Tag Archives: John Coltrane

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: John Coltrane – 9.16.10

Today’s ii-V is taken from John Coltrane’s solo on Take The Coltrane from the 1963 Duke Ellington and John Coltrane album.

Unlike the previous ii-V’s I’ve posted, this one is completely diatonic – no accidentals, everything is in the key. The first two measures are mostly scalar except for a skip from A to C in the second measure. That skip helps form an enclosure around the B, which is the 3rd of the G7. The first half of the 3rd measure (CMaj7) is a C triad followed by a group of notes starting on the F on beat 3 which resolves to the C in the fourth measure. That group starting on F is almost like a mini plagal cadence (I-IV-I). You always hear in school that the natural 4th scale degree is an avoid note over a Maj7 chord, but here is a textbook example of it working through a proper resolution.

Take The Coltrane is a blues usually played in F.

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