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Groovin High

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1JUd0NFBIc

Groovin high (1945) is based on the 32 bar structure of whispering
which was an early 20s hit by Paul Whitemans
It is known as one of Gillespies hits
First published in Gillespies 1945 album Shaw Nuff
It was played by Gillespies sextet
Personnel - Dizzy Gillespie (TR) with Charlie Parker (AS), Remo Palmieri
(GT), Cozy Cole (DR), and Slam Stewart (Bass) GROOVIN' HIGH in 1945
Ensemble stressing beats 2 and 4 rather than 1 and 3 which was used in
swing
Composed an intro which obscures the key of Eb major (6bar intro)
The head would be played (2x16 bar) which contained sequences of his
rapid, scalic melody through different harmonic levels
The last section of the original whispering tune is cut and Gillespie creates
a new 4 bar transition into the key of Db major
This is used for Charlie parkers solo
Charlie Parker Develops the motif -
This is from the original melody
This then leads into the next soloist, Slam Stewart who in this recording is
considering to having a unique approach and is now considered a classic
version of this recording
Bebop often produced new styles of playing and Stewarts is a real
hallmark
The use of the bowing technique in a jazz setting is really not known of
but Stewart uses it in his solo tastefully adding a new timbre to the overall
sound. Stewart could also play and sing 2 octaves above what he was
playing which is truly unique
After the bas solo there is a transition back into Eb major for Gillespies
virtuosic performance
After Gillespie, Palmieri solos on guitar
This leads to a coda section which is typically unconventional half time
ending with a spectacular high note by Gillespie
The harmony is complex and he moves chromatically between chords E.G.
G#-G-F#

The use of tri tone substitutions in his transition to Db he substitutes
the II Fm chord to B major
He obscures the key at the beginning by starting in b major and then
moving to c minor and then into eb which is the relative major of c minor.
Movement being I6-V-I- Eb
The use of moving from unrelated keys is complex and a more modern
approach from the previous styles of jazz e.g. Swing and this is why it is a
typical bebop standard.




Musical analysis of Groovin High
Original Key Eb major
Form A - B - A - C
Tonality Major throughout
Movement Beginning with a descending major third, the melodic line
arpeggiates wildly in both directions; several instances of
chromatic embellishing tones
Comments
This is a bebop head loosely based on the chord progression of Whispering.
It is worthwhile to compare the two, as such a comparison illustrates the
evolution of chord substitutions as applied to existing melodies, especially in its
early stages. Most noteworthy is Gillespies use of the ii7-V cadence. For
instance, whereas his source tune went from tonic to the chord one-half step
lower (in this case, Eb to D7), Gillespie precedes the subsequent chord with a
minor seventh a tri-tone away (Eb - Am7 - D7), creating a ii7 - V7/iii cadence
that resolves deceptively back to the tonic. He does this again in mm.7-8;
whereas the original tune went from I - V7
(#7)
/II (Eb- C7
(#5)
), Gillespie uses a
minor 7
th
chord (Gm7). This type of substitution has become quite common
among jazz players of the last half-century.