Help wanted on Miles' "Blue in Green"

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Super Locrian, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Super Locrian

    Super Locrian Member

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    I'd like comments on my analysis:


    Chord changes (from where the melody begins):

    | Gm7 | A7+5 | Dm7 | Cm7 - F7 | Bbmaj7 |

    | A7+5 | Dm7 | E7+9+5 | Am7 | Dm7 |


    Here's how I would analyze them:

    Bar 1-3: | Gm7 | A7+5 | Dm7 |
    iv-V- i progression in D minor. F# melodic minor over the dominant chord, and G and D dorian scales respectively over the minor 7th chords?

    Bar 4-5: | Cm7 - F7 | Bbmaj7 |
    ii-V-I progression in Bb major. Easiest option would be to stick to Bb major scale for the whole progression. Gb melodic minor over the F7 could be an option to explore for added tension-and-release, (alternatively the F half-whole diminished).

    Bar 6-7: | A7+5 | Dm7 |
    V-i in D minor. Same as bar 2-3.

    Bar 8-9: | E7+9+5 | Am7 |
    V-i in A minor. F melodic minor over the dominant chord, resolving to A dorian.

    Bar 10: | Dm7 |
    An intermediate chord linking the Am7 in bar 9 with the Gm7 in bar 1. It has a vague quality that is hard to express functionally (I don't really hear it as either subdominant, dominant or tonic).

    I'd love to get suggestions for how to get really deep into the harmony of Blue in Green, especially from players who have worked extensively on the tune. Even if you mainly comp while playing it, I'd be very interested in learning more about your approach (big chords or just outlines of the harmony).
     
  2. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    There's really not much to the tune. It's mostly that it's a weird form- sometime the chords resolve on bars 1 and 3, and sometime bars 2 and 4- makes it kind of hard to follow. Usually a tune will stick to one or the other.

    As far as scales I really don't like to think about scales, especially on a tune like this. This is a tune where you could really fly around on scales, expecially because of all these chords resolving in 4ths, but IMO you really want to think of melody first on this one. But as far as what you have written down I think it's fine. Myself, I'd say over the A7+5 you could simply play D harmonic minor, you don't necessarily need that raised 4th over A7. Cmin7-F7, I'd play that F7 pretty straight. IMO, that's a spot where something like some kind of side step (maybe Dbmin7-Gb7-F7) would work better than altering that F7 chord. Pretty much the same thing in a lot of ways, just the way you look at it I guess. And you're right about the last chord, it's an inbetween sound. A scale guy would probably want to turn that to a D altered chord and rip on it- not me though. :eek:

    There's probably something to that last chord- it's probably the key to the whole tune in some way. I haven't really worked on this one at all, maybe someone like Ken might have deeper insights. I do see the tune as being in the key of Dmin, though. If you look at the the way the chords move you can do a lot with these dominant chords. For example, instead of

    | Gm7 | A7+5 | Dm7 | Cm7 - F7 | Bbmaj7...

    try:

    | Gm7 | A7+5 | Dm9 | D7#9 | Bbmaj7...


    As far as comping it really depends on the situation. One thing I'd point out is the Dmin chords really work well as Dmin9.
     
  3. JonR

    JonR Member

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    A7+5 has a G natural. F# melodic minor doesn't.
    Choices here would be either A altered (Bb melodic minor) or A wholetone - probably the former, but it would be worth listening to the original and seeing what they do. (I haven't done it myself.)

    I'd say the rest of your analysis is pretty good.

    Here's a fancier sequence (higher extensions usually indicating melody notes), suggesting some different options:

    | Gm13 / / / |A7#9 / / / |Dm7 / Db7#11 / |Cm11 / F13b9 / |
    |Bbmaj7#11 / / / |A7#9 / / / |Dm11 / / / |E7alt / / / |
    |Am9 / / / |Dm9 / / / |

    The 7#9s and 7alts all indicate altered scale.
    Db7#11 = lydian dominant (Ab melodic minor)
    F13b9 = F HW dim
    Bbmaj7#11 = Bb lydian

    But as rockinrob says, don't get bogged down in each chord-scale. Think about melodic phrases, voice-leading, and linking across chords.
     
  4. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    the analysis looks okay - a lot of thinking about such a pretty tune, tho...

    I can't believe that no one has mentioned that "Blue in Green" is a tune by Bill Evans...
     
  5. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Don't forget, one of the most unique thing about that tune is the 'form diminutions' from soloist to soloist - I've never heard anyone do that with the tune properly other than the original version.
     
  6. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Remember G-7/A7+5/Dm7 (IV-V-Im) is the same as II-7b5/V7/Im. (II-V-I in a minor key, so play E-7b5/A7/Dm) You could also pull a Stan Getz and play it as a major II-V-I sooo play G-7/C7/Fmaj7 instead of G-7/A7+5/Dmin I nwould also make that Dmin chord in the last bar a 7#9 pulling back to G-. Also try E7#9/Eb9/Dm for the first 3 chords.
     
  7. Uncle_Salty

    Uncle_Salty Member

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    Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly are the form diminutions?
     
  8. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    When Miles plays, it's a ten-bar form, one change per bar:

    Gm7 / A7 /Dm /(Cm7) F7 /Bbmaj7 /A7 / Dm / E7 / Am / Dm / etc

    When Coltrane plays, the tempo stays the same but the 'harmonic rhythm' (the rhythm at which chords change) is double-timed into a five-bar form:

    Gm7 A7 / Dm F7 / Bbmaj7 A7 / Dm E7 / Am Dm /

    When Bill Evans plays, it's double-timed again into a 2 1/2 bar phrase (two times through the progression in five bars):

    Gm A7 Dm F7 / Bb A7 Dm E7 / Am Dm Gm A7 / Dm F7 Bb A7 / Dm E7 Am Dm / etc..

    The Miles comes back in and you're back to the original harmonic rhythm of 10 bars, one change per bar

    It's really brilliant...it keeps the form elastic but it's still 'the form'....

    They also did this on "Iris" from ESP, though it only harmonically 'double-times' once every other chorus

    They also do this all over the "Live At The Plugged Nickel" stuff, if you know those recordings (in addition to metric modulations and things like placing vamps in the middle of forms - all ways to take a set structure and stretch it to the limit)

    It's a common 20th-century classical device but not something I've heard other jazz bands experiment with much, even on that tune.
     
  9. russ6100

    russ6100 Member

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    KRosser wrote:
    Sort of OT but I can't think of any sax solo that gases me more than the one from the tune "Yesterdays" off of "Highlights From the Plugged Nickel" - I can just listen to that over and over....:AOK
     
  10. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    Good eye. I was thinking he said Bb melodic minor (I don't think in terms of melodic minor modes) over A7 so I didn't catch that.
     
  11. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    That's why that's some of the best jazz on earth. I've been trying to take some of these approaches myself, but it's hard when all the gigs you get are pickup gigs- I've really got to start getting my own gigs again.....:eek:
     
  12. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    All of those Plugged Nickel recordings are a Wayne Shorter tour-de-force. IIRC Miles was quite sick during that run of shows being recorded but Wayne being so incredibly 'on' is one of the reasons he released them anyway.
     
  13. purestmonk

    purestmonk Member

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    absolutely cool stuff
    thanks for sharing man:dude

     
  14. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Absolutely my pleasure. Thanks for letting me know, it's good to know that I hit the target once in a whle....
     
  15. Uncle_Salty

    Uncle_Salty Member

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    Thanks very much, KRosser! Very interesting. I'm going to go and listen to it right now...
     

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