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Thread: All Blues - Miles Davis

  1. #26
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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    All Blues has been one of my favorite Miles tunes for decades. You can find it in almost every real book and fake book ever printed; it works great for almost any string instrument including the mandolin and all horn players know it.

    I was not a music major and the jazz police will likely rip me apart; my knowledge & ability to express it is from thousands of gigs and sessions from tons of great players and as many teachers as I can find over a lifetime. Here is how I lay it out in rehearsals and often on the bandstand as a live first take with new folks; we played it last week.

    The basic structure of the tune is a blues in G minor, with an accent on the last form five chord up a half step to the minor six, then back down to the five and out :

    G7 > C min> G7 > D7 -D#-D7 > G7

    The melody & improvisation are essentially a G minor pentatonic, but I'll usually hang out in D mixolydian for the jam (D major with emphasis on the flatted seven)

    SOOOOO...the main lead riff is G > A >A#>A over the G chord and then the same form up to C min et cetera. A lot of people try to push the tempo, but I find it much better if you slow it down just a bit and burn it in the pocket. If you really want to add tension in the classic Miles form, modulate up a half step to G sharp for one round and then drop it back down to G for the sucker punch.

    All Blues is a great tune that is universally liked & the audience recognizes it. What stood out to me more is how do you plan to transition between that and Sweet Georgia Brown? The two more common keys & forms for that tune are F/D & E....

    'Hope that helps!
    What does the symbol F/D stand for? And why does one key require that slash notation, and the other not?

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    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    What does the symbol F/D stand for? And why does one key require that slash notation, and the other not?
    I was kinda thinking the F/D might mean "F but some people might call it D because that's the first chord"?? Of course this wouldn't explain the E by itself though.

    There are several keys and chords for All Blues mentioned in this thread that have confused me.

  3. #28
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    I DID answer the question!

    Every single time I saw Miles live he played this song in a completely different key, in a different time signature, with a different band. Anything was fair game. With one note he could extent the conversation five minutes; nobody gave a $#!& what mode it was.

    The whole point was improvisation & curiosity & change & pushing the limits, not a bunch of hyper analysis of one recorded version by a bunch of crusty self proclaimed jazz police. That sums up the whole problem with the way jazz is taught these days & why so many potential curious listeners hate jazz. It is not the music, it is the dogmatic followers. Miles dropped out of Julliard because he was getting a much better musical education gigging every night with Bird & Dizzy & Monk on the other side of NYC than he did in the ivory tower classroom.

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    Last edited by j. condino; Feb-09-2023 at 3:54am.
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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    “The whole point was improvisation & curiosity & change & pushing the limits, not a bunch of hyper analysis of one recorded version by a bunch of crusty self proclaimed jazz police.” If that was the whole point, why did you submit post #4 in the first place?? And who would proclaim himself a member of the jazz police, i.e., insult himself?

    I asked a QUESTION. A question is a kind of sentence with the purpose of obtaining information or understanding some issue. A question is emphatically not a factual statement, nor is it a value judgement or expression of opinion.

    The nature and purpose of such a statement is usually signaled in print by the use of a so-called question mark: ?
    For emphasis and clarity I used five.

    The question was prompted by your analysis of a certain tune (the tune itself, the theme, not any of the many extremely varied and adventurous improvisations on it) and which I did not understand. If it were to be interpreted literally, and if correct, it would indicate that I am totally tone deaf. So I asked my question in order to UNDERSTAND.


    However, instead of answering you heaped tons of abuse and invective (for which you have no talent) on me, deliberately misrepresenting my question, inventing intentions and assumptions that were never expressed. How and why can a QUESTION (as explained above) be likened to policing? I thought the purpose of a forum was the exchange of information and experience. Perhaps the site owner or the moderators could clarify the issue before locking this thread. Did my question conflict with the posting guidelines of the Cafe?

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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    OK Boomer....
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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    I realize I made a mistake in phrasing my question the way I did, causing all those embarrassing reactions and insults.

    My first question should have gone to the TS: what do you hope from that particular tune, what attracts you to it and what do you hope to contribute? Jazz is largely about improvisation and unless you and the rest of the band have the very fast ears required for free improvisation the natural starting point is the structure of the tune as such, its scales, modes, chords, and rhythm.

    To my mind it would be pointless to treat the tune as just another blues, because it isn’t, and certainly it is not a g minor penta melody. The repeated b naturals in the beginning, and the repeated figure in the saxes (d-e-f-e and another part a third below) suggest the g mixolydian mode. The most obvious scale for bars 5-6 (counting 6/4) would be the g dorian. There are several documents on the internet discussing the possibilities for bars 9-10.

    One such possibility would be dim scales. A dim scale is composed of the notes from two different dim chords. A dim scale can also be described as alternating half and whole steps.

    The there’s the 6/4 meter, which invites various subdivisions and sumperimpositions, 3/4, 2/2, 4/4. Wayne Shorter’s Footprints is based on a similar idea, combining a modal melody (this time Dorian) and a blues structure over a 6/4, or possibly 12/4, beat. Drummers and bass players might get further ideas by listening to Tony Williams’ playing on that tune.


    I will leave it to the Cafe staff to handle further insults.

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  9. #32
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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    This is such a great tune....

    The notation F/D indicates a F chord over a D in the bass, this is sometimes called a slash chord

    Looking at the notes we have: D, then F A C. This could also be thought of as a Dm7 chord, D F A C.

    The slash chord notation does mean that the D is supposed to be in the base, a Dm7 chord might be played with any of the chord tones in the bass, so there is a distinction between the two.
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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sheets View Post

    Looking at the notes we have: D, then F A C. This could also be thought of as a Dm7 chord, D F A C.
    It seems you're not hearing the F#.

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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    Interesting thread. Sometimes a somewhat confusing thread. I thought that James was referencing Sweet Georgia Brown when he mentioned the F/D. I'm not a jazz player and I have a limited knowledge of theory, but I think F or F# could be substituted in the turnaround for All Blues. Instead of D>D#>D>G you could do D>D#>F>G or D>D#>F#>G depending on your mood. D>D#>E>G might work if you're feeling really adventurous. I can't back this up theoretically, I'm just going with how it sounds to me.

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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    Aside from the D#9 at bar 9, in All Blues, the F/D was referring to the two tonal centers in Georgia Brown, beginning in D and resolving to F.

    As to a segue from that tune to All Blues, I would not try. A better segue is to Billy's Bounce, blues in 4/4 and conveniently in F.
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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    Actually, "All Blues" is a simple 12 bar blues.

    It does have two twists. The first is the triple meter-- 3/4, 6/4, or 6/8, depending on the transcriber. If you write it in 3/4, it works out to 24 bars, but it's still a 12 bar blues. The other is the Eb9 chord [sometimes altered] in the first half of measure 10.

    In all other respects, it's a 12 bar blues of the simplest form, similar to "You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog."

    When in doubt, you can improvise using the mixolydian mode* associated with the root of the chord of the moment. You can throw in a few "blue notes" from time to time if you want.

    If you're into the polytonal implications of tall chords or you like flatted and augmented 5ths and 9ths, you can use some of that stuff also. But remember that stuff that's "too outside" has a way of confusing audiences who are not jazz aficionados.

    *The mixolydian mode is like a major scale, but with the seventh note flatted, i.e. C mixolydian is C-D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C. G mixolydian is G-A-B-C-D-E-F natural-G.
    Last edited by rcc56; Mar-12-2023 at 8:58pm.

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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    Actually, "All Blues" is a simple 12 bar blues.
    I'm going to politely disagree because if I'm playing a simple 12 bar blues in G I'm not going to expect it go to Eb.

  17. #38
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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    You might re-read the next two lines of my post:

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    Actually, "All Blues" is a simple 12 bar blues.

    It does have two twists. The first is the triple meter-- 3/4, 6/4, or 6/8, depending on the transcriber. If you write it in 3/4, it works out to 24 bars, but it's still a 12 bar blues. The other is the Eb9 chord [sometimes altered] in the first half of measure 10.

    In all other respects, it's a 12 bar blues of the simplest form, similar to "You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog."

    It's what is called a "color chord" in common practice theory.
    "Don't lose the forest for the trees." It's just a three beat sprinkle of color.
    You can either analyze it to the smallest molecule; or just slide up a fret for those three beats, then slide back down.

    A fellow by the name of Heinrich Schenker spoke about approaching theoretical analysis from the simplest point of view. Theorists either love him or hate him.

    For me, music is more fun if I don't overthink things and just try to find stuff that sounds good.
    Last edited by rcc56; Mar-13-2023 at 1:50am.

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  19. #39
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    Default Re: All Blues - Miles Davis

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wright View Post
    Aside from the D#9 at bar 9, in All Blues, the F/D was referring to the two tonal centers in Georgia Brown, beginning in D and resolving to F.

    As to a segue from that tune to All Blues, I would not try. A better segue is to Billy's Bounce, blues in 4/4 and conveniently in F.

    To my ear there is not a single bar in the key of D in the F major version. The structure I hear is as follows:

    1-16 Circling in from D7 to F, breaking back to the beginning via A7.

    17-24 Starting anew from D7, interrupting on G7.

    25-28 Short visit to the relative minor.

    29-32 swift turnaround in F.

    Some pedantic discussions view the chords in a dom circle passage as dom chords of one key each, i.e., D7-G7-C7 are viewed as the dom chords of G, C, and F major. That is not what I hear, since the keys of G and C are not really established in the process.

    Here's a question I've asked myself a number of times. Why reach the tonic chord at all? Of course, you can, and probably will, follow the final F with an A7 leading back to the beginning, but I believe there are other options. On March 1, 1969, 54 years ago!, in my brief Bluegrass period, me and my band recorded a demo of Bye, Bye Blues where one of my bandmates suggested ending the first four choruses not with C - Ab7 - C - C, but C-Ab7- G7-G7, saving the final C for the last chorus. I can think of several similar devices for turning a multi-chorus version of a tune into a a coherent whole.





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