)<br />

THE SUMMER KNOWS repeats the <strong>II</strong>-V-I's in each key, before going on to the next<br />

key.<br />

CLOCKWISE omits the <strong>II</strong>m7's, resulting in a series of V7's to I's (but still modulating<br />

down in half-steps).<br />

It's important to remember that symmetrical harmonic sequences very often incorporate,<br />

in the given melody to the tune, symmetrical melodic sequences as well.<br />

Hence our efforts to spontaneously cognize the chord progression by ear (<strong>and</strong> memorize<br />

it also) are aided by tell-tale repetitions in the melody.<br />

This would be an appropriate time to review <strong>and</strong> reinforce the goal of this study, <strong>and</strong> to<br />

consider our presumed progress.<br />

Our goal is to learn to cognize chord progressions by ear.<br />

If the reader was successful assimilating the materials of Chapter 1, then he/she can now<br />

aurally recognize the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression cell which generally occupies 2-4 measures at<br />

each occurence, <strong>and</strong> there are usually several such incidents (in the same key) within the<br />

tune's progression.<br />

If various "extensions" covered in Chapter 1 were also assimilated, the extended cell<br />

might be even longer perhaps 6-8 measures for each occurrence.<br />

<strong>The</strong> topic of Chapter 2 was symmetrical modulations, which generally consume<br />

anywhere from 5 to 14 measure each occurrence!<br />

With the average length of a tune being 32 measures, it is easy to see that reoccurrences<br />

of these cells <strong>and</strong> modulation sequences within same 8-measure phrase or within<br />

repeated phrases/sections (as would occur in an AABA or ABAB form, for example),<br />

might account for most, if not all, of total number of measures in the tune!<br />

If you can aurally recognize the <strong>II</strong>-V-I <strong>and</strong> its extensions (in major <strong>and</strong> minor), <strong>and</strong> that<br />

same cell in downstep modulations then you are prepared to cognize all of the chords in<br />

HOW HIGH THE MOON, SOLAR, PENT-UP HOUSE, <strong>and</strong> IT'S YOU OR NO ONE,<br />

plus many, many others!<br />

You will also be able to hear 75-95% of the progressions to TUNE-UP, LAURA,<br />


THE WIND to mention just a few.<br />

Also consider how easy it would be to memorize those progressions, because you are no<br />

longer trying to memorize individual chords.<br />

Instead, you are remembering 3-6 chord progression cells in a single thought, plus<br />

subsequent modulation sequences of those cells!<br />


<strong>The</strong> remaining chapters of this book will address other progression traits <strong>and</strong> tendencies<br />

that will, hopefully, fill any <strong>and</strong> all gaps that might remain.<br />


?? Go to the piano (regardless of your chosen instrument) <strong>and</strong> play the excerpts<br />

shown in this chapter slowly being sure that you're absorbing the sounds of both<br />

types of modulations. 1<br />

?? (also at the piano) Play through all 12 keys of both types of modulations. <strong>The</strong><br />

one that modulates down in half-steps can be continuous, through the 12 keys,<br />

but downstep modulation will need two starting points, each covering six keys.<br />

?? Improvise with the downstep progression of <strong>II</strong>-V-I's on Jamey Aebersold's A<br />

New Approach To Jazz Improvisation, Vol.3.<br />

?? Play as many of the tunes on the lists provided for this chapter as you know<br />

(many are available on play-alongs from Aebersold's series, presently<br />

numbering about 77 volumes.<br />

?? Learn as many as y ou can of the ones that you don't yet know.<br />

1 If the reader needs help with establishing a simple, but effective way to voice <strong>II</strong>-V-I<br />

progressions, refer to Jazz Keyboard For Pianists And Non-Pianists (Coker, Columbia<br />

Pictures Publications, 1983).<br />


?? Up a major third<br />

?? Down a major third<br />

?? Up a minor third<br />

?? Down a minor third<br />

?? Up a minor second<br />

?? To the relative minor<br />

General Modulations<br />

In Chapter 2, modulations were addressed that are symmetrical <strong>and</strong> transient, generally<br />

achieved by using the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression <strong>and</strong> its variations.<br />

Often, those sorts of modulations are used as a basic structural element, establishing the<br />

character of relatively long segments of the tunes in which they are found.<br />

For example, of the thirty-two measures that comprise the length of TUNE-UP, twentyfour<br />

of those measures are consumed by downstep modulations.<br />

In this chapter, modulations will be discussed which are neither symmetrical, nor, in<br />

many cases, as transient as the ones covered in Chapter 2.<br />

Modulations Up A Major Third (as in the key of C to the key of E)<br />

Modulations to a key that is a major third higher than the "home key" (or starting key)<br />

provide intense surprise, contrast, <strong>and</strong> drama, which partially explains their frequent use<br />

among composers of musical shows <strong>and</strong> popular st<strong>and</strong>ards.<br />

<strong>The</strong> manner in which the modulation is h<strong>and</strong>led, as well as its placement within tunes, is<br />

also worth mentioning here.<br />

In many cases the modulation is entirely abrupt; that is, the new tonic is not preceded by<br />

its <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V chords, heightening the aspect of surprise, <strong>and</strong> the placement is most often<br />

toward the end of an A section, just preceding the bridge, or close to the end of the<br />

bridge.<br />

As is the case in all of the tunes in the following list:<br />

?? All <strong>The</strong> Things You Are (mm.6 &14)<br />

?? Baubles, Bangles, <strong>and</strong> Beads (mm.9 &17)<br />

?? Gone With <strong>The</strong> Wind (M.5)<br />

?? How About You (m.13)<br />

?? I'm Old-Fashioned (m.20)<br />

?? If I Were A Bell (m.13)<br />

?? I Hadn't Anyone Til You (m.13)<br />

?? I Love You (m.13)<br />

?? Lush Life (m.7)<br />

?? Magic Morning (m.26)<br />

?? Moonlight In vermont (m.17)<br />

?? Rain Check (m.12)<br />

?? Stars Fell On Alabama (B7)<br />

?? Tangerine (m.13)<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Touch Of Your Lips (m.13)<br />

?? Too Marvelous For Words (m.15)<br />

?? Upper Manhattan Medical Group (B 1)<br />

?? You Go To My Head (m.13)<br />


?? You Don't Know What Love Is (B5)<br />

More examples of modulations up a major third will be given in Chapter 5 ("Classic<br />

Bridges"), where the I chord of the new key occurs at the beginning of the bridge.<br />

As a footnote to the nature of all modulations, regardless of their characteristics:<br />

?? prepared or sudden,<br />

?? transient or not,<br />

?? symmetrical or non-symmetrical,<br />

?? <strong>and</strong> any interval above or below the original key),<br />

they too can be be aurally recognized (quickly) by the reasonably trained, experienced<br />

jazz musician.<br />

As it is with all the harmonic traits covered in this book, the methods for achieving aural<br />

recognition center around:<br />

?? practicing them at the keyboard,<br />

?? knowingly listening to recordings of tunes which contain the traits,<br />

?? learning at least one tune (very well) from each of the lists provided in the<br />

book (including the learning of the melody <strong>and</strong> improvising on the chord chord<br />

progression),<br />

?? composing original tunes which incorporate the traits,<br />

?? <strong>and</strong> by cultivating the technique of making aural associations between traits<br />

heard on tunes you do know <strong>and</strong> those heard on tunes you don't yet know.<br />


Modulations Down A Major Third (as in C down to Ab)<br />

Modulations down a major third have unique characteristics.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y most often follow a minor tonic; that is, the starting key for the phrase is in minor,<br />

then modulates to a major key that is a major third lower, as shown in Figure 3-A.<br />

Unlike the suddeness of the modulations up a major third, the new key is nearly always<br />

preceded by its <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V chords, <strong>and</strong> the duration of the new key is generally very<br />

short.<br />

Finally, the placement is most often very near the heginning of the tune or very near the<br />

end of the tune, as is evidenced by the measure numbers given for the list of tunes<br />

which follow Figure 3-A.<br />

Figure 3-A<br />

<strong>The</strong> following tunes modulate down in major thirds, <strong>and</strong> follow the supplementary<br />

characteristics given earlier:<br />

?? Autumn In New York (m.26)<br />

?? Autumn Leaves (m.28, though the "new" tonic is often a dominant seventh<br />

chord)<br />

?? Daahoud (m.2)<br />

?? Half Nelson (m.8, coming from a major key)<br />

?? Here's That Rainy Day (m.2)<br />

?? Ladybird (m.7, coming from a major key)<br />

?? Lazy Bird (m.3, coming from a major key)<br />

?? My Funny Valentine (m.32)<br />

?? Nica's Dream (m.9)<br />

?? Ojos De Rojo (m.3)<br />

?? Pensativa (m.10, comingfrom a minor key, <strong>and</strong> m.6 from major)<br />

?? Sunny (m 2)<br />

?? What's New (m.2, coming from a major key)<br />

?? We'll Be TogetherAgain (m.5)<br />

More examples of modulations down a major third will be given in Chapter 5 ("Classic<br />

Bridges"), all coming from major keys, with the modulation placed at the beginning of<br />

their bridges.<br />


Modulations Up A Minor Third (as in C to Eb)<br />

All of the tunes in the list for this category occur in bridges, either at the beginning or<br />

end of the bridges, most of them at the beginning.<br />

As such, many of them could have been included in the list that appears for that<br />

modulation in Chapter 5 ("Classic Bridges"), were it not for the fact that the ones in<br />

Chapter 5 are limited to tunes which begin the bridge on the tonic of the new key,<br />

whereas the ones for this chapter begin the modulation at the bridge (the <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V<br />

chords of the new key, the tonic chord not arriving until about the third measure of the<br />

bridge).<br />

<strong>The</strong> reason for making this distinction is that learning to hear the modulation is a little<br />

different if, on one h<strong>and</strong> we're listening for the contrast between the "old" tonic <strong>and</strong> the<br />

"new" tonic, <strong>and</strong> on the other h<strong>and</strong> we're trying to cognize the approach (<strong>II</strong>-V) of the<br />

new key.<br />

Five of the tunes on this list ( marked with an asterisk ) don't begin the modulation until<br />

about half-way through the bridge.<br />

?? *Autumn In New York<br />

?? Black<br />

?? *BIue Moon<br />

?? Chelsea Bridge<br />

?? Doujie<br />

?? Flamingo<br />

?? Gregory Is Here<br />

?? H<strong>and</strong> In Glove<br />

?? I'll Remember April<br />

?? It's You Or No One<br />

?? *Joy Spring<br />

?? Little Dancer<br />

?? Love For Sale<br />

?? *Moments Notice<br />

?? My Little Brown Book<br />

?? One Note Samba<br />

?? *On Green Dolphin Street<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Night Has A Thous<strong>and</strong> Eyes<br />

?? Wave<br />


Modulations Down A Minor Third (as in C to A)<br />

In the following list of tunes which modulate to a major key that is a minor third below<br />

the original key center, all of them have their modulation in the second half of the<br />

bridge, except WHEN SUNNY GETS BLUE, which begins the bridge with the new<br />

key.<br />

?? All <strong>The</strong> Things You Are<br />

?? A Time For Love<br />

?? Barbara<br />

?? Del Sasser<br />

?? I Remember You<br />

?? Serenata<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Party's Over<br />

?? When Sunny Gets Blue<br />

Modulations Up A Minor Second (as in C to Db)<br />

All of the tunes in this group have modulations up one-half step at the beginning of the<br />

bridge, except for BLUE BOSSA, which has no bridge.<br />

?? Blue Bossa<br />

?? Body And Soul<br />

?? Joy Spring (which also has one for the second A section)<br />

?? Pick Yourself Up<br />

?? Stranger In Paradise<br />

?? Tricotism<br />

Tunes That Modulate To <strong>The</strong> Relative Minor (as in C major to A minor)<br />

<strong>The</strong> relative minor could be thought of as VI minor <strong>and</strong>, at least in the classical<br />

tradition, it shares the same key signature as I.<br />

As illustrated in Chapter 1 on the "Confirmation Sequence," V<strong>II</strong>m7b5 of the major key<br />

can function as <strong>II</strong>m7b5 of VIm, <strong>and</strong> the <strong>II</strong>I chord of the major key (normally a minor<br />

seventh chord) needs to have a raised third in order to function as a dominant seventh to<br />

VIm (V7 of VI).<br />

Modulations to the relative minor are very common, second only to modulations to IV.<br />

<strong>The</strong> fact that the relative minor shares the same key signature as the major key of a<br />

minor third higher, making for a smooth, logical modulation, is only part of the reason<br />

why modulations to VIm are so common.<br />

Another part of the logic has to do with a very prevalent tendency to use a <strong>II</strong>7 (rather<br />

than a <strong>II</strong>m7) at the cadence point (last 2-4 bars) that occurs just before the halfway mark<br />

of an ABAB (or ABAC) form, or between the first <strong>and</strong> second A section of an AABA<br />

form (usually near the end of the first ending).<br />

Referring again to the cycle of fifths, a VIm7 prepares the sound of the approaching <strong>II</strong>7,<br />

together simulating the sound of a <strong>II</strong>-V cell.<br />

Finally, the relative minor functions as a sort of alter-ego to the major key, giving a tune<br />

a nearly-related place to "visit" that changes the mood of the tune.<br />


<strong>The</strong> following list is merely a sampling of the many tunes which modulate to the<br />

relative minor, generally in the last half of an A section, the last half of a B section (of<br />

an AABA form), or at the beginning of the B or C section of an ABAB or ABAC form.<br />

Many more will be listed in Chapter 5's "Classic Bridges," where the modulation to<br />

VIm is the primary feature of one genre of bridges.<br />

?? Autumn Leaves (m.5)<br />

?? I'm Old-Fashioned (m. 7)<br />

?? Indian Summer (m.9)<br />

?? I Should Care (m.13)<br />

?? Just Friends (m.11)<br />

?? Moon River (mm.7 & 23)<br />

?? On Green Dolphin Street (m.26)<br />


Tunes beginning:<br />

?? on bVI7<br />

?? on I°<br />

?? on <strong>II</strong>7<br />

?? on IV<br />

?? with I - IV7<br />

Beginnings<br />

A thought that has often gained expression among those who produce, direct, <strong>and</strong><br />

perform is, "If we have a good beginning <strong>and</strong> a good ending, few people will notice<br />

what happened in between.<br />

Applied to a jazz improviser's attempt to solo on a relatively unknown tune, it means<br />

that getting off to a good start could be crucial to the overall impact, with regard to the<br />

listener's reaction as well as the level of confidence felt by the improviser.<br />

We should be interested, then, in how a tune's chord progression gets under way.<br />

A high percentage of songs begin with either the tonic chord (I) or the <strong>II</strong>m7, which<br />

should present no problem to an improviser who is needing to aurally identify the<br />

starting place of the progression.<br />

But since composers are also interested in getting off to good start, they frequently like<br />

to stretch the imaginations of composer <strong>and</strong> listener alike, by beginning a progression<br />

with something that might be more unique, startling, dramatic, <strong>and</strong> mood-setting, as<br />

opposed to opening with utter simplicity.<br />

Most tunes do begin simply, but when they don't, it would help to become aware of<br />

some of the frequently-used models <strong>and</strong> varieties.<br />

Tunes Which Begin With bVI7 (or b<strong>II</strong>I-7 - bVI7)<br />

If the reader finds the bVI7 to be a strange way to begin a tune, since it is not even<br />

derived from the approaching key center, remember that Beethoven was booed by his<br />

audience when he opened a symphony with a first chord of I7 (a dominant seventh<br />

chord on I, functioning as V7 of IV).<br />

<strong>The</strong>y were upset because he hadn't even established the home key center before<br />

assaulting them with a chord that wasn't derived from the key signature of the opening<br />

movement.<br />

Obviously it didn't cause him to be reviled for all time.<br />

In fact, it is this sort of ingenuity <strong>and</strong> courage that has shaped our musical world, so in<br />

modern times, the appearance of an opening chord of bVI7 shouldn't jar our<br />

sensibilities.<br />

Since that chord is located a semi- tone above the V7, the progression most often plays<br />

out as bVI7 - V7 - I.<br />

If the tune begins with b<strong>II</strong>Im7, then the sequence usually becomes b<strong>II</strong>Im7 - bVI7 - <strong>II</strong>m7<br />

- V7 - I, as it is in STABLEMATES.<br />

BLUE LOU <strong>and</strong> I'LL NEVER BE THE SAME use the bVI7 - V7 cell twice before<br />

going on the the I chord.<br />

Wayne Shorter resolves the bVI - V into a I minor chord in FEE-FI-FO-FUM.<br />


So there are variations on the formula.<br />

Tunes which begin on bVI7 (or b<strong>II</strong>I-7) are:<br />

?? Affaire d' Amour<br />

?? Blue Lou<br />

?? Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum<br />

?? I'll Never Be <strong>The</strong> Same<br />

?? Stablemates<br />

?? Jordu<br />

Coltrane used an interesting variation on this concept in MOMENTS NOTICE, where<br />

he begins a semi-tone below the <strong>II</strong>m7 <strong>and</strong> slides up to the <strong>II</strong> chord, so the progression<br />

becomes b<strong>II</strong>m7 - bV7 - <strong>II</strong>m7 - V7 - I (the progression reoccurs in the fifth measure, in a<br />

new key).<br />

Though not beginning on a bVI chord (or b<strong>II</strong>I), the manner of the resolution to V (or <strong>II</strong>)<br />

bears an unmistakable resemblance.<br />

Tunes That Begin On I°<br />

To begin a progression with a diminished seventh chord is unusual in itself, let alone<br />

having the tonic as a root.<br />

<strong>The</strong> diminished seventh chord is a relatively rare chord-type (especially in recent<br />

decades).<br />

It has a somewhat nebulous function within a key (any note of the chord could be the<br />

root, since the chord is symmetrically constructed of minor third intervals), <strong>and</strong> it is<br />

most often used as a "floating sonority" with out a "home" (or as a "passing chord").<br />

It generally has a very short duration (one or two beats), <strong>and</strong> when placed in the tonic<br />

position (on I) it becomes a veritable anachronism to function within a key!<br />

Nevertheless, two of the more prominent tunes in the jazz musician s repertoire,<br />

STELLA BY STARLIGHT <strong>and</strong> SPRING IS HERE, begin with a diminished seventh<br />

chord on the keynote.<br />

In the case of STELLA, the chord is often revised by modern jazz groups to become a<br />

#IVm7b5 chord, but the original chord (still in use in some circles) is I°7.<br />

A third well-known tune, THE SOUND OF MUSIC doesn't begin on I°, but after<br />

starting on I major, it proceeds to I° for the second chord of the progression.<br />

In both STELLA <strong>and</strong> SPRING IS HERE, the I° is followed by a I major chord.<br />

Even the given melody's application to the diminished seventh chord is unique.<br />

In all three of the aforementioned tunes, the sustained melody note on the diminished<br />

chords is the major seventh (i.e., a melody note of B against a C°7 chord), a note that is<br />

not a member of the basic chord.<br />

It is, however, very common to sustain a melody note against a diminished seventh<br />

chord that is not a chord member.<br />

In Eubie Blake's MEMORIES OF YOU, the melody notes of the second <strong>and</strong> fourth<br />

chords (diminished seventh chords on #I <strong>and</strong> #<strong>II</strong>) are a minor sixth above the root,<br />

clearly not chord members.<br />

To underst<strong>and</strong> this better, we need to examine the scale that fits the diminished seventh<br />

chord, which is (appropriately) the diminished scale, beginning the scale with a wholestep<br />

(as opposed to starting with a half-step, as is done with dominant seventh chords).<br />

It is then discovered that the scale contains both the minor sixth (as in MEMORIES OF<br />


YOU) <strong>and</strong> major seventh (STELLA <strong>and</strong> SPRING IS HERE) intervals above the chord<br />

root.<br />

We also need to recognize the intense poignancy created by hearing those melody notes<br />

in combination with the basic chord, which is unquestionably the reason for the<br />

composers' note choices.<br />

<strong>The</strong> latter point is likely the reason why contemporary jazz composers frequently use<br />

the slash chord of, say, B/C (B major triad, usually in first inversion, over a C bass).<br />

<strong>The</strong> third <strong>and</strong> fifth of the B triad (D# <strong>and</strong> F#) are the enharmonic equivalents of the<br />

third <strong>and</strong> fifth of a C diminished triad (Eb <strong>and</strong> Gb).<br />

Though the symbol does not indicate a C° chord, the illusion is there, <strong>and</strong> the root of the<br />

B triad supplies a major seventh to the implied C° chord!<br />

So without using the "old-fashioned" diminished seventh chord with a melody note that<br />

is a major seventh above the root, the contemporary composer has nonetheless achieved<br />

the benefits of the "poignancy" by another, nearly identical means.<br />

Tunes Which Begin With <strong>II</strong>7<br />

Now we've really invaded Beethoven's territory, since the <strong>II</strong>7 chord (not <strong>II</strong> minor<br />

seventh) is what classical theorists would label V7 of V (the <strong>II</strong> chord, because of its<br />

structure, functions as though it were the dominant seventh chord that would lead to V)<br />

in the harmonic genre they refer to as "secondary dominants," which is the genre used<br />

by Beethoven at the beginning of the symphony mentioned earlier.<br />

Only his was V7 of IV (all classical composers used "secondary dominants," but before<br />

Beethoven it would have been unthinkable to use it at the start of a work, before the<br />

prevalent key center had been established).<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>II</strong>7 is so near to the structure of a minor seventh chord on <strong>II</strong> that it is difficult,<br />

sometimes, for the novice improviser to hear the distinction, yet it is important to learn<br />

to do so.<br />

Tunes which begin on <strong>II</strong>7 include:<br />

?? But Not For Me<br />

?? If I Were A Bell<br />

?? I Know That You Know<br />

?? In A Mellow Tone<br />

?? Lil' Darlin'<br />

?? Our Love Is Here To Stay<br />

?? Quiet Nights<br />

?? Rose Room<br />

?? Street Of Dreams<br />

?? Why Not<br />


Tunes That Begin On IV (major)<br />

Being the same chord-type as I, the novice may also experience difficulty hearing that a<br />

progression is beginning on IV (instead of I).<br />

<strong>The</strong> progression usually plays out as IV major, IVm7 (<strong>and</strong>/or bV<strong>II</strong>7), to I.<br />

However, in the case of IT S ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE, the IV is followed by<br />

V7 (or sometimes IV°), then to I.<br />

<strong>The</strong> list of tunes which begin with IV major include:<br />

?? After You've Gone<br />

?? It's Almost Like Being In Love<br />

?? Just Friends<br />

?? Moonglow<br />

Tunes Beginning With I Major to IV7<br />

Because of the close resemblance of this cell to the I7 - IV7 progression that forms the<br />

backbone of the blues, the reader might reckon that composers use it when they wish<br />

to create a bluesy feeling within a non-blues tune.<br />

Indeed this is sometimes the case, as in WILLOW WEEP FOR ME, for example.<br />

However, the cell is used at other times when the composer wishes to capitalize on an<br />

emotional effect afforded by its use that differs somewhat from the blues emotion.<br />

If the first chord is C major, for example, <strong>and</strong> the second chord is F7, there will be the<br />

feeling that the C major chord has now become a C minor chord (when the F7 chord is<br />

sounded).<br />

<strong>The</strong> entrance of the note, Eb, as the seventh of the F7, while all other notes of the chord<br />

(<strong>and</strong> its scale) derive from the key of C, creates the illusion of C minor.<br />

As discussed in Chapter 2, in relation to the "downstep modulation," the change from<br />

major to minor (<strong>and</strong> vice versa) one a single chord root, can be a sort of emotional roller<br />

coaster, so that even the illusion of the major-minor sequence will carry some of that<br />

emotional effect.<br />

<strong>The</strong> progression is sometimes inserted into tunes as chordal substitutions (not<br />

necessarily at the beginning of the progression), as keyboardists (especially) are prone<br />

to do with the last two beats of the third bar of BODY AND SOUL, where, in place of<br />

the given progression's I - <strong>II</strong>m7 for the third bar, they will use I - IV7.<br />

Tunes beginning with I - IV7 include:<br />

?? Broadway<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Chase<br />

?? Ecaroh<br />

?? If You Could See Me Now<br />

?? Oh, Lady Be Good<br />

?? Opus 1<br />

?? Summer Samba/So Nice<br />

?? Tenderly<br />

?? This Can't Be Love<br />

?? Undecided<br />

?? When Your Lover Has Gone<br />


?? Willow Weep For Me<br />

Classic Bridges<br />

?? Montgomery Ward Bridge<br />

?? Sears Roebuck Bridge<br />

?? Bridges That begin:<br />

o on <strong>II</strong>I-<br />

o on VI-<br />

o a major third above the starting key<br />

o a minor third above the starting key<br />

o a major third below the starting key<br />

?? Other Common Bridges<br />

Bridge is a term denoting a contrasting section of a tune.<br />

<strong>The</strong> most common synonyms for the term are "channel," "B section," or simply "the<br />

middle part."<br />

It is generally 8 measures in length, <strong>and</strong> though it most often appears only once within<br />

the tune's chorus structure (i.e., AABA or ABAC), a bridge will sometimes occur twice,<br />

as in an ABAB form.<br />

Though both the harmonic structure <strong>and</strong> the melody for a bridge is usually in very sharp<br />

contrast with the progression <strong>and</strong> melody used in the A section, some bridges will retain<br />

the musical character of the A section.<br />

<strong>The</strong> best example of the latter is Dizzy Gillespie's GOOD BAIT, in which the bridge's<br />

harmony <strong>and</strong> melody are identical to the A section, but in the key of the subdominant<br />

(IV).<br />

Another example is GET HAPPY, in which the 8-measure A section is followed by an<br />

identical 8-measure segment, also in the subdominant, in an ABCA form.<br />

<strong>The</strong> form of GET HAPPY reveals the need to make a mild distinction between a<br />

"bridge" <strong>and</strong> a "B section."<br />

Since the "B section" of GET HAPPY is identical to the A section, but in a new, nearlyrelated<br />

key, it offers no contrast to A other than the modulation to the subdominant.<br />

<strong>The</strong> subsequent C section, however, is in sharp contrast (harmonically <strong>and</strong><br />

melodically) to both A <strong>and</strong> B.<br />

?? So is C the "real" bridge?<br />

?? If B has insufficient contrast, can it be called a bridge?<br />

?? Should the form really be described as AA'BA? In that event, is GOOD BAIT<br />

really an AAA'A form, rather than AABA?<br />

?? Does that mean GOOD BAIT has no "bridge"?<br />

?? Does GET HAPPY have two bridges (B <strong>and</strong> C)?<br />

<strong>The</strong> answers to all of these questions are mostly of a subjective nature, left to an<br />

individual's personal opinion, but the fact remains that there is ample room to argue the<br />

point that the terms "bridge" <strong>and</strong> "B section" are not necessarily synonymous, though<br />

they are generally used that way.<br />


<strong>The</strong> tune TOPSY reveals another variation of the foregoing problem.<br />

TOPSY also uses the harmony <strong>and</strong> melody ofthe first 8-measure section (A),again<br />

placed in the subdominant at the beginning of the second 8-measure segment, but this<br />

time the tune returns to the original key after only 4 measures.<br />

So is the form of the first two 8-measure sections A B? A A'? A B/A? A A'/A?.<br />

Again, a determination would be subjective.<br />

Regardless of personal opinion, with regard to formal analysis, the fact remains that one<br />

aspect of "classic bridges" is the reiteration of the A section in the subdominant, <strong>and</strong> the<br />

list of tunes incorporating that trait should include GOOD BAIT, GET HAPPY, <strong>and</strong><br />

TOPSY.<br />

<strong>The</strong> most common, by far, of the "classic bridges," however, are the following two<br />

types:<br />

Figure 5-A<br />

Figure 5-B<br />

<strong>The</strong> two "classic bridges" shown in figures 5-A <strong>and</strong> 5-B are so common that musicians<br />

of the 1940's gave them nicknames, calling 5-A the "Montgomery Ward Bridge," <strong>and</strong> 5-<br />

B the "Sears Roebuck Bridge!"<br />

Obviously the musicians of the day regarded each of those two types of bridges to be so<br />

common that each was tantamount to a "cliche," hence the humorous nicknames imply<br />

an "off-the-rack" mindset on the part of the composer.<br />

<strong>The</strong> terms have all but disappeared from the vocabulary of musicians, but as no new<br />

names have been invented to replace the old ones, we will exercise the right to continue<br />

using them here.<br />

Of the two bridges shown (5-A <strong>and</strong> 5-B), the most common is the "Montgomery Ward<br />

Bridge" (5-A), found in almost countless tunes in many styles.<br />

This might surprise the reader who, because of the great popularity of the I GOT<br />

RHYTHM progression (or, as it is commonly called now, "Rhythm Changes") <strong>and</strong> its<br />

long list of contrafacts (Charles Parker alone accounting for about 30 recorded<br />

contrafacts, many of which are frequently played even today).<br />

Though I GOT RHYTHM <strong>and</strong> its many contrafacts do use the "Sears Roebuck Bridge"<br />

(5-B), only a small number of other tunes use the 5-B bridge, SCRAPPLE FROM THE<br />

APPLE, ROBINS NEST, SHAKIN THE BLUES AWAY, PERDIDO <strong>and</strong> C.T.A., to<br />

mention a few, which have dissimiliar A sections to "Rhythm," but do use the "Sears<br />

Roebuck Bridge".<br />

5-A <strong>and</strong> 5 -B have two sorts of porularity:<br />


5-A is used in far more tunes, but 5-B is played more often among jazz musicians,<br />

owing to the extreme popularity of tunes which use "Rhythm Changes."<br />

<strong>The</strong> following titles are only a partial listing of jazz tunes, mostly from the bebop era,<br />

which are contrafactual of I GOT RHYTHM, including of course the<br />

?? Thrivin' From A Riff<br />

?? Celerity<br />

?? Crazeology<br />

?? Moose <strong>The</strong> Mooche<br />

?? Move<br />

?? Oleo<br />

?? Ow<br />

?? Passport<br />

?? An Oscar For Treadwell<br />

?? Red Cross<br />

?? Rhythm-a-ning<br />

?? Salt Peanuts<br />

?? Serpent's Tooth<br />

?? Steeplechase<br />

?? Turnpike<br />

?? Webb City<br />

?? Sonnyside<br />

?? 52nd Street <strong>The</strong>me<br />

?? Lemon Drop<br />

?? Lester Leaps In<br />

?? Apple Honey<br />

?? Tuxedo Junction<br />

?? Love You Madly<br />

?? One Bass Hit<br />

?? Oop-Bop-Sha-Bam<br />

?? Ah-Leu-Cha<br />

?? Cottontail<br />

?? Dexterity<br />

?? Suspone<br />

?? Shaw Nuff<br />

"Sears Roebuck Bridge" 1 :<br />

1 A very thoroughgoing list of contrafacts, including those which use "rhythm changes,"<br />

can he found in David Baker's How To Play Bebop, Vol.3 (Alfred Publishing Co.).<br />

Many of the tunes which have a<br />


"Montgomery Ward Bridge"<br />

are in musical styles less-favored by jazz musicians, like pop <strong>and</strong> country, for example.<br />

Even so, the number of st<strong>and</strong>ard <strong>and</strong> jazz tunes which use that bridge is so large as to be<br />

impractical to list here, but listed below are a few of the more obvious examples:<br />

?? Satin Doll<br />

?? Honeysuckle Rose<br />

?? Mosquito Knees<br />

?? Marmaduke<br />

?? Undecided<br />

?? Woody'n You<br />

?? I'm Confessin'<br />

?? It Don't Mean A Thing<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Things We Did Last Summer<br />

?? Just Squeeze Me<br />

?? Dewey Square<br />

?? On <strong>The</strong> Sunny Side Of <strong>The</strong> Street<br />

?? Tis Autumn<br />

?? September In <strong>The</strong> Rain<br />

<strong>The</strong> "Montgomery Ward Bridge" has some very "close relatives," if we are able to be<br />

flexible, <strong>and</strong> since the object of this book is to learn to aurally recognize chord<br />

progressions, examining some of the variations could be helpful. For example, suppose<br />

a bridge is very similar to the "Montgomery Ward Bridge" except that:<br />

1. the modulation to the subdominant appears just prior to the beginning of the<br />

bridge, so that the bridge begins on the subdominant major chord <strong>and</strong><br />

2. the subdominant chord is followed by a back door progression (see Chapter l),<br />

returning briefly to I before going to the <strong>II</strong>7.<br />

Minor variations on a prototype ( in this case 5 -A) won't prevent our ears<br />

from making the connection between that prototype <strong>and</strong> a "close relative".<br />

Figure 5-C<br />

<strong>The</strong> variation shown in 5-C is used in DON'T GET AROUND MUCH ANYMORE,<br />


TONE.<br />

It s interesting to note that DON'T GET AROUND MUCH ANYMORE is the only tune<br />

of the four listed that has an AABA form.<br />

<strong>The</strong> others all have an ABAB' structure.<br />

This may be indicative of a subtle tendency or tradition in songwriting.<br />

<strong>The</strong> the parenthesized chord symbols in 5-C indicate various options sometimes used<br />

with respect to harmonic rhythm <strong>and</strong> chord inclusion.<br />


Sometimes a bridge will start on I <strong>and</strong> then modulate to IV, as is the case in MY<br />

FOOLISH HEART, shown in Figure 5-D.<br />

Figure 5-D<br />

In other cases, the modulating chords that lead to IV may be extended to encompass the<br />

first four measures of the bridge, delaying the arrival of the IV chord until the fifth<br />

measure, as found in TOO MARVELOUS FOR WORDS <strong>and</strong> ON A CLEAR DAY. (5-<br />

E)<br />

Figure 5-E<br />

When the composer chooses to go to a VIm before the <strong>II</strong>7, there may be modulating<br />

chords added that will lead to the VIm, as shown in 5-F.<br />

MY FOOLISH HEART <strong>and</strong> I'M GLAD THERE IS YOU utilize that variation, <strong>and</strong> the<br />

latter also uses the early modulation to IV (like 5-C but without the subsequent "back<br />

door" feature).<br />

Figure 5-F<br />

Even if a IV major chord is followed by a #IV°7 (also covered in Chapter 1), instead of<br />

a back door, our ears can still catch the similarity between 5-A <strong>and</strong> the variation shown<br />

in the following figure, which appears in LADY BE GOOD.<br />

Figure 5-G<br />

Some tunes will move from IV back to I briefly without a "back door" or a #IV°7, as is<br />

the case in BEIN' GREEN (Figure 5-H)<br />

Figure 5-H<br />


Yet another variation might follow the IV major with a series of descending dominants,<br />

starting in the fourth bar of the bridge, leading down to the <strong>II</strong>7 of the fifth bar.<br />

TAKE THE "A" TRAIN, among many others, has that sequence, as shown in Figure 5-<br />

I.<br />

Figure 5-I<br />

<strong>The</strong> object in presenting the many variations on the "Montgomery Ward Bridge" (5-A)<br />

is not to confuse the reader.<br />

<strong>The</strong> point is that minor variations should not deter us from aurally recognizing that this<br />

classic bridge has but three harmonic objectives:<br />

1. to modulate to the subdominant (IV);<br />

2. to arrive at a <strong>II</strong>7 chord on either the fifth or seventh measure; <strong>and</strong><br />

3. to end the bridge on V7, so as to be ready to return to the "home" key for the<br />

next section.<br />

Those are the three constants.<br />

Everything else is simply harmonic embellishment.<br />

Other c<strong>and</strong>idates for "classic bridges," though not as common as, say, the "Sears<br />

Roebuck <strong>and</strong> Montgomery Ward Bridges," are sufficiently common to be considered<br />

here as such.<br />

Chapter 3 ("Modulations") introduced several of those c<strong>and</strong>idates, though that chapter<br />

was chiefly concerned with modulations which occur anywhere within the tune, rather<br />

than only those which occur at the bridge.<br />

Yet a considerable percentage of the tunes listed in Chapter 3 did indeed have<br />

modulations which transpired at the bridge.<br />

Some of those commonplace modulations at the bridge were short-lived or transient,<br />

removing some of their significance as "classic bridges."<br />

Hence the following lists will include only those tunes which modulate to a particular<br />

place, at the bridge, <strong>and</strong> which remain there for approximately four measures or more.<br />

<strong>The</strong> number of tunes in each list will attest to the fact that those bridge modulations are<br />

common enough to be considered part of the "classic bridge" tradition.<br />


BRIDGES WHICH BEGIN ON <strong>II</strong>Im (A minor key that is located a major third above<br />

the tune's starting key, as in C to Em)<br />

?? Don't You Know I Care<br />

?? I'm Getting Sentimental Over You<br />

?? If I HadYou<br />

?? I HearA Rhapsody<br />

?? Indiana/Donna Lee (at the second bridge m 25)<br />

?? I Never Knew<br />

?? My One And Only Love<br />

?? Old Man River<br />

?? <strong>The</strong>se Foolish Things<br />

?? <strong>The</strong>y Can't Take That Away From Me<br />

?? Yardbird Suite<br />

BRIDGES WHICH BEGIN ON VIm (Relative minor of the starting key, as in C to<br />

Am)<br />

?? Embraceable You<br />

?? Georgia On My Mind<br />

?? How Long Has This Been Going On<br />

?? I Should Care<br />

?? If I Love Again<br />

?? Moon River<br />

?? My Shining Hour<br />

?? Nancy With <strong>The</strong> Laughing Face<br />

?? Time After Time<br />

"How Long Has This Been Going On" <strong>and</strong> "Time After Time" both start on VIm, then<br />

modulate to <strong>II</strong>Im.<br />


ABOVE THE STARTING KEY (as in C to E)<br />

?? Once In A While<br />

?? Polka Dots And Moonbeams<br />

?? Prelude To A Kiss<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Song Is You<br />

?? S'Wonderful<br />

?? Watch What Happens<br />

<strong>The</strong> preceding list would be considerably longer if we were include those which begin<br />

the modulation at the start of the bridge, those tunes which don't modulate until the<br />

second half of the bridge, <strong>and</strong> tunes which arrive at the new key just before the bridge.<br />



ABOVE THE STARTING KEY (as in C to Eb)<br />

?? China Boy<br />

?? Idaho<br />

?? My Old Flame<br />

?? Opus 1<br />

?? Just <strong>The</strong> Way You Look Tonight<br />

?? When Sunny Gets Blue<br />

?? Long Ago And Far Away<br />

At least 10 more commonly-played tunes could be added to the previous list if we were<br />

to include bridges which begin on the <strong>II</strong>m7 <strong>and</strong> V7 of the new key, then resolving to I.<br />


BELOW THE STARTING KEY (as in C to Ab)<br />

?? Darn That Dream<br />

?? Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me<br />

?? Early Autumn<br />

?? Easy Living<br />

?? For Heaven's Sake<br />

?? In A Sentimental Mood<br />

?? I'll Keep Loving You<br />

?? I'll Take Romance<br />

?? Smoke Gets In Your Eyes<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Best Thing For You Is Me<br />


As startling as it might seem to the reader to learn that so many tunes modulate the same<br />

distance up or down for the bridge, it is even more surprising to learn that many bridges<br />

share the same two successive key relationships!<br />

For example the following bridge format is used in GODCHILD, BETWEEN THE<br />



OF JENNY, LET IT SNOW, <strong>and</strong> LOVER! (all placed here in the starting key of C for<br />

purposes of study <strong>and</strong> comparison).<br />

Figure 5-J<br />



BROADWAY (not ON BROADWAY) all use the following format:<br />

Figure 5-K<br />

STAR EYES has an only slightly different format from the one shown in 5-K:<br />

Figure 5-L<br />

Another reasonably common bridge, though perhaps not a "classic," is the one which<br />

appears in A NIGHT IN TUNISIA, TOPSY, <strong>and</strong> ALONE TOGETHER, where a minor<br />

tune's bridge modulates to IVm (by way of Vm7b5 <strong>and</strong> I7alt of the original key) during<br />

the hrst four measures of the bridge, then in the second four bars the IV chord is treated<br />

as <strong>II</strong> of a new key a whole-step lower.<br />

For example, if the tune were originally in Cm (during the A section), the entire bridge<br />

would be: Gm7b5 - C7alt - Fm (in the first 4 bars) <strong>and</strong> Fm7 - Bb7 - Eb major (in mm.5,<br />

6, & 7), then Dm7b5 <strong>and</strong> G7alt in the eighth bar to facilitate a return to Cm for the last<br />

A section.<br />

Finally, there are at least two tunes that have bridges that modulate up in minor third<br />

intervals for two or more keys.<br />

In OPUS I, the bridge abruptly (without modulating chords of <strong>II</strong> <strong>and</strong> V) starts in a new<br />

key that is a minor third higher than the key of the A section, staying in the new key for<br />

4 bars, then shifts up another minor third to a new key (also abruptly) for 3 bars, then<br />

shifts up a semi-tone in the last measure to a V7 of the original key.<br />

In the bridge of Benny Carter's WHEN LIGHTS ARE LOW, there are three<br />

consecutive modulations up in minor third intervals, each as a <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression lasting<br />

two measures, with bars 7 & 8 being taken up with preparing to return to the original<br />

key.<br />

It is important to remember that even key relationships (i.e., modulations up or down a<br />

major or minor third, or to <strong>II</strong>Im or VIm, etc.) <strong>and</strong> successive modulations (such as<br />

"downstep modulations," modulations down in half-steps, or those shown in 5-K <strong>and</strong> 5-<br />

L) can be aurally cognized, so long as one takes the time to learn some of the tunes that<br />

use them, listen to them, play them at the piano, <strong>and</strong> learn to make associations when<br />

confronted with an unknown tune that incorporates those traits.<br />


Chords in Symmetry<br />

?? Tunes that use the Cycle of Dominant Sevenths<br />

?? More Tritone Substitution<br />

?? Tunes that use chromatically descending Dominant Sevenths<br />

?? Tunes that use parallel Chord Motion with other Chord Types<br />

Up to this point in our study, we have focused primarily on chord progressions,<br />

especially<br />

?? the <strong>II</strong>-V-I cell <strong>and</strong> its many variations <strong>and</strong> substitution principles;<br />

?? modulation tendencies <strong>and</strong> sequences;<br />

?? common bridge formulae;<br />

?? the various ways progressions begin;<br />

?? how all of this relates to formal structures, in terms of the placement of cells<br />

within a tune's subdivisions (into sections, as in A, B, etc.);<br />

?? the sectional organizations themselves;<br />

?? turnarounds; cadence formulae,<br />

all relating to basic elements <strong>and</strong> traditions in chord progressions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> common factor in the organization of all these things was the concept of "tonic/<br />

dominant harmony" as it relates to key centers.<br />

That is, we were concerned with chords of the diatonic system <strong>and</strong> their corresponding<br />

chord-types, <strong>and</strong> it was easily rendered in Roman Numerals because of that system's<br />

organization.<br />

In this chapter we will examine another kind of organization <strong>and</strong> symmetry.<br />

We won't ab<strong>and</strong>on the cycle of fifths <strong>and</strong> chromatic chord motion, because they are<br />

symmetrical patterns, but other symmetrical sequences will be explored as well.<br />

And all the while, we will be much less concerned with key centers <strong>and</strong> the various<br />

chord-types of the diatonic system than what was evident in the previous chapters,<br />

where we focused on the frequent alternation of major seventh, minor-major seventh,<br />

minor seventh, half-diminished seventh, unaltered dominant seventh, <strong>and</strong> altered<br />

dominant seventh chord-types within progressions.<br />

Instead, we will look at chord progression cells in which all the members are the same<br />

chord-type, moving in a symmetrical manner.<br />

<strong>The</strong> symmetry <strong>and</strong> uniformity of chord-type are sufficient to answer the need for logical<br />

organization of a different sort than what was previously presented.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Cycle of Dominant Seventh Chords<br />

This is the simplest place to begin a study of the symmetrical motion of like chordtypes.<br />

<strong>The</strong> cycle is already very familiar to the reader, as are dominant seventh chords, <strong>and</strong> the<br />

trait is both logical <strong>and</strong> traditional.<br />

Looking first at historical precedents, Figure 6-A shows the first six measures of the<br />

chord progression to the Dixiel<strong>and</strong> favorite, BASIN STREET BLUES.<br />

Note that the chords of measures 2-6 are all dominant sevenths, moving around the<br />

cycle.<br />


Figure 6-A<br />

Another early example comes from the bridge of Gershwin's I GOT RHYTHM.<br />

Again we see a cycle of dominants throughout the eight-measure bridge (Figure 6-B).<br />

Figure 6-B<br />

<strong>The</strong> placement of dominant cycles within a tune varies widely, ranging from the<br />

beginning of the tune, the bridge, even in the middle of a section.<br />

<strong>The</strong> number of chords taken from a segment of the cycle also varies.<br />

In Figures 6-A <strong>and</strong> 6-B, both were 4-chord sequences.<br />

In the mid-30's the John Kirby Trio recorded a track called "Ab to C" in which the tune<br />

begins with what the title implies, a 9-chord slice from the cycle, using dominant<br />

seventh chords, starting on Ab7 <strong>and</strong> continuing around to C!<br />

In the late 40's Charlie Parker would sometimes begin a chorus of the blues ( ! ) with a<br />

long cycle of dominants that began a semi-tone above the keynote, dove-tailing into the<br />

IV7 at the fifth measure.<br />

For example, if the blues was in F, the progression of dominant sevenths, all with 2-beat<br />

durations, would be F# - B - E - A - D - G - C - F - Bb, which is also a 9-chord segment<br />

of the cycle.<br />

In the 50's, Clifford Brown recorded JORDU, the bridge of which contains two 7-chord<br />

dominant cycles, one starting on G <strong>and</strong> the other on F, each lasting four measures.<br />

Recalling the discussion of the<br />

Tri-tone Substitution<br />

in Chapter 1, it was said that two dominant seventh Figure 6-C Figure 6-C chords<br />

whose roots are a tri-tone apart share the same third <strong>and</strong> seventh, though the names are<br />

reversed.<br />

What was not said then, <strong>and</strong> needs to be pointed out now, is that when dominant cycles<br />

occur, of the sort that we are discussing at this time, the thirds <strong>and</strong> sevenths of the<br />

successive chords create a chromatic sequence, again with the chord member's names<br />

(3rd <strong>and</strong> 7th) being reversed with each chord (see Figure 6-C).<br />

Figure 6-C<br />


If this looks <strong>and</strong> sounds familiar, it is because Chapter 1 also pointed out that dominant<br />

seventh chords that descend chromatically usually altemate between the unaltered <strong>and</strong><br />

altered varieties.<br />

In other words, if only the third <strong>and</strong> seventh of a dominant seventh chord are present,<br />

there are two potential roots, located a tri-tone apart (see Figure 6-D).<br />

It also means that there is a very close relationship between:<br />

1. dominant seventh chords whose roots are a tri-tone apart;<br />

2. cycle <strong>and</strong> chromatic sequences of dominants; <strong>and</strong><br />

3. altered <strong>and</strong> unaltered dominants.<br />

All of this is illustrated in Figure 6-D<br />

Figure 6-D<br />

Admittedly, this is an extremely confusing topic to underst<strong>and</strong> (<strong>and</strong> equally difficult to<br />

explain), but also very important, as it solves the problems of:<br />

1. finding good voicings <strong>and</strong> smooth voice-leadings for dominant sevenths at the<br />

keyboard;<br />

2. knowing when tri- tone substitution can be used (<strong>and</strong> what the root choices are);<br />

3. knowing when a progression can be changed from cycle to chromatic (or<br />

chromatic to cycle);<br />

4. knowing when the option to alter an unaltered dominant (or "unalter" an altered<br />

dominant) would be the most effective, <strong>and</strong> the relationship between that <strong>and</strong><br />

selecting a particular root;<br />

5. knowing what the bassist's options are, with regard to selecting <strong>and</strong>/or implying<br />

potential chord roots that are a tri-tone apart; <strong>and</strong><br />

6. (for improvisers) underst<strong>and</strong>ing the scalar applications to tri-tone related<br />

dominants, when one is altered <strong>and</strong> the other is unaltered (they are the same).<br />

<strong>The</strong> usefulness of all this information is such that, if the reader is confused, it would be<br />

well worth re-reading (<strong>and</strong> applying) until it is completely understood <strong>and</strong> assimilated.<br />

Relating it to the discussion of dominant seventh chords in cyclic motion, all such<br />

occurences in tunes could be changed to chromatically-descending dominants,<br />

alternating (usually) between unaltered <strong>and</strong> altered structures.<br />

For example, the progression of D7 - G7 - C7 - F7, found in the bridge of I GOT<br />


RHYTHM (<strong>and</strong> all contrafacts) could become D7 - Db7alt - C7 - B7alt, or Ab7alt - G7 -<br />

Gb7alt - F7.<br />

Though both substitution sequences change the roots/bass notes, neither will change the<br />

progression's sense of direction <strong>and</strong> logic, nor the improviser's scale choices.<br />

It simply enhances the sound of the progression <strong>and</strong>/or provides variety to it.<br />

<strong>The</strong> following tunes contain segments which use dominant seventh chords in cyclic<br />

motion:<br />

?? Ab to C<br />

?? I Can't Get Started<br />

?? A Flower Is A Love Some Thing<br />

?? If I Love Again<br />

?? All Of Me<br />

?? I Got Rhythm<br />

?? Basin Street Blues<br />

?? I Hadn't Anyone Till You<br />

?? Blood Count<br />

?? Isfahan<br />

?? Caravan<br />

?? Jordu<br />

?? Come Rain Or Come Shine<br />

?? Little Girl Blue<br />

?? Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum<br />

?? Misty<br />

?? Footprints<br />

?? Poor Butterfly<br />

?? Prelude To A Kiss<br />

?? Sweet Georgia Brown/Dig<br />

?? Sack O Woe<br />

?? Yesterdays<br />

?? <strong>The</strong>re Is No Greater Love<br />

?? Waltz For Debbie<br />

Dominant cycles also appear often in turnarounds (especially as <strong>II</strong>I7 - VI7 - <strong>II</strong>7 - V7)<br />

<strong>and</strong> coda's/endings ( i.e. 'ROUND MIDNIGHT <strong>and</strong> Bob Dorough's recording of<br />


Chromatically Descending Dominant Sevenths<br />

Our previous discussion of cyclic dominants made it clear, hopefully, that there is a<br />

very close relationship between dominant sevenths in cyclic motion <strong>and</strong> those which<br />

descend chromatically, hence a further description is unnecessary.<br />

However, it should be pointed out that:<br />

1. the frequency of occurence in tunes for both is approximately the same;<br />

2. the tunes listed for this segment are restricted to the ones in which the composer<br />

specified chromatic dominants, as opposed to those created by chord<br />

substitution; <strong>and</strong><br />


3. only tunes which use at least three consecutive, chromatically-descending<br />

dominants will be listed.<br />

Perhaps the most stunning example of this trait occurs in LOVER, in which the entire<br />

16-measure A section is characterized by chromatic dominants.<br />

Freddie Hubbard's CRISIS is also a good example, beginning with a chain of six<br />

chromatic dominants in the first eleven bars.<br />

One of the most memorable uses of chromatically-descending dominants, also<br />

characterizing the entire A section is Duke Ellington's SOPHISTICATED LADY.<br />

<strong>The</strong> bridge of <strong>The</strong>lonious Monk s WELL YOU NEEDN'T is a constant barrage of<br />

chromatic dominants, ascending for the first half, descending for the second half.<br />

Tunes which use chromatic dominants include:<br />

?? Body And Soul<br />

?? Bye Bye Blackbird<br />

?? Crisis<br />

?? In A Mellow Tone<br />

?? JuJu<br />

?? Lover<br />

?? Let's Fall In Love<br />

?? Lush Life<br />

?? Magic Morning<br />

?? Midnight Waltz<br />

?? Moonglow<br />

?? Nutville<br />

?? Rain Check<br />

?? Satin Doll<br />

?? Sophisticated Lady<br />

?? Stablemates<br />

?? Star Eyes<br />

?? Stompin' At rhe Savoy<br />

?? <strong>The</strong>re's A Small Hotel<br />

?? Warm Valley<br />

?? Well You Needn't<br />

?? Witch Hunt<br />

As was the case with cyclic dominants, chromatic dominants are also used often in<br />

turnarounds.<br />

In 1st. endings, if the first chord of the repeated section is a <strong>II</strong> chord, the turnaround can<br />

be dominants on I - V<strong>II</strong> - bV<strong>II</strong> - VI.<br />

If the first chord of the repeat is I, the turnaround might be I - VI - bVI - V (last three<br />

chords are dominants.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are also used in tags, codas, <strong>and</strong> endings.<br />

Chords (any type) In Ascending or Descending Minor Thirds<br />

From this point to the end of the chapter, we will consider as few as two or more<br />

consecutive chords of the same type, to be sufficient use of a pattern, especially if the<br />

pattern is repeated immediately with another two-chord cell moving in the same<br />


manner.<br />

Sometimes the pattern does continue for more than two chords.<br />

For example, considering the minor third motion presently under discussion, Woody<br />

Shaw's BEYOND ALL LIMITS has four minor seventh chords descending in minor<br />

third intervals in the last four bars of the bridge (A-7 - F#-7 - E-7 - C-7), <strong>and</strong> in his<br />

composition, IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T HEARD, the entire section for improvisation is<br />

an indefinitely-repeated sequence of major seventh (+4) chords, moving up in minor<br />

third intervals, each chord lasting eight measures.<br />

Charles Lloyd used the same sequence, also with minor seventh chords, at the end of<br />

each chorus of FOREST FLOWER (a four-chord sequence also).<br />

But there will also be two-chord groups with repetitions in a different "key," as in Joe<br />

Henderson's INNER URGE where, toward the end of each chorus, he uses two-chord<br />

cells of major sevenths, each cell having minor third motion between the two chords,<br />

<strong>and</strong> repeats the cell three times from different starting points, becoming E - Db, D - B,<br />

<strong>and</strong> C - A (note that even the first chord of each two-chord cell is placed a semi-tone<br />

above the second chord of the previous group, revealing more symmetry).<br />

<strong>The</strong> two-chord cell that follows the C - A also continues the root pattern, with Bb - G,<br />

but the chord-types are slightly different.<br />

It should also be noticed that the aforementioned composers are all relatively recent,<br />

contemporary artists, perhaps indicating a trend, as well as a harmonic technique that<br />

might contrast with the traditional <strong>II</strong>-V-I, tonic-dominant concept.<br />

<strong>The</strong> following tunes make use of this sort of parallel motion:<br />

?? Beyond All Limits<br />

?? Forest Flower<br />

?? Gibraltar In Case You Haven't Heard<br />

?? Inner Urge<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Intrepid Fox<br />

?? L's Bop<br />

?? Sky Dive<br />

Other Varieties of Parallel Chord Motion<br />

Cycle <strong>and</strong> chromatic motion excepted, parallel motion with like chord-types is still in its<br />

formative state, hence specific patterns have not emerged (in tunes) in great numbers.<br />

Nevertheless, anticipating that those numbers could increase over the coming years, we<br />

should at least take notice of patterns which, for the present, only exist in a small<br />

h<strong>and</strong>ful of tunes, even one, if the composer is still very active <strong>and</strong>/or influential.<br />

?? Minor seventh chords moving up or down in whole-steps were used in<br />

Hubbard's SKY DIVE <strong>and</strong> RED CLAY, <strong>and</strong> in Shaw's MOONTRANE <strong>and</strong><br />


?? Minor-major sevenths move in whole-steps in SKY DIVE <strong>and</strong> in Horace Silver<br />

s NICA'S DREAM.<br />

?? Major sevenths (often with +4's) are used in whole-step motion in several of<br />

Henderson's compositions, to include BLACK NARCISSUS <strong>and</strong> INNER<br />

URGE, <strong>and</strong> in Lloyd's FOREST FLOWER.<br />

?? Dominant sevenths with b9's <strong>and</strong> 13ths move in whole-steps in Kenny<br />

Wheeler's FOXY TROT.<br />


?? Major sevenths move down chromatically in Walter Bishop's CORAL KEYS<br />

<strong>and</strong> Hubbard's LITTLE SUNFLOWER.<br />

?? Minor sevenths move down in major third intervals in Wayne Shorter's SPEAK<br />

NO EVIL.<br />

Finally, Horace Silver's SILVER'S SERENADE uses an interesting kind of symmetry,<br />

in that it is two-part symmetry.<br />

Two-part symmetry is the principle we apply when building diminished <strong>and</strong> augmented<br />

scales.<br />

Whereas the chromatic scale <strong>and</strong> the whole-tone are "one-part symmetry," in that all<br />

intervals in the scale are alike, the diminished scale uses the even alternation of wholesteps<br />

<strong>and</strong> half-steps, <strong>and</strong> the augmented scale has alternating augmented second<br />

intervals <strong>and</strong> half-steps.<br />

Silver's chord progression contains two-part symmetry in the first four chords of<br />

SILVER'S SERENADE, which are Em7 - Bbm7 - Am7 - Ebm7.<br />

So the motion is tri-tone interval, half-step down, then another tri-tone interval.<br />

If the motion were continued, it would use all twelve notes (as chord roots) of the<br />

chromatic scale.<br />

Jamey Aebersold has applied this variety of two-part symmetery in the chords of one<br />

of his play-alongs.<br />

Using a single chord-type, he used the sequence C - Gb - F - B - Bb - E - Eb - A - Ab -<br />

D - Db - G.<br />


Tunes that use:<br />

?? CESH<br />

?? C- - C-/Bb - Aø cell<br />

?? I - bVI7<br />

Other <strong>Progression</strong> Cells<br />

In this chapter we will discuss three types of progressions that are essential to the<br />

harmonic vocabulary of jazz.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are quite different from any of the traits of prior chapters, for the most part<br />

anyway, <strong>and</strong> very different from each other as well.<br />

Cesh (pronounced "kesh")<br />

<strong>The</strong> word, "CESH" is drawn from the initials of "Contrapuntal Elaboration of Static<br />

Harmony."<br />

<strong>Its</strong> meaning is simple: while a single chord is sustained ("static harmony"), one member<br />

of the chord is in motion ("contrapuntal elaboration"), moving by semi-tones, to be<br />

precise.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are four varieties of CESH, two in minor <strong>and</strong> two in major, each having one<br />

CESH in which the root itself is in motion, <strong>and</strong> one in which the fifth of the chord is in<br />

motion.<br />

An illustration of each of the four varieties is shown in Figure 7-A.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are countless ways to voice a CESH on keyboard or in an arrangement, if we<br />

consider options such as<br />

?? spacing;<br />

?? doublings;<br />

?? placement of the moving voice within the voicing (top, bottom, middle, etc.);<br />

?? adding extensions (9ths, 11ths, <strong>and</strong>/or 13ths);<br />

?? rhythmic settings;<br />

?? melodic decorations on the moving voice;<br />

<strong>and</strong> so on.<br />

<strong>The</strong> voicings in Figure 7-A have been kept very simple to insure clarity of definition.<br />

Figure 7-A<br />


<strong>The</strong> list of tunes for this trait is restricted to tunes in which the CESH used was the<br />

composer's intent or tunes which have nearly always been interpreted by<br />

arrangers <strong>and</strong> keyboardists to have a CESH, hence the tradition is well-ingrained.<br />

However, there are many other tunes on which arrangers <strong>and</strong> performers frequently use<br />

CESH that will not appear on the list.<br />

Once the reader has familiarized himself/herself with the sound of CESH, it will be easy<br />

to recognize when the option is seized upon in a discretionary manner by a performer.<br />

In fact, most people already know what CESH sounds like...they just haven't attached a<br />

label to it.<br />

If a performer wishes, by choice, to insert a CESH in a tune that doesn't already have<br />

one, the opportunities abound.<br />

It can be used over any long-duration minor chord, or any <strong>II</strong>mV progression (in major),<br />

<strong>and</strong> we know those to be in plentiful supply!<br />

It is often inserted by arrangers <strong>and</strong> keyboardists to heighten the emotion of pathos<br />

being expressed by the lyric <strong>and</strong>/or the sound of the progression.<br />

Even the second half of a ballad that has a "Montgomery-Ward Bridge" is a likely place,<br />

or any of the many tunes that go to VIm <strong>and</strong>/or <strong>II</strong>7 in the second half of the bridge.<br />

In the case of the first CESH shown in Figure 7-A, if it is inserted in place of a <strong>II</strong>-V cell<br />

spontaneously, <strong>and</strong> an unknowing member of the group (especially the bassist) should<br />

sound the root of the V chord, the trait will still work.<br />

It will simply sound like a V7sus4, subsequently resolving to a V7 (without a sus4).<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are a variety of ways in which CESH is symbolized, but once the reader is<br />

familiar with the sound <strong>and</strong> structures, the symbols become transparent in terms of<br />

meaning/ instruction.<br />

One more qualifier for CESH needs to be mentioned.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are progressions/arrangements that use something akin to CESH, but not quite<br />

the same, especially with regard to the first CESH shown in Figure 7-A, which, by the<br />

way, is by far the most common of the four.<br />

A good example of a near-CESH appears in Michele Legr<strong>and</strong>'s THE SUMMER<br />

KNOWS (<strong>The</strong>me from the movie, summer of '42), where we see the progression F- -<br />

C7/E - F-7/Eb.<br />

Since the bass note descends in half-steps, it sounds very similar to a CESH, but we can<br />

see that the 'static harmony' aspect is not really there, since there is more than one<br />

chord.<br />

<strong>The</strong> following tunes use CESH (categorized by variety):<br />

CESH in minor, with the root in motion<br />

?? After <strong>The</strong> Loving<br />

?? A Taste Of Honey<br />

?? Besame Mucho<br />

?? Bittersweet<br />

?? Blood Count<br />

?? Blue Skies<br />

?? Bye Bye Blackbird<br />

?? Charade<br />

?? Dear Lord<br />


?? Feelings<br />

?? God Bless <strong>The</strong> Child<br />

?? Golden Lady<br />

?? In A Sentimental Mood<br />

?? In Walked Bud<br />

?? It Don't Mean A Thing<br />

?? It Only Takes A Moment<br />

?? Just In Time<br />

?? Masquerade<br />

?? Michelle<br />

?? More<br />

?? <strong>Music</strong> To Watch Girls Go By<br />

?? My Favorite Things<br />

?? My Funny Valentine<br />

?? Ralph's Piano Waltz<br />

?? 'Round Midnight<br />

?? Seventh Sign<br />

?? Summertime<br />

?? What Are You Doing <strong>The</strong> Rest Of Your Life<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Way He Makes Me Fee<br />

CESH in minor, with the fifth in motion:<br />

?? Israel<br />

?? James Bond <strong>The</strong>me<br />

?? Meaning Of <strong>The</strong> Blues<br />

?? Memories Of You<br />

CESH in major, with the root in motion:<br />

?? Bojangles<br />

?? Ice Castles<br />

?? If<br />

?? Truly<br />

?? With A Little Help From My Friends<br />

?? You Are So Beautiful<br />

CESH in major, with the fifth in motion:<br />

?? Brazil<br />

?? Idaho<br />

?? Lucky Southern<br />

?? Make Someone Happy<br />

Other examples of CESH may be found in<br />

?? some Latin montunos,<br />

?? in the melodies to some bebop <strong>and</strong> blues tunes (i.e., CONFIRMATION <strong>and</strong><br />


?? <strong>and</strong> in improvisational patterns.<br />


C- - C-/Bb - Am7b5<br />

This harmonic trait had to be rendered in lettered chord symbols because it has no name<br />

(yet) <strong>and</strong> because it cannot be rendered in Roman Numerals.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is a mild similarity to CESH, but they are not the same.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Am7b5 is usually functioning as <strong>II</strong> of G (major or minor).<br />

This progression appears in:<br />

?? Angel<br />

?? Bolivia<br />

?? Day By Day<br />

?? Dolphin Dance<br />

?? I Fall In Love Too Easily<br />

?? Isn't It Romantic<br />

?? Little Dancer<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Maestro<br />

?? Magic Morning<br />

?? On Green Dolphin Street<br />

?? Whisper Not<br />

I - bVI7 (<strong>and</strong>/or b<strong>II</strong>Im7)<br />

This progression is used in both major <strong>and</strong> minor.<br />

Many older st<strong>and</strong>ards used it, generally in the bVI7 version.<br />

In the bebop era, many of those st<strong>and</strong>ards were revived largely because they contained<br />

the bVI chord, so that beboppers could change it to one of their most-favored chords,<br />

the b<strong>II</strong>Im7.<br />

OUT OF NOWHERE, INDIAN SUMMER, <strong>and</strong> JUST FRIENDS were among them.<br />

When the progression is in minor (Im - bVI7), it has a blues-like quality.<br />

In fact the blues scale of the Im, say Cm, with a scale of C - Eb - F - Gb - G - Bb - C, all<br />

of the notes except G also work with the Ab7 (bVI7 of Cm).<br />

Both the major <strong>and</strong> minor versions of the trait exist in some of the earliest jazz<br />

compositions (from the 20's), as some of the titles will show, yet it is still being used in<br />

present-day compositions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> following tunes are among those that use the I - bVI7 trait:<br />

?? Angel Eyes<br />

?? Blues For Wood<br />

?? Cantaloupe Isl<strong>and</strong><br />

?? Dolphin Dance<br />

?? Eye Of the Hurricane<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Girl From Ipanema<br />

?? I Mean You<br />

?? Indian Summer<br />

?? Johnny Come Lately<br />

?? Jordu<br />

?? Just Friends<br />

?? Moanin' (Mingus', not Timmons')<br />

?? My Ideal<br />


?? Off Minor<br />

?? Oh, You Beautiful Doll<br />

?? Out Of Nowhere<br />

?? Out Of This World<br />

?? Resolution<br />

?? Senor Blues<br />

?? Spring Is Here<br />

?? Strollin'<br />

?? Toys<br />

?? Will You Still Be Mine<br />


More Recent Traits<br />

?? Polychords<br />

?? Slash Chords<br />

?? Sus4 Chords<br />

?? Major Sevenths with a +5<br />

?? Pedal Point<br />

?? Repetitive Two-Chords, Chromatic Cells<br />

?? Sus4 to +4 Cell<br />

<strong>The</strong> harmonic language undergoes frequent refreshings, thanks to creative musicians<br />

who are ever searching for new manners of expression.<br />

Such changes do not generally constitute a sweeping ab<strong>and</strong>onment of time-honored<br />

traditions so much as they embellish <strong>and</strong> enhance those traditions.<br />

It is always difficult <strong>and</strong> risky to declare which of the newer expressions will take hold<br />

of the musical imaginations of both the creators <strong>and</strong> their audiences, thereby becoming a<br />

more permanent part of the tradition they seek to enhance.<br />

It is safer to sit back <strong>and</strong> wait for a reasonable period of time <strong>and</strong> observe subsequent<br />

outpourings, to see if the more recently created traits withst<strong>and</strong> the test of time,<br />

reappearing in numerous compositions by at least several present-day composers, <strong>and</strong><br />

beginning to permeate the harmonic vocabulary of comping keyboardists.<br />

<strong>The</strong> more recent traits seem to center upon the general areas of chord-types <strong>and</strong> chord<br />

progressions (or chord connections).<br />

<strong>The</strong> newer chord-types are mostly "polychords" <strong>and</strong> "slash chords".<br />

Both have been around for some time, at least three or four decades, but the particular<br />

choices <strong>and</strong> manner of use by modern-day musicians are what make them items for<br />

discussion here.<br />

Figure 8-A shows the distinction between "polychords" <strong>and</strong> "slash chords"<br />

Figure 8-A<br />

Polychords<br />

A "polychord", then, is a stacking of two (or more) chords, whereas a "slash chord" is a<br />

single chord with an assigned bass note.<br />

Polychords provide three advantages over conventional chords:<br />

1. by selecting the appropriate upper chord (usually a triad), any desired verticle<br />

sonority may be achieved. For example, if a C7 with an added ninth, augmented<br />

eleventh, <strong>and</strong> thirteenth is needed, an upper triad of D major will provide the<br />

added notes. If only the thirteenth is desired, an A minor triad will add the<br />

thirteenth alone, as the C <strong>and</strong> E of the A minor triad already exist in the C7. If an<br />

augmented fifth <strong>and</strong> flatted ninth are needed, as in the first chord of the bridge of<br />


STELLA BY STARLICHT (a G7, if played in Bb) then a G# minor triad will<br />

supply those notes;<br />

2. polychords uniquely, yet easily, organize the voicing of a chord into a very<br />

pleasing arrangement of chord members, <strong>and</strong> are easier to read quickly than<br />

conventional symbols with multiple arabic numerals attached; <strong>and</strong><br />

3. polychords can introduce unusual chord structures, previously thought to be illadvised<br />

or unthinkable, <strong>and</strong> cause them to sound acceptable, even desirable. For<br />

example, a musician would probably consider the use of an augmented eleventh<br />

<strong>and</strong> an augmented ninth (especially the latter) to be tantamount to musical<br />

suicide when used with a major seventh chord. Yet if a B major triad is<br />

superimposed over a C major seventh, the effect is exciting <strong>and</strong> even familiar,<br />

though the added B triad adds a D# (the augmented ninth of the C chord)! If<br />

indeed it sounds "familiar," it is likely because approximately half of the<br />

selections on the 1949-50 album, Birth Of <strong>The</strong> Cool, by Miles Davis, utilized<br />

that particular polychordal combination, especially on ending chords. It remains<br />

a popular choice of contemporary composers, arrangers, <strong>and</strong> keyboardists. 1<br />

1 A complete rendering of polychordal possibilities, along with their convenional<br />

equivalents, appears in ImprovingJazz, in Fig.17 (Coker, Simon <strong>and</strong> Schuster, 1964).<br />

Slash Chords<br />

"Slash Chords" are a more recent development, most likely originating in non-jazz<br />

circles, especially classical <strong>and</strong> pop/rock styles, whenever a bass note other than the root<br />

was desired (corresponding to inverted chords, where the third, fifth, or seventh was<br />

used as a bass note).<br />

Jazz composers, however, developed slash chords into an entirely new mode of<br />

harmonic expression that is widely used in the present.<br />

<strong>Its</strong> development was first marked by using notes of the scale for bass notes, notes which<br />

often were not thirds, fifths, <strong>and</strong> sevenths, but ninths, elevenths, <strong>and</strong> thirteenths.<br />

This opened the door to using altered chord tones as bass notes, eventually leading to<br />

using even notes which were neither a chord member, a scale note, or an altered chord<br />

tone.<br />

<strong>The</strong> original version (revised since) of Ron Miller's WOOD DANCE 2 used, as the<br />

second chord of the bridge, a C#m7 with a C bass!<br />

<strong>The</strong> revised version uses an E major triad with a C bass, causing the chord to sound like<br />

a C major seventh with an augmented fifth (+5),which is a milder sonority.<br />

Both versions are very enchanting, however.<br />

<strong>The</strong> point of all this is that the further development of slash chords by jazz musicians<br />

has opened up whole new vistas of verticle sonorities. 3<br />

Certain polychordal combinations <strong>and</strong> slash chords have emerged as especially popular<br />

among creative musicians.<br />

Among the favored polychords is the one discussed earlier, where a major triad is built<br />

off the major seventh of a major seventh chord (as in a B major triad over a C major<br />

seventh chord), <strong>and</strong> the adding of a major triad on the thirteenth (or sixth) of a dominant<br />

seventh chord (as in an A major triad over a C7), both shown in Figure 8-B.<br />


Figure 8-B<br />

2<br />

A play-along version of WOOD DANCE appears in <strong>The</strong> <strong>Music</strong> Of Ron Miller (Miller,<br />

Columbia Pictures Publ., 1986).<br />

3<br />

For a complete investigation of slash chord possibilities, refer to Modal Jazz<br />

Composition (Ron Miller, Advance <strong>Music</strong>, 1993).<br />

<strong>The</strong> polychord on the left side of Figure 8-B (A triad over C7) creates a relatively<br />

common sonority, sometimes referred to as the "diminished scale dominant," since that<br />

is the scale that perfectly expresses a dominant seventh with an altered ninth ( +9 or b9)<br />

<strong>and</strong> a natural thirteenth.<br />

Dizzy Gillespie used that sonority in many of his compositions <strong>and</strong> solos, dating back<br />

to the 1940's, so it has been around for awhile.<br />

Horace Silver began using that specific polychordal voicing in both his compositions<br />

<strong>and</strong> comping in the 50's.<br />

Nonetheless, it has since appeared in the compositions of <strong>The</strong>lonious Monk (MONK'S<br />

MOOD), Wayne Shorter (INFANT EYES) <strong>and</strong> Herbie Hancock (DOLPHIN<br />

DANCE), <strong>and</strong> continues to be frequently used in the present.<br />

Some tunes use exceedingly long durations of the diminished scale dominant (four to<br />

nine measures), such as Woody Shaw's KATRINA BALLERINA, Shorter's WILD<br />

FLOWER, <strong>and</strong> David Baker's LE MIROIR NOIR.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se tunes would be especially helpful to the reader in learning to hear the diminished<br />

scale dominant.<br />

As stated earlier, the other polychord in Figure 8-B also dates back to at least 1949, yet<br />

it continues to be in popular use today, though increasingly found as a "slash chord" (as<br />

in a B major triad over a C bass) rather than exclusively as a polychord.<br />

Examples of tunes which use that chord, either as a polychord or slash chord, are:<br />

?? Lament For Booker (Hubbard)<br />

?? Pablo's Story (Liebman) 4<br />

?? Algo Bueno (Gillespie)<br />

?? Speak No Evil (Shorter)<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Lieb (Miller)<br />

?? 'Round Midnight - Introduction (Monk)<br />

4<br />

Liebman recorded this tune for a play-along album, published by Advance <strong>Music</strong> for<br />

their Jazz Workshop Series.<br />

<strong>The</strong> pianist, Richie Beirach, seems quite taken with the polychord shown in Figure 8-<br />

B, not merely using it in PABLO'S STORY, where it is part of the composition, but also<br />

in spontaneous comping <strong>and</strong> reharmonizations on other tunes on the album, the most<br />


striking example on the track, DAY AND NITE, where he uses that polychord in a<br />

chromatically ascending sequence for seven consecutive chords!<br />

It should interest the reader to learn that all of the specific tunes mentioned thus far are<br />

available in a play- along form, either from Aebersold (A New Approach To Jazz<br />

Improvisation, Vols. 9, 10, 11, 33, 40, 56, <strong>and</strong> 60), Jazz Workshop Series (Advance<br />

<strong>Music</strong>), Hal Crook's Creative Comping (Advance <strong>Music</strong>), or Dan Haerle's Tunes For<br />

Improvisation.<br />

Sus 4<br />

Turning our attention now to slash chords, by far the most popular chord-type is the<br />

dominant seventh chord with a suspended fourth, often referred to as simply a sus4<br />

chord.<br />

It is not always symbolized as a slash chord.<br />

Figure 8-C illustrates some of the more common symbols in use at this time.<br />

Figure 8-C<br />

<strong>The</strong> "sus 4 chord" has an interesting history.<br />

Classical composers of earlier centuries, especially J.S. Bach, frequently used what are<br />

called "4-3 suspensions" <strong>and</strong> "4-3 appogiaturas," but in either case the "dissonant"<br />

fourth always resolved to a "consonant" third.<br />

Such a resolution is not required in the jazz <strong>and</strong> pop music of today, as the sus4 is no<br />

longer regarded as a strong dissonance incapable of being indefinitely sustained.<br />

<strong>The</strong> 4-3 resolution is still used occasionally, but more often than not the fourth remains<br />

suspended for the duration of the chord.<br />

Billy Strayhorn, in one of the earliest uses of the chord, incorporated the sus4 chord<br />

twice in his highly-acclaimed composition LUSH LIFE, written in the early 30's when<br />

Strayhorn was fifteen years old!<br />

<strong>The</strong> chord-type remained relatively absent from use until Herbie Hancock's MAIDEN<br />

VOYAGE <strong>and</strong> DOLPHIN DANCE appeared shortly before 1970.<br />

MAIDEN VOYAGE was particularly stunning, in that the tune uses only four different<br />

chords, all with four-measure durations (two of them recur three times over the 32measure,<br />

AABA form).<br />

<strong>The</strong> Db-7 is the only chord that is not a sus4, <strong>and</strong> it only occurs once per chorus (see<br />

Figure 8-D).<br />


Figure 8-D<br />

To be sure, the sus4 chord did appear in several places before MAIDEN VOYAGE,<br />

such as<br />

?? McCoy Tyner's PASSION DANCE,<br />

?? the second chord of FLAMENCO SKETCHES (from the Miles Davis album,<br />

Kind Of Blue),<br />

?? the eight- measure interludes on the Davis recordings of DEAR OLD<br />

STOCKHOLM <strong>and</strong> IN YOUR OWN SWEET WAY,<br />

?? <strong>and</strong> perhaps even MILESTONES, which many jazz improvisers think of as<br />

having long stretches in Gm, but there is a bass note of C, which makes it a C7<br />

sus4 chord.<br />

Wayne Shorter <strong>and</strong> Bill Evans were also starting to use sus4 chords in their<br />

compositions around the same time, but it was the extraordinary popularity of MAIDEN<br />

VOYAGE that precipitated the sus4 chords becoming the most popular chord-type of<br />

our time.<br />

In subsequent years the sus4 chord has reappeared in more the manner of Strayhorn's<br />

LUSH LIFE as well, that is with relatively short durations of two to four beats.<br />

And composers like Ron Miller use the sus4 with considerable mobility <strong>and</strong> motion, as<br />

evidenced near the ends of the bridges of THE LIEB <strong>and</strong> NIGHT DANCER (see Figure<br />

8-E)<br />


Figure 8-E<br />

For those who might wish to focus on tunes which use longer durations of the chord, to<br />

facilitate learning to aurally recognize the sound of the sus4., all of the tunes in the<br />

following list have four or more measures of duration of the sus4 chord:<br />

?? Barbara<br />

?? Fantasy In D<br />

?? Yes And No<br />

?? Maiden Voyage<br />

?? Seventh Sign<br />

?? Why Wait<br />

?? Passion Dance<br />

?? One Finger Snap<br />

?? Spidit<br />

?? Walkin' Up<br />

?? Little Dancer<br />

?? Train Shuffle<br />

?? Children Of <strong>The</strong> Night<br />

?? In Your Own Sweet Way (Davis version)<br />

<strong>The</strong> historical perspective given on the sus4 chord brings up an interesting point.<br />

Why do some sonorities require so long to be discovered?<br />

Why are some discovered, then lie dormant for decades (as in Strayhorn's use of the<br />

sus4 in LUSH LIFE) <strong>and</strong> then re-emerge as an extremely popular sound?<br />

What is it that causes a sonority to suddenly burst into prominence?<br />

Does it take a widely-accepted tune (like MAIDEN VOYAGE, for example) to bring<br />

the chord-type into prominence?<br />

<strong>The</strong>n what causes them to diminish, even virtually disappear, with nearly equal<br />

swiftness?<br />

Are such chords akin to a passing fad?<br />

Do we tire of hearing them, at least when they are in profusion?<br />

At the turn of the twentieth century, diminished seventh chords, augmented triads, <strong>and</strong><br />

whole-tone scales were extremely popular.<br />

By the 1950's they had virtually dropped out of sight.<br />

In the 50's <strong>and</strong> 60's, the diminished scale suddenly became popular (but applied to<br />

dominant sevenths, not diminished seventh chords), engendering countless "hip"<br />

patterns on the scale.<br />

Now the use of that scale has moderated to a much lower level.<br />


In the 60's the augmented scale <strong>and</strong> its chordal counterpart, the major seventh chord<br />

with an augmented fifth, began to emerge, <strong>and</strong> the popularity of that sound is still rising,<br />

its apex still in the future.<br />

<strong>The</strong> sus4 chord has reached its apex <strong>and</strong> will probably diminish somewhat over the next<br />

decade, but that's a risky guess.<br />

Other new sonorities are just beginning to attract attention, like the slash chord in which<br />

a major seventh with an augmented fifth has the seventh in the bass (as in a C major<br />

seventh with a G# for a fifth <strong>and</strong> a bass note of B), a sound that will be discussed later<br />

in this chapter.<br />

<strong>The</strong> point of all this is that chord-types <strong>and</strong> scales, in terms of their prominence, seem to<br />

have a life span, that is they seem to come <strong>and</strong> go.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y won't disappear altogether, but will simply join a host of other harmonic "has<br />

beens."<br />

<strong>The</strong> extent of their prominence will vary, as will their longevity as harmonic<br />

"superstars."<br />

<strong>The</strong> lesson to be learned here is that we need to watch for new harmonic developments,<br />

learn to utilize them early, be cautious about predicting the time <strong>and</strong> durations of their<br />

novae, <strong>and</strong> be ready to moderate their use after they've passed their apexes.<br />

Major 7 chords with a +5<br />

Another prominent slash chord is a major triad with a bass note that is a major third<br />

interval below the root of the triad (as in an E major triad with a bass note of C). This is<br />

an alternate way to express a major seventh chord with an augmented fifth (see Figure<br />

8-F).<br />

Figure 8-F<br />

As stated earlier, this chord-type is still rising popularity, but already the following<br />

tunes use it:<br />

?? Lost Illusion<br />

?? Ruth<br />

?? Nature's Folk Song<br />

?? Wood Dance<br />

?? Sail Away<br />

?? Hope Street<br />

?? Glass Mystery<br />

?? My Little Brown Book<br />

?? Lost<br />

?? Wild Flower<br />


Pedal Point<br />

<strong>The</strong> next slash chord, shown in Figure 8-G, is also still on the rise.<br />

It conveys a certain poignancy about it that touches the heart, hence it is often used at<br />

dramatic points within a song.<br />

It also sounds more like a chord born of "pedal point," <strong>and</strong> was used occasionally by<br />

Joni Mitchell in that manner, as in her composition of the 60's, COLD BLUE STEEL,<br />

for example.<br />

<strong>The</strong> chord often appears between two tonic major triads, so that the bass note remains<br />

on the root of the tonic chord.<br />

Figure 8-G<br />

<strong>The</strong> slash chord shown in Figure 8-G has been used in the following compositions<br />

(more may be expected in the future):<br />

?? Midnight Mood<br />

?? Just <strong>The</strong> Way You Are (introduction)<br />

?? Abba Father<br />

?? A Child Is Born<br />

<strong>The</strong> slash chord that is constructed as a major seventh chord with an augmented fifth,<br />

having the seventh as a bass note (discussed earlier) first came to notice in Herbie<br />

Hancock's LITTLE ONE, recorded by Miles Davis in the mid-sixties.<br />

Ron Miller was very taken with Hancock's composition, stating in his book, Modal<br />

Jazz Composition, that LITTLE ONE (<strong>and</strong> his subsequent analysis of it) forever<br />

changed his musical concepts.<br />

Miller wrote RUTH shortly thereafter, highlighting that chord-type, <strong>and</strong> subsequently<br />

used it in many other compositions.<br />

Like many of the slash chords, the bass note is usually played in octaves, similar to<br />

most examples of "pedal point" (see Figure 8-H).<br />

Figure 8-H<br />

Because the chord shown in Figure 8-H so closely resembles a <strong>II</strong>m7b5 with the<br />

dominant note (V) of an imaginary minor key (Im) in the bass, some conceive that<br />


chord as the minor counterpart of the sus4 chord.<br />

To explain, the sus4 chord, even by virtue of some of the symbols for the chord, could<br />

be described as a combining of a <strong>II</strong>m7 with its V (as a bass note), as in Dm7 (<strong>II</strong>) over a<br />

bass note of G (V).<br />

<strong>Its</strong> minor counterpart, then, would use a half-diminished seventh on <strong>II</strong>, instead of a<br />

minor seventh chord, but still using the dominant note in the bass.<br />

And just as the sus4 chord in major is often used as an entity, not needing to resolve to<br />

either V or I (as we found in MAIDEN VOYAGE, for example), the same is true of the<br />

chord- type shown in Figure 8-H.<br />

Though a relatively new <strong>and</strong> distinctive sound, this slash chord has already been used in<br />

the following tunes:<br />

?? Infant Eyes<br />

?? Ruth<br />

?? Angela<br />

?? Naima<br />

?? Seventh Sign<br />

?? Sail Away<br />

?? Nite Dancer<br />

?? Spring Song<br />

?? Train Shuffle<br />

?? Prism<br />

?? Wild Flower<br />

?? Glass Mystery<br />

?? Ralph's Piano Waltz<br />

?? Wood Dance<br />

?? Arm<strong>and</strong>o's Rhumba<br />

?? This Is For Albert<br />

Although it is certainly not a new chord-type, nor is it a slash chord, the major seventh<br />

chord with an augmented fourth is worth mentioning in this chapter, not because of its<br />

structure, but because contemporary composers frequently either give it long durations<br />

or use it in parallel motion (as Ron Miller used the sus4 chords of THE LIEB <strong>and</strong> NITE<br />

DANCER, shown in Figure 8-E).<br />

Several of Joe Henderson's compositions use the major seventh (+4) extensively in this<br />

manner, as in BLACK NARCISSUS <strong>and</strong> INNER URGE.<br />

Others, like Woody Shaw <strong>and</strong> Chick Corea, like to use the chord in extended<br />

durations, with or without parallelisms.<br />

<strong>The</strong> following tunes are good examples of either extended durations or parallel uses of<br />

the major seventh chorl (+4):<br />

?? Inner Urge<br />

?? Loft Dance<br />

?? Litha<br />

?? Black Narcissus<br />

?? Wild Flower<br />

?? Windows<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Intrepid Fox<br />

?? Desert Air<br />

?? Scotch And Water<br />


?? Ralph's Piano Waltz<br />

?? In Case You Haven't Heard<br />

Repetitive two chords/Chromatic cells<br />

Turning our attention now to chord progressions <strong>and</strong> chord connections, several<br />

tendencies can be noted.<br />

First of all, since contemporary tunes have generally moved away from cycle<br />

progressions <strong>and</strong> the <strong>II</strong>-V-I progression, as well as the short chord durations found in<br />

most st<strong>and</strong>ard <strong>and</strong> bebop tunes, we need to examine what seems to be replacing those<br />

traits.<br />

<strong>The</strong> sorts of chord-types discussed so far in this chapter are relatively new <strong>and</strong> unique,<br />

requiring longer for the hearer to assimilate the various complexities, <strong>and</strong> that helps to<br />

explain why the chord durations are generally longer than those used with more<br />

traditional chord-types.<br />

<strong>The</strong> advent of modal tunes also contributed to hoth the longer chord durations as well as<br />

the general absence of traditional concepts for chord connection.<br />

<strong>The</strong> newer chord-types don't fit so neatly into tonic-dominant concepts, <strong>and</strong> so the<br />

composer either is looking for contrast between one chord <strong>and</strong> another, or testing<br />

successive chords with the ear to arrive at a new kind of chord connection ( if it works,<br />

use it ! ) .<br />

Another tendency, probably influenced by pop <strong>and</strong> rock music, is to use considerably<br />

more repetition, often alternating evenly between two chords only.<br />

<strong>The</strong> rise in popularity of the "ostinato" or "vamp" also accounts for much of the<br />

repetition.<br />

And again, repetition also reduces the need for unusual chord-types <strong>and</strong> is lesschallenging<br />

for the hearer to assimilate.<br />

One of the tendencies, with regard to chord connection, is to follow a major seventh<br />

chord with an altered dominant (+5, +9) whose root is one half-step lower that the root<br />

of the major seventh chord (as in a C major seventh followed by a B7alt.).<br />

This is found in<br />

?? the last two chords of Joe Henderson's RECORDAME;<br />

?? the last two chords on Cedar Walton's BOLIVIA;<br />

?? the last two chords of the first ending of Wayne Shorter's WILD FLOWER;<br />

?? the last two chords of Chick Corea's FIVE HUNDRED MILES HIGH (except<br />

that he uses a minor chord instead of the major seventh);<br />

?? the first two chords of the improvising section of SPAIN;<br />

?? <strong>and</strong> twice in the last four bars of Walter Bishop Jr.'s CORAL KEYS.<br />

Note that five of the six tunes listed so far used the trait as the last two chords of the<br />

tune!<br />

Clare Fischer uses that sequence of chords in the thirteenth <strong>and</strong> fourteenth bars of the<br />

bridge of PENSATIVA, Walter Booker usues it as the first two chords of the<br />

improvising section of SAUDADE, <strong>and</strong> Benny Golson uses it in the third <strong>and</strong> fourth<br />

measures of STABLEMATES.<br />

Wayne Shorter's E.S.P. <strong>and</strong> Dan Haerle's SCOOTER both use that harmonic trait at<br />

the beginning of their tunes, but in a reverse order (as in B7alt. to C major seventh).<br />

With eleven entries for that trait, it is safe to say that this particular chord connection<br />

goes well beyond coincidence <strong>and</strong> can be considered to be a strong tendency.<br />


Of the repetitive variety of chord connection, we will discuss three significant<br />

tendencies.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first one has many variations, but they all bear a close resemblance, each moving<br />

repetitively between two chords whose roots are a half-step apart.<br />

<strong>The</strong> eight variations are shown in Figure 8-I.<br />

Figure 8-I<br />

Using the numbers of each of the eight variations in Figure 8-I, the following lists will<br />

indicate the tunes which use those variations:<br />

1.<br />

2.<br />

3.<br />

4.<br />

?? Witch Hunt<br />

?? El Gaucho<br />

?? Speak No Evil<br />

?? Fantasy In D<br />

?? Primal Prayer<br />

?? Well You Needn't<br />

?? Pensativa<br />

?? Lush Life (in 2-beat durations)<br />

?? Epistrophy (2-beat durations)<br />

?? Midnight Waltz<br />

?? Windows<br />


5.<br />

6.<br />

7.<br />

8.<br />

?? Bolivia<br />

?? Black Nile<br />

?? Clockwise<br />

?? Infant Eyes<br />

?? Little Sunflower (4-bar durations)<br />

?? Introspection<br />

?? What Was (2-bar duration)<br />

?? A Night In Tunisia<br />

A second type of repetitive progression is shown in Figure 8-J, again alternating evenly<br />

between two chords, but this time the roots of the two chords are a whole step apart.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are two varieties, one using major sevenths for both chords, the other having<br />

dominant sevenths for both chords.<br />

Figure 8-J<br />

<strong>The</strong> tunes which use the first progression in 8-J (1) are:<br />

?? Old Devil Moon<br />

?? <strong>The</strong> Maestro<br />

?? In Case You Haven't Heard (2-beat durations)<br />

?? Fantasy In D<br />

<strong>The</strong> tunes which use the second progression in 8-J (2) are:<br />

?? Killer Joe<br />

?? Straight Life<br />

?? West Coast Blues<br />

?? On Broadway (2-beat durations)<br />

?? Seven Steps To Heaven (in the introduction)<br />


Sus4 to +4 cell<br />

<strong>The</strong> last repetitive progression trait is one which is just beginning to emerge.<br />

<strong>The</strong> only recorded example that might be relatively familiar to the reader is a tune<br />

recorded by the Brecker Brothers, called NOT ETHIOPIA.<br />

However, a few new tunes, yet unrecorded but known to the authors, use the trait.<br />

More importantly, it is beginning to permeate the comping style of many prominent<br />

keyboardists, which is a strong indication that the trait will find its way into a<br />

considerable number of compositions in the near future.<br />

Ron Miller, a composer who always seems to be on the leading edge of his craft, has<br />

already used the trait itl several compositions.<br />

Figure 8-K<br />

Note that, unlike the repetitive progressions shown in Figures 8-I <strong>and</strong> 8-K, the roots of<br />

the two chords are the same, only changing in chord-type.<br />

<strong>The</strong> change is very subtle as well, only involving the change of one note, since both<br />

chord-types are within the same chord family (dominant sevenths).<br />

<strong>The</strong> effect, however, is especially pleasing another reason why it will most likely come<br />

into prominence.<br />

Keyboardists are beginning to utilize the trait in any tune which has sus4 chords in<br />

durations of four or more measures, such as MAIDEN VOYAGE, or eight-measure<br />

interludes on a single sus4, like the one Miles Davis added between each chorus of<br />

Brubeck's IN YOUR OWN SWEET WAY.<br />


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