February 28, 2015: Alex Hutton

Many thanks to amazing pianist Alex Hutton who equipped with his blackboard took us through the dominant seven heavy compositions:

Just in Time” by Jule Styne
Doxy” by Sonny Rollins

Ever with hope in his heart, Alex helps up handle compositions containing sequences of dominant seventh, using a number of techniques

  • Arpeggio/scales
  • Stacked thirds
  • Triad pairs
  • Domininant Bebop scale
  • Pentatonics

The dominant bebop scale (mixolydian with an extra major 7) was shown as a connecting device usually descending and always as a scalar fragment rather than a pick and mix that might be used with other scales.

Pentatonics were a particularly interesting sound reminiscent of McCoy Tyner although (apparently) Alex was showing sixth based ones whereas McCoy would be using sevenths. Suggestions for the pentatonic scales were:

Am6: 1 b2 3 5 7
D7: 1 2 3 5 b7
D7b9: 1 b2 3 5 b7

As with all these things, they sound amazing in the hands of a master, less so in mine. Back to the shed.