VARIATION3 10th ‘Basie’ Voicings
EOur next 12-bar variation showcases a four-in-the-bar rhythm style similar to Count Basie guitarist Freddie Green. To create motion, Green would frequently switch between inversions of the same chord, or connect using various passing chords usually ranging a major or minor 10th from bass to treble (between sixth and third strings on a guitar). You can also hear similar ideas in the rhythm playing of the mighty Django Reinhardt. The old arranger’s trick of connecting chromatic bass notes by using the diminished 7th chords is exploited heavily in this study. As we’ve seen, a defining feature of the lesser spotted ‘jazz’ 12-bar sequence, as opposed to its more commonly found ‘blues’ cousin, is the use of the IIm V I throughout bars 9-12. Instead of the usual blues D7, moving down to C7, we see a highly decorated IIm V I sequence. Don’t be put off by the complex chord names in the final two bars, the ‘turnaround’. If you look closely, the fingerings are cleverly arranged, extremely logical and perfectly playable, even at breakneck speeds.