Saturday, January 10, 2009

Does Jazz Blues Exist?

This question was posed on The Jazz Network. This was my response.

Blues can be typically described as a 12 bar song structure based on the I, IV and V chords. These fundamental chords appear at specific locations within the 12 bar format. The function of the I chord occupies bars 1 through 4. Bars 5 and 6 introduce the IV chord. The I chord is again brought back to cover bars 7 and 8. The V chord makes its first appearance in bars 9 and 10. Bars 11 and 12 reintroduce the I chord and function as a turnback or turnaround.

Jazz Blues follows this same format but introduces substitutions and links between the critical chord functions. This discussion is based on the harmonic structures within Blues not the melodic or rhythmic aspects of it.

As Wes Montgomery said - "Blues is responsible for the fire in jazz" I couldn't agree more!!!

Examples of this style of jazz blues can be found in my "Blues for Chris" from The Vintage Tracks CD and "Aqua Blue" from the Angel Blue - A Tour of Jazz CD.

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