“Stella By Starlight” improv challenge/play along...

JosephZdyrski

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Nice one Joseph! Here's my take. Using my old Ibanez Ghostrider GR520, which has been at my brother's place for ten years or so, and is great to connect with again.


Here's the backing track i used.

that was excellent... great outro too....love how you approached the head and specifically the lines around 3:30 and 4:35 but it all sounded really great :aok :rockin
 

dewey decibel

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10,307
Unlike what DD says above, the changes in the Real Book make a bop VEHICLE out of what was a theme to a movie that sounded like a Romantic Period piece of music.
I don't think you understand my point. You can reharm the tune all you want, I really don't care as long as it makes sense. Those Real Book changes are an amalgamation of a couple different arrangements, and IMO they don't all jive together. This happens a lot in the Real Book with tunes Miles did, as he made choices in his arrangement to intentionally make things different. Take Love For Sale, the Real Book has Eb7 | Bbmin7 for the A section, but nobody else was playing it like that, it was always Bbmin7 | Eb7. Miles was doing it to create a more melancholy effect which you can hear in his interpretation of the melody, which is cool, it's what he does, but if we're trying to learn the tune is that what we want?


So my point isn't so much about playing it like the original, but just having more care in the choices we make. Take that backing track, the guitarist is playing a straight vanilla Ab7 in the bridge and it sounds like sh!t. I know I'm being harsh, but it's jarring. If anything, that's the one spot you do want to add a proceeding ii chord (and I think the original has that), but at minimum it needs to have a #11 to tie it in, or barring that a better chord voicing. I realize this is all subjective and I'm being harsh, and in the context of group improvisation anything can go, but that's not what this is, this is about a backing track to help people learn the tune.


Tbh...when you look at the changes as they are....there isn’t all that much exotic stuff. All changes you see in every other tune, all “explainable” as 2 5 going into degrees of Bb....its just a lot packed into 1 tune.
Maybe the Bbm Eb move into F is the only one that bends the rules.
Well there's a lot of people that are intimidated by All the Things You Are, which is a lot more clear harmonically than Stella, it's just got a lot of chords in it. My whole point was, if someone is coming from A7 and thinking Cmin they're going to be missing the melody note. If they're good enough to be thinking Cmin11 we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.


What's up with Emin7b5 > A7 > Cmin7?

What's that all about?

I can't reconcile Cmin7 in place of a Dmin7.
Did you read my post? You got me on ignore again? :p
 

SoPhx

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Messages
213
You need to listen to jazz for about 20 years. Learn the melody. Then try again. There is no point to playing this wrong. Believe it or not---we are doing you a favor because if you went out and played this with some real players the tune would be over in 30 seconds.
 
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Trevordog

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3,603
I don't think you understand my point. You can reharm the tune all you want, I really don't care as long as it makes sense. Those Real Book changes are an amalgamation of a couple different arrangements, and IMO they don't all jive together. This happens a lot in the Real Book with tunes Miles did, as he made choices in his arrangement to intentionally make things different. Take Love For Sale, the Real Book has Eb7 | Bbmin7 for the A section, but nobody else was playing it like that, it was always Bbmin7 | Eb7. Miles was doing it to create a more melancholy effect which you can hear in his interpretation of the melody, which is cool, it's what he does, but if we're trying to learn the tune is that what we want?


So my point isn't so much about playing it like the original, but just having more care in the choices we make. Take that backing track, the guitarist is playing a straight vanilla Ab7 in the bridge and it sounds like sh!t. I know I'm being harsh, but it's jarring. If anything, that's the one spot you do want to add a proceeding ii chord (and I think the original has that), but at minimum it needs to have a #11 to tie it in, or barring that a better chord voicing. I realize this is all subjective and I'm being harsh, and in the context of group improvisation anything can go, but that's not what this is, this is about a backing track to help people learn the tune.




Well there's a lot of people that are intimidated by All the Things You Are, which is a lot more clear harmonically than Stella, it's just got a lot of chords in it. My whole point was, if someone is coming from A7 and thinking Cmin they're going to be missing the melody note. If they're good enough to be thinking Cmin11 we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.




Did you read my post? You got me on ignore again? :p
Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were one of those retreads who think that you have to use the original changes. I was wrong.
You're right about a straight Ab7; the melody note is D, so it's got to be an Ab7b5 (or+11). I use an Ab13+11 there.
Someone else said something about the original chord being a Bbm w/maj7.
I think it's actually a Bbdim7w/maj7
 

JosephZdyrski

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2,976
Struggled a bit with this one! I use to play it regularly but not for many years. A lot of fun to revisit it, but also makes me want to dive in to the tune more seriously. :dude

Here is my attempt. I tried to dial in a Sco-type tone with my ES 33o
and 3rd Power Dirty Sink.

Great takes both of you, enjoyed both a lot.

Liked the Sco tone and clean tone from that sweet looking fender head.
 

patshep

Supporting Member
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1,187
What a great example of what most of us too easily forget. That solos can just be (and maybe should just be) elaborations of the melody. I'd love to see a play-along thread of a jazz standard where the suggested rule would be play two (three at the max) choruses and have them both be clearly just melody elaborations. First, melody pretty straight. Second, melody with elaborations. Third (optional) melody + further elaborations, but the melody MUST still be "in there". No blowing over even 1 or 2 measures with no reference to the melody. No need to finish with melody re-statement for an exercise like this, though it works well on the gig.

This of course is what usually happened in the history of jazz, but too often gets lost in the post chord scale theory universe.
Stella has a beautiful melody and the chords really encourage many beautiful melodies, playing a ton of scales all over it would be sacrelige (sp?) to the intent and feeling of the tune... i find it one of the easiest tunes to play somehow, even if i don't analyze every change, i do know it very well
 

dewey decibel

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10,307
What's up with Emin7b5 > A7 > Cmin7?

What's that all about?

I can't reconcile Cmin7 in place of a Dmin7.
This isn't directed specifically at you Blues, just wanted to go into more detail for anyone following along. There's a couple ways to think of this, one is relating to C7 as I mentioned earlier. Look at it this way: Emin7b5 = C9 with a different root. And if you want to include the melody, we'd have C13, basically C13/E is the sound. And we've all seen moves like C7 to Cmin in a tune before, yes? Of course this leaves out the A7, but that's actually not hard to reconcile. What's the difference between Emin7b5 and A7b9? One note really, C#. And what is that C# in relation to C? The b9. So if we think C13 C7b9/13| Cmin F7 for that first change it might make a little more sense. If you haven't worked with b9/13th sounds before it's time to start! One of my favorite sounds ever.

Let's go even further down the rabbit hole, what's another way we can think of Emin7b5? It's literally the same notes as Gmin6. And G is the ii of C, so we could also think Gmin6 C13/9 | Cmin F7 there. Now, this does get tricky because if we're thinking a straight Gmin7 it doesn't work as well, but one of the reasons I bring this up is because I feel it's useful to think about Gmin6 instead of Emin7b5 in other parts of the tune, namely between the Bbmaj and Dmin section, and then again between the Fmaj to Amin7b5 bit. Both of these can be thought of as Gmin6 C7b9 instead of Emin7b5 A7 (which IIRC is more what it is in the original arrangement). Might be helpful, might not, but one reason to make this distinction is it points us more towards diminished harmony than altered. Of course, when improvising you can do whatever, but in terms of understanding the tune I think this is useful.






Someone else said something about the original chord being a Bbm w/maj7.
I think it's actually a Bbdim7w/maj7
That brings me to another move that I've heard many of my favorite players do, heading out of the bridge (after Ab7#11) you delay the resolution to Bbmaj with Bbdim for half a bar.


1)10----10-8-6-5-8--8
2)7----------------5--6
3)8----------------6--7
4)
5)
6)

Really pretty sound and in a lot of tunes. Also, that's pretty much what the whole tune is based around, shifting between Bbmaj tonalities and Bbdim.
 




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