Many thanks to Nick Page for a thoughtful session in which we played:
“Now’s the Time” by Charlie Parker
“Blue Train” by John Coltrane
“Solar” stolen by Miles Davis
We warmed up with a couple of choruses of “Now’s the Time” a blues in F. John Coltrane’s composition was taken as a minor blues in Bb and used to examine a particular technique to handling the minor ii-V-i Cm7b5 – F7 – Bbm7 towards the end of the composition which by considering it to be Gb7b9 – F7b9 – Bbm7. Using this substitution, the half whole diminished scale can be used over both dominant chords dropping a semitone for the second. Nick heard this on “One for Daddy-O” as performed by Cannonball Adderley on “Somethin’ Else”.
For the second part of the session we performed “Solar” as written by “Churck Wayne” and subsequently appropriated by Miles Davies. This was used as a vehicle to show a practise technique to generate lines over ii-V-I’s in which we take the 3rd of the ii (F say) as the start and then consider the 3rd of the I (E) and observe that the original note has dropped by a semitone; by use of the altered scale over the remaining V chord you can create logical phrases with a nice descending feel as well as getting your ear used to targetting particular chord tones. A similar technique can be used for the other chord tones of the ii.
Many thanks to Nick for an instructive session.