Start of a Miles Davis Transcription
I've took a look at the A section to Miles' solo on Autumn Leaves, check it out!
Comments welcome =)
Part 2 now available!
Very cool man, thanks for sharing this.
Thanks for the analysis/sharing, sounds good!
Glad you're enjoying it! The next part will be available soon, I will post it here when it is!
Part 3 available! http://www.mattlawtonbass.com/?p=482
I get the sense, from your comments, that you are thinking that this tune is in Bb Major:
"With that in mind, while I was transcribing the solo all of the patterns seem to fit really neatly into the familiar shape of a Bb Major Scale so it is tempting to say that he is just thinking Bb Major the whole time, but taking a closer look Iím not so sure.
For starters each time the G- comes around he is playing E naturals which arenít found in the Bb Major scale, so itís pretty safe to say heís thinking more along the lines of G Dorian there.
Also in the second bar, he plays a G-7 arpeggio to land on the root of the F7, so even though the notes are all Bb Major, it does suggest heís thinking a bit deeper than that. On top of this he starts his run into the Eb Major with the #4 which unless heís thinking Lydian is pretty coincidental!
The only clue I really have at the moment is that on the second D7b9 he plays a Bb which isnít found in a regular D7 or D7b9. I have previously transcribed the bassline that Sam Jones is playing under this solo (available from my transcription page!) and using this for clues it does seem that Jones is playing D7b9 as his line is full of Ebs on this chord, but for now Iíll reserve judgement until we get further through this awesome solo!"
I would say that the A-Section is in G Minor. From the point of G Minor, you have three scales to choose from:
Natural -- G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G
Melodic-- G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F#, G
Harmonic-- G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F#, G
Forget the bit about being in G Dorian - it's not. Mixing these three Minor scales goes back hundreds of years.
I prefer to analyze the chords this way:
|| ivm7 | bVII7 | IIIM7 | VIM7 | iiÝ7 | V7(b9) | im7 | im7 ||
Gm7 with an "E" is from G Melodic Minor - no surprise, yet it sounds surprising.
D7(b9) with a "Bb" is quite common -- the Flat-Thirteenth = D7(b9b13). Also notice that the solo uses "F" over this D7 chord. It's actually "E#", or the #9. It also gives a bluesy sound. IF you find it necessary to assign a scale to the D7, go with Mixolydian b2 (which also should include the #2 - D, Eb, E#, F#, G, A, Bb, C, D). But NO master improvisor plays this scale up and down, though. Choose carefully.
Thanks for your input, some interesting points raised. I'm fairly sure most people analyze the chords the way I have done which would be
ii | V | I | IV | ii | Vb9 | i | i |
Makes much more sense to me to think of it with a key change, or even the last bars as ii V of vi.
I will definitely look at it again with those minor scales in mind!
The melody in the A-Section (in fact the whole tune) is definitely ALL in G Minor. A simple diatonic melody that is derived from both the Natural and Melodic Minor. There is no key change. It would be silly to think the first 3 measures in one key and the next 5 measures in another - then repeat this. No.
Always refer to the melody.
Harmonically, the A-Section progression is a cycle of fifths, in G Minor -- as old and as familiar as it gets.
It ends on a G, so work backwards -- G, D, A, Eb, Bb, F, C -- to realize the cycle
Next, harmonize this pattern, using the G minor scales. You can fully harmonize through to the 13th.
iv - C, Eb, G, Bb, D, F, A
bVII - F, A, C, Eb, G, Bb, D
III - Bb, D, F, A, C, Eb, G
IV - Eb, G, Bb, D, F, A, C
iiļ - A, C, Eb, G, Bb, D, F
V - D, F#, A, C, Eb, G, Bb
i - G, Bb, D, F, A, C, Eb (or E-natural)
No modes, no key change, simple.
How the original, diatonic melody is harmonized, is the challenge for the arranger/improvisor. For example, there are many versions for measures 27-28 out there.
An explanation as to why Miles plays E-naturals, over the im7 chord, comes from the opening bass line. He certainly wouldn't sit on an Eb. :-)
Another thing, these originators of this style (Bird, Miles, Dizzy, and so many more), were NEVER thinking of "this mode goes with this scale". This was later developed in the academic world as a teaching tool. Avoid it at all costs. Otherwise, you will end up running scales like every other college jazz student.
Look at the extensions if you need to put on a "this is why" label. Forget the modes bit. That's not what is happening, in this tune.
OMG, what an amazing solo... And Cannonball's is pretty great too.
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