Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsSo let’s prepare to play “All Blues” with a playalong.

Skip to 0 minutes and 16 secondsI forgot to say what it is that Bill Evans does during the introduction of this tune. He plays a double fisted trill like this.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 secondsIt gives it a sort of mysterious colour. Later on he goes to playing the horn lick.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 secondsOn our Aebersold playalong there’s a 4 bar introduction, so we’ll play the bass lick for 2 bars and then we’ll play the horn lick like we have been doing in solo piano position. When we get to the tune we’ll play the horn lick in the left hand.

Skip to 1 minute and 16 secondsI don’t think we’ll bother with the grace notes. It’s not quite so natural to play it in the left hand. So we’ll play that.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 secondsThen we could play the horn lick in the middle of the piano but I think it sounds better to go back to how we did it when we were playing it as a solo piece.

Skip to 1 minute and 58 secondsThen back to

Skip to 2 minutes and 7 secondsThen the bass D - D7 sharp9 going up to E flat7 sharp9, then down again, and then as we did in the solo version.

Skip to 2 minutes and 30 secondsThe second chorus of the playalong - which will be our first chorus of improvising is the same in character as the first chorus. So we’ll carry on playing our sax lick in the left hand and improvise over the top. In the third chorus on the Aebersold playalong the bass player goes to playing 6 to the bar, so we’re kind of treat it like an ordinary blues at that stage. An ordinary blues, but somehow because it’s in 6/4 each bar seems to last twice as long as a 3/4 bar - would you believe - so that the first 4 bars lasts about 8 bars. That’s rather a long time to just keep playing G7.

Skip to 3 minutes and 21 secondsIf I play the thirteenth shape, playing that one chord is too much. I’ll put in some variation. I’ll play some A flat7 to give us some variation and I’ll also, possibly, play some F7. It’s of interest to note that on this album “Kind of Blue” there’s a blues called “Freddie Freeloader”. That’s a blues in B flat, but there’s quite a lot places where the B flat section has an A flat7 in it as well - so taking the chord down a tone. But I digress. There’ll be the G7 section and the C7 section. Perhaps to add a bit of interest to that I might play sus and then resolve into C7.

Skip to 4 minutes and 14 secondsThen we get to the D7 sharp9 section - now what do I want you to do? I’d be quite happy if you just played it as D7 with the appropriate scale and similarly for E flat7 and D7 in the next bar. But if you want to know precisely what the scale is that goes with D7 sharp9 - well we’re have a little digression. We’ll be discussing this later on. It turns out to be quite a complicated scale because it’s a mode of a melodic minor ascending and you have to go up a semitone to get the melodic minor ascending - which makes it a seventh mode. Let me be precise.

Skip to 4 minutes and 57 secondsSuppose I am in C and I’m going to play C7 with the third and the sharp ninth and the seventh - what’s the scale? Well I go up a semitone to D flat and I take D flat melodic minor ascending. Now D flat major is that scale, but if I take the minor and flatten the third and leave everything else alone that’s the melodic minor ascending. If I now take that scale and root it on C, I get. It sort of starts off with diminished intervals but then goes into a whole tone section. So if I play the chord.

Skip to 5 minutes and 49 secondsIt’s known as the “altered” scale, because in it you’ve not only got the sharpened ninth but you’ve got the flattened ninth, not only have you got the sharpened fifth but you’ve got the flattened fifth - the altered scale. What is it for us in terms of D? Well we go up to E flat, take E flat melodic minor and root it on D. Then we do exactly the same equivalent thing for E flat. The scale we get is

Preparing to play "All Blues" with a playalong

We consider some of the issues involved in playing “All Blues” with a playalong. You can download the chart for “Altered Scales” in PDF format at the bottom of this step.

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This video is from the free online course:

Learn Jazz Piano: III. Solo Piano and Advanced Topics

Goldsmiths, University of London