Alan Jacobs


Fascinating from Ethan Iverson on the Duke: “Who even knows the right changes to Ellington hits? I remember my first attempts to learn famous Ellington tunes: when I eventually heard the Ellington versions, they seemed wrong, since the changes were so different than what were in the fakebooks and on everybody else’s records. Even functions as obvious as tonic and dominant could be reversed. And Duke’s middle voices — his counterpoint! — frequently went by too thick and too fast to be reducible to changes. (Of course, that’s true of any reasonably sophisticated big band writing, but my gut tells me it’s harder to make a really good cheat sheet of Duke than just about anybody else.)” ♫