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Key for Avalon

Charles MeadowsCharles Meadows WV✭✭✭ ALD Original, Dupont MD50
in Repertoire Posts: 432
I've usually seen it in F. But the Rosenbergs do G on North Sea Jazz. Is F the consensus?


  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    edited February 2016 Posts: 1,250
    I believe Django's 1935 recording was in F and I suppose a person might call that the seminal GJ recording. I think Jolson recorded it in F also. Though I suspect the key depends on the orchestration. Playing in either F or G won't make you very popular with horn players ;-)

    It's not a bad idea to learn both when a song is played in both. I'm not sure why songs seem to have regional key variations, but oddly, Seattle & Portland seem to use different keys for several songs. I don't jam as much as I used to, but clearly remember going up North to jam with the gents and halfway through the A section of some songs - wondering what the h* was going on... and then noticing that I was in a different key.
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • As it was originally a vocal, lots of different versions to suit vocal range

    FWIW, as a horn player ....... F concert is G on Bb instruments, a great key for both tpt and sax. And D for Eb instruments another great key for sax.

    Today any horn player worthy of the name is equally comfortable in C and C#

    My most common keys in blues are the guitar keys of E (F# on tenor) and A ( B on tenor)
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    edited February 2016 Posts: 736
    Original Key of Avalon in 1920 was F and the structure is AABC but I think it is always interesting and profitable to learn tunes by grades instead of memorizing only chords.

    I mean when you remember that Avalon is mainly V to I for the first 16 bars

    [V ][./.][./.][./.][ I ][./.][./.][./.]
    [V][./.][./.][./.][ I ][./.][./.][./.]

    you only have to learn the following 16 bars (parts B and C) as being:

    [VI7][./.][./. ][./.][IIm][./.][IVm6][./.]
    [ I ][./.][VI7][./.][II ][V ][ I ][./.]

    And when you know that you can play it in any key both on chords or solo...

    You just have to remember : 5 1 5 1 6 2 4 1 6 2 5 1

    Or better:
    5 1
    5 1
    6 2 4
    1 6 2 5 1
  • We do it in C to suit our vocalist. Lays out really nicely from B to D Using the chords we have come up with...
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,418
    Over the years, I've found F and G to be pretty much interchangeable for a lot of standard tunes e.g. Sweet Sue, I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Lady Be Good, St. Louis Blues, L-O-V-E, and probably a few more I can't think of right now.
    My religion is, I worship Lang the Father, Django the Son, and Oscar the Holy Ghost...

    While converts are always welcome, I get to be the Pope because I thought of this religion before you did...
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    stuart wrote: »
    I would avoid G though - the last thing Gypsy Jazz needs is another tune in G!
    That's why it's called "G" ypsy Jazz man!

  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    edited February 2016 Posts: 440
    If Avalon is being played in the lobby of a NYC hotel its in F.
    Its a thing.
    If your out side of the city ?
    Who knows ?
    We were required to extrude that one in F.
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