Monday, February 13, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- BOMBAY BAR WALKING


I originally picked this scale up from listening to Junior Walker recordings as a kid in bar bands. I realized that he was playing it as a set scale over a lot of things. A for sure shape and firm note choice too.It could be called a lot of things as well. But as I say, " To hear is to see."

Subsequently I noticed that many other Sax players seem to use this as one of their preferred scales over Blues and Rock changes. Jazz players sure are using it,it's pretty universal.
Check players " ideas"....and also tap into the key center too, transposing it sometimes is important too.

Play the Em Blues scale without the "B" ( D E G A Bb ) over the entire G Blues progression, you'll find pleasant and useful surprises.

I visualize this scale as "The E half-diminished pentatonic", but it's also known as: But you can be sure Junior Walker was using his ear and shaping it to fit the idiom, and song harmony.Then I found it in quite a few Ragas that Charlie Mariano showed me via India music concepts.

Raga Jayakauns
E G A Bb D
Raga Shivranjani
G A Bb D E
Raga Hindol / Sunada Vinodini
Bb D E G A

* * * * * * *
This scale also sounds GREAT over iim - V7 - I (Am - D7 - G) progressions:

Sometimes add the 4th above the G root, but not overly often as it doesn't seem to have very much personality in this context.
The b7 is also a possible tone here, but the major 6th seems to be favored over it.
Adding the 4th and b7 to this pentatonic turns it into the Dorian. But- as Charlie Banacos told me, to hear the intervals between the notes and the steps, names really mean nothing when you go this deep. But a great deal of the charm of this scale lies in avoiding those two notes.

When analyzed over the I chord, you can also think of this scale as the "minor 69" pentatonic (1 2 b3 5 6).

Analyzed over the IV chord it yields 9 3 5 6 b7. Like a rootless 13th (no 11).

Analyzed over the V yields 1 2 4 5 #5. The #5 over a V chord sounds great in Blues and minor changes.

Analyzed over the ii chord yields 4 5 b7 1 b2.

So there you have it. As I always said- it's all related and all useful.

One of my personal projects is called " Bombay Bar Walking". It combines the rhythm and blues and exotic via improvised grooves and vamps. As Charlie Banacos once said," It's not music for the Holiday Inn man"..ha!! No worrys there mate. To keep it real is the deal.

I always felt that once I heard Mariano wailing in his group " Osmossis"
in the late 60's and also realized Junior Walker < as others were >was coming from that same space- just the idiom was different and the groove was for sure. The point here is what Rilling calls the "architecture" of the music. For example, the way Pablo Casals varied the tempo according to what he was trying to convey. Indian music and soul R &B, jazz are much in the same.

Hopefully, what's going to be remembered, is going to be the intertwining of the present living person whoever it is, in the context of the art form, its tradition, its future, its present, and that whole mixture together. A common form and feeling. The vibe of a sax player who walks the bar and a guy cross legged in India in a trance blowing –It’s all the same- they BOTH are after the same thing. It’s…that THANG …that place the music goes.
Like that groove that exists in R &B AND Jazz and Indian ragas.
In essence, we really have something called the language, the vernacular, and it's immediately transferable to personal creation anyway.
And in the end, the music is connected- there's a great book by Hazrat Inayat Khan of the Sufis. It's about how music ties into the "realms" and everything like that. It's just an understood, it's a given.

In my thinking -everybody is a spiritual creature, and an artist's duty is to try to get in touch with that through his work. It's the work and it's the art that will do.

SO.. it's freedom, individual creativity ! Check out that scale and have fun.

Till next week- keep your ears open and play.

This blog this week is dedicated to Junior Walker, Charlie Mariano and Charlie Banacos. People who knew- and had the essence of humanity and soul.


1 comment:

  1. Tim. How do I learn to understand the scales above?
    Are you using The Nashville number system where 1 is the first not of the scale. An arpeggio would be 1,3,5,1,5,3,1?
    I want to be able to understand and learn what you are trying to teach me.
    I apologize for my ignorance. I can play a lot of his stuff but don't understand the terminology to break it down.
    Thanks Tim.