Casino – Gigi Gryce
A true bebop melody with a very enjoyable harmonic progression.
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- Recording: Art Blakey - A Midnight Session with The Jazz Messengers
- Recorded on: March 8 or 9, 1957
- Label: Elektra (EKI 120)
- Concert Key: F
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Swing (uptempo)
- Trumpet - Bill Hardman
- Alto Sax - Jackie McLean
- Piano - Sam Dockery
- Bass - Spanky DeBrest
- Drums - Art Blakey
Learn more about Gigi Gryce at Noal Cohen's Jazz History website. Also see Gryce's discography there.
Pianist Michael Cochrane has provided one chorus of whole and half note chords using the solo chord progression (footballs). His voicings incorporate a lot of octave doubling and many upper structure triads. An example of the former is the doubling of the top C, F, E, E-flat in the first four chords an octave lower. Notable upper structure triads occur in the fourth measure, with F major over the G minor 7th (flat 5th) and an A-flat major over the C7th. The first of these spells the 7th, 9th, and 11th of the chord; the second, the sharp 5th, root and sharp 9th. The three A sections are voiced differently; a notable substitution occurs at the beginning of the second A section with the A triad over B-flat resolving up a half-step to B-flat major.
These footballs show one way Michael hears the solo chord progression move from chord to chord. When studying them, your concentration is focused solely on the chord progression and how chords move from one to another, how one voice leads to the next. Rhythmically, it's simple whole notes and half notes, or the basic harmonic rhythm of the chord progression of the solo section. The footballs are also annotated, showing the original chord symbol above the voicing, as well as any extensions below the voicing. The idea is that these voicings could be of varied uses to any level of pianist—a beginner pianist could play the music exactly as on the page and provide a supportive and harmonically hip sounding accompaniment to a soloist, while a more advanced pianist could use these same voicings with varied rhythms in the style of the recording. Ultimately, a pianist would be able to absorb how these voicings were derived from the chord symbols, and then be able to create their own.
November 28, 1925 – March 17, 1983
Gigi Gryce was a fine altoist in the 1950s, but it was his writing skills, both composing and arranging (including composing the standard Minority) that were considered most notable. After growing up in Hartford, CT, and studying at the Boston Conservatory and in Paris, Gryce worked in New York with Max Roach, Tadd Dameron, and Clifford Brown. He toured Europe in 1953 with Lionel Hampton and led several sessions in France on that trip. Read more...