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Jenny Bray
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Session 5

The Blues

Because of its short repetitive form, the blues has always been regarded as a test of the jazz improvisor's creativity and authenticity. The form has been so pervasive in Jazz that it has developed beyond any necessary connection with the traditional style and become a form adaptable to other genres. For this reason, any one example of blues is often referred to as a '12-bar' rather than a 'blues'. The first example is a standard 12-bar by the pianist Thelonius Monk, called appropriately 'Blue Monk'. Here is the tune. Click on the manuscript to hear Revray play an arrangement with several improvised choruses.

Blue Monk Example

Rehearse Blue Monk according to the following sequence:-

1st chorus: Drums only.

2nd chorus Drums & Bass.

3rd. chorus Drums & Bass & Guitar chords.

4th. chorus Drums & Bass & guitar chords & improvised solo (flute or trumpet)

5th. chorus Bass & improvised guitar solo.

6th chorus Bass & Drums & piano chords & improvised guitar solo.

7th chorus Bass & Drums & piano chords & tune (Trumpet)

Below are the chords for another Blues with a rather more complcated tune. Click here to listen to the complete arrangement. Practise 'comping' by playing along. Use 'rootless' chords where possible.

This chord sequence is a standard 12-bar blues, the chord symbols are:-

Bb7     Eb9     Bb7 Bb7
Eb7 Eb7 Bb13   A13 Ab13   G13
Cm7 F9 Bb      G7(#9) Cm7       F7:

Lesson 6
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