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Mingus, II BS

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by mattwells, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. mattwells


    Mar 19, 2003
    No idea if this is the right forum or not, but I am wondering what key Mingus' II BS is in. I have figured the song out (all the notes), but with my limited knowledge of theory, the key eludes me.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Ermm...I'm not sure what piece you are talking about? What album is it on?

    But like a lot of Jazz, Mingus' tunes will often change key several times and you may have a few bars in one key which modulate to another and so on...

    If you can spot V7 chords then it can be easy to identify the key, but be aware that it will almost certainly change.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Ahhh - after writing the above - I was intrigued and thought - why not put this into Google and the first thing that came up was :


    II B.S. Bass Intro


    Fables Of Faubus (Original Faubus Fables)

    II-B.S. and Fables Of Faubus are representative of two different aspects of Mingus the composer and several different aspects of Mingus the bassist.

    II-B.S. is a relatively simple composition featuring a lot of 'free' blowing and improvisation. The underlying structure is a 12 bar G minor blues with some interesting concerted kicks and voicings in the midst of the solos. The attached transcription focuses on Mingus' solo bass intro and ostinato. The opening section is an example of Mingus improvising without the restraint of time or changes, it is a 'free' musical statement played rubato with G as the tonal center. The next section is in time and provides an example of Mingus' use of the blues scale, ostinato and rock steady time. The ouarter triplet run at the end of this section complete the solo bass feature and sets up the band. The next 40 bars consist of the band playing a canonized melody while Mingus continues with the ostinato. After a rather rough splice II B.S. becomes a G minor blues that includes some excellent solos by Booker Ervin (ten.) Jaki Byard (piano) and the other band members. This song is laden with energy and excitement, Mingus said that "it's meant to communicate a sense of elation."

    II-B.S. FORM:

    INTRO a. Free rubato bass solo, tonal center - G.

    b.In time (swing qrt. note=210) G blues scale bass ostinato and

    quarter triplet run to set up band entrance. (8 bars)

    'A' Section (repeats) 40 bars of canonized melody over bass

    ostinato then members solo on 12 bar G minor blues
  4. mattwells


    Mar 19, 2003
    Thanks for the reply. By some freak accident I was actually right. That was the key I thought it was in, maybe I learned more in my theory class than I thought.

    The song is the opening track for the album "Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus." A really fun song. Now I only have to get my speed up...