Modern Chromatic Jazz Fusion Improvisation harmonic techniques as used by Brecker, Mclaughlin Fripp and Liebman

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DETAILED ANALYSIS IN THE VIDEO BELOW:

Modern chromatic improvisation jazz fusion techniques: Brecker, Mclaughlin, Liebman, Fripp etc

In this blog we will look at improvising over one chord. This will be D minor [D Dorian].

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

The key is to use chromaticism, tertian harmony, superimposition and outside harmonic content in order to create interesting improvised lines and move away from the cliches of scales and modes to create originality.

For example:

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

The key for smoothness is to be aware of where the 1/2 steps [Semitones]are in the “Connections”.

If we look below we can see where the 1/2 steps connect and how to play off of the tonic note with this. In this case we play off of the tonic D note resolving straight into the Eb note for Eb melodic minor. We can then resolve down a half step to C#m and back down into D Dorian

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation
Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation
Chromatic jazz improvisation Brecker, Mclaughlin and creative Fripp improvising concepts

So as you can see it is easy to weave in and out of the harmony and get back to D Dorian via the 1/2 step.

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

Below is a line that beautifully weaves in and out of D minor

In this next example we will use tertian harmony and exploit superimposition. We will employ D melodic minor and and keep extending via C melodic minor.

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

Now we will extend the whole line:

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

As another idea, there are still useful concepts like “Target Tones”. These can be manipulated without resorting to cliches.

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

Lastly we will exploit the use flat 5 concepts. In this case there is an Abmaj7/D and a Cmaj7/F# with which we can be creative.

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

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Michael Brecker “Outside” Jazz/Fusion playing for guitar

Breaking down Michael Brecker!

When looking at musical notation it can seem like random notes. But if we break down each group into 4 note groupings called “Tetrachords” we can break down the music theory and play each group on our instrument.

We can then remember the “Sound and Shape” of each cell and then join them together. In turn we can then apply these cells to our own instrumental playing/improvisations.

FULL SOLO LINE/PHRASE

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

1st Grouping of 4 notes [Tetrachord]=E flat Pentatonic shape/sound [Mixolydian]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

2nd Tetrachord=A flat Minor triad and 4th interval [or #11  #9 and #5] [SAME AS 7TH TETRACHORD]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

3rd Tetrachord=Minor scale fragment [#11 Lydian]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

4th Tetrachord=Changing cell. [From flat 9 to C Jazz melodic minor] [SAME AS 9TH TETRACHORD]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

5th Tetrachord=Very “Outside” D major pentatonic/4ths

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

6th Tetrachord =D major Pentatonic sound/shape [very “Out”]

 

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

7th Tetrachord=C minor arpeggio and 4th

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

8th Tetrachord=B flat major Pentatonic sound/shape

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

9th Tetrachord=C Melodic “Jazz” minor [Augmented] sound/shape [same as 4th Tetrachord]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

10th Tetrachord = Perfect 4th and major 3rd creating triad pairs sound/shape [or E flat minor 11 implication or G FLAT/a flat]

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

 

Lastly= Flat 6 for C minor

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker Lesson

FULL LENGTH “INDEPTH” VIDEO BELOW

CONCLUSION:

In terms of fingering and musical application on our instruments learning shapes and “Connections” and breaking phrases down into 4 note cells [Tetrachords] is really useful because complex lines can be understood and learnt quickly.

In turn this gives us lots of patterns for improvisation and theoretical knowledge to improvise with as opposed to just playing scales and arpeggios.

If you found this easy then try and break this solo down into“Hexatonic” scale application. You might find it really interesting!

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MICHAEL BRECKER #2

CHROMATICS AND CELL [TETRACHORD] REPLICATION 

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker lesson

Played 8va

To begin with we have a bit of standard Be Bop chromaticism

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker lesson

BUT!

If we look further we can see that we have an exact replicated cell that descends in minor 3rds weaving in and out of the harmony.

4 note  cell

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker lesson

2 four note cells descending in minor 3rds replicated

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker lesson

We can now look at the whole line and see and hear where the descending replicated cells in minor 3rds start and how they serve their purpose.

Jazz improvisation Michael Brecker lesson

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