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byA!sseCresss T he Ilm-V-l is probably the most com- mon progression in jazz, but that doesnt stop Mike Stern from putting his
own stamp on this ubiquitous change, as
demonstrated by these examples drawn
from his improvisations. While bopping his
way with easy confidence through treach-
erous modulations, Mike often draws from
his rock/blues vocabulary-a near-hereti-
cal approach to jazz standards.
Ex. 1 features straight-ahead bop
blowing over a Ilm-V-l in f3/, major. The
pickup into the first measure approaches
*he solo voice 1 MONSTERII-Vs
the 5 of the IIm chord, Cm7, via two descending chromatic tones. The rhythmic motif reappears, leading to the 5 of the V7 (F~J and setting the listener up for the return to the I chord (Bbmuj7J. Instead, Stern sustains the V chord, sliding into the twelfth position and stirring up melodic tension with a series of descending chromatic pull-offs. Grab the Fon beat three with your 3rd finger to shift into eleventh position for the Bb
the 5 of the IIm chord, Cm7, via two descending chromatic tones. The rhythmic motif reappears, leading to the 5 of the V7 (F~J and setting the listener up for the return to the I chord (Bbmuj7). Instead, Stern sustains the V chord, sliding into the twelfth position and stirring up melodic tension with a series of descending chromatic pull-offs. Grab the Fon beat three with your 3rd finger to shift into eleventh position for the Bb major wrap-up. major wrap-up.
Ex. 1 Ex. 1 cm7 cm7 F7 F7
I I I I
The line in Ex. 2 was originally conceived over a Cmmor IIm-V-Im (Dm7/,5-G7-Cm), but it works just as well over its relative major progres- sion (FmPBb 7-Ebmuj7). The motif on beats one and two derive from & Dorian, an outside tonality produced by raising the IIm chord-Fm7 in the major progression-a minor third to&m (which is also a b5 substitute for Dm7/J, the IIm of the minor progression ).The rest of the line
Ex.2 Dmfb5 G7alt Cm7 Fm7) (Bb7alt) I&-W)
Dm7 G7 Cm7 F7alt . . . . . .._.____._.___.-.-...-~.-~~----~-.~...
Bbmaj7 Cm7 F7alt Bbmaj7 &n...-.-.-------------------.....--.---.----------...-.-.-.,
42 HOW TO PLAY GUITAR / JAZZ I
MONSTERII-Vs 1 *he solo vote-
uses the Eb major scale to create altered-chord dissonances (#5, #9, b9) over the G7chord. Note that only diatonic dissonances (b7,11,9) occur when the phrase is played against Bb 7.
In EX 3, the 3 of the tonic Bbmuj7is approached by a short altered-dominant 7#9/b9 lick. We can alsoview these notes as part of the Eb minor scale, which demonstrates a handy chord-substitution technique: To create altered-chord tension over a dominant-7th chord, play from the minor key that lies a whole-step below the dominant chord (in this case, Eb minor against F7). Next, Mike unleashes a series of King-style blues phrases (complete with B.B.s and Alberts signature dee-dab lick) from the sixth- and ninth-position Bb pentatonic minor scales until a high bend to Bb signals a return to bopsville. Llke Ex. 2 (but without the pull-offs), the Dm7-G7-Cm7m bars 2 and 3 takes a chromatic approach to a Db Dorlan- based run. Here, Stem creates tension by playing a half-step above the Cm7 Begin this phrase in the thirteenth position, then shift to twelfth posi- tion by playing the Gb on beat two with your 3rd finger. Shift back to thirteenth position on the and of beat three to set up a comfortable finger- ing for the following boppish Bb major phrase. Stern sticks an Ebm Dorian idea over Cm7and FIbefore returning inside to Bb.
The chromatically descending triad arpeggios in Fx. 4 are a Stern trademark. Mike begins inside the Bb tonality but quickly heads out to A, Ab, G, and Gb, with identical fingering for each arpeggio. Midway through bar 3 he alters the shape by raising the lower three notes a half- step for a Gudd#4 arpeggio, reversing the melodic direction and creating additional tension. The harmony resolves with four ascending dia- tonic 7th arpeggios.
I I I I
I I I L I I I
Ex 5 (next page) is a 16-bar chord-melody chorus. In the two-bar pickup Mike doubles up the underlying chord changes (F#m7-B7-Fm7- Bb 7in place of the original Fm7-Bb 7). Stern then assumes a minimalist single-note stance before introducing two- and three-note voicings over a series of descending IIm-Vs. Arriving at Fm7, he ascends to the V chord with alternating & and Bb major triads. Once there, he fleshes out the chords with a fourth voice and resolves to Eb, using quartal 6/9 chords. In bar 10 Mike sets up a triplet-based rhythmic motif that extends over the IIm-V (Dm7-G7J into C, with three-note voicings moving beneath a Cpedal tone. A CU9voiced in fourths and fifths precedes syncopated dimin- ished chord punctuations. A pair of IIm-Vs (Gm7-C7and Fm7-Bb 7) leads us to expect the tonic Eb, but Mike substitutes a lush, open-voiced Es/9 that spans more than three octaves with lovely results. I
I JAZZ / HOW TO PldY GUITAR 43
the solo votcle 1 MONSTERIl=Vs
standal 1: Fm7 change
Bb7 Ebmai7 G7/D . B7 Fm7 Bbf
F7iA Ab7 Am7 D7
Gm7 C7#9 Fm7 Bb7 Ebmaj7
Ab Bb Ab Bb Bb13sus4 Eb6/9 Ebmajl3
Bbm9 Eb7 Eb13b9
Gm7 Fm7 Bb7 Eb6 Fm7 Bb7 Bbl3sus4 l Bb7#5#9 E6/9 Ebmaj7
44 HOW TO PLAY GUITAR / JAZZ