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Beginner Is Jazz Blues different to ‘ normal ‘ Jazz ?....

Clivey

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It just dawned on me that in six pages of discussion about blues music unless I missed it, there has not been one mention of the traditional form of blues lyrics. The most common form of blues is made up of 12 bar phrases. These 12 bars can be further divided into three groups that are 4 bars each a bit reminiscent of "call and response" in earlier song forms.

1st 4 bars. . . . . . . . Opening statement
2nd 4 bars. . . . . . . Opening statement repeated exactly or with slight variation
3rd 4 bars. . . . . . . .Response or answer to statement

Buddy Boy Hawkins - Snatch It Back Blues lyrics
Spoken:
Listen here people, these are my blues, I brought them all the way from Birmingham.
You know when it feels good to me it's bound to feel good to you
I'm goin to see how'd you like that?

I'm gonna lay my head out on some lonesome railroad track
I say, I'm gonna lay my head, mama, ah out on some railroad track
Well when that train come along, I'm gonna snatch it back

Tell me brownskin mama where did you stay last night?
I said, tell me mama where did you stay last night?
With your hair all down, your face ain't ever wiped

I say I love you pretty mama, ah'ou'ah don't care what you do
I say I love you pretty , ah'ou'ah don't care what you do
You go to your black man mama, I stick to my gal

I say if you don't need your black woman you gonna have to carry some heavy stall
If you don't want me mama you got to carry some heavy stall
How come I say that? Because I can get more jet black women than a freight train can haul

This thread was always going to pop back to the top.
Well done to @jbtsax for mentioning the overlooked connection to verse.
See here for a little bit more background.

This stuff is far far older and more complex than even the link hints at.
 

mizmar

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Sounds painful, do they have a vaccine against it?
It's not contagious unless you hangout in threads like this...
... And even then you're likely to remain unsymptomatic till it's too late.
 

AndyB

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Durham, NC, USA
Great question. I'm late to the party but here goes:

The way it was explained to me is that jazz derives from 4 types of source material:
1) blues
2) pop and show tunes
3) rhythm changes based on I Got Rhythm
4) original compositions

As to what jazz blues is, one part of the answer to your question is the improv style used. I think others have touched on that already. Another part is the chord progressions used for the styles. I once spent 2 entire weeks figuring out how the jazz and bepop blues forms were derived from the delta blues. But in the decades since then I found some wonderful webpages that explain it. Here is a good first discussion for the form.

Images linked from :

Basic I7-IV7-V7 Blues

Basic-I-IV-V-Blues-768x422.jpg

Basic Jazz Blues

Basic-Jazz-Blues-768x461.jpg

Common Jazz Blues Additions

Jazz-Blues-Additions-768x470.jpg
 
Last edited:

AndyB

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Durham, NC, USA
Jay Metcalf's recent interview with the legendary George Coleman covers the differences very well. He gives lots of example on what he would play on a blues versus a jazz blues around the 7:30 mark. But the takeaway is jazz blues is going to be more bop oriented with upper extension, alterations, substitutions, etc. in the harmony and the lines.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eliiu6PY8-w
I just watched that last night and ate it up. One of my big takeaways was his approach to taking just 2 tunes and practicing them every day in all 12 keys and sticking with just a couple tunes that you like forever. His fav tunes were Mack The Knife and Cherokee,
 

Pete Thomas

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Great question. I'm late to the party but here goes:

The way it was explained to me is that jazz derives from 4 types of source material:
1) blues
2) pop and show tunes
3) rhythm changes based on I Got Rhythm
4) original compositions

As to what jazz blues is, one part of the answer to your question is the improv style used. I think others have touched on that already. Another part is the chord progressions used for the styles. I once spent 2 entire weeks figuring out how the jazz and bepop blues forms were derived from the delta blues. But in the decades since then I found some wonderful webpages that explain it. Here is a good first discussion for the form.

Images linked from :

Basic I7-IV7-V7 Blues

Basic-I-IV-V-Blues-768x422.jpg

Basic Jazz Blues

Basic-Jazz-Blues-768x461.jpg

Common Jazz Blues Additions

Jazz-Blues-Additions-768x470.jpg

This is quite a good definition/comparison.

We would often base this difference on bars 9 - 10 being V IV (basic) or II V (basic jazz blues) and I think it does make sense (although maybe a lot of "basic" boogie tunes might have a IIm7 V7 but otherwise be very kind of down home)

I was thinking about this the other day when I listened to Charlie Blues for Alice. Although it's definitely a jazz blues (bebop) it has huge blues context going on in Bird's playing. But then I did a quick Youtube serach for covers of the tune, and the first few I found I would very much call jazz with very little blues feel or reference. What I mean is the players seemed to be typical youtube showing off their jazz phrases and clever fast runs etc. Of course Bird played fast, but somehow had a LOT more blues feel.

So
 

turf3

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Earth
Bird was a STONE blues player from KC. When he was coming up the two big sources for jam sessions were 12 bar blues (with modifications) and Rhythm changes. I'm talking about jam sessions like the famous one where Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins wore out every tenor player in KC.
 

AndyB

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Durham, NC, USA
This is quite a good definition/comparison.

We would often base this difference on bars 9 - 10 being V IV (basic) or II V (basic jazz blues) and I think it does make sense (although maybe a lot of "basic" boogie tunes might have a IIm7 V7 but otherwise be very kind of down home)

I was thinking about this the other day when I listened to Charlie Blues for Alice. Although it's definitely a jazz blues (bebop) it has huge blues context going on in Bird's playing. But then I did a quick Youtube serach for covers of the tune, and the first few I found I would very much call jazz with very little blues feel or reference. What I mean is the players seemed to be typical youtube showing off their jazz phrases and clever fast runs etc. Of course Bird played fast, but somehow had a LOT more blues feel.

So
Thanks Pete.

The website that I linked seems to imply that the II V (basic jazz blues) derives from the V IV (basic blues). However, I have often wondered if it actually evolved in parallel from V V (even more-basic blues). The country blues seems to have retained that V V in bars 9-10 and so I wonder if it was more prevalent and an ancestor to both forms. II V seems to be more harmonically related to V V than to V IV. What do you think?

BTW, the website that I linked references 4 progressions and the 4th that I didn't link is the Bird Blues. Strange that you mention it but I have also heard renditions of Bird Blues that sounded like blues and some that sounded entirely not-blues.

I once heard Cannonball Adderley's sound described as having "blues sensibility" instilled throughout. I'm not sure how to describe that but I get it. Adderley had it and I think he got it from Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges. Then others got if from him. But some people don't got it.

Not that you are old enough to actually remember this but I have heard reference to 1930s blues styles using a dominant two chord instead of minor two. Does that ring true to you?
 

AndyB

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Bird was a STONE blues player from KC. When he was coming up the two big sources for jam sessions were 12 bar blues (with modifications) and Rhythm changes. I'm talking about jam sessions like the famous one where Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins wore out every tenor player in KC.
I have heard this statement dozens of times but I cannot find any material that indicates this. Can you point me to any Bird before he went completely speed-metal bebop? Truthfully, I would love to hear what you and others are talking about. If he studied Lester Young religiously then there must have been some blues Bird before the speed-metal bebop Bird. Thanks.
 

Pete Thomas

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V IV (basic blues). However, I have often wondered if it actually evolved in parallel from V V (even more-basic blues). The country blues seems to have retained that V V in bars 9-10 and so I wonder if it was more prevalent and an ancestor to both forms. II V seems to be more harmonically related to V V than to V IV. What do you think?
Both serve the same purpose, as dominant to tonic resolution.

I think of a three part journey

I = at home (tonic)

IV = gone somewhere else (subdominant)

V = somewhere else again but wanting to come home. Dominant)

So IIm 7 V7 I is typical coming home.

V7 IV7 is the same but it kind of stops off a bit on the way. (And yes it can often just by V7 without the IV7)

I'm not sure of the evolution though


but I have heard reference to 1930s blues styles using a dominant two chord instead of minor two. Does that ring true to you?

That's a secondary dominant. (ie dominat of a dominant) and is very conventional classical harmony anyway. Also in early forms like ragtime it is often there. Although we sometimes tend to think of blues as coming from the cotton fields work chants, there was a lot of church going down south (both slaves and slave owners) so hymn tunes and associated harmony gets all mixed in.

Can you point me to any Bird before he went completely speed-metal bebop?

Check out the recordings with Jay McShann before he was famous. You can hear gimpses of the Bird that was to come as bebop developed.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96cp57GjoaQ
 

Dr G

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Check out Robben Ford or Chris Cain for jazz-infused blues.

Most of the citations I am seeing in this thread are blues-flavored jazz.
 

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