Iain Cameron's Diary
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2011-04-17 - 8:22 a.m.

I played the Maiden Voyage album - it s included in my Hhancock Complete Bluenote recordings. These discs havent been re-mastered. Little One is on both this album and ESP which is one of all time favourite Miles albums. The excellent Freejazzinstitute provides the leadsheet here


The changes to Dolphin Dance are here


DD looks easier because there are more normal progressions but it still moves around a lot. Ed Byrne advises:

'Dolphin Dance, a very sophisticated Impressionist-inspired Herbie Hancock piece, is one of the most complex jazz compositions written to date. Hancock was influenced by French Impressionist composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, as the salient characteristics of this particular composition demonstrate. Since not everyone played exactly the same pitch collections in every chorus, I made judgment calls to derive a composite of what I thought was the general consensus.

Although lush and mostly non-dissonant in nature, this is an atonal composition (no primary key). As with Debussy's and Ravel's atonal passages, Hancock includes brief tonal references with occasional ii V cadences; but none of those cadences (four in this piece) establish a key. There are, instead, brief suggestions of keys in this non-functional chord succession (keys of : Eb, Cm, G, Cm, G, and F . . . ?). As with the Impressionists, Herbie employs various pedal points over which he suspends a variety of successions containing unresolved melodic Ninths, Elevenths, and Thirteenths—a rich milieu.

Hancock succeeds in achieving an extremely moody and subtle vehicle for his virtuoso, yet sensitive, piano style. Many professional jazz soloists fall flat on their asses attempting to improvise on this in public: It separates the men from the boys, since you really have to do your homework on this one, since your average jazz licks just don’t work. '

I would say that Little One is harder to play than DD. Elsewhere on Freejazzinstitute there is an interview with John Coltrane here - quite a rarity I think


He says he really likes Blue Trane but he thinks Giant Steps is better - at the time of the interview it was his latest record.. He says working with Miles led him into his new paths. This is just before the formation of his great 4tet. In the same player there s a live version of Green Dolphin St that I hadnt heard before with a long Coltrane solo.This is from the 1960 Stockholm Concert which I think is close to the last time they play together except when JC sits in on Some Day My Prince Will Come. On So What you can hear Trane thinking ahead and the rhythm section trying to go with him. Gilbert recommends the John Scofield version of House of the Rising Sun.

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