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Shrdlu

Key of Green Dolphin Street

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Everyone knows that Miles Davis recorded Green Dolphin Street in C. But The Three Sounds recorded in in Eb. 

I wondered what the "official" key is. An online search yielded nothing. 

Miles was not a reliable source for keys. He recorded Straight No Chaser in F, but Monk wrote it and played it in Bb. There is no advantage in changing it to F.

Anyway, I checked the trailer for the movie, and the orchestra plays in in Bb.

It doesn't matter very much.

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I always thought Eb was the "right" key. And I don't know about live versions, but Miles' studio version (with Cannonball et. al) was in Eb. Supposedly the tune was suggested by Cannonball, so maybe he got to select the key as well. 

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15 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Eb.

Yep. I got one of those oldoldold fakebooks and that's where the have it.

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8 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Yep. I got one of those oldoldold fakebooks and that's where the have it.

I think that one of the ways C was perpetuated was the Real Book chart was written in C for an Eb instrument.   I think there were several instances of that sort of thing.  

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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I never chose it for my own repertoire....too familiar...., but played it many many times on jam sessions and it was always in Eb. 

The only time I ever had to play it in C was when I had to play bass fiddle instead of piano on a gig with an alto player in 1980 and he played it in C (that´s strange because if he was an alto player and had the old Real Book and it would have been written in C for Eb instrument, why did he play it in C and not in Eb ? 
The only explanation for this could be that he gave the sheet to the piano player (we have to remember that the piano player was a 15 year old kid ), and the kid played it in C since it was written in C, and so they played it in C. 
I was not there for the repetitions, since they still didn´t have a bass player but when I mentioned at my office that I also play some bass, one colleage said that his nephew (the 15 year old kid) needs a bass player for a gig I said why not......
Eventually I dropped the bass fiddle and went back to piano only. 

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On 11/28/2021 at 7:28 AM, Shrdlu said:

Everyone knows that Miles Davis recorded Green Dolphin Street in C. But The Three Sounds recorded in in Eb. 

I wondered what the "official" key is. An online search yielded nothing. 

Miles was not a reliable source for keys. He recorded Straight No Chaser in F, but Monk wrote it and played it in Bb. There is no advantage in changing it to F.

Anyway, I checked the trailer for the movie, and the orchestra plays in in Bb.

It doesn't matter very much.

Miles recorded it in Eb. Played it live in Eb as did most others. 

Miles liked F so maybe it was an advantage for him.

He played Ray's Idea in F though it was originally in Db.

 

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3 hours ago, david weiss said:

 

He played Ray's Idea in F though it was originally in Db.

 

Oh yeah, Ray´s Idea ! 

Miles played it in F, Chet Baker played it in Bb on a record for Timeless from 1983......


I  played Ray´s Idea in Db as a trio, and in F with a trumpet player.  

I like the key of  Db, Somehow I have the impression that Db was a key used quite often in the mid forties. It´s often used on those Savoy records, like Dexter´s "Dexter Digs In", thats also a tune I´ve played often. And tunes based on the changes of "Stompin´ at the Savoy". Db has that late period swing - early period of bop flair.

It´s such a beautiful, somehow pastel coloured key I don´t like to overdo it, but keep it for some tunes. 

Just at home, only for my wife to listen too, I played for here one of her favourite songs, a Hildegard Knef song, a waltz , which is usually in C, but somehow my fingers fell on Db and it came out fine and she loves it. I think I´ll keep it if we might get out of the lockdown at some time, I could play it as a last encore only solo...... we´ll see. 

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My error about the key in which Miles played "Green Dolphin Street" (for which I apologize) has led to some interesting posts, so I'm glad I started the thread.

Yes, Db was a popular swing era key. On the session with Oscar Peterson, you can hear Prez asking to play in "five flats". The original "One O'Clock Jump" starts in F on the piano and goes to Db for the main part. The Benny Goodman version, for the movie, follows the same pattern. The Goodman version, with its excellent cast (including Buck Clayton, whose name couldn't be listed) is way better than the original. If you want the two albums from that movie, you will have to go to vinyl. Jimmy Smith and Stanley Turrentine recorded the tune in C (with no key modulation at the start}.

Edited by Shrdlu

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2 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

My error about the key in which Miles played "Green Dolphin Street" (for which I apologize) has led to some interesting posts, so I'm glad I started the thread.

Yes, Db was a popular swing era key. On the session with Oscar Peterson, you can hear Prez asking to play in "five flats". The original "One O'Clock Jump" starts in F on the piano and goes to Db for the main part. The Benny Goodman version, for the movie, follows the same pattern. The Goodman version, with its excellent cast (including Buck Clayton, whose name couldn't be listed) is way better than the original. If you want the two albums from that movie, you will have to go to vinyl. Jimmy Smith and Stanley Turrentine recorded the tune in C (with no key modulation at the start}.

Glad to read your comments about that nice key Db. Since I got perfect pitch , all keys have there certain meaning for me, to express a certain mood and if I listen to some stuff and it´s played in another key than I knew until then, sure I think about it, if it sounds better, or sometimes I think if the player used a more simple key because I have heard that there are people who have difficulties playing keys like Ab or Db.  
 

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Well, Db is extra work on a tenor saxophone: more keys to press.

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On 1.12.2021 at 1:03 PM, Shrdlu said:

Well, Db is extra work on a tenor saxophone: more keys to press.

I can imagine that. But many tenor saxophonists of the 40´s played it, like Dexter on "Dexter Digs In" in 1946. And all those interpretations of "Stompin´at the Savoy" or tunes or "jam" on the chords of "Stompin". 

"Our Delight" is usually played in Ab, but I´m sure I heard it in Db too, may be by the Billy Eckstine Big Band and/or the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and if I play it, I also like to play it in Db, I like how it sounds in Db. 

 

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I still don't know why Miles played "Straight No Chaser" in F, rather than the proper key, Bb. There is no technical advantage.

My favorite version of that is on Monk's "Five By Monk By Five", with Rouse, and Thad Jones as a guest. Monk's counterpoint to the horn solos is amazing. Check it out if you haven't heard it.

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