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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, May 11, 2018

Exploring the "Blue Monk" Chromatic Moving Line Cliche

This versatile chromatic line pattern is ubiquitous in rock and jazz. Here we explore a few ways of incorporating it into your playing.  These lines can be harmonized with each other of course and go forward or back.. and create a similar passing harmony with some tension and release built in. You can apply pedal tones from the root or 5th either with the chord or leaping to the pedal tones alternating with the line or even the harmonized line. It utilizes passing diminished and or auxiliary diminished function i.e. the Ebdim (or Cdim) in this line: C7 Dmi7 (or Dmi7[b5]) to Ebdim to C7/E... The appealing thing is the fact that all the diminished 7ths that arise can be converted into 4 Dominant 7th (a minor 3rd apart)..and you could take it from there with a momentary transposition and back again etc. It's crazy good :) !!

The basic pattern is very simple -- in the key of C:
C D D# E  or  E F F#G or G G# A Bb etc.
but has endless applications. 

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