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Chords- 2nd section of Chameleon ?

Tone Taster

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Hey Guys, new member here


My only national recording was as a guest guitarist at the age of 26 on Bassist Sean Malone's ffirst album on the tune

Splinter at:




I am getting stumped on the middle section of Chameleon when the vamp is going from Bb9sus to Db9sus


There are these spacy chord progressions interspersed in between the groove


I am not sure of The first one but I believe it

goes F#min/maj7 A7b13#9 Eb9#11 C9sus Abmin9


The second one I am still working on


Any help would be appreciated and should this be inappropriate for this forum, I apologize and would appreciate any redirection to the right place

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I have not heard that track in many years, but I thought the solo section vamped on:


||: Bbmi9 | Db9 sus :||


not Bb9 sus



Db9 sus = Ab-9/Db

 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."


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Thanks Jazz+


RE: on the Ab-/Db. That's what I am thinking when I improv


Comping wise, I think Db9sus, but soloing wise Ab- (pent, melodic, dorian, chord tones and extensions w/chromatics, pentatonic side slips, etc . . )


It's those changes in between the vamps which are a pain in the @$$.


mos def an ear stretcher


I could swear that the first chord is a Ab/Bb bass

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I pulled out an old transcription book from that era. Sounds like you're looking for the Mellotron chords. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the chords but they look fairly close to what you have. According to the book it is:


1st progression (top line is the highest chord note)


F#m7 | Am7 | Ebmaj7 b5 | D+7b9 | Abm9



2nd progression


Bm7 | Em7/D | Dm7/C | Abm11(+5) | Fm7/Bb | Bm11(b5) | Am9/D


I haven't listened to the recording for a while. If there are more progressions, I'm afraid I can't help as the book has fallen apart and that's all I have. Also, the book shows the Mellotron chords as being in 6/4 time, if that helps at all.


The book shows the solo progression as Bbm7 | Abm7/Db, which is how I've always viewed it.

Regarding the solo, Bbm pentatonic is certainly a safe scale across both chords. View scale tones Bb, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab as safe with C used on the Bbm7 and Cb on the Abm7/Db. Don't be afraid to go outside, as Herbie does this frequently. So slam an Am7 or Bm7 chord in the left hand, with the appropriate scale in the right hand, then resolve it back to the Bbm7.



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So slam an Am7 or Bm7 chord in the left hand, with the appropriate scale in the right hand, then resolve it back to the Bbm7.
VEry cool post, thanks. I am glad to hear I wasn't too far off on the first one. RE: on the +5 on the D7


As far as slamming with the right hand, I can't do that because I am a guitarist, unless I was Stanley Jordan, but I could do it comping wise or chord melody wise I guess


Thanks again

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