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Are there any playalong CD Book sets for the ballad Laura?
 

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Aebersold Volume 34 "Jam Session" Great tune. Can anyone answer what makes "Laura" harmonically distinctive compared to other jazz standards?

Saxismyaxe types faster than I do. Dang, I'll hit the buzzer first on the next one.
 

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...but she's only a dream...
 

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Mis-heard lyrics: "And Juicy Laura" instead of "And you see Laura on a train that is passing through"

Seriously though, I always find it's a tough melody to play because almost all the melody notes seem to be on the extensions of the chords.
 

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Can anyone answer what makes "Laura" harmonically distinctive compared to other jazz standards?
K. J. McElrath can:

"This is one of the most beautiful of the lush ballads emerging from the late 1940’s. There is strong Impressionist influence with constantly shifting keys, which nonetheless have a definite descending pattern. In the first three key changes (mm.1-12), each new key is a whole step lower than its predecessor. This makes aural sense, because each “I” chord of the moment turns minor, becoming a ii leading to V7 of the new key (bearing some relation and resemblance to the progression used in “How High The Moon”). In the fourth key change (mm.13-16), a “common-tone” modulation is used, in which the melody tone-the root tone of the moment-becomes the flatted 5th of a ii7chord leading to the V7 of the starting tonality of F major. The second time this happens (mm.25-26), the common tone chord is formed by the bass descending a minor third, forming a chord that functions as a ii7 for an entirely new key (in the original, Bb). While unusual and even exotic, the chord progressions use fairly standard modulations. The trick to learning this tune lies in paying attention to these modulations and trusting one’s ear."
 

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That's a great harmonic analysis of Laura, however it doesn't answer the question of what makes Laura so distinctive and unusual compared to other songs in terms of its harmonic progression and its tonality. There I just gave a big hint.
 

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Be careful Hak, you're giving away your age. The answer to my harmony question is it is the only song that does not go to the tonic chord of the key it is written in until the very last note of the song. I wouldn't know that were it not for listening to the Peter Schickele radio program "Schickele Mix". He is another great musical comedian along with Spike Jones, and Victor Borge that many young people have never heard of. My favorite, of course, is Pete Barbuti. It is unfortunate that there are very few video recordings of his act available.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yo guys
Thanks for all the deep, intellectual, sophisticated analyses....appreciate that.
I'm just hunted by the lovely melody...played on soprano....by Branford Marsalis...on the CD with his Dad Ellis.
Was wondering if there is a playalong with that sort of arrangement.....with only piano.
Lovely tune to play on soprano....on a lazy Sunday afternoon....
 

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Yo guys
Thanks for all the deep, intellectual, sophisticated analyses....appreciate that.
I'm just hunted by the lovely melody...played on soprano....by Branford Marsalis...on the CD with his Dad Ellis.
The name of that album is LOVED ONES.
 

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The definitive version is on alto:)

Bird really loved that tune.
 

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Excellent! I've just been trying to get to grips with this tune today. This thread is a goldmine. Thanks, all.
 
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