Mulgrew on Woody Shaw- the 'blue major third'

Woody Shaw is one of my favorite musicians on any instrument. He had one of the heaviest harmonic concepts in Jazz music. His compositions were as interesting as his trumpet playing. His use of synthetic and exotic scales was amazing. The Woody Shaw Aebersold is just about my all time favorite and just about the hardest. In this interview Mulgrew Miller he talks about playing with Woody Shaw and Woody's harmonic concept. He says that there were many elements to Woody's style besides just pentatonics. One of Woody's signature devices was the use of the major third over a minor chord. This is classic Woody all the way. He hits the major third and then slides down to the flat third, then he usually resolves the line by going to the root. Play some pentatonics moving stepwise then do the major to minor third thing, now you sound like Woody. Normally we don't think about using a major third over a minor chord or a major seventh over a dominant chord. Each and every note can be used on every chord. You just have to know how it wants to resolve, or it's 'tonal gravity' as George Russell would say.


godoggo said...

Sliding down from the major to the minor third is something I really associate with trad jazz and early blues like Bessy
Smith, and it's also something you hear done a lot by trumpeters as late as the swing era, when there was still a lot of
Louis influence.

WS3 said...

Be sure to visit www.woodyshaw.com
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Evil Doer said...

Don't we do that with bop scales?

David Carlos Valdez said...

Well you can add an extra note to any seven note scale and call it a Bop scale, but usually a Dominant Bop scale has an added NATURAL 7th and the Major Bop scale has an added b6th.

Jason said...

But aren't the Dominant Bebop and the Dorian Bebop the same thing?

G A B C D E F F# G
D E F F# G A B C D