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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A question for those of you who know real Jazz practices for Rhythm Changes in deep.
Imagine we have a Rhythm Changes bridge in Bb that's a common variation of the plain dominant cycle version: | A- | D7 | D- | G7 | G- | C7 | C- | F7 |,
that is we have a ii-V's bridge version.

Since we are in Bb we have two options for the first ii, A- provided it's a minor 7th:
- we can leave it as it is and it becomes A-7b5 (with a naturally flattened Eb for the Bb key)
- we can make it a minor ii from a Major key by raising that Eb thus having in effect plain A-7

I see no problem in having A- as A-7b5 for the additional interest but I don't know what common Jazz practices are. I guess it's mostly played as A-7.
Is A-7b5 possible at all as a common practice and have you ever encountered it played that way in any settings?
 

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With the bridge, you're actually leaving the key of Bb, so if you're going to use ii Vs, it would be an A-, the ii of G. That's the way I've heard it played, and played it. The other way is to use tri-tone substitutions...
|Ab7|Ab7|Db7|Db7|Gb7|Gb7|B7|B7| or
|Eb-7|Ab7|Ab-7|Db7|Db-7|Gb7|Gb-7|B7|
 

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Minor7b5 chords are used when you're playing a ii-7 V7 in a minor key, so for continuities sake you would want to also play a D7b9 after the Am7b5. However, the D7 does not cadence to G minor because of the overall sequence of dominant chords descending by fifths to bring you back to the home key of Bb. You could sequence minor ii-V's all of the way through, but then you would be ignoring the continuity of the home key. To me the continuity of keeping the Eb from the key in the A minor chord to start the bridge isn't as important as the overall continuity of the sequence and the home key. Plus it would sound very off against most rhythm sections since they would likely not play that chord unless you specifically told them you wanted it. But this is jazz and you can make anything sound good if played with conviction and the rhythm section is with you.
 

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A question for those of you who know real Jazz practices for Rhythm Changes in deep.
Imagine we have a Rhythm Changes bridge in Bb that's a common variation of the plain dominant cycle version: | A- | D7 | D- | G7 | G- | C7 | C- | F7 |,
that is we have a ii-V's bridge version.

Since we are in Bb we have two options for the first ii, A- provided it's a minor 7th:
- we can leave it as it is and it becomes A-7b5 (with a naturally flattened Eb for the Bb key)
- we can make it a minor ii from a Major key by raising that Eb thus having in effect plain A-7

I see no problem in having A- as A-7b5 for the additional interest but I don't know what common Jazz practices are. I guess it's mostly played as A-7.
Is A-7b5 possible at all as a common practice and have you ever encountered it played that way in any settings?
I think your mistake is assuming you are still in Bb on the bridge. You aren't. You are traveling through D7/G7/C7/F7 back to Bb.
 

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Yes, good choice! D7 is V/VI in the Key of Bb, so Ami7b5 D7 is a good way to go. G7 is VI#3, C7 is V/V and F7 is V



A question for those of you who know real Jazz practices for Rhythm Changes in deep.
Imagine we have a Rhythm Changes bridge in Bb that's a common variation of the plain dominant cycle version: | A- | D7 | D- | G7 | G- | C7 | C- | F7 |,
that is we have a ii-V's bridge version.

Since we are in Bb we have two options for the first ii, A- provided it's a minor 7th:
- we can leave it as it is and it becomes A-7b5 (with a naturally flattened Eb for the Bb key)
- we can make it a minor ii from a Major key by raising that Eb thus having in effect plain A-7

I see no problem in having A- as A-7b5 for the additional interest but I don't know what common Jazz practices are. I guess it's mostly played as A-7.
Is A-7b5 possible at all as a common practice and have you ever encountered it played that way in any settings?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think your mistake is assuming you are still in Bb on the bridge. You aren't. You are traveling through D7/G7/C7/F7 back to Bb.
I understand what you say.
The most vanilla bridge harmony for RC is original |D7|D7|G7|G7|C7|C7|F7|F7|. It assumes no key centering at all. However once we start elaborate on that and add pieces of the Functional Harmony here and there it starts to be felt (or put it in a more consistent way: we can make it feel) more tonally oriented.

By introducing sub-dominants we make each pair of ii-V feel like separate tonal centers potentially (but not actually) leading to their corresponding tonics:

A-7 D7 (GM6)
D-7 G7 (CM6)
G-7 C7 (FM6)
C-7 F7 (back to A-section -> BM6)

(Sorry for the mix of 7th and 6th, whatever; I assume we potentially resolve on the 6ths chords but it's secondary here.)

In effect we have a series of ii-V's outlining their potential key centers.
If we choose to solo over these key centers with the corresponding "key signatures" in mind assuming all Major keys then we have this accordingly (in terms of accidentals):

G-Maj: F#
C-Maj: no accidentals
F-Maj: Bb
Bb-Maj: Home key, Bb+Eb

If you now consider the link between the second A-section that ends in Bb on Bb6 and the entrance of the bridge then we have a connection between two far key centers in this configuration: Bb-Maj -> G-Maj. That is we jump 3 key signatures clockwise in terms of the Circle of 5ths.

Imagine now we change the first key center to a minor mode instead of the Major by _yes - you are completely right_ effectively prolonging the ending of the second A-section in terms of staying in the same key center but only changing to a parallel minor of Bb-Maj, G-min:
G-min: A-7b5 D7 (G-min)

In terms of the Circle of 5th leap that we preserve anyway we only make it smaller, that is we now (by staying in Bb in effect) jump to a 'far' key of C-Maj 2 keys clockwise and from there return back to the home key Bb through a series of ii-V's.

I don't suggest that this is a more elegant way of tailoring the bridge but since Jazz is all about tricks and quirks in terms of Harmonic progressions I don't see why this particular quirk wouldn't work provided...

... if played with conviction and the rhythm section is with you.
That is the Rhythm section assumes the same harmonic context.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, good choice! D7 is V/VI in the Key of Bb, so Ami7b5 D7 is a good way to go. G7 is VI#3, C7 is V/V and F7 is V
I haven't thought about it that way since I was intending to break the Bb continuity at the next ii-V pair (D-7 G7) but I see it's just an alternative way to approach the whole idea.
You suggest to think in terms of staying as much as possible bound to the Home key - right? (which Nefertiti objects to and I'm somewhat with him on that)
In other words the whole bridge harmonic progression being expressed in terms of Bb as: | vii7b5- III7b9 - iii7 - VI7 - vi7 - II7 - ii7 - V7 | -> Bb

Hardcore Jazzers would not probably like that single key centering while I don't see why it wouldn't work as a valid alternative in some lighter genres.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the melody of i got rhythm has a E on a D7 and not A minor.
I haven't looked at the melody yet :)
Well, assume there is no original melody then.
---------

OK, I had a look at the melody. You are right, regardless of the actual harmonization there is E-nat in bar 2 of the bridge.
However what is more important there is D-nat in bar 1 and if we try to use Am7b5 below D that won't sound particularly good with Eb in the chord.
So, yes with the original melody it won't work well. Short answer but right to the poit.

Thanks!
 

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I haven't looked at the melody yet :)
Well, assume there is no original melody then.
The original melody becomes somewhat irrelevant in a jazz & impro discussion when the context is (I would think) 99% in regard to jazz use of the chord sequence, not the actual tune.

I would say in the context of the actual melody, a minor7 b5 is not so appropriate, but when talking about rhythm changes in general, it's absolutely fine. Even if the rhythm section is playing Am7 - D7, there's nothing wrong in the soloist going Am7b5 - it's just a blue note and over so quickly who cares if it's a wrong note if it makes sense melodically?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Pete - thanks but I was primarily thinking about proper or better say "appropriate" harmony below the soloist.
We posted at the same time by the way, I'm talking about my previous post.
Also in the beginning I was thinking about conventional practices. I think composer's intentions are normally being respected.
I actually steered away from my original question.
 

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Pete - thanks but I was primarily thinking about proper or better say "appropriate" harmony below the soloist.
We posted at the same time by the way, I'm talking about my previous post.
Also in the beginning I was thinking about conventional practices. I think composer's intentions are normally being respected.
I actually steered away from my original question.
The appropriate harmony behind the soloist is remembering that your job is to stay out of the way of the soloists and unless you have context to add to the solo, just play the extensions or alterations the soloist suggests in their playing. Now that I can hear a little better on stage, piano and guitar players who play shapes and positions instead of active accompaniment are really frustrating.
 

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About the staying home or moving key centers for analysis: The bridge by definition is supposed to represent a noticeable change in the music, it makes sense in almost every tune I’ve looked at to at least stay in a hotel room or two for a minute before resolving things and heading back home.
 

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I'm with swperry1 - move far away from home to start the rhythm changes bridge. I sometimes move even farther - playing, for example, an E7 over the D7 (adds that raised 11th flavor) . That gets almost as far away as you can from Bb...
 

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I'm with swperry1 - move far away from home to start the rhythm changes bridge. I sometimes move even farther - playing, for example, an E7 over the D7 (adds that raised 11th flavor) . That gets almost as far away as you can from Bb...
I was playing around with alternating whole tone scales every two measures today. Fun stuff. You can play the ii straight and use whole tone ideas on the V, or go further out and use WT ideas the whole time.
 
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