Jazz Me in the Royal Garden..

Jazz Me in the Royal Garden..

Debbie White
Debbie White

August 14th, 2015, 10:14 pm #1

Bix & His Gang recorded three astonishing sides in New York on October 5, 1927 - and I wish I had a dime for every time I've listened to them. But sometimes, something will hit you out of the blue just as if it was the first time you'd ever listened. It happened to me last night when I was getting ready for bed, and if someone else has already pointed this out (which is very likely) then forgive me for being redundant.

There is a progression of notes that can be heard in both the second and third recordings made that day: Royal Garden Blues, and Jazz Me Blues. Listen at 2:24 in RGB -

https://youtu.be/jyvH6wf4ghw?t=2r

And then at 2:04 in Jazz Me Blues -

https://youtu.be/-s8W3f03hNk

I don't know that there is any special significance to this, other than the fact that the progression is found in two consecutive recordings within the same session, but for me, it was definitely one of those "Ah-HAH !" moments.

(P.S. - I tried, unsuccessfully, to compare the two progressions in a SoundCloud snippet today, but I kept being told that I was infringing on a copyright connected with Royal Garden Blues. Hence, the "old-fashioned" method of comparison)
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Alberta
Alberta

August 15th, 2015, 12:36 am #2

Sounds the same to me, same key same everything. I wish I had a PENNY for every time I listened to those records, and never noticed that! Good catch! Good ear!
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Glenda Childress
Glenda Childress

August 15th, 2015, 12:54 am #3

Bix & His Gang recorded three astonishing sides in New York on October 5, 1927 - and I wish I had a dime for every time I've listened to them. But sometimes, something will hit you out of the blue just as if it was the first time you'd ever listened. It happened to me last night when I was getting ready for bed, and if someone else has already pointed this out (which is very likely) then forgive me for being redundant.

There is a progression of notes that can be heard in both the second and third recordings made that day: Royal Garden Blues, and Jazz Me Blues. Listen at 2:24 in RGB -

https://youtu.be/jyvH6wf4ghw?t=2r

And then at 2:04 in Jazz Me Blues -

https://youtu.be/-s8W3f03hNk

I don't know that there is any special significance to this, other than the fact that the progression is found in two consecutive recordings within the same session, but for me, it was definitely one of those "Ah-HAH !" moments.

(P.S. - I tried, unsuccessfully, to compare the two progressions in a SoundCloud snippet today, but I kept being told that I was infringing on a copyright connected with Royal Garden Blues. Hence, the "old-fashioned" method of comparison)
Debbie, it has occurred to me often how many similarities in style these two recordings have. First, Bix seems very relaxed playing these already classic jazz tunes. They were likely tunes he had played many times with the other members of his group, and he gives the others a chance to solo expansively before he moves in confidently to seal the deal with his solos. Second, in both he plays those triplet cadenzas in his own solo. In fact, in RGB he and Murray also trade these runs, followed by Rank and Rollini. In addition, in both recordings there is that little exuberant rip which Bix seems to use when things are going well, as they obviously were in the studio that day. Rollini's playing really puts a nice floor on the harmony and drives the rhythm, which has to have helped produce Bix's relaxed lead.

Although it is a bit steamier, the same qualities are evident in "At the Jazz Band Ball," too, even the quick trills. And instead of a rip, Bix gives us two full flares in the out choruses.

That was one great day's work.
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alex revell
alex revell

August 16th, 2015, 11:52 am #4

Sounds the same to me, same key same everything. I wish I had a PENNY for every time I listened to those records, and never noticed that! Good catch! Good ear!
Sorry Alberta, but Jazz Me is in Eb and Royal Garden is in F to Bb.
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Alberta
Alberta

August 16th, 2015, 7:46 pm #5

but the YouTube solos seem to be in the exact same key to me. I don't have access to the 78s.
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Debbie White
Debbie White

August 16th, 2015, 10:32 pm #6

Yes, Alberta. That is what I hear as well. I am not a musician, but is there something we are not understanding ?
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Coscannon
Coscannon

August 17th, 2015, 3:18 pm #7

Go to the following page on the forum.

http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/me ... berg+Speak

Skip down to:

The Solos of Bix - Keys
Guest Contribution by Paul Bocciolone Strandberg

There's some guidance.
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Alberta
Alberta

August 17th, 2015, 5:01 pm #8

Sorry Alberta, but Jazz Me is in Eb and Royal Garden is in F to Bb.
(since I gave my piano away a few months ago.)

This is the story as I hear it:

Something is definitely off somewhere, because the you-tube solos do not match the virtual keyboard, so I will believe your keys, Alex: i.e.,

You are correct, Jazz Me is E flat and the part where Bix solos on Royal Garden is B flat.

And when I wrote my earlier post I was just listening to NOTES, and did not listen to the whole piece, so, obviously you are right ABOUT THE KEYS. But Bix plays virtually the identical run using the exact same pitches in both songs.

BUT in Royal Garden he's in the (new) tonic of B flat, and in Jazz Me he's in that bridge part (don't know what the proper term is) where they go up the circle of 5ths to B flat, even though the home key is still E flat. (Don't know if that's the right terminology.) So he's in the "dominant" of the key of E flat, not the tonic. But the actual notes he plays are virtually the identical pitches.

Having gone through this, I have gained an even deeper appreciation of how great a musician he really was, something people who actually play his music on the horn must already know!
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alex revell
alex revell

August 17th, 2015, 6:14 pm #9

Hi Alberta,
Not being a pianist, I'm not a great chord man, but I know enough to tell you that although the main framework is the same, people have their own version of chords they like to play, passing chords etc. For instance. If I see a chord sequence of a tune written out and there's four chords to each bar, I know which of my pianist friends has written it!
I see that in the link that Coscannon recommended it gives a Bix solo in Jazz Me as being in F. I doubt this. Every band I have ever played in or sat in with has played it in Eb. If it's alluding to the Wolverines' record I suspect a player running a little fast, putting it up half a tone. The answer may lay in the original key as played by the ODJB, but I don't have their record to check. The chords in the passage you mention in Jazz Me, before they go into the other theme, is sometimes given simply as Bb/Eb7/Bb/Eb7, but I've always played in bands that play a Bbdim in the second bar, not Eb7. It's just a matter of preference or how one hears it. That's before they go into the other theme, which is very common sequence - Sweet Georgia Brown, Mandy Lee Blues, Since My Best Girl, and lots of others, differing only in some aspects towards the end of the tune, such as the 13/14/15 and 16 bars in Jazz Me, which are over the breaks.
Going from memory, I think the notes you are alluding to are the first in the passage before the other theme in Jazz Me, and those in the tune of the Bb theme in Royal Garden, which would be the same, but I may be wrong.
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Coscannon
Coscannon

August 17th, 2015, 7:58 pm #10

From Paul Bocciolone Strandberg's analysis:


We can note some examples when he changed keys
from the common ones. "Jazz Me Blues" was changed
from F as with The Wolverines to Eb when he was
in charge of his own "gang". From ODJB he changed
the key of Margie from F to Eb also.
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