Gheorghe

Con Alma

18 posts in this topic

I love that tune with those fine chords and all and love to solo on it, but I would like to know more about the correct intro and interlude. I heard different versions how Diz played it, but don´t know exactly how many bars is the interlude, between the theme and the impro chorusses.

Diz played it in different kinds of rhythm, some of them are more a rock beat which is also cool, with a kind of rock vamp, others have more conventional latin time, the earlier versions, but I like them both, the acoustic version and the one with the quartet with just guitar, fenderbass and drums.

I know most bop tunes from my youth and must admit I never saw written versions, anyway reading sheet is much more difficult for me than hearing and playing. But I even looked for some useful sheet on google, found several versions of the theme, but nothing really useful for the intro and the interlude. I think the interlude might also be the coda.

I did the tune in public with a trio and everybody liked it, but me myself I´m not really pleased with what I do if I did just the theme, solos and nothing else. Met and jammed with  a fantastic trumpet player who is interested in making a gig with me, he knows all those tunes all those licks. During intermission we hummed all that fast stuff "Dizzy Atmosphere" "Shaw Nuff", "Salt Peanuts" and laughed and said oh yeah we gonna play all those....... but I would like to be prepared with the exact version of Con Alma, not just comping behind him and doing a few chorusses after his solo.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your post made me smile. Sounds like you're doing well gigging, Gheorghe! Happy that is the case! :)
I will look among my sheets whether I can be of any help there for the intro and interlude. Haven't played the song myself, so not really familiar.
kind regards, page

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd recommend Ray Bryant's take, who has a nice intro, from this CD:

71W6Wb7jEtL._SL1087_.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first version from 1954, btw., was with Machito's rhythm section, played with a Son-Afro rhythm and a bit slower than usual (check out René Hernandez' piano on this). The groove fits the tune much better than a funky treatment; Bryant's version comes pretty close to that.  

61vHxPd9e8L.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A tune I've always liked since first hearing the Ray Bryant record above,

This rendition is nice too:

s-l1600.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That YouTube version linked is the 1954 one I mentioned.

But - while discussing the correct chord changes one shouldn't forget finding the right groove, which most musicians seem to take for granted. Today most don't even know what Afro-Son is all about ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that Dizzy evolved his bands, so things like grooves and interludes also evolved. I'm a fan of knowing as many options as possible, but for playing, pick one you like and do it until you don't like it. That point may or may not ever come!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am aware of that, but to my ears many of these changes are not convincing, rather determined by practical reasons. If you have a standard jazz band, you cannot apply an afro-cuban groove that needs three percussionists. It's all in 4/4, but the similarities end here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Either that or Milford Graves!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah,  the setting would be a "standard setting" , that means that great trumpet player I had the honour to get to know, and me with my bassplayer and drummer. From what I heard, the trumpet player really knows his Dizzy stuff, from what we jammed and woodshedded just humming the parts, he got it all, the Diz-intros for let´s say Blue´n Boogie, the right intro of "Shaw Nuff", the shout chorus at the end of Dizzy Atmosphere, the change from Eflat to Dflat on Groovin´ High, all of it.

I just listend to the Stan Getz version. It´s nice and interesting, but it doesn´t have the interlude, it just goes from the theme into the impro, but it´s done in 3/4 time.

I can do that and did that, but even if people liked it I´m not happy with it. It got to have the intro, I think it´s a vamp done on C and Dflat, 8 bar´s . than the theme, and that the interlude, ..... 8 bar´s ? and some descending chords .

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you listened to Ray Bryant's version? That one has a nice piano intro similar to Dizzy's 1954 version, and would well fit with a lead on trumpet. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks mikeweil, yeah he plays the intro the way it´s supposed and comfortable to play. But again, he does not play an interlude between the theme and the improvisation. And it´s interesting, that he plays the first 4 bars of the channel with a Tango rhythm, and while improvising, in each chorus he repeats his idea from the first A section in the second A section and then again in the last 8 bars after the channel. An interesting way to build it up in a very relaxed and unhurried manner.

I would like to do the Dizzy interlude too, : Intro, Theme, Interlude, improvisations, theme (with the shout chorus they do) , and then you can end the tune again with the interlude...

Edited by Gheorghe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which of Dizzy's many versions are you referring to? On the first 1954 version there was no interlude.

 

You mean the interlude on the version with Stitt and Rollins? To me that sounds like a Cuban type figure I have heard elsewhere.

 

Edited by mikeweil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, THAT´S IT, the one with Rollins and Stitt has exactly that short interlude. It sounds so good, it´s much better than just starting to solo after the theme. A wonderful version.

Anyway, I have noticed one thing: Most of Dizzy´s tunes, Diz kept the intros , where they are the interludes almost for his entire live.

Tunes like "Be Bop", "Shaw Nuff", "Dizzy Atmosphere", "Blue´n Boogie" , "Tin Tin Deo", "Manteca" would be similar in the playing form, even if he played it in combo or big band, and it seems the "Con Alma" changed: First he did it without an interlude, than he kept the interlude, then he added a rock vamp and played it with a rock feeling (Montreux 1981 and Northsea 1988), then I witnessed once late 1983 in an allstar quintet setting that he suddenly played it straight ahead.

Anyway, the most important thing will be to first see what the trumpet player wants. I know from woodshedding with him that he´s very familiar with Dizzy´s tunes and really wants to dig into them for a gig and it´s a great honour for me that he will do it with me. So I´ll see want he wants to do on that tune.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I justs want to thank you all for the kind inspirations. I have listened to the items and yesterday we performed it, with that simple intro vamp and all, and I really enjoyed playing it and the audience loved it.

Anyway it was a fine occasion, 2 days before my birthday it was a kind of birthday set with jam after the first set.

If you want to know what we played, the setlist was: 1) And then she stopped (that´s a Dizzy tune I have a special affinity to it I heard Diz play it with Sandoval), 2) Hot House 4) Dizzy Atmosphere, 5) Lover Man, 6) Ow (bass feature), 7) Con Alma, 8) Bouncing with Bud

During the session there was a fine "Don´t stop the Carneval" where they went into "Happy Birthday" just with the same latin groove. Really fine.

Once again, thank you for your kind help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.