In honour of Sonny Stitt who showed me this as a kid I present the following. Sonny learned them from Bud Powell.
1. Right hand plays the melody
2. Left hand comps the Be-bop shells of Root/7th, or Root/3rd. Select the more dissonant choice.
3. For a complete PDF file of the left hand chords, click on this sentence.
Check this out.
Bud Powell's Anthropology He plays the head in two hands an octave apart. One of my Berklee teachers, Dean Earl, had me play Charlie Parker Solos like that. During the solo Powell comps lightly in the left hand using what appears to be Sonny's thumbs.
- Comp, short for accompany. Playing the chords in a rhythmic fashion. Have a listen to a jazz piano trio of drums, bass, and piano. Notice that in classic jazz the notes of the pianist tend to fall on one of the four limbs of the drummer. Notice that some chords are held, some are short. Very few chords are played on the beat.
- Sonny Stitt, American Jazz Saxophonist.
- BeBop, a style of jazz developed in the 1940's. Characterized by complex dissonant angular playing. Many of the tunes are contrafacts, that is, new tunes written the chord changes of pop tunes of the time. See Ornithology based on How High The Moon.
- 3rd/7th Cmaj7 is C, E, G, B. C is the root, E is the third, G is the 5th, B is the 7th, based on the idea of counting from the root up. C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. The root is always the name of the chord. So, G7 has G as it's root.
- Dissonance is a sound of 2 more notes sounded together that feel that they need to move. i.e. C with B above feels like the B wants to move to C. Consonance on the other hand feels at rest. Jazz harmony is dissonant.
- Call me for lessons. :-)