Stumbling Block – Jonny King
Changing meters in the head and an advanced chord progression make this song a worthy challenge. The melody holds it all together—a good place to start when soloing.
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- Recording: Tony Reedus - The Far Side
- Recorded on: November, 1988
- Label: Jazz City (D22Y-01316)
- Concert Key: No key center
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Swing (uptempo)
- Tenor Sax - Bill Evans
- Piano - Mulgrew Miller
- Bass - Charnett Moffett
- Drums - Tony Reedus
Though this song has no key center, the changes have a logic to them. The A section has a rising and falling root motion, "resolving" to F♯ minor at the end despite the lack of dominant chords. The bridge focuses on a D♭ triad over D in the bass.
There is an angular bass countermelody in the first two measures of the A section. The bridge goes to a Latin groove. Solos swing throughout; the solo choruses have a slightly simplified chord progression and stay in 4/4 throughout. The coda vamps and fades on the last chord, repeating the last two notes of the melody.
The melody is a great reference point when soloing on these advanced changes. A soloist can also focus on chord tones that move stepwise through the changes, such as G♭-G-A♭-A for the first four chords.
On the recording, one melody note is different from our lead sheet. In the last measure of the bridge, saxophonist Bill Evans plays an A♭ on the "and" of beat 2; it should be A♮ as the lead sheet shows.
Bassist Charnett Moffett also recorded a lot in 1988, including on albums by pianists Kenny Drew, Jr., Donald Brown and James Williams.
born on February 2, 1965
Born in New York City, Jonny King has been making headway on the piano since the age of 9. His exposure to legendary pianists Earl Hines and Teddy Wilson, and an impromptu performance with Dizzy Gillespie at the age of 10, ignited his interest in jazz. Through these connections he began a working as a sideman in the New York clubs as a teenager. In the 1980s he began studying with bebop pianist Tony Aless as well as Mulgrew Miller, who became an important figure in King's life. Read more...