Kurt's Round Midnight Analysis

(9 posts)
  1. jazznan

    Hey ya'll. Just playin' around a bit with Kurt's version of Round Midnight from trio album and I was struck by some interesting things that are still blowin' my mind.

    I never really noticed his use of harmonic minor as much before, Bb harmonic minor stands out for me (maybe this is elementary, so sorry;)

    Also the chordal stuff is often perplexing, but always surprising:

    1. Use of harmonized, what appears to be whole tone step apart major triads (ie. if it were over G7 he would play C triad (E,G,C) then slide down whole tone to B triad, then A, then G. And using his pinky to play around with the note a whole step up.
    2. Use of sus4 sounds in his lines
    3. Ignoring the m7b5 line and just thinking altered dominants, often using lines and double stops based on this chord voicing, starting on 5th string low to high (C,F#,B,Eb) a diminished chord with a raised note A to B. This over F7 alt.
    4. A bunch of stuff I can't analyze?

    Anyone else have anything to add? thanks

  2. JorgeRubiales

    I think Kurt sometimes harmonizes melody notes with "texture" chords underneath, that may or may not be part of the key, so that may confuse you if you're trying to functionally analize those.

    I'm not near your ear level, but for me when it comes to difficult harmony, sometimes it's easier to see the actual notes in the staff instead of chord symbols. Easier to see parallel movements, inner voice pivots, etc.

  3. jazznan

    Interesting, "texture" chords. I guess this is possible due to no piano player. Sometimes when I'm playing with a trio, I surprise myself with what I can get away with in terms of harmony and "goofs" haha.
    There are definitely a few spots where I would love to pick his brain on....or maybe it has nothing to do with brain and it was just heart and it came out that way and it doesn't make any sense other than it sounds good.

  4. JorgeRubiales

    I know there's an interview on youtube where kurt says that sometimes when composing he puts the fingers on pseudo-random positions, so maybe he does that too below the melody sometimes.

  5. igor.blomberg

    I transcribed this whole song and it did wonders to my playing. Having never transcribed anything by Kurt before it completely blew my mind.
    My favorite part is in the beginning of the second verse of the solo (don't really know what to call it in english, it's the second Eb-7).
    He plays a Bb power chord, an then an E (6th string open) and an Ab on the 5th. After that comes a beautiful pentatonic lick, after which he lands on a Db triad, leading to a Dbmaj7, to a Db-7 (over the Ebm - Ebmmaj7 - Ebm7 changes).
    That last part is what kills me, it's completely gorgeous, but I have no idea how to explain it theoretically. Could someone please help me out?

  6. JorgeRubiales

    Db triad gives you the m7, 9 and 11 of Ebm

    Dbmaj7 gives you the m7, 9, 11 and 13 of Ebmaj7

    Dbm7 gives you the m7, b9, 11 and b13 of Ebm7

    Magical rainbow ponies
  7. fakejake

    Has anyone ever tried to work on this using the heavily criticised Mel Bay transcription? I want to work on Kurts solo as well and I already have that book at home, but I wonder whether it is so off that it would actually be smarter to start from scratch by myself..
    Any hints??

  8. arewolfe

    Haven't seen the Mel Bay transcription but it's always great to transcribe from scratch. If you don't have time and you just want to use something as a technical exercise it's nice to have a book so you can start learning the lick right away.

    Kurt's version of Round Midnight from the Jamboree is THE definitive version of the song in my opinion. Better than Monk's version, Miles' version, anyone. So sick. I lost those sets when my computer died last winter. Anyone have a link to those?

  9. TruthHertz

    You know the Bruce Saunders site? It has another version.
    and a whole lot of other good stuff too.


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