Transcription of Jason Rebello’s Piano Solo on Chris Botti’s “Why Not”, with brief theoretical analysis on superimposed chords and scales.
Jason Rebello appeared as a special guest on Chris Botti’s concert, playing some mean piano solo improvisation on the tune Why Not. Here’s the video :
Did some transcribing on the solos. Here is the free transcription in PDF format:
The transcription is from 1m03s until 2m05s of the video.
The harmony during the solo is modal, with the bass basically toying around with the C dorian scale, or implying the Cm7 chord. But Jason Rebello did a tremendous job on superimposing chords and scales, bringing an interesting twist to an other wise straightforward modal harmony.
Let’s see in detail how this is achieved, here’s a cutout of bar 7 to 14 of the transcription.
The left hand voicings used can give us a good idea of the superimposed chord of each bar. Here are the chords for each different color circle.
Red – Bbmaj7
Blue – Dbmaj7
Green – Ab13
Black – Cm9
The Cm9 is just an extension of Cm7 chord of the original harmony, with the C dorian scaled used. Due to it being closest to the original harmony, it has a more “resolved” sound when compared to the others.
The Bbmaj7 can also be considered as a further extension of the Cm7 chord, turning it into a Cm13. With the same C dorian scale, it is still comparatively close to the original harmony. However, note how Jason focused more on the chord tones of the Bbmaj7 in is right hand melody, especially in the first bar of the cutout.
During the Dbmaj7, the corresponding scale used for the right hand improvisation is the Bb dorian, consisting of notes as shown in the figure below.
The notes circled are the important chord tones of the Cm7. It can be seen that they are all found in the Bb dorian scale. Thus, the improvisor can apply this scale without much concern of over dissonance of any particular note.
During the Ab13 , the scale applied in the right hand is the Ab mixolydian, consisting of notes as shown in the figure below.
Notice that the chord tones of Cm7 are also present in the scale, as circled.
It is advisable to practise these superimposed chords and scales on all twelve keys, and experiment on applying them melodiously over a modal tune.
Have fun and Enjoy ….