JAZZ WORKSHOP - Part 2

Jazz Workshop - Page 2

4. What's a Riff


Readers of these Workshop pages come in all shapes and sizes and at different stages of musical education so for the uninitiated here is an attempt to explain riffs. Originally a riff was a repeated phrase created on the spot and used to back and encourage a soloist. When I played in the John Burch Octet Derek Nash used to concoct riffs to back Hank Shaw's solos. Hank was notoriously tight and Derek would come up with riffs based on "If I were a Rich Man" or "We're in the Money".

Swing era riffs became tunes such as "In the Mood", "Woodchoppers Ball", "One O'clock Jump". "Swinging the Blues is a typical four bar riff tune repeated three times over the chord changes of the 12 Bar Blues. Although the chords change the riff still sounds right, albeit helped by a couple of melody changes in bars 9 and 10.

Swinging the Blues

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5. From Blue Skies to In Walked Bud


Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" is an established choice for jazz musicians and the original tune and published chords are shown below. The Thelonious Monk tune "In Walked Bud" is based on "Blue Skies. A bass line descending in semitones from D to F provides a framework for soloists. Stan Getz adapted and adopted his own versions for the middle eight bars allowing some extra chord substitutions. It is not a question of which version is better or preferable, they are all winners!

Blue Skies

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6. Creating a Jazz Solo on Dizzy Gillespies' Con Alma

 



Chord workshop

 

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*Adobe Acrobat Reader is available as a free download from www.adobe.co.uk


7. Secret of Elqui Valley


Available for any small jazz group line up is the music for "Secret of Elqui Valley", a mambo for jazz band. Lead sheet parts are provided on the Instant Jazz page for Piano / Guitar / Flute; Bb instruments; Eb instruments and Bass Clef, each with chord symbols.

 

 

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