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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any suggestions for soloing over the bridge of Misty? I'm working on this as an audition (doing sort of a Hodges I Got It Bad/Prelude To A Kiss spin on it) and I've got an idea where I'm going on most of it, but that bridge... yuck.

The first half isn't as bad, other than the sudden key change. Seems that's just a ii-V-I into Ab, (Concert Pitch) with a b9 on the V. But the Am7 in bars 5 and 6 is kind of out there, and is really chewing me up.
 

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Does anyone have any suggestions for soloing over the bridge of Misty? I'm working on this as an audition (doing sort of a Hodges I Got It Bad/Prelude To A Kiss spin on it) and I've got an idea where I'm going on most of it, but that bridge... yuck.

The first half isn't as bad, other than the sudden key change. Seems that's just a ii-V-I into Ab, (Concert Pitch) with a b9 on the V. But the Am7 in bars 5 and 6 is kind of out there, and is really chewing me up.
If you can handle a 2-5 in Ab, then the next part is easy! It’s just a 2-5 in G that doesn’t resolve to G.


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What follows the ii - V7 in G is a turnaround consisting of a ii - V7 in F followed by a ii - V7 in Eb bringing you back to the original key. These types of turnarounds present an opportunity to play a one measure phrase or motif and then repeat it a step lower in the next bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is it a ii or a ii-V? I'm working from the Real Book I, which has the progression written as two bars of Am7. I've also got that next ii-V as a ii(b5)-V7b9-i (Gm7b5 - C7b9 - Fm7). Or does that not really make all that much a difference in the approach?
 

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Is it a ii or a ii-V? I'm working from the Real Book I, which has the progression written as two bars of Am7. I've also got that next ii-V as a ii(b5)-V7b9-i (Gm7b5 - C7b9 - Fm7). Or does that not really make all that much a difference in the approach?
Not sure why your changes are just Am for 2 bars- most people actually play | Am7 D7 | Am7 D7 | or | Am7 | D7 F7 | for bars 5+6

The Gm7b5 - C7b9 - Fm7 - Bb7 - Ebmaj is a 3-6-2-5-1, and should be treated slightly different than 2 consecutive major 2-5-1s. An easy way to think of a standard 3-6-2-5-1 is first a minor 2-5-1, then that “1” turns into the 2 of a major 2-5-1.


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The thing is to not take chord symbols too literally. If there is a minor 7 that suddenly occurs in a totally different key centre, chances are it's going to be a IIm7 as part of a IIM7 V7, even if the V7 is missing from what appears to be a dodgy source such as a Real Book.

Once you've established the key centre (in this case G) then you are good to go thinking of the notes of a G major, but bearing in mind you are on a IIm7 - V7 area as opposed to tonic. Improvisers treat those two chords interchangeably, or rather as one thing. You can just think V7 over it all or IIm7 over it all provided you listen and let your ear dictate what works.

As has been mentioned this is a IIm7 V7 but instead of going to its own key centre tonic of G, it does a sudden switch (via F7) to the dominant that takes you back to the home key centre of Eb. What might be called an interrupted or surprise cadence.

Johnny Hodges would probably always have allowed his ear and sense of melody take priority over exact correct text book improvements notes over a chord. You can do the same.
 

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I would question that F7 in the ii - V leading into the Gm7b5.
I've played that tune a million time on solo piano gigs and use a D7#9 but then, I'm just using my ear 😎
If analyzing that F7, it's clearly not in the key and likely the transcriber's preference for an alteration. If you use it, it won't sound wrong but it does seem to make thinking about it more difficult.
 

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I would question that F7 in the ii - V leading into the Gm7b5.
I've played that tune a million time on solo piano gigs and use a D7#9 but then, I'm just using my ear 😎
If analyzing that F7, it's clearly not in the key and likely the transcriber's preference for an alteration. If you use it, it won't sound wrong but it does seem to make thinking about it more difficult.
I would question it as well- I hear a lot of people play it (hence why I said most people play some variation of what I wrote) but it's not the best choice. The OP seems like more of a beginner so I'm just giving him/her some options and some insight as to what people do.

I've also played this tune once or twice, hah.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not sure why your changes are just Am for 2 bars- most people actually play | Am7 D7 | Am7 D7 | or | Am7 | D7 F7 | for bars 5+6

The Gm7b5 - C7b9 - Fm7 - Bb7 - Ebmaj is a 3-6-2-5-1, and should be treated slightly different than 2 consecutive major 2-5-1s. An easy way to think of a standard 3-6-2-5-1 is first a minor 2-5-1, then that “1” turns into the 2 of a major 2-5-1.
Yeah, I noticed the iii-VI-ii-V-I. I took another look at the actual backing track I'm working with, and it does use the Am7 | D7 F7 so I'll try working more from what that's doing than the changes as-written.

The OP seems like more of a beginner so I'm just giving him/her some options and some insight as to what people do.
Less beginner and more of, "None of the bands and combos I played in, nor my private instructor, throughout high school and college really delved into the theory of improvisation. And almost all our solos were over the blues." So it's really a lot of playing catch-up after 15 years with stuff I was never properly taught in the first place. :p

Johnny Hodges would probably always have allowed his ear and sense of melody take priority over exact correct text book improvements notes over a chord. You can do the same.
Yeah, I noticed that when transcribing his solo on I Got It Bad. There's a lot of melodic licks or sequences of arpeggios in half-steps (I've borrowed a couple licks that I find also work very nicely in the first four bars of Misty's A section if I transpose them) that don't precisely follow the changes, and yet it all fits.
 

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I would question that F7 in the ii - V leading into the Gm7b5.
Yes indeed, the F7 there would normally go to Bb7 ready to go back to Eb, which makes total sense and I do believe was in the original sheet music.

If there is a turnaround Gm7b5 C7 Fm7 Bb7, then of course D7 is the obvious choice and would be my preference.

having said that, the F7 is interesting while in the key centre of G, because bVII7 can be used nice;ey as a substitute for V7, I've seen it quite often in both jazz, rock and pop. I think it's what some people call modal interchange and you can hear Stevie Wonder do use it sometimes as well as in quite a lot of spaghetti western themes. (Big Country?)

If we were to think like that, in this case the F7 on G major means the melody is harmonised as if you have temporarily shifted to an aeolian mode.
 

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Original sheet music may not be the best indicator.

F7 doesn't fit with the harmonic rhythm as you describe. Your F7 would fall on what is now Gm7b5.
 
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