Tag Archives: ii-V of the day

ii-V of the day: Chris Potter – 4.27.11

It’s been a lot of days since the last ii-V, but I came across a good one in an old transcription I did several years ago.

This ii-V was played by Chris Potter on Easy to Love from his 1995 album, Pure.

I like this one because it’s mostly diatonic except for that little bit of diminished flavor in the G7 measure. When practicing and moving to other keys, you might find it necessary to raise the first note by an octave to make it work.

Easy to Love is a 32-bar tune usually played in G concert.

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ii-V of the day: Charlie Parker – 10.2.10

I’m back! After a nice trip to LA and a few days of catching up, I’m ready to get back with the ii-Vs. I haven’t mentioned this before, but I am transcribing these ii-Vs as I present them. I don’t have a big notebook or anything that I just pull from. I get up everyday and transcribe a new ii-V.

Anyway… today’s ii-V comes to us courtesy of Charlie Parker. It’s taken from his solo on Relaxing With Lee. I have it on The Essential Charlie Parker, but I know it’s available on a few other albums.

Relaxing With Lee is a 32-bar AABA form tune based on Stompin’ At The Savoy changes. Savoy is usually played in Db and this is also the case for Relaxing With Lee. On the recording, it sounds like Parker plays a composed theme for the first 8 measures and then begins his improvised solo.

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ii-V of the day: John Coltrane – 9.24.10

Today’s ii-V come from John Coltrane‘s I Hear A Rhapsody solo from his 1957 Lush Life album.

The phrase starts on A7(b9), which is VI(b9) in the key of C. The line starts on that (b9), Bb, moves chromatically down to the 7th (G), and then descends down the arpeggio before resolving to the root of Dmin7. The next part of the line starts on the leading tone of Dmin7 (C#) and ascends in stepwise, scalar motion. This motion continues into the G7 measure with the Ab (b9) and Bb (#9, technically A#). The line then changes direction moving from Bb>Ab>G and then descending through the G Augmented triad. (G, D#, B, G). We end up on the 3rd (E) of CMaj7, repeat the descending triad motif (E, C, A), and end up on the 9th (D).

I Hear A Rhapsody is a 32-bar AABA form. It is usually played in Eb (The first chord is Cmin, but I think all the changes lead, ultimately to Eb.).

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ii-V of the day: Rich Perry – 9.23.10

Today’s ii-V comes from one of my favorites, Rich Perry. It’s taken from his I’ll Remember April solo from his album At The Kitano 1.

Unlike other ii-V’s I’ve posted to this point, this one has VI(b9) (A7(b9)) which would resolve back to ii (Dmin7). If you played this line over a ii-V-I that stayed on I (CMaj7) instead of moving to VI(b9) (A7(b9)), it would sound fine. The line is anchored by strong descending motion that starts on the 3rd of Dmin7 (F) and moves chromatically down to resolve on the 9th (D) of CMaj7. F on the downbeat of Dmin7, E on the ‘and’ of 4 of the same measure, D# on the ‘and’ of 3 in G7, and the D on the downbeat of CMaj7. There are quite a few pitches that would be labeled as non chord tones in this line, but I think the strength of that descending line and resolution is what makes it work.

I’ll Remember April is a 48-bar tune with an ABA form. Each section has 16 bars. It is usually played in G and that’s the key in the recording.

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ii-V of the day: Dick Oatts – 9.22.10

Today’s ii-V was played by Dick Oatts on Blues for Alice on Red Rodney’s 1988 One For Bird Album.

This line looks and sounds like something that could have easily come from Charlie Parker. You can definitely hear that influence.

Blues for Alice is a 12-bar blues usually played in F. The chord progression is different than a typical 12-bar blues and is generally referred to as “Bird Blues.”

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ii-V of the day: Hank Mobley – 9.21.10

Today’s ii-V was played by Hank Mobley on There Will Never Be Another You from the 1956 The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley album. This album can be tough to come by. I could only find a Japanese import (expensive) when I was looking for it and ended up buying it because was about the only choice available at the time.

Hank Mobley’s lines are a good source of bebop vocabulary. He really outlined the harmony well and used the melodic devices of the time in a way that are accessible to the student (self-included!) looking to understand the mechanics of a good eighth-note line.

The ii-V starts off on the root of the Dmin7 followed by a chromatic lower neighbor tone. We then move up to the 3rd (F) and back down to the root. We then have an enclosure going to the C# (#11) on the downbeat of the G7 bar (D>C>C#). The C# can be analyzed as the beginning of an enclosure to the D 0n beat 2 (C#>E>D). We then move down in scalar motion until we get to the Ab (b9) on beat 4. This begins another enclosure, this time going to the G on beat 1 of the CMaj7 measure (Ab>F#>G). The line ends with 5-1 (G>C).

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ii-V of the day: Oscar Peterson – 9.20.10

Today’s ii-V comes courtesy of Oscar Peterson from his Au Privave solo from his Nigerian Marketplace album, recorded live at the 1981 Montreux Jazz Festival.

The ii-V starts with a 3-note pickup of a descending A Major triad, the dominant of Dmin7. Once we’re in the Dmin7 measure. We have scalar motion from the root to the 5th which then jumps down to the 3rd and moves back down the scale. In the G7 measure, we start with an extended enclosure. The line is descending by half steps on beats 1 and 2, landing on the 3rd of the chord (B) on beat 3. We then have an appoggiatura (B>G>F) which is followed by an enclosure resolving on beat 1 of the CMaj7 measure on the 3rd (E). The first measure of CMaj7 consists of two diatonic 7th chords. (The first one might not be very obvious, but if you drop the E down an octave you’ll see what I mean.) The second measure has an enclosure that starts on the G and ends on the E on beat 3. C6 is then outlined on beats 3 and 4. The last measure has a 1-5-7-1 figure, it very firmly establishes the tonic sound.

This ii-V comes from the last 4 bars of a 12-bar blues form and the phrase extends into the first bar of the next chorus. If you’re working on these with a play-along recording and the line is too long for the recording or if your recording has a turnaround on the VI7b9 (A7b9 in C) to get back to the ii. You can always trim off some of the line to fit your needs. If you do that, I would suggest ending the line on beats 1 or 3 of either of the CMaj7 measures. I played around with this a little myself to check and the line will sound fine ending in any of those places.
For saxophone players, as you can see, the line as written is too low to play on the horn. By raising the line an octave, beginning with the G on the “and” of 1 in the 3rd measure through the rest of the line, you can fix this.

Au Privave is a 12-bar blues usually in F. I have a few recordings (Hank Mobley, Tete Montoliu) that are in Bb.

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ii-V of the day: Dexter Gordon – 9.19.10

Today’s ii-V comes from Billie’s Bounce from Dexter Gordon’s album Billie’s Bounce. It was recorded live in 1964 at Montmartre in Copenhagen. There is a series of recordings called Dexter in Radioland. Billie’s Bounce is the 7th and final recording in that series. This particular track clocks in at just over 17 minutes, so there’s a lot of fodder for transcription and learning.

Dexter’s ii-V starts off with a two-note descending chromatic pickup to the root of the Dmin7. Next comes an enclosure leading to the D on beat 3, followed by ascending scalar motion. In the G7 bar, we start off on the 9th (A) followed by an appoggiatura (A>C>B). Continuing, we then have descend to the A (9th of G7) and have a chromatic neighbor tone (A>G#>A). This is followed by another appoggiatura (A>E>D). In the CMaj7 measure, we have a descending diatonic 7th chord (Dmin7), the last two note of which form an enclosure of the E (3rd of CMaj7) on beat 3. The chromatic neighbor tone figure from the G7 measure is then repeated again based on the 9th (A on G7, D on CMaj7) and it resolves in the next measure to the 5th (G).

Billie’s Bounce is a 12-bar blues usually played in F.

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ii-V of the day: Joe Farrell – 9.18.10

Today’s ii-V was played on flute by Joe Farrell on Spain from Chick Corea’s 1972 Light As A Feather album.

Today we have the first double-time ii-V of the day. Don’t let that scare you away – the line makes a lot of sense and I think it’s pretty accessible. Just think of it as getting twice as many notes for your money.

In the Dmin7 measure, we start off with a descending G dominant bebop scale that goes to the downbeat of the G7 ending on the 3rd (B). Then on the first beat of that G7 measure the G7 chord is outlined and followed by an ascending diminished scale. That scale goes up to Bb before turning around and descending to land on the 3rd of the CMaj7 (E) on the downbeat of that chord. The CMaj7 measure has diatonic 7th chords followed by 3-5-2-1 to finish the line.

Spain usually begins with a slow rubato section lifted from the second movement of JoaquĆ­n Rodrigo’s 1939 Concierto de Aranjuez. This is followed by a faster section with a melody built on the chord progression of the opening section. The blowing section is a repeating 24-measure progression.

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ii-V of the day: Sonny Rollins – 9.17.10

Today’s ii-V was taken from Sonny RollinsTenor Madness solo from the 1956 Tenor Madness album.

This ii-V has a 2 1/2 beat pickup although it would still sound good without it. The first three beats of the Dmin7 measure contain a pretty common piece of bebop vocabulary. That’s followed by an enclosure of the F on the downbeat of the G7 bar. You then have an F major triad followed by a G augmented triad. If you look at the strong beats (1 & 3) of that measure you can follow the pitches down to the resolution on the 9th (D) of the CMaj7 (F>Eb>D). From the D the line descends down the CMaj7 arpeggio before landing on the 6th (A).

Tenor Madness is a 12-bar blues usually played in Bb.

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