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Discussing the tune “On Green Dolphin Street”

Discussing the tune "On Green Dolphin Street"
Let’s look at this tune “On Green Dolphin Street”. I’ll play it for you.
It’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.
I’ve put in parentheses there more what people play. So they play at the end - the first time bar -
and then
There’s that doobadoodur, or it might be doobadoobur articulated slightly differently. Then the last line, an alternative is
The 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.
Some people play it Latin all the way through.
Some 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.
He 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
that chord
Notation: in bar 5 F triangle - this is Sibelius notation - means F triad over E flat
followed by E triad over E flat
So when you’re improvising there it’s best if you can use the notes from the triad
F triad and E triad. Or, if you want to use more notes then use F major scale and E major scale.
Finally, 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.
So 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.
If 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.

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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