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Joy Spring

Dave Ferris

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I came across a version with Billy Taylor & Monty Alexander where they changed bar 3 from Am to Cm7-F7.



I've been playing this song a long time and that really adds a new flavor to it. :cool: Really nice effect the 2-5 then down the whole step to the Bbm7-Eb7. They don't do it when they modulate up to Gb.


I don't know if it's one of these guys' changes or just an East Coast thing, but I'd never heard it done before. If you slow things down..those new changes line up perfectly with the melody. Kinda made my day. :)


It would be hard to find more lyricism then this solo version by one of my favorites-Trumpeter Tom Harrell.



One thing that's always been challenging for me when playing the head is getting all those 16th note triplet/8th note groupings that lay easier on a horn then piano. At tempo you almost have to cheat or ghost them to come out. I've worked on it a lot over the years and still can't make them come out smoothly on the gig. Seems like they morph more into a straight 8th note triplet.


In any case a great tune, challenging to play on with the modulation to Gb and the 3 quick key changes on the bridge. Again, that Cm7-F7 on bar 3 breathed a new life into it for me.


edit-just noticed at :46 they aren't ending on the root of Gb for the head. I don't have a piano nearby but perfect pitch guys...it almost sounds like half-diminshed something ?



2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515, CP88,


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This is a bit OT - but just a word about Harrell. Roughly 30 years ago, when I was living in NYC, I paid to participate in a series of small, monthly jam sessions. The organizer used the money to pay professionals to come talk to us about improvisation and to sit in with us. Harrell was one of the invitees. His session left me -- young and clueless -- pretty weirded out. He seemed stoned, nearly catatonic, and profoundly inarticulate and mumbly. I couldn't really make sense of anything he said. But when he played: Oh.My.God. It was astonishing, gorgeous, brilliant. I couldn't figure out how he could play so magnificently, and at the same time be so incoherent and odd.


It wasn't until some years later that I learned that he'd been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, a horribly debilitating mental illness, and that his demeanor at the jam session probably was the result of interaction between the medication he was taking and the effects of the disease itself.


It still boggles my mind that he's managed to have such a long and spectacular career despite his illness. He's one of those people I think about whenever I start feeling slightly whiny about the relatively slight imperfections in my own life. Usually, that's enough to keep me from wallowing in self-pity.


Great story about him here: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/2009/05/tom-harrell-part-1-interviews.html

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