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With a performance career spanning five decades, Charlie Austin has played on The Tommy Banks Show on CBC and the 1970's and 80's ITV Concert series, where he accompanied singers such as Mel Torme, Henry Mancini, Viki Carr, Connie Stevens, Carol Lawrence, and others. Charlie was the house band pianist and arranger for Second City Television (SCTV), produced in Edmonton. For over thirty years, Charlie taught in Grant MacEwan University’s Jazz Program, where he influenced a generation of Canadian jazz musicians. His comprehensive jazz piano text An Approach to Jazz Piano, and 450 Contemporary Piano Studies in 15 Keys, his groundbreaking collection of studies in popular styles, have been sold around the world. Now retired, Charlie continues to perform, teach, record, and inspire. Recent recordings include solo piano If I Should Lose You (2012) and trio recording Homage (2014).

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Secrets of the Sound: S1 used in Chord Progressions.

The Sound One (S1) in chord progressions, used exclusively to create that jazz piano (or guitar, or arpeggiated for horns) sound:

I once ran a showcase band at MacEwan, and was getting into some arrangements that called for this S1 sound. I was working with a very interesting go-to-kind of guy on guitar in the band. He didn't know how to voice a G7(#9#5) chord per se, but he knew how to voice dominant 13 chords. So I asked him on the spot to play a Db13 chord / G bass and lo and behold we had the asked for G7(#9#5) chord voicing.  He was surprised but realized that basically, he already had voicings for altered dominant chords which were virtually the same as V13 chords a tritone away.  I was prompted to tell him this, because I had been working this "Sound" thing and that was an action that came out of that study.  So why do this and not stick exclusively to the "normal" extension replacement of seventh chord tones (9 for 1, 13 for 5 etc.)?   Because with the "Sound" there is a built in system for adding color and urgency in a seventh chord in an incremental way.

This blog will deal with S1 in progression in a parallel motion without much voice leading. Inversions and voice leading will be an open topic in future blogs on this "Sound" topic. The change in color from V13 to V7(#5#9) represents the most radical change in color and vertical tension change possible in a V7.   Future blogs on this topic will deal with the graduations of vertical (chord) tension between these two essentials. Primarily these voicings are thought of as left hand comping (rootless) chord voicings, but they can be played as in the right hand too as part of a comping framework and, they can even be a point of departure/arrival in improvised soloing.

Just using the S1 chord (Ma7[b5]) for convenience, these C major and related A minor progressions emerge and are used here as a set of examples. These examples are played in the right hand with the appropriate root in the left hand.

Example 1: V13 — V7(#9#5) — I


Chord symbol Bmi11(b5)———E7(#9#5) —Ami6/9
Function          iimi11(b5)———V7(#9#5) —Imi6/9
Sound/Root     FMa7(b5)/B—G#Ma7(b5)/E—Cma7(b5)/A
S1/Root           FS1/B———    G#S1/E——  CS1/A
Numeral         bVS1/I———— IIIS1/(1)—  bIIIS1/I


Example 2: V13 — bII13 — I

Chord symbol G13———— Db13——— I
Function V13———— bII13——— I
Sound/Root FMa7(b5)/G—BMa7(b5)/Db—I
S1/Root FS1/G——— BS1/Db—— I
Numeral bVIIS1/I—— bVIIS1/(1)— I


Example 3: V7(#9#5) — bII13 — I

Chord symbol G7(#9#5) —— Db13 ——— I
Function V7(#5#9)—— bII13——— I
Sound/Root BMa7(b5)/G—BMa7(b5)/Db—I
S1/Root BS1/G——— BS1/Db—— I
Numeral IIIS1/I———— bVIIS1/(1)— I


Example 4: iimi11(b5) — V7(#5#9)— Imi6/9 
(NB The Sound is used in all three of these voicings)

Chord symbol Bmi11(b5)———E7(#9#5) —Ami6/9
Function iimi11(b5)———V7(#9#5) —Imi6/9
Sound/Root FMa7(b5)/B—G#Ma7(b5)/E—Cma7(b5)/A
S1/Root FS1/B——— G#S1/E—— CS1/A
Numeral bVS1/I———— IIIS1/(1)— bIIIS1/I


Example 5:   iimi11(b5) — bII13— Imi6/9 
(NB The Sound is used in all three of these voicings)

Chord symbol Bmi11(b5)———Bb13— — Ami6/9
Function iimi11(b5)———bII13 —— Imi6/9
Sound/Root FMa7(b5)/B—AbMa7(b5)/Bb—Cma7(b5)/A
S1/Root FS1/B——— AbS1/Bb—— CS1/A
Numeral bVS1/I———— bVIIS1/(1)— bIIIS1/I

I like to learn these in all keys keeping track of voice-leading line movement and inversion to inversion through these progressions.

I experiment with these progressions by sometimes reversing the V7(#5#9) with bII7(#5#9) it does make a difference. I hope you'll try it

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou so much for this post, I must say this is really amazing to learn something new.

    Once again thankyou so much

    ReplyDelete