bluesForBartok

Tristano's changes on "Back Home" | Toronto 1952 performance

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I"m [slowly] learning Tristano's solo on a version of 'Back Home' from the 1952 (Live/Toronto) recording and there's this beautiful set of substitutions starting in bar 23 where normally, you resolve to the F minor but Lennie's playing 4 chords each for 2 beats across Fm to C7flat 9 and, to my ears, it sounds like M7 chords descending in 5ths starting on F#M7 so it's - F#M7 / | BM7 / | EM7 / | AM7 / and then, instead of jumping back to Fm he resolves to A flat M7. I get the AM7 being the flat II M7 into A flat so, if I'm correct, the preceding three chords are just a cycle approaching the flat IIM7am I even remotely close or are my ears playing tricks on me?

"Back Home" - Toronto 1952

I know this is getting into super nerd-ville but this is the world of insanity I live in :-)

Thanks for looking! 

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Reminds me of a radio interview I heard with Peter Ind (Lennie's mainstay bassist in the 50s). Peter described Lennie's chordal approach at the opening to his solo on "All the Things You Are" from the Confucius Restaurant album as "outta left field".

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4 hours ago, bluesForBartok said:

I"m [slowly] learning Tristano's solo on a version of 'Back Home' from the 1952 (Live/Toronto) recording and there's this beautiful set of substitutions starting in bar 23 where normally, you resolve to the F minor but Lennie's playing 4 chords each for 2 beats across Fm to C7flat 9 and, to my ears, it sounds like M7 chords descending in 5ths starting on F#M7 so it's - F#M7 / | BM7 / | EM7 / | AM7 / and then, instead of jumping back to Fm he resolves to A flat M7. I get the AM7 being the flat II M7 into A flat so, if I'm correct, the preceding three chords are just a cycle approaching the flat IIM7am I even remotely close or are my ears playing tricks on me?

"Back Home" - Toronto 1952

I know this is getting into super nerd-ville but this is the world of insanity I live in :-)

Thanks for looking! 

Yeah, he's doing it on the solos, but I don't hear him doing it on the head. I look at subs like that as ascending in fourths, rather than descending in 5ths, because Major 7th chords don't really have a dominant function like Dominant 7th chords. You should write Maj7 chords using the "Maj7" designation or the triangle followed by a 7, because it can be easily confused with a Minor7th chord, even though you are using a capital "M". I can't stand reading charts that use M7 instead of m7, because I'm not sure what the arranger means.

The fact that Lennie uses that chain of Maj7ths to get to Ab rather than F minor goes back to the way swing and Dixie players used to play the tune. It always freaks me out that a swing band I play with always starts that last part of the tune on the tonic rather than the relative minor like Bird did on Donna Lee. Lennie had strong ties to the Swing Era, so there are a lot of examples of him using things from the Swing era,- eg. those closed voicings he uses.

The idea of using that type of sub is just an extension of a sub on a tune like "Autumn Leaves". In the key of G: Am7 D7 GMaj7 CMaj7 the Cmaj7 is an example of that kind of sub. Lennie is just extending it so it leads to the bII of AbMaj7. I just used that sub in my arr. for big band of a tune that stays on a Maj7 chord for two measures, to give more harmonic interest to the otherwise dull sound of a Maj7 chord for two measures at a slow tempo.

Lee was playing great back then; it's too bad he changed his way of playing later on. Warne and Lennie sound great, too!

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Excellent insight! Thanks a bunch sgcim! I'd be curious to hear some of the dixie versions using that cycle.

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On 9/29/2020 at 9:24 PM, bluesForBartok said:

Excellent insight! Thanks a bunch sgcim! I'd be curious to hear some of the dixie versions using that cycle.

They don't use that cycle, they use the Ab major instead of Fminor.

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