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Jazz Boot Camp: Soloing with Triads


The harmonized version is shown in Fig. 4. Notice that it stays close to the harmony and uses a mixture of block chords and chordal punctuations that support the single-line melody. In measure five, we again use a chord punctuation to imply the D9 sonority before moving on to the melody. The next few measures illustrate the use of triads and double-stops in conjunction with the melodic idea. These two measures showcase one of the many trademarks of Van Eps’ style and can be extremely effective in supporting an eighth-note-based melody. The example finishes with a ragtime-style turnaround that moves seamlessly back to C Major.

Our next example is inspired by Allen Reuss. Reuss was a former student of Van Eps and ended up filling in for Van Eps when he left the Benny Goodman band. During his tenure with Goodman, Reuss became a popular sideman, studio musician, and teacher. Flawless plectrum technique and an adventurous harmonic sense helped propel Reuss into the limelight of the New York City and West coast jazz and studio scenes.

Fig. 5 is a simplified version of a Reuss single-line melody. See how the melodic sequences move chromatically?

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