All Blues, Miles Davis

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All blues is based on a 12 bar blues sequence, which is repeated 19 times. The piece can be
broken down into 5 main sections and a 4 bar riff links each of these together:
The first section is the introduction which is an opening four bars played by the rhythm
section: the drums; bass; and piano, which plays a dissonant trill, followed by the four bar
introductory riff where the saxophones play a harmonized melody.
The second is `Head 1', which consists of the main tune, followed by the riff.
After that is `Head 2', where the main tune, followed by the 4 bar riff, is repeated, although
developed slightly.
Next is the solo section for the trumpet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and piano. Each
new soloist is proceeded by the 4 bar riff.
Then are `Head 3' and `Head 4' which are similar to Head 1 and 2, however more developed.
Finally is the outro: the piece ends with a coda which consists of a short trumpet solo which
fades out.
`All Blues' uses chromatic harmony, which adds to the Blues effect.
The 9th and 10th bars in the 12 bar chord progression are altered: bar 9 is D7#9, and bar 10
consists of the chords Eb7#9 and D7#9.
The pianist often changes the chord voicing to keep the repetitive chord sequence
The introduction of the piece begins as polyphonic texture. The first head is then
homophonic with the trumpet and saxophones. Head 2 begins as monophonic with the
trumpet only, and then returns to homophonic as the saxophones re-enter. The solos are
polyphonic due to the rhythm section backing. Head 3 and 4 are both homophonic, and
finally, the outro is monophonic as it's just a trumpet solo.
Instrumental Timbres
Overall, the timbre is mellow and subdued: the trumpet is muted in the head, and the drums
are played with brushes.
The improvisations are based on overall tonality-scales or modes, rather than improvising
over the chord changes which gives the soloists more freedom. The mode used in
improvisation in this piece is the Mixolydian mode.


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