Is Davis a hack? How many of you have actually listened to pic related? So many better Mingus, Coleman and Sun Ra albums from the same time and before. So many better Coltrane albums after. Seriously guys, was Davis a hack? (Bill Evans is better than Davis on this album)
have you listened to his other albums? i'd dare to say miles was the most out there jazz musician of his time, his last album had hip-hop for fucks sake, on the corner is completely musique concrete inspired, bitches brew, live-evil and dark magus are amazing freak outs, in a silent way invented post-rock, sketches of spain is beautiful too
be-bop = improv over selected chords
modal = the progression is actually a set of modes, that you can improv over, ad small chromatic runs, etc and anything that give the feel of that mode, so a progression of modes is the structure rather than a progression of chords
to kind of elaborate: modal jazz usually totally changes keys with each chord change, whereas most other jazz songs will feature maybe one or two slight key changes (e.g. from F maj to Bb maj). In modal jazz you might go from F maj to B dominant just because the composer thought it sounded nice
following band leader and it's a planned run through of modes and scales just like normal jazz compositions are play x amount of this chord then this one and instruments still have their same roles also >>54533958
well so which is it, do they notate chords or modes? I mean do they say the whole mode is open or do they pick a subset to solo over? also is "sounded nice" really appropriate justification even in modal jazz? I mean it's opened up but don't modes have inherent harmonic hierarchies too?
also modulation up by a half-step isn't exactly unheard of in bop is it?
Have you listened to early 50s Sun Ra records? No?
You ever listened to The Shape of Jazz to come? It is avant-garde and definitely post bop but is not the same free jazz from the 60s.
You realise coltrane played on kind of blue? His modal and post-bop albums are better than miles'
And mingus is just mingus
Have you just made a fool of yourself? Is TPaB ur aoty?
There's no one way to write a modal jazz chart but they're nonetheless pretty easy to spot because modal tunes, especially early ones, don't have a harmonic rhythm that is anything like most other jazz music:
- Modal tunes might have a chord or two per section rather than a chord or two per bar. To use a relevant example, So What has a Dmi11 for the A sections (or a Dmi6/9) and an Ebmi11 (again, or an Ebmi6/9) for the B section.
- Modal tunes generally don't contain turnarounds. If you're a classical person, you might be more comfortable as thinking of this as a piece without cadences. This is really the key factor that defines modal tunes, because it means that the onus is on the soloist to provide the tension and resolve. Using So What as an example again, the fact that it is devoid of dominant chords and that the dominant chords you can extrapolate from the two chords you do have (G7 and Ab7, respectively) do not resolve to any of the other chords in the piece means that you are probably meant to treat the harmonic information as modal and not functional.
There are consequences to these "rules" (modal jazz often contains key changes on sectional lines and almost always has no functional changes) that make modal tunes pretty easy to identify. There are also exceptions to these rules -- Coltrane's "Resolution" has a Bb7 going to Ebmi7 but is pretty modal nonetheless -- but there's generally little ambiguity about whether or not you're supposed to treat a piece as modal.
As for how to solo over them, the most obvious approach would be to employ different structures within the mode. This is how a lot of players treated modal pieces in the sixties. The other big way to do it back then was to create a melody that conformed to the implied functional characteristics of a chord. Con'td
Cannonball Adderly does this on Kind of Blue; you'll hear him play over D Dorian but then he'll strongly suggest G7 at the end of an eight bar section to make it sound like he's going somewhere functional. This is sort of out of fashion these days. Now, guys who play over modal tunes usually take them pretty far out of their context because the modes people generally choose to write modal pieces in are often quite flexible to dissonance (see Coltrane and especially Dolphy playing over modal stuff on the Village Vanguard recordings for an early example of this).
By convention they tend to notate chords but some lead sheets just write the mode.
You have free choice because people write modal pieces in modes that don't have b9 dissonances in important places. You don't hear too many people use major, for example, because if you were to do so someone honking an F over a C major chord is producing a b9 on the third (E). If you use C lydian instead, however, you subvert that by making the 4 an F#, which is a much more pleasant-sounding #11. The most common mode for modal pieces is Dorian, which has a b9 between the second and (octave) third degrees and sixth and (octave) seventh degrees, which is very easy to maneuver around from the perspective of the soloist.
There's also an element of interplay involved, wherein the accompaniment will often stick to oblique motions if the soloist is going nuts so that the soloist can manage their dissonances. Conversely, if the soloist just blasts the same note over and over again, the comper(s) can experiment a lot with an awareness of what's going to happen when he does.
You really don't have a damn clue what you're talking about. Educate yourself.
thank you, this is really really informative
can you tell me a little bit about what you meant by different structures within the mode, and how especially jazz players divide it up?
and can you recommend a good jazz theory book?
Of course he wasn't a hack, Miles Davis was a musical virtuoso, he just gets an unfair proportion of recognition considering how many other talented composer/instrumentalists have come and gone.
By different structures I mean moving within different sets of notes of the mode. One of the basic building blocks of formulating a solo (or any kind of music) is the motif, which is essentially just a short musical phrase. One very prevalent tactic to approaching modal pieces is to take a motif from a subset of the notes in the mode and to move it around and play it in different places and with a different rhythmic concept.
A simple example is, in D dorian, you could play B G A, which is a very appealing 6-4-5. Then, if you wanted to restate this pattern somewhere else in the mode, you would go to G E F, which uses a different part of the scale (4-2-3) but maintains the same distance between the pitches. You could also do a scalar transposition that doesn't maintain the same distance between the pitches, such as by playing it starting on D (D B C or 8 6 7).
This is the basics. Crafting good motifs and tastefully applying scalar and rhythmic transposition in them is capable of producing some very excellent solos, to the degree that a lot of "inside" players in the very early modal period -- including Miles Davis -- based their modal approach around this.
The next big step in modal playing with motives is to use chromatic transposition to move outside of the key (play the whole thing up a semitone, for example). It's also worth noting that a solo consisting solely of motives would be quite boring, so you should try to throw other stuff in there too.
As for a good book, I am of the opinion that one doesn't exist. I teach theory and I honestly wish I had one to recommend, but I don't. Train your ears and try to study what you hear; that's the best advice I can give.
I wouldn't worry too much about actually transcribing things. Transcription is a Herculian task compared to simple interival identification, but being able to identify intervals reliably will get you much further along in developing good soloing skills.
I would prioritize getting a background in scale/mode structure (for jazz, the modes of the major scale and of the jazz minor scale are by far the most important), understanding chords and extended chords, learning the different kinds of dominant chords, learning basic progressions and substitutions (What does the IV do? Where does I-IV-iii-vi take you? What is the relationship between D minor and F major? Et cetera), and learning to hear all of these things. If you can get that stuff down, you'll have mastered the theory information that you need for a considerable percentage of jazz.
do you think about intervals as absolute or relative to tonic? like for the motive solos you were talking about you'd still think of it as 6-4-5/4-2-3 and not x-vM3-^M2 etc, right?
There are times when you need to be able to think about intervals as being relative to each other but most of the time, you're going to be thinking of intervals as being relative to a fixed point (that may or may not be the tonic). However, this is mostly a speed thing as looking at notes relative to each other is essentially the same as looking at them as relative to a fixed pitch. You should do whichever is faster, and usually the faster method is to define every note as being connected to another one somehow.
The reason for this is, of course, that most collections of notes can be defined in terms of a scale. This holds true in all but the freest of free jazz; it just so happens to be that in freer environments the soloist has the liberty to experiment with different keys (tonics, if you will) to a far greater degree than they would if Bud Powell was laying down the changes every two beats.
Where note-to-note analysis becomes empowered is in composed music that deliberately avoids scalar structures like twelve tone.
I've been thinking lately if it's possible that Talk Talk took any inspiration from pic related when coming up with Spirit of Eden or Laughing Stock. Think about it, you have long, sparse improvisations (formentera lady), classical and jazz instrumentation, compositions that crescendo into this big epic climax (the title track). Maybe it's just bare-bones similarities but I get a similar vibe when listening to these albums.