I realized this morning that "Lipstick Traces" bears more than a passing resemblance to a song that has already been discussed here in the "Rag Blues and Circle of Fifths" thread at: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=712.msg8074#msg8074
, Leroy Carr's "Longing For My Sugar". "Longing For My Sugar" is a 12-bar blues, unlike "Lipstick Traces", which is a 32-bar Pop song form, but look at the progression of "Longing For My Sugar", and you'll see that the progression for the A parts of "Lipstick Traces" employs essentially the same progression, but writ large, and in a bit more harmonic detail. Here's "Longing For My Sugar", transposed to F, the key Snooks performed "Lipstick Traces" in.
| F | A7 | Dm | F7 |
| Bb | Bdim7 | F | D7 |
| G7 | C7 | turn-| around |
In both songs, the initial harmonic movement is from I major to it's relative minor, VI minor, from which you move into IV and then a I-VI-II-V-I circle of fifths, with the VI, II and V chords all dominant sevenths. "Lipstick Traces" doubles up all the lengths in which chords are held at the front end of the progression, and unlike "Longing For My Sugar", which always gets to the next key area via the V7 of that key area, e.g., A7 for D minor and F7 for Bflat, "Lipstick Traces" effects the movement to different key areas with a IIm7--V7 progression, e.g., Em7-A7 for D minor and Cm7-F7 for Bflat. If you look at "Lipstick Traces" progression, in the A parts, at the roots of the odd numbered measures, you get a descending major scale, as per:
As Mel Allen used to say, "How about that!"
This same progression was utilized, with minor tweaks, by Charlie Parker for his tune, "Confirmation", and, at least, through the IV chord, by Harry Warren for his great standard, "There Will Never Be Another You". It's a wonderful progression, really a great ride, and fun to improvise over, and it has the additional benefit of being able to accommodate completely different sorts of melodies. If you've any doubt of the different melodic possibilities implicit in this progression, go to YouTube and search for renditions of "Confirmation" and "There Will Never Be Another You", bearing in mind that they have very close to the same progression as "Lipstick Traces". And it's especially cool when you reflect that the progression comes right out of the blues tradition.