Dear Mr. Miller, as I listened to your concert in Germany with Niels Henninng Oersted Pedersen I did not agree with your playing of the bridge of Sophisticated Lady, the melody was too linear or one-dimensional but I agree with your improvising, far out, over Caravan, I like your playing like this best. Therefore I would be grateful if I could bother you with an idea of mine about improvisional scales.
I could hear it on your records, you play, when you improvise far out, whole-tone scales in steps of major thirds and shift at one point by playing a minor third to the neighbouring wholetone scale one halfstep apart. That is what I mean in the head of this mail, making a halfstep without playing it. And I think with this method you can construct any improvisional scale, by means that you link together two scales for example g-major and c-dorian not playing the halfstep f- f sharp and vice versa f sharp- f in the sense of your whole tone scales.
The most interesting scale I found is the f minor scale: I linked a g-mixolydian and a c-aeolian scale, but the g-mixolidian is incomplete ommitting the tone a for the reason, that I think a improvisional scale has at least two tones to be played not. With this scale I think you must not play the halfstep e-e flat.
You can link together even a Bb mixolydian scale and a B diminished chord ( adding f-sharp and a, not playing the halfstep b-flat to b) for Bb7, and for Eb7, Bb mixolidian and Bb diminished (adding e, f-sharp , omitting the halfstep I do not know exactly, probably a-a flat), like Mr Zawinul does (on Fun), having somewhere a half step you do not play.
This construction leads to the David Baker Bebop scales automatically. I tried these constructing methods and played by my means (poor ones) and had nice effects, that sound like Joe Henderson or Bobby Hutcherson with whom you played, me adoring them like I adore your playing.
Can you show me how you played I Don't Know How to Love Him?
I think a improvisional scale has two tones and one halfstep to be played not. It is not easy to find out which halfstep, there are more possibilities, I do not know, but you will hear it better than I do and find it.
That is on the fundament of your chord voicings, that I catchd from your records. Every good functional chord voicing I heard, has a movement of a third down and a halfstep up or vice versa in one voice. I listened to Horcace Silver, Sam Dockery, Walter Davis, Ray Charles, Herbie Hankock (he plays it not all the time) and you of course.
A good voicing has one important chord tone doubled, like the third or seventh or ninth or fifth. That is because there is the method of making a halfstep without playing it. For example if you shift over c in bass a voicing of d, e-flat, g to e, f, a You make the half step e-flat to e without playing it, because in the first voicing it is the middle(second) voice in the second the lower (third) voice, it is everywhere in your voicings and compositions and in that that bare arabic names.
Like this you can play, like in the example, in c-major and c-minor simultanously without real modulation in the classical sense and the functionality of the harmony is not destroyed.
This happens in the Hardbop voicing in fourths of the melody, for example if you use the omitted halfstep f-f sharp, playing a c-major scale in the upper voice, then you have at one point c-f at another f-sharp b, having tonalities c-major and g-major in full harmonic functionalitiy, but you have f and f-sharp in different voices f is upper voice in fourth voicing and f- Sharp is the lower voice.
As far as I know your voicings (e.g. a II-V): A-7 (A e g c g c). D7 (D f-sharp c e a c ) or of Herbie Hankock: A-7 (A g c e b e), D7 (f-sharp c e f-sharp c) Mr Hankock does not play full diminished chords, there is a chord tone missing I suppose.
And my last discovery, that you might know better, in f-major the construcion e f a d has the same function like a diminished chord and can be played over any root. When you shift this chord you have to alter at some points the root to B or a f to f-sharp, you will know and hear.
As you are far away, I will try to get lessons with Jean-Paul Bourelly here in Berlin.
With best regards
PS: I use f-minor over sugar the second half , the first half has the same scale but a instead of a-flat and e e-flat halfstep made but not played
In addition, dear Mr. Miller, a phrase of a Gospel, from Your friend Mr. Williams. Remarkable is the g, in e-flat minor. You can play directly on the first a-flat in the bass a glissando over the black keys of the piano, and, that is remarkable, after the a-flat has been hit, an up-glissando on the white keys, what sonds like a growl, or a growl of a crocodile or tiger. Look on the subdominant, it is in major, not in minor, where the question comes up if e-flat minor is the minor dominant of a-flat major. Further I recommend,if you want to have an e-flat minor flavour to use the e-flat minor melodic minor scale, that is to use the major sixth (c) and seventh (d), not the minor one (d-flat).