Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Caeros, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. Caeros


    Jul 24, 2002
    Branford, CT
    My guitarist friend has come back from music school and wants to jam on a few jazz tunes with me. I played in my high school jazz band last year, which really wasn't good preparation for actual improvisation because the lines were all written out for me.

    Now, one of the tunes he wants to play is Footprints. I found a good lead sheet of it with the main bass part written down, and I've been listening to the Miles Smiles version of the song trying to figure out what Ron Carter's playing during the F7#11/E7#9/D7/G7#5 turnaround part. I don't want to duplicate it exactly, I just want to understand what he's playing to further my understanding of jazz bass and how to play to changes without sounding like crap.
  2. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    There's a thread on this topic on Music Theory in DB :)
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Also, here's a few ideas from a fellow beginner...

    The F7#11 is the iv of C minor, made into a dominant chord much like a blues. The #11 (or #4) just means you can use that note as a colour tone, rather than avoiding the 4th like you would in a usual 7 chord. You could use the Lydian b7 scale, which is just as it says on the tin, with this chord.

    The #11 is also the leading tone from the major key, so perhaps you could move into this F7 using C melodic minor? Heck I'm just thinking of ideas here, some might not work too well of course :D

    This chord, E7#9, well I'm not enturely sure where that fits in, a tritone sub of Bb7 is my guess - which would be the vii chord in C minor??
    Anyway I'd play on the fact that it's a 7 chord moving down a a semi-tone - should be a real jazzy sound in itself. It also might sound good to find a pedal tone between the F and E, then create more movement in the turnaround back to the C minor, not sure what tho.
    Maybe a C, which would be the 5th of the F7#11 - highlighting the tension between the natural 5 and #4, then it would be a #5 in the E7#9 which should sound nice against the #9.

    D7 / G7#5
    This is just a ii-V leading back to the i in C minor. Except that the ii has been changed from a min7b5 to a 7 chord.
    I'd use D mixloydian followed by G altered, or G whole tone scale.
    The #5 means you cant play a natural 5, but a b5, b9 and #9 will sound good moving into the C minor.... all this depends on what the melody is doing of course. Typically the V in a minor ii-V-i is altered.

    So, you have:
    F lydian b7 / E altered / D mixolydian / G altered

    There will be common tones between all of the chords and these scales, so you should be able to come up with something nice and simple that outlines the changes.

  4. I had the opportunity to play with Larry Coryell a couple of years back and we played Footprints. For a long time, I had been playing the changes out of the 'Real Book', which are simply D7 to Db7.
    Mr. Coryell told me that the changes Wayne Shorter used in the tag were:
    F#-7b5, B7(Alt) | E-7b5, A7(Alt)
    This seems to be very close to what was suggested above.
    Mr. Shorter seems to be 'all about' common tones.
  5. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    I made up my own reharmonisation of those two bars of Footprints...which was Asus7-Dsus7/Absus7-Fsus7

    To me, that kind of "harmony" sounds better than a ii-V-i kinda resolution...

  6. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    F#-7b5, B7(Alt) | E-7b5, A7(Alt)

    Well that changes things a bit then!

    That's ii-V in E minor, followed by ii-V in D minor. Kind of like a minor II-V-I moving round the cirlcle of 5ths.
    God knows how that relates back to C minor then? The tune is in C minor isnt it?

    lovebown, what is a sus7 chord?

  7. Right. Cmin.

    So we have:
    Cm = C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb
    F#-7b5 = F#, G#, A, B, C, D, E
    B7(alt) = B, C, D, Eb, F, G, A
    E-7b5 = E, F#, G, A, Bb, C, D
    A7(alt) = A, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G

    Lots of common tones involved here. I may have made an error in this, but I think for the most part I got it right.

    In my limited experience, I find that Mr. Shorter's works do not necessarily lend themselves easlily to a chordal analysis but more of a contrapuntal analysis.

    The melody line in the tag of Footprints is key here.
    There seem to be many interpretations of the chords.
    For example, in the New Real Book I, the chords are listed as:
    F#-11(b5), F13(#11) or F7(#11), E7(#9)
    followed by
    E7(alt), A7(alt) or D7(alt), G7(#5) respectively.
    Again, I think the key here is counterpoint.
  8. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Two stacked 4ths. A Csus7 vocing could be: C-F-Bb

    This kind of "chord" can also be called other things but I like sus7.

    It generally lends a sort of "modal" feel to things. Mccoy tyner and his alumni uses them quite a bit.
  9. It's interesting that it's notated that way. I would expect G7+ if it's supposed to be G augmented or Galt if it's supposed to be an altered chord. I understand that the #5 implies that there is no perfect fifth but does it always mean the chord is altered?