Duke Ellington - Black and Tan Fantasy

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  • Black and Tan Fantasy
    • Contextual
      • First recorded in 1927
      • Jungle style jazz
    • Harmony
      • The bass part outlines the 5th and the root of each chord in steady crotchets
      • Use of substitution chord where he used a Gb7 chord instead of a F7 in bars 13-14
        • More substitution chords Cm7 chord instead of chrod V in bars 37 and 40
      • Rapid cycle of falling 5th in bars 19-20
      • The head is diatonic apart from a D natural passing note
      • Added 7th chords bar 33
      • Secondary dominant chords in bars 54-55 lead to Eb in bar 56 forming a short circle of 5ths
        • More secondary dominant chords load to a return of Bb minor and a quotation of chopins funeral march in the last 4 bars.
      • Use of diminished 7th chord in bar 58
      • Longer circle of fifths bar 59-63
      • Last 3 bars there's a massive rallentado over repeated plagal cadences
    • Structure
      • Chorus 1 (Bb minor) bars 1-12
        • Tutti
      • Contrasting 16 bar section in Bb major bars 13-28
        • Sax
      • Chorus 2/3 in Bb major bars 29-52
        • Double chorus on trumpet
      • Chorus 4 in Bb major bars 53-64
        • Piano
      • Chorus 5 in Bb major bars 65-75
        • Trombone
      • Chorus 6 in Bb major bars 76-86
        • In the trumpet and interrupted after 7 bars
      • Coda bars 87-90
        • Tutti
    • Melody
      • Opening 12 bars are an adaption of the chorus of 'the holy city'
      • The first 4 bars of 'the holy city' melody is expanded to 8 bars to make the melody into 12 bar blues
      • Fall from tonic to dominant in bar 65
      • Wide leaps and rapic decoration in bar 61
      • bars 21-28 are  varied repeat of the first 8 bars of this section
      • frequent blue notes and slides, with wide vibrato and constant use of portamenti is characteristic of the melody line
      • Improvised solos and composed head
      • Horse whinny in bars 72-73
    • Rythm
      • Syncopation
      • Cross phrasing in bars 17-18
      • The rhythm section provides four accented beats a bar sometimes infilled by the piano
        • The firmly accented pulse negates the legato style of the ballad


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