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Teasing the Korean

Blue Note Guys Were Really Fond of That Ascending Diminished Riff, Weren't They?

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Posted (edited)

I've been on a Blue Note jag lately, and I have noticed how common it was for both the horn players and piano players to use that ascending diminished scale riff in their solos.  For example,

C-Bb-Eb-Db-Gb-E-A-G etc.

I realize that this is very common, and a lot of horn players like to use it at the coda of a ballad when they do the rubato thing, but I swear, it is all over the place on the Blue Note albums I'm spinning, circa 1960-1965.  Did it get to be an inside joke with the players or something?  

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Could you give a couple of examples of where and when it's used?  Thanx.

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4 minutes ago, danasgoodstuff said:

Could you give a couple of examples of where and when it's used?  Thanx.

Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, and Dex LPs for starters. Next time I here it, I will note the time index. 

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They got it from Trane. Maybe they were trying to show they were hip to Trane.

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Love that lick! For Trane, "Moments Notice" is where I first really noticed it. 

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15 minutes ago, bluesForBartok said:

Love that lick! For Trane, "Moments Notice" is where I first really noticed it. 

I do too, but geez, I think every soloist on every tune on "Search for the New Land" uses it. I could be mixing that up with another album though. 

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5 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, and Dex LPs for starters. Next time I here it, I will note the time index. 

Yes please post tunes and indexes!  I am gonna put on Search For The New Land in a few minutes.

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It often comes off as very studied, as if the players are still trying to work it into their vocabulary. 

In other cases, it sounds like it is being kept in reserve in case the players run out of ideas, kind of like the way players will throw in a blues lick.

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I just played Lee Morgan's The Cooker from 1957, and I did not hear the riff even once.  I am assuming that this is because they were still more into a hard bop mode and were not trying to get all Coltraney on us. 

In truth, I could have missed the riff, but I have been very attuned to picking it up.  It was like Chinese water torture on the other albums: I kept bracing myself for the next occurrence, not knowing when it would pop up.

I'm sure I will get over this and move on, but this is simply where my head is at these days.  Maybe months of self-isolation are taking their toll, but honestly, the LPs and the booze have been treating me well this whole time. 

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Personally, diminished chords are the most uninteresting of chords, imo. Very 19th century. BLECH!

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Personally, diminished chords are the most uninteresting of chords, imo. Very 19th century. BLECH!

Oh, I TOTALLY disagree.  Diminished chords have been out of favor for so long, because of players like you, they now sound hep again.

And even if you, Jsngry, are square enough to hate diminished chords, you are probably educated enough to know that they fit over other, "hepper" chords that you may favor. 

I am one of the few living players who plays the diminished chord in "The Nearness of You."  And it sounds great.

You realize, of course, that "hep" and "square" exist on opposite sides of a circle, and if you pursue either one far enough, you end up in the territory of the other.

But I still love you, though, and I look forward to having your children. :lol:

 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Hey, if I killed the diminished chord, you can pay for my children, I - and a grateful universe - will take all your money with neither compunction nor hesitation.

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Posted (edited)

9 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Hey, if I killed the diminished chord, you can pay for my children, I - and a grateful universe - will take all your money with neither compunction nor hesitation.

You are not important enough to kill the diminished chord.  But I still love you.  :D

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Glad you recognize that the diminished chord died a natural death from it's own self-predicted irrelevance.

But you can still pay for my kids, no problem there. You money is always good here!

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Posted (edited)

9 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Glad you recognize that the diminished chord died a natural death from it's own self-predicted irrelevance.

But you can still pay for my kids, no problem there. You money is always good here!

The diminished chord is still alive. And the check's in the mail.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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"Life" is an illusion, so as long as your check don't bounce, you can play with whatever chords you want.

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Posted (edited)

9 minutes ago, JSngry said:

"Life" is an illusion, so as long as your check don't bounce, you can play with whatever chords you want.

Oh, it wont bounce. I promise. :D

BTW, the Blue Note guys play the riff usually over a dominant 7th. Is that chord acceptable?

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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I saw the notes and my first thought was : DEXTER , especially in his later period, it´s one of his favourite licks…..

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