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The jazz standard “Maiden Voyage”

The jazz standard "Maiden Voyage"
Let’s look at out third new tune for this session Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage”. This is all based on a rhythm section lick - a piano lick - that goes like this.
Then over the top there’s a very simple tune - it goes on for ages - and then -. It’s a little bit difficult to give you a full idea of the tune because really it needs horn players to keep those tied semi-brieves going.
The structure of the tune: it’s a 32 bar sequence, AABA. The A section, harmonically, has 4 bars of D7sus, or D11 - same thing - and then 4 bars of F7sus. The middle 8 has 4 bars of E flat7sus and then 4 bars of D flat7sus. Once you get to the middle 8 it goes down from F to E flat, down a tone, down a tone again to D flat, and then the final A section is the same as the first A section. It goes up to D7sus for 4 bars and F7sus for 4 bars. As I say, it’s based around this lick.
Before we have a listen to the - or we investiagte the lick - let’s just listen to the tune. So I’m afraid there’s going to be a long time with not much happening because you just have this long note. This is the Aebersold playalong from Volume 54 with the piano in it, so that you can hear how the tune goes over the top.
Let’s have a look at this piano vamp. I hope the musical notation is clear because, in the first bar it shows you where the chord goes - so it’s a rhythmic - it isn’t a note, it’s saying where the chord goes. When you get to the second bar the last 3 quavers are notes - and so they are played A,D,A. It’s like this. 1, 2, 3, 4.
Now that little pick-up figure “Doo Doo Doo” is the same for all the other chords but it anticipates the chord you’re going to. So when you’re getting to the fourth bar - the end of the fourth bar - it goes. That’s fifth, root, fifth taking us to F7sus.
Now we’re going to go back to D7sus, so we play in the first time bar.
By the way, mostly the chord we’re going to be using is this chord, so that’s how we’re voicing it when we’re playing it in the voiced position. Aebersold uses this version of D11 - D7sus - so that the upper voice remains the same when you change it to - D7sus to F7sus. Let’s now pick it up from the second time bar. Now we’re going to go to E flat7sus, again, fifth, root, fifth
that’s D flat7sus
Most horn players like that vamp under them at least for a few choruses. You can break it up into
put ordinary chords in after a bit, but they like it (the vamp) for a while. It gets a little bit boring, I find myself, always playing exactly D7sus, so I cheat a bit by, first of all, I use a sharp11 or flat 5 as a variation, and even take it down from the D7sus to the D7 - especially if I’m improvising
just to get a bit of variation, but you can just stay on the D7sus if you want to. What I think I will do is play the vamp for a whole chorus, then improvise for a whole chorus and perhaps, towards the end of the improvising, I might do a little bit more chordal stuff. The feel of this is 8/8 - I would describe it as that. It can be Latin. We used to play this with “Bossa Rio” when we had congas and timbales. It’s amazing the floaty feel that you can get, even with line-up like that. Let’s have a go now at playing the vamp.

Playing and improvising on the Herbie Hancock jazz standard “Maiden Voyage” with an Aebersold playalong. The chart is attached at the bottom of the step.

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Learn Jazz Piano: Final Topics and Two Concerts

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