Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsLet’s look at this tune “On Green Dolphin Street”. I’ll play it for you.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsIt’s a 32 bar structure that goes ABAC. A is in E flat major and in B, in bar 13, it’s II-V-I to G flat major. So it modulates to G flat major. It goes back to E flat major via a V at the end of the B section. Then, taking the second time bar, that’s F minor. Then essentially you’ve got a II-V-I to C minor - D minor7, G7, C minor, C minor7. Then, you could say, you’ve got a II-V-I to G minor - A minor7, D7, G minor. Then you’ve got a VI-II-V-I to E flat major - or you could think of it all as a long cycle of fifths to E flat major. First of all the tune.

Skip to 1 minute and 53 secondsI’ve put in parentheses there more what people play. So they play at the end - the first time bar -

Skip to 2 minutes and 6 secondsand then

Skip to 2 minutes and 14 secondsThere’s that doobadoodur, or it might be doobadoobur articulated slightly differently. Then the last line, an alternative is

Skip to 2 minutes and 38 secondsThe feel - now this is usually played Latin in the A sections and swing - 4 to the bar, in other words - in the B and C sections.

Skip to 2 minutes and 51 secondsSome people play it Latin all the way through.

Skip to 2 minutes and 56 secondsSome people play it Latin and swing for a couple of choruses, or a few choruses, and then go into swing. Some people play it swing (throughout). A lot of people play it over an E flat pedal. Actually, there’s a version of Jarrett where he plays the A section over a B flat pedal.

Skip to 3 minutes and 24 secondsHe actually plays it Latin all the way through - the whole tune is in Latin. In terms of the way you might want to play this in root position, I use Ray’s chord very often when I’m playing it

Skip to 3 minutes and 44 secondsthat chord

Skip to 4 minutes and 17 secondsNotation: in bar 5 F triangle - this is Sibelius notation - means F triad over E flat

Skip to 4 minutes and 29 secondsfollowed by E triad over E flat

Skip to 4 minutes and 33 secondsSo when you’re improvising there it’s best if you can use the notes from the triad

Skip to 4 minutes and 44 secondsF triad and E triad. Or, if you want to use more notes then use F major scale and E major scale.

Skip to 4 minutes and 53 secondsFinally, if you’re going to use playalongs there’s quite a few Aebersold playalongs, but there’s not many that you can use because, for example, sometimes they have it in C. If you look in some fake books, it’s often in C. I’d say about 90 per cent of the time, people play it in E flat now, but there are still occasions, if you’re doing jam sessions, where you might get it in C. Yes - the playalongs - so the best playalong, I think, is Volume 34 and that’s Latin and swing, Latin and swing and it’s got a very complicated Latin. First of all there’s 12 bars before, I think it is, before the tune starts.

Skip to 5 minutes and 36 secondsSo if you’re going to play with it, watch out. The other thing is that the bass player is playing a lick where you think you’re at the front of the third bar, say, but you’re actually on the fourth beat of the (second) bar. Let me show you. I’m going to count 4 and you’ll see where the “bonk” goes on the E flat.

Skip to 5 minutes and 58 seconds1,2,1,2,3,4.

Skip to 6 minutes and 4 seconds4

Skip to 6 minutes and 8 secondsIf you’re going to play with it you’ve got to, kind of, still keep 1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4 going and make sure that the chord comes in the right place. We’ll discuss this in more detail later on. What I’m going to do, I’m going to start - I think there’s on this volume 34, there’s 7 choruses, 3 have mixed Latin and swing and the last 4 are all swing. I’m going to pick it up from the last 4. It’s also a little bit fast, so you may want to slow it down. I’ll do a couple of choruses in the next section.

Discussing the tune "On Green Dolphin Street"

We analyse the structure of the important jazz standard “On Green Dolphin Street” and the various ways of playing it.

You can download the “On Green Dolphin Street” chart 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