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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).

Friday, September 6, 2013

The moving line potential of the Bebop Cliché in the Sound

There are multiple applications of the so called Bebop Cliché from the sound. Check out the previous blogs on the Sound (here and here) to get a background on this. Once upon a time in Boston at a Jazz Ed conference, I was encouraged to expand this cliché material this way by none other than David Leibman.

The bebop cliché traditionally springs from the realm of a ii—V7 harmonic progression for example: Dmi9—G13 (—) being expanded to Dmi9—DmiMa9—Dmi9—G13. What it is really about is the expression of a descending chromatic line (it can ascend too, depending on the chord and intention of the player). This was outlined in the last few previous blogs on 'The Sound.' Another thing about it is that it operates as a delaying tactic towards the resolution of the mi9 chord to the dominant V7 chord. The bebop cliché can also be treated more melodically with a melody that has within it the descending/ascending line.

This blog will explore the multiplicity of the 'Sound' Chord (FS1 [Fma13b5] and FS6 [Fmi11(b5]) function and application of the bebop cliché to these functions that seem to arise.

Here is the most common use of the bebop cliché in a ii—V progression. Note that it is expanded in the 2nd two bars.

Here are the most common and useful functions of 'Sound' 1 (FMa7[b5]) and 'Sound' 6 Fmi11(b5) with the roots that create related chords as either a V7 chord or ii chord.

Each of these Sound Chord voicings using in this case an 'F' Sound (Sound 1 and Sound 6)

The bebop cliché line is a chromatic primarily descending line but it is used as an ascending chromatic line as well.

The bebop cliché chromatic line starts on the C# (or perhaps the D note) which is the major 7th in DmiMa7 which and falls chromatically to the B natural which is the 3rd of the G13 (the dominant partner in this ii—V. This cliché then, operates from the Major 7th of the ii and/or #11 of the dominant. It can easily ascend from the 3rd of the dominant chord to the #11 of the dominant chord (even ascending to the 5th).

The Sound chord shown here can be held and manipulated with each of these lines individually either as a chord voicing or as a line which can related to these cliché lines on an individual basis. I'll outline some examples in the next blog in this series.