Thelonious Monk

Rhythm-a-ning – We’re playing this Monk rhythm-change-based tune in the bebop workshop (which is a little weird because Monk did not like bebop and he favored tenorists who would not place standard bebop language over his changes, as Coltrane and Rouse managed fruitfully). So I have been listening to different versions of the tune and seeing what I could find out about it, when I came across this analysis by a graduate student at Eastman of a Tom Harrell solo.

The analysis classifies each phrase or passage in the solo as either in or out. “In” and “out” each are then subdivided into phrases or passages that either (1) expressly outlines a harmony, whether that harmony is in or out,  or (2) implies ambiguous harmonies, commonly accomplished with the altered scale and often with linear passages and phrases. This produces four categories: harmonic-in, harmonic-out, V-in, V-out. The letter V stands for the type of phrase or passage described as the second type—that is harmonically ambiguous. The letter V is  represents the V chord, where this melodic type typically finds expression on V.

The reason I like the analysis is because it offers a simple and logical way to give a solo harmonic variety. And the color coded pdf solo for viewing and downloading is excellent, and of course you hear Harrell’s solo.


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