Edexcel Blues and Jazz, Miles Davis.

Revision notes for All Blues by Miles Davis

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Musical Line up for the Album Keywords
Music GCSE notes Miles Davis: Trumpet Ragtime - music characterized by a
Julian Adderley: Alto Sax syncopated melodic line and regularly
Popular Music John Coltrane: Tenor Sax
Bill Evans: Piano
accented accompaniment
Blue note - a 'bent' note between the
Miles Davis Paul Chambers: Bass
Jimmy Cobb: Drums
minor and major third
Changes - the chord sequence in a
All Blues from the jazz song
Head - the main melody of a jazz
album Kind of Blue song, generally played at the
beginning of the song
Comping - an abbreviation of
All Blues is based around a repeated 12 bar blues sequence with a 4 bar riff in between each section. 'accompanying'
Frontline - the solo instruments in a
The main melody (the head) and the solos are all played over the 12-bar sequence (the changes) jazz ensemble
Trill - rapidly alternating between two
The 12 bar sequence is repeated 19 times in total (228 bars long) notes
Mordent - ornament on which the
written note is played, followed by
Changes for All Blues': Head/Solos There is a time signature of 6/4 so that the chord the note above and the written note
sequence falls into 12 bars. again
Bar 1 2 3 4 6/4 has two beats per bar with each beat dividing Voicings - a term used to describe
into three smaller beats. various ways of ordering the notes in
G7 G7 G7 G7 a chord from lowest to highest
The three beat division gives the music a waltz-like
5 6 7 8 feel. A waltz is a dance with three beats in a bar. Chord substitution - replacing one
chord with another
C7 C7 G7 G7 Structure
Turnaround - a short chord pattern at
the end of a sequence signalling the
9 10 11 12 'All Blues' uses a head arrangement, a structure often found in jazz. A head return to the beginning of the
arrangement is a chord progression which is memorised (in the head) by sequence
D7#9 Eb7#9 G7 G7 the players. Altered Chord - a chord in which on of
D7#9 the notes has been sharpened or
The head arrangement in 'All Blues' is the 12 -bar chord progression . flattened to become a chromatic note
Jazz players refer to chord progressions as ' changes'. Extended chord - a chord in which
Each of the main sections is introduced by · Each repetition of the 12-bar progression is known as a chorus. diatonic notes other than the seventh
a 4-bar riff. A riff is a short repeated · In 'All Blues' each of the soloists improvises in the choruses - like a have been added to the original triad
pattern. set of variations.
· 4- bar intro (rhythm section) · The piece opens with an intro and ends with a coda. Eb7#9 = Eb, G, Bb, Ab, F#
· 4-bar riff (saxes and rhythm section)
· Head 1 (a 12 bar head with muted trumpet This bar is repeated several times. Notice the instruction for the snare drum to be played with
playing melody) wire brushes swept across the drumhead.
· Riff and head repeated
· Four 12-bar choruses for trumpet
· Four choruses for alto sax
· Four choruses for tenor sax
· Two choruses for piano
· One chorus (all instruments with trumpet
now muted)
· Head repeated
· Coda (solo muted trumpet)
After four bars of intro the 4-bar riff is introduced. The piano, drums and bass
continue their ostinati and saxophones are added.
Head 1 follows the riff with the muted trumpet
playing the melody. Miles Davis uses a Harmon
mute. Look at the opening bars of the trumpet part.
The trumpet plays legato, mainly in its middle
Trumpet solo 2
There are four trumpet choruses where Miles Davis improvises on the original idea. Look at the opening
bars of trumpet solo 2. Notice the increase in the pitch range and the dynamic range. There is also more
use made of grace notes and of syncopation.
The trumpet solos are followed by four choruses for alto saxophone. The style
changes with the sax playing rapid scales and arpeggios, and focusing on the higher
register of the instrument
The alto sax solo is followed by four choruses for tenor saxophone. Again there
are fast scales and arpeggios, this time across the range of the instrument.
The following piano solos are calmer in mood with more use of long melody
Important points to note The final coda is played by Miles Davis. Much of the opening is based on the
- In this track the soloists use scales and modes a lot more than usual, partly because the chords tonic note (G) with grace notes played on the dominant (D).
don't change very quickly
- The solos are much more simple improvisations using a pentatonic scale over a blues sequence The last four bars of 'All blues' use the same legato long notes we heard at the
- The soloists combine riffs from previous arpeggio ideas, the use of scales and modes show a end of the original head.
sense of development and direction 00:00 Bar 1 4 bar intro (rhythm section)
- The soloists never solo at the same time
- The links give the music space to breathe and builds anticipation for the next section 00:11 Bar 5 4 bar riff (saxophones and rhythm section) followed by 12 bar head
- The bass part repeats riff 1 constantly throughout and becomes part of the texture and doesn't (muted trumpet added)
distract from the soloists 00:53 Bar21 Riff and head repeated
- The piano provides a chordal accompaniment throughout the piece but changes the voicings to
1:35 Bar 37 Riff followed by four 12-bar choruses for trumpet (un-muted)
make it more interesting
- The drums provide a constantly shifting backing improvising a highly syncopated snare drum part 3:51 Bar 89 Riff (on piano) followed by four 12 bar chorus for alto sax
but keeps a steady beat varying how he hits it to create changes in dynamics and texture 6:04 Bar 141 Riff (on piano) followed by four bar choruses for tenor sax
8:17 Bar 193 Riff (on piano)followed by two 12 bar choruses for piano
9:28 Bar 221 Riff (with saxes) followed by 12 bar head (played by all, with trumpet
now muted)
10:09 Bar 237 Riff and head repeated
10:51 Bar 253 Riff and coda (muted trumpet solo)
Blues and Jazz Page 1


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