I played a gig a few weeks ago with a wonderful alto player from NYC named Logan Richardson. While playing over Without a Song in Eb using Joe Henderson’s changes, Logan played a nice pentatonic idea over the concert B Major7 in bar 5. I liked it because it wasn’t the pentatonic sound that I usually use over a major chord. He played a melody outlining an F# Major pentatonic over the B Major 7th chord (the next chord is F# Major 7, so he may have concevied of it as a harmonic anticipation). Although this may be common practice, I don’t actually use that specific sound (F# Major pentatonic over B Major 7) as often as I’d like, so I came up with a simple melody to help me become more familiar with the concept and it’s use.
The line starts with the first 6 notes that Logan played during his solo and than ends with something I heard as a possible continuation, reminiscent of one of John Coltrane’s pentatonic ideas.
The melody is worked around the circle of 4th starting with C major. I also play the shell voicing (1, Maj 3, Maj 7) in each key to help give a harmonic context to the melody since there is no root found in this application of the pentatonic scale.
You can also use the midi mp3 below to practice singing the melody for ear training etc…
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