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He been dead so long he near about ready to come back - Furry Lewis addresses whether Jim Jackson was still alive in 1959, from Jeff Harris' sundayblues.org

Author Topic: "I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure  (Read 7392 times)

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Offline Richard

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"I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure
« on: March 05, 2011, 11:46:55 AM »
John this is going slightly off topic, nevertheless still related and so maybe you would want to answer it elsewhere.

However, since you talk chords so effortlessly can you offer a simple generic version of the old AABA standard "I got Rhythm" and maybe try to put into context what is it that decides which chords go to make up a middle eight?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 10:14:52 AM by Johnm »
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Johnm

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"I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2011, 12:23:06 PM »
Sure Richard, here are changes for "I Got Rhythm."  It's normally played in B flat, which puts it in C for transposing instruments like trumpet, tenor sax and clarinet.  As you said, form is AABA with each of the A parts having slightly different endings, depending on whether they are sending you back to another A, going to the bridge (B part), or returning you to the top of the form.  The slashes above the first ending show that you hold the Bflat6 for two beats and the C minor 7 and the F7 each for one beat apiece.

  A ||:  Bflat6    Gm7  |   Cm7   F7    |   Bflat6   Gm7   |    Cm7    F7    |
                                                                        1.  |    |     |     |
    |   Bflat6   Bflat7  |  Eflat6  Eflatm6  | Bflat6  F7    |  Bflat6  Cm7 F7 :||
                                                                        2.
                                                                         |  Bflat6            |
  B|    D7      |      D7      |      G7      |      G7      |
    |       C7      |      C7      |      F7      |      F7      |
  A|  Blat6  Gm7   |   Cm7   F7   |   Bflat6   Gm7   |    Cm7    F7    |

   |   Bflat6   Bflat7    |   Eflat6   Eflatm6   |   Bflat6   F7   |    Bflat  (F7)    ||

You can abstract the progression and express it numerically for ease of transposition to other keys, as:

   ||:   I6   vim7   |  iim7   V7    |   I6   vim7   |   iim7   V7   |
                                                             1.
   |   I6    I7     |   IV6    ivm6   |   I6   V7     |  I6   iim7  V7  :||
                                                             2.
                                                              |   I6             |
  
   |        III7    |        III7          |       VI7      |       VI7       |

   |       II7      |        II7           |       V7       |        V7       |

   |   I6     vim7  |    iim7   V7    |   I6   vim7   |   iim7   V7   |

   |   I6     I7    |   IV6     ivm6    |   I6    V7     |    I6    (V7)   ||

In figuring out the numeric expression of the progression, chords expressed as Roman numerals have a major third, and those with lower case numerals have a minor third.  The sixth chord, as in Bflat6, was the I chord of choice for Swing Era players.  To use the numeric expression of the progression to transpose the song to other keys, simply base the progression on the notes of the scale for the key you would like to play it in, so that the first line in the key of G major would be G6 Em7 Am7 D7 played twice, over the first four bars and so on.
For the bridge, George Gershwin went for an extended circle-of-fifths progression, with each chord being the V7 of the chord into which it resolves.   Thus, in the original key, D is the V of G, which is the V of C, which is the V of F, which is the V of Bflat, which takes you back to the opening A idea.
I hope this is what you were asking about, Richard, but if I've got it dead wrong, just ask away for clarifications.
All best,
Johnm    
    
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 10:17:05 AM by Johnm »

Offline Richard

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"I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 06:59:44 AM »
John - thanks and not dead wrong, but dead right - especially the numerical version which clearly shows the progression.

I seem to have collected two or thre versions of this in Bb, but other than the bridge (the middle eight as we tend to say) none seem to really correspond so I though to myself you would probably know definitive version! Now I certainly see the bridge progression but wonder why it started on G, was that because working backwards around the circle so to speak, it ends on that Bb or why would the G being the VI of the Bb scale be chosen as a starting point in the first place? Does that make sense?

Which I suppose leads me on to ask in more general sense, what would be the ground rules for defining a chord sequence for a bridge in the first place?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 10:17:34 AM by Johnm »
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Johnm

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Re: "I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 10:42:18 AM »
Hi Richard,
Since this seemed to have the possibility of going on for a little while, I took your original suggestion and made it its own thread, over here.  Re the question of why the bridge starts where it does, on the III7 chord (D7 in the key of Bflat), you are dead right, that in the harmonic sense, at least, allowing two bars per chord change, and an 8-bar bridge, beginning with the III7 chord and running a straight series of circle-of-fifths resolutions will land you in the seventh and eight bar of the bridge on the V7 chord, which wants to resolve to the I chord, and does so, as the A idea returns in the final eight bars of the form.

As for the broader question of rules governing the chord structure for a bridge, the quick answer is that there are no such rules, per se.  If you think of the bridge, substituting a synonymous term that is less frequently used, the "release", you may get a clearer idea of how a fair number of composers treated the middle eight section of the tune--as a place to introduce new melodic and chordal ideas, developed in short form, but nonetheless concluding at the end of those eight bars in a melodic and chordal place that is going to lead naturally into the final re-statement of the A idea (generally on a V7 chord, assuming the A part starts on a I chord).

Different composers in the style are all over the map with regard to how far away from the A part they want the bridge to go.  The French composer Michel Legrand probably likes to stick the closest to home, and his B parts quite often use the very same melodic material as his A parts, varied only slightly.  Other people, like Billy Strayhorn or Jimmy Van Heusen, or especially Jerome Kern, could go so far away in their bridges that you almost doubt that they're going to be able to arrive at a suitable way to get back to the A part in the limited amount of time available.  I suppose the potential for variety and personal ways of dealing with the same structural elements is what keeps the form from becoming too much of the same thing, over and over again, when being employed by the strongest writers in the style.  Certainly as with the Pop music of any era, there was a great mass of stuff that was pretty formulaic and has little to recommend its revival. The best stuff is great, though, and enduring, I think.
All best,
Johnm  
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 10:56:58 PM by Johnm »

Offline Richard

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Re: "I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 12:40:06 PM »
I think you could be right about this going on!

I understand what you are saying and the use of the term "release" really does fit the part very well, as it's the release which appears to give the tune some lift. I suppose that maybe I can't quite get my head around the idea of composition from scratch for the said release section, so I need to go and examine some chord sequences to make sense of it.

Out of interest on the CBW tune dj and I have working on 'Has my gal been here' in Eb the bridge there follows your generic version exactly -
 |        III7    |        III7          |       VI7      |       VI7       |   |       II7      |        II7           |       V7       |        V7       |

I need to go and do a little research and doubtlesss come back to you. Thanks.
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Johnm

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Re: "I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 02:43:08 PM »
Yes, Richard, the Blues guys definitely picked up on that III-VI-II-V bridge from "I Got Rhythm".  Without thinking about it long or hard, I can recall two of Bo Carter's 32-bar "Pop Blues", "Your Biscuits Are Big Enough For Me" and "Honey", that used that bridge.  I'm sure Bo had other songs that used it, too.  In truth, I don't even know if George Gershwin was the first to come up with it, but he had the best-known early song that employed that progression, so he generally gets the credit for it.
All best,
John

Offline Richard

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Re: "I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 08:30:39 AM »
I have the ubiquitous "fake books" here for every tune in the universe I shall take trip through and do some reseach!
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Pan

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Re: "I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 09:41:05 AM »
FWIW, here are some jazz standards, based on the rhythm changes:

”HEADS” BASED ON ”RHYTHM GHANGES”

I Got Rhythm        
(Original Song by George Gershwin  
Broadway Show ”Girl Crazy”, 1930)

Anthropology
Celerity
Chasing The Bird
Constellation
Dexterity
Kim
Merry-Go-Round (only ”A” sections)
Moose The Mooch
An Oscar For Treadwell
Passport
Red Cross
Segment (only ”A” sections)
Shaw Nuff    (with Gillespie)
Steeplechase
Thriving From A Riff          by Charlie Parker

Guy`s Got To Go             Jam Session with Charlie Christian (Live at Minton`s)

Blue`s Theme
Funji Mama                     by Blue Mitchell

Bud`s Bubble
Celia
Wail      by Bud Powell

Cottontail                       by Duke Ellington

Crazeology                      by Benny Harris

C.T.A. (only ”A” sections)  by Jimmy Heath

Dizzy Atmosphere
Good Bait
Ow!            
Salt Peanuts  
Shaw Nuff (with Parker)     by Dizzy Gillespie

The Eternal Triangle          by  Sonny Stitt

52nd Street Theme            
Rhythm-A-Ning                 by Thelonius Monk

Lester Leaps In                 by Count Basie

Meet The Flintstones          by Hannah-Barbera (?) B52`s (?)

Move                               by Denzil Best

New Wheels                      by Mulgrew Miller

Oleo                                by Sonny Rollins

Room 608                         by Horace Silver

Second Balcony Jump  
                                      by JerryValentine

The Serpents Tooth  
The Theme                       by Miles Davis

Straight Ahead                  by Kenny Dorham

Turnpike                           by J.J. Johnson

Bad Self

Hangtime                          by John Miller



Cheers

Pan

    
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 10:02:01 AM by Pan »

Offline Pan

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Re: "I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 09:54:03 AM »
And for those who are interested, here's a link to "I Got Rhythm" on JazzStandards.com, a nice resource, IMO.

http://www.jazzstandards.com/compositions-0/igotrhythm.htm

Cheers

Pan

Offline Johnm

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Re: "I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 09:55:14 AM »
That's cool, Pan!  Thanks for posting that list.  I've written a couple of "Rhythm" changes tunes, "Hangtime" and "Bad Self", which Orville Johnson recorded on his dobro CD, "Slide And Joy", a few years back.  It can be fun writing to a pre-existing set of chord changes.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Pan

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Re: "I Got Rhythm"--chord changes/structure
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 10:00:20 AM »
You're welcome, John.

I used to collect these tunes, but have neglected it in the last few years, so the list is by no means comprehensive (I doubt that any list of rhythm tunes could ever be comprehensive).

I'll add your songs to the list.  8)

Cheers

Pan

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