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Re: An Open Letter to Chespernevins

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:59 pm
by chespernevins

Great topic, thanks for writing it up and presenting so well.

Wonderful illustrations using the Bird and Miles clips.

I find the insight into your learning process back then particularly interesting.

Motherlode said:
Now go to the piano and play ii-V I, in the key of [C] very slowly.

On the D-7, pick any note that sounds good to you.
On the G7, move it up (1/2) step.
And on on the Cmaj7, move up another (1/2) step.

This is clear. For example, I might play E -> F -> F# over D- G7 Cmaj7

Now do it with two notes, then three, then four…

Now, do I have the following correct?

I might choose over D- the notes [E,G].

Then I would move the whole interval up a half step to [F,Ab] over the G7 chord.

And then, move on to [F#,A] over C Maj.

In other words, I'm asking if you are moving the intervals in parallel.

Then for three notes, we might have [E,G,A] -> [F,Ab,Bb] -> [F#AB]

I understand that this was a way to feel your way through the changes by ear.

You were playing the ii-V progression with the notes/phrases that only sounded good to your ear. You were not the least bit concerned with the piano player or his chords.

I get it. It's an organizational principle that allows for a certain logical progression of melody, and leaves room for the player to listen for the results next to the harmony. It also allows for the freedom of full chromaticism and doesn't impose the template of the scale or stepwise/scalewise motion.

Re: An Open Letter to Chespernevins

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:13 pm
by chespernevins
There are a few individuals today that are advocates of a technique known as 'triad pairs'. Where by two triads are played into each other and the criteria is that they share NO common tones. This is a valid and useful technique.

I have the same feeling. The example once came up on AAJ about the triads C Maj and Ab Min, I think it was [C E G Ab B Eb]. They were looking for chords that sounded good supporting these tones. Nothing wrong with that. But we can take one look and realize that the chords that will sound closest to these triads (vertically) will be the chords in the C 9 tone order, E 9 tone order, and Ab 9 tone order.

I was checking out Garzone's Triadic Chromatic Concept last year. He picks what he calls "random" triads to string together by half step. What makes it all work is that he resolves it all (or not).

With "my" "Triads in Tonal Gravity" idea, the triads all make sense theoretically. I'm sure they do to Garzone too in his own way, but this is how I make sense of it.

Re: An Open Letter to Chespernevins

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:17 pm
by chespernevins
I've referred to three be-bop songs in my examples, "That's Earl, Brother", "Sippin' at Bell's" and "Things to Come" and there are a few more important ones.

Had you ever heard them before?

I've heard "Sippin' at Bell's" and "Things to Come" many times but never "That's Earl, Brother".

I know the Bird and Miles solos by sound in general, but you added an eye opening perspective! Things sound different when you hear them with different perspective.

This is an interesting and relevant topic - how did people learn to improvise before chord scales became predominant. People are trying to get away from scales today. Most people think the LCC is only about scales, but the tonal gravity intervals chart offers another view.

I hope you can tell us more about your 1/2 step learning process you've started explaining here.

I am still checking out all you have written.

Re: An Open Letter to Chespernevins

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:20 pm
by chespernevins
Just as an aside, who else came up with you in Penny's Barber Shop? Who was teaching you? :)

Re: An Open Letter to Chespernevins

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:11 am
by chespernevins
Wow, what a neighborhood that must have been. Thanks for sharing that.

Re: An Open Letter to Chespernevins

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:22 am
by chespernevins
Well, Motherlode, thanks for all you've done to make THIS place an interesting neighborhood!

Re: An Open Letter to Chespernevins

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:22 am
by chespernevins
Remember this is before the civil rights movement. It was the segregated nature of the country that created that environment.
Minority neighborhoods were largely ignored and were a totally separate world.

I imagine that people who are shut off from many opportunities in general will turn their talent, intelligence and creativity towards avenues that ARE available. Hence a sculptor/barber with a music school in the back! Good for the music if not for the people overall.

Re: An Open Letter to Chespernevins

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:55 pm
by chespernevins
BTW did you get a chance to view the Clifford Brown clip? That might be the only film record (not sure) of him.
Late night Detroit TV. Thanks Soupy (Sales)!!

Yeah, that is something. Seeing a horn player on TV like that, as rare as it must have been back then, is pretty much unthinkable today. It was a nice feature. (although it always strikes me as a little strange how you can't see the backing band on spots like this.)

That was sweet how he asks Clifford about his baby boy. It seems like Soupy really treats him like a real person, unlike some of the other more formal or awkward interviews of jazz musicians on TV from that era.

And almost to illustrate your point, Soupy is dancing to bebop there at the end…