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the next step in gypsy jazz

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  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    edited December 2005 Posts: 5,932
    Hi Caleb....sure, use the arrangement! I used to have fun torturing my rhythm players with all those changes....ha ha


    'm
  • pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
    Posts: 245
    Michael,

    Why stop with Coltrane. There's Ornette's version (Lonely Django), and The Art Ensemble of Seattle?

    Sorry, I've been working too many hours recently... :roll:

    -Paul
    Reject the null hypothesis.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,747
    Speaking of reharmonizations....I did this bebop/Coltrane changes reharm to Djangology years ago. It's pretty fun!

    Michael,

    Can you give us a quick idea, theory-wise, of how you arrived at your take on the bridge?

    Thanks,
    Jack.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,932
    The bridge modulates keys in minor 3rds. Ab - B - D - F. I just did a ii-V-I in each key. This is a technique that Coltrane used extensively, hence the term "Coltrane changes." Check out his composition Giant Steps or his reharmonization of Body and Soul to see how he used this technique.

    Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy to apply to almost any tune. The hard part is soloing over it!!

    It has limited use in Gypsy jazz, but it does show up now and then. Especially for turn arounds. Django used a similar harmonic device that I call "Django changes." He back-cycled through ii-Vs, usually during a turn around. Sounds pretty cool...

    BTW, those of you struggling with this theoretical stuff, I highly recommend taking a class at your local University. Theory is best taught in a class room situation. You'd get most of what you need to know to play Gypsy jazz in a semester or two. Trying to learn it piecemeal via the Internet and through poorly written guitar books will drive you nuts.

    If you want to study on your own, the best jazz theory books are:

    Creative Jazz Improvisation

    and

    The Jazz Theory Book

    Both are excellent, and will teach what you really need to know to play jazz. The problem with University classes is that they're often more geared towards classical music. So you spend a lot of time writing 4 part chorales which is educational, but not as useful for jazz.

    I'd recommend starting off with Creative Jazz Improvisation. It's really well organized and concise. And all the examples are transcribed from the most classic performances in jazz (i.e. Louie Armstrong, Bird, Dizzy Gillespie, Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bil Evans, etc.)



    ''m
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    I would HIGHLY recommend the Jazz Theory Book

    Edit: I've just read the thread more carefully, and should note that key modulations in MAJOR 3rds is what is generally considered the "Coltrane Changes" - as in Giant Steps, Countdown etc.

    All that's happening in this modified Djangology bridge is cycling through fifths, which is much easier to solo over.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,932
    nwilkins wrote:
    Edit: I've just read the thread more carefully, and should note that key modulations in MAJOR 3rds is what is generally considered the "Coltrane Changes" - as in Giant Steps, Countdown etc.

    All that's happening in this modified Djangology bridge is cycling through fifths, which is much easier to solo over.

    Modulating through key areas a minor 3rd apart is a commonly used variation of Coltrane changes. However, you're right that the major 3rd version is a little more common.



    'm
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,747
    Thanks for reminding me about The Jazz Theory Book. I actually own it, but lent it to a friend-who teaches at a local university. When I first started getting into jazz that was the bible. Guess I'd better get it back!

    Best,
    Jack.
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