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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Soloing over suspended chords

RIP Paul Motian: Veteran jazz drummer Paul Motian passed away Tuesday Nov. 29th at the age of 80. Unfortunately today's media seems to put big breaking news like "Justin Bieber buys a $160,000 automobile to impress his girl friend" ahead of or instead of reporting on the death of an important musician. Can Justin Bieber even drive? Is he old enough? I know Paul Motian certainly deserves a big article. Paul Motian played with the first famous Bill Evans Trio with Scott LaFaro, Keith Jarrett's American Quartet in the 70's along with Dewey Redman and Charlie Haden as well as his own groups which were all very original and musical. His recent ongoing group that I wished I had been able to see was a bass-less trio with guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano.

Check out the lesson on soloing over suspended chords. I like to use the minor 7 arpeggios based on the 2nd and the 5th of the chord. The example I use in the video is a G7sus4 so I use an A-7 arpeggio and a D-7 arpeggio to improvise with. Both arpeggios don't have the 3rd of G which is B. Playing the 3rd of the chord resolves the suspended quality of the chord which you don't want.

I've been listening to:

Guitarist Bill Frisell's "Gone Like A Train" with Victor Krauss on bass and Jim Keltner on drums. Great Americana/rootsy trio recording following Frisell's fantastic "Nashville" record. Fantastic trio!

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss "Raising Sand". T-Bone Burnett produced it and it is great. Rock royalty like Plant singing with top drawer buegrass and roots players is intriguing enough but adding bluegrass star Alison Krauss makes this recording very special. Plant doesn't play rock star here but rather blends and harmonizes with Krauss beautifully and is just one of the band. Greg Leisz plays pedal steel, Marc Ribot plays guitar, dobro and banjo , Jay Bellerose on drums, Norman Blake plays acoustic guitar and Dennis Crouch on bass. I saw them live at the Molson Ampitheatre a couple of summers ago and it was a great show.

Bill Evans Trio Live at The Village Vanguard 1961 with Paul Motian on drums and Scott LaFaro on bass. What can I say that hasn't been said before about this recording and this group. Famous New York jazz club which is still very much a player on the world stage plus a pianist who had totally found his voice on the instrument and was at the top of his game. A must have recording.

That's all for now.

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