Miles Davis, All Blues

  • Created by: Corinnaxo
  • Created on: 28-04-13 11:03



  • Trumpet
  • Alto saxophone
  • Tenor saxophone

They play the main melody and prominent solos

Rhythm section:

  • Piano
  • Bass
  • Drums

They provide the harmonic and rhythmic backing

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Basic information the musicians need to play this

The album was recorded with almost no rehearsal, the musicians just had to know these things:

  • The overall structure
  • The basic chord sequence
  • The main melodic idea
  • Which mode/scale to improvise on
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  • Based on 12 bar blues progression
  • Main melody = head and played by the muted trumpet
  • Simple 4 bar riff seperating each section in parallel 3rds
  • Head arrangement

INTRO- 4 bars, rhythm section


HEAD 1- Head melody, played twice


SOLOS- Trumpet, alto & tenor sax, piano, EACH FOLLOWED BY A RIFF

HEAD 2- Head melody, played twice


CODA- Solo for muted trumpet

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The head melody is simple and consists of rising 6ths. This is followed by 4 improvised solos:

  • TRUMPET SOLO: 4 choruses, short syncopated motifs
  • ALTO SAX SOLO: 4 choruses, quicker notes, wider range, more virtuosic
  • TENOR SAX SOLO: 4 choruses, fast scales, quick runs, very virtuosic
  • PIANO SOLO: 2 choruses, calmer, simple melody, parallel chords
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Harmony and tonality

  • Based on 12 bar blues sequence, which is repeated throughout the piece
  • Jazz musicians call a chord sequence the 'changes'
  • In G major with a flattened 7th (flattened 7th in jazz is called a blue note)
  • Mixolydian mode, so All Blues is an example of modal jazz
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Rhythm, metre and tempo

  • It is in 6/4
  • Tempo = jazz waltz because each 6/4 bar sounds like a pair of bars in 3/4 time
  • Performed with swing quavers (each pair of quavers is played with the first a little longer than the second)
  • Frequent syncopation
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Instrumental techniques

  • Snare drum is played with wire brushes at the start
  • The bass plays pizzacato throughout
  • The trumpet plays with a harmon mute for the head
  • The piano plays a tremelo at the start and then begins comping (accompaying with chords and short melodic ideas)
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Important features

  • All blues comes from the album, 'Kind of blue' released in 1959
  • The band on this album is a sextet (group of 6 players)
  • It is an example of modal jazz (laid back and uncomplicated with improvisations based on modes)
  • Jazz first originated from South America during the early 20th century
  • Miles Davis is one of the best known jazz trumpeters
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