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in History Posts: 151

I love this song, however, trying to find out who composed it has been difficult. I’m presuming it’s a Django composition(?). It has a neat little turnaround, F#maj, Gdim,G#min7,C#7, A7 in there which I’ve only seen in that song. Or does it appear in others?

thanks in advance



  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Altamira M-01D, Epiphone Joe Pass
    Posts: 173

    Teddy is correct, Django wrote it. It's a fun tune to play for a few reasons in my view: First, the A section is like classic rhythm changes chords, but with a twist--instead of the usual I-vi-ii-V, Belleville is usually played I-flat iii dim-ii-V. So in the key of D, you play D6-Fdim-Emin-A7. Not a huge change from the ordinary, but very hip. 2nd, there's that bridge you spoke of. It starts by going to G minor which is nice, then goes right back to the I chord, D major. Then you basically get a quick ii-V-I in F sharp, with a cool G diminished chord thrown in as a passing chord. And of course the B section ends with the dominant 5 of the key of D (A7) to lead you back to the tonic. I cant think of another gypsy jazz standard with a B section just like that, but others with more knowledge on the subject may know of one.

    nomadgtrrudolfochristBucoBill Da Costa Williams
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,223

    Peche a la mouche is another Django tune in D with an F# bridge, but it goes to F# minor!

  • Posts: 3,549

    OK, I'm glad this is asked and I'm glad you brought up the changes, Mike. Because Belleville form can be all over the place. The melody is just I VI II V, yes? Then the B section is mostly always the same except sometimes it's F# to F#min and sometimes ,and more common I think, Gdim. That's not a big deal, I can just spot what people play and do that.

    Problem is, sometimes you'll see during the head melody people doing D to D7 and so on turnaround. I only do it during solos, D to D7 to G to G#dim (or it can be Gmin too)...then last two bars can be just I V I or sometimes III VI II V.

    Then, to make things more confusing every chart in iReal notes to play solos over rhythm changes, no going to the B section. I don't use charts for the most part thankfully but a lot of people I jam with do. Everybody here goes to the B section during solos, right? I mean that's the real gem of this song.

    Lastly it was only recently as I was trying to answer my own questions by searching here and elsewhere on the net, but didn't find much, that I saw people using Fdim in place of Bm. Apparently, on Django's recording you can hear the bass going to F, I didn't check.

    Can we collectively take this opportunity and settle this once and for all?

    What changes and what form are you using for Belleville?

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    edited June 15 Posts: 1,223

    I've always used the F# Gdim, never F# F#m in this tune. Keep the B section in solos for sure, haven't seen anyone do otherwise (maybe be "rhythm changes" they just meant to include the turnaround in A section, not to throw away the bridge?).

    One thing that's kind of a shame is that nobody seems to play the key change in jams. The head out goes up to F, which really kicks the tune into high gear and ends with a bang, but I've rarely seen that called in a jam. Swing 41 does similar with modulation up a minor third.

  • Posts: 3,549

    @Wim Glenn F# to F#m doesn't even make sense. I could've sworn I've seen it but I'm not sure anymore. And yes, you must be right about solos and B section in iReal charts. Do you ever do that Fdim?

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 249

    Some people play the A section like this:

    D Fdim7 Em7b5 A7


  • Posts: 3,549

    Ah yeah, I saw that on guitare-improvisation backing track on YT. That's yet another reason I asked this question.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • JojoJojo
    Posts: 151

    Thanks everyone. All very helpful. it’s fascinating seeing an odd 2/5/1 in the middle of a song. The reason I queried it is that I saw the notes on the Rosenberg Academy as to how Stochelo approaches that section; as it’s fleeting and fairly unique he uses stock phrases for it. Apparently people stumble at that point because of the key. Seems logical to have something there to fall back on regardless if it’s the same ( each night) as it only occurs briefly.

    Yes, I saw the guitare-improvisation video, and I think it alternates with the regular form (D Bm7 Em7 A7) but I guess it’s just a ‘much of a muchness’

    Btw, all this came from watching this: if anyone knows what comping is going on by Mr Moignard….. ( it’s not on Soundslice 😞)

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 249

    At one point, Gonzalo used to play Belleville in Eb, so that the bridge would be in G.

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