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Help Please with Some Harmony

rhysonsax

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I sometimes really like a cheesy bit of music. When "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" was the SOTM recently I found this very cheesy version by Ray Conniff which I have been trying to transcribe myself. I have it mostly worked out except for a four bar transition section towards the end, just where I will start this YouTube clip:


The piece is in Eb concert and I think the harmony in this section goes from Fm7 to Fm7b5 (F half diminished). The Fm7b5 has a simple rising line in the vocals.

But having listened again and again to the bass line, I hear that as having Bb on beat 1 and F on beat 3 of each bar.

Putting the bass line and the vocal harmony together would give something like the following (Letter E being at about 2:07 in the video):

1584547069612.png


But harmonically that doesn't seem right, especially where the Bb in the bass is against the B natural of the Fm7b5 chord.

Do you hear it differently or am I missing something obvious about the harmony here ?

Rhys
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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Listening again, it seems that this section is quite like part of the bridge, where the saxes have the lead and the bass part has a similar figure to that I have shown above. That is from about 1:25 in the video.

Rhys
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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I'm not sure, but I think I hear Bb in the bass line for the first two bars and B natural for the last two.
It still seems strange to me that if the band and vocals are playing Fm7 over the first two bars, the bass player (and bari sax and a trombone) are playing a big fat Bb on the first beat of each bar. How does Bb relate to that Fm7 chord ?

Is there such a chord as Fm7/Bb ? At least there is a B natural in Fm7b5.

Rhys
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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Thanks @Pete Thomas - that would presumably also include D (3rd) as well as C (9th) and Eb (11th) or could it be left out (I don't really hear it in this part of the recording) ?

How do you hear the harmony of those four bars ?

As well as the live recording from this video I am also listening to Ray Conniff's studio recording which is very similar but not particularly clear unfortunately.

Rhys
 

Pete Thomas

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No, I would not include a D in an 11 chord unless I was using it more as a crunchy effect rather than functional harmony.

ie think of the 11 as a suspension


How do you hear the harmony of those four bars ?
Haven’t yet had a chance to listen
 

randulo

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I listened to this and I hear the Bb bass note in the first part going to a B in the second, which could be described as Bb11 (or sus) to B13b5.
 

randulo

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In fact, listening to the bar before the start of the end, it makes perfect sense:

Tonic Eb, we go to the V, Bb with a suspended feeling, we stretch the suspended feeling a little more by moving up (in effect a minor 3rd), and swoop down on the big tonic Eb ending, then go crazy with a chromatic sequence upwards, then "whoa!", falling, then break Eb and a big Eb maj7.
 

Pete Thomas

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On my computer I can't really hear what's happening exactly in the bass under the second chord - but my senses amake me hear a typical minor plagal cadence,

ie Fm7 to Abm6 to Eb. But the Abm6 can easily work as Fm7 b5. In fact Abm6 is often used as a substitute for Fm7 b5

This is just what my initial instincts tell me (ie not by carefully listening and transcribing), but just what I would assume on first hearing. I'd need better speakers to hear the exact bass line/inversions
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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Thanks very much @randulo and @Pete Thomas .

Here is what I have from bar 72 (the one before the ending kicks in) shown in 4 bar lines:

........ | Eb |
| Bb11 | Bb11 | Fm7b5/B | Fm7b5/B |
| Eb E | F F# | F E | E |
| Eb | ... | Eb maj9 |

Or the third and fourth bars of the second line being:
.. | B13b5 | B13b5 | Randulo
or
.. | Fm7 | Abm6 | Pete Thomas (needing to check the bass notes)

It may be cheesy but I like it and hope to play it (without the singers) once our band gets back together.

Rhys
 

randulo

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Indeed Abm6 is the same notes as Fm7-5 so you could say Abm6/B.
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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Www.jazzstudies.us for all your old time standard jazz arrangements
Thanks @Colin the Bear - the section of the Ray Conniff arrangement I'm asking about isn't part of the main AABA arrangement but a four bar linking section to the ending.

The Conniff arrangement has doubled up the bars so that each part of the AABA is 16 bars long rather than 8 bars. The main form stays close to the standard harmony most people use for "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and the intro and ending are also quite easy to work out.

Rhys
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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In fact, listening to the bar before the start of the end, it makes perfect sense:

Tonic Eb, we go to the V, Bb with a suspended feeling, we stretch the suspended feeling a little more by moving up (in effect a minor 3rd), .....
@randulo could you explain the bit where you say "in effect a minor 3rd" - a minor 3rd from what and so giving which chord ?

Rhys
 

randulo

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@randulo could you explain the bit where you say "in effect a minor 3rd" - a minor 3rd from what and so giving which chord ?

Rhys
Happy to do so! You know, Rhys, there are many ways to "hear" harmony. Coming from guitar (which is capable of chords) and some random harmony books last century, mine is based on a hodge podge of impressions, again a sort of subjective hearing. So, to answer your question,

Just before your ending section, there is the tonic, Eb major.
1. Start the tension that says, "something is about to change!" I hear a suspended V chord, a Bb11 or 4 or sus.
2. How to get more tension, to build on that sus? Move the three notes that you initially called Fm up a minor third, (and that's a correct as any shorthand chord name, I'm not criticizing it) hence one could hear the top notes of the Fm chord going up those three half steps, a nice way to create more "we're not done here yet!" tension. Also why some of us would call it Abm6. F to Ab is a minor third. That's also the general impression I get hearing it, everything kind of feels like it moved up a minor 3rd. Figuring out all the notes doesn't change that impression, but if you are orchestrating (or transcribing) it has to be done. :)
3. The bass moves up one half step from the V (Bb) to a B natural, again half step up is in itself often used to build tension. I think the reason it's hard to hear that bass note is that it's subtle and that's what set off your wonder metre. And that last chord does a great job of building that tension before the return to Eb.

I am a wordy SOB in the morning, so I hope that was clear.
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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That's excellent and not too wordy for this time of morning.

Thanks very much @randulo I need to sit at the piano and hear what is happening.

Rhys
 
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