26 October 2015

Post 283: CHORDS INSIGHT ('OWL CALL BLUES')

Pianist and blog-reader Peter Petrovič from Slovenia has been transcribing Owl Call Blues, the lovely composition by Shaye Cohn and Erika Lewis. He kindly sent me a copy.
Erika and Shaye
He also added some interesting information about chords.

Regular readers will know that I, as a self-taught musician, have been struggling for months to come to some understanding of chords, chord sequences and how they work, so every snippet that comes to me is eagerly gobbled up.

Here's what Peter told me:

The chord sequence "  Bb7     C#dim7     Cm7-5 " (here at the beginning of Owl Call Blues)  is often used in the 11th bar of a 12-bar blues composition and dissolves very well into Bb in the last bar.

Peter gives this as the chord sequence for the first seven bars of Owl Call Blues:




I feel sure he is right and I now appreciate that this sequence of chords contributes so much to the quality of this song. It is a most beautiful, hauntingly sad and satisfying sequence. Shaye has been very clever in spreading it over the first eight bars of a slow-paced song, rather than employing it only in its usual position - crushed into one bar, bringing a 12-bar blues to an end.

I shall try to memorise that sequence and think of it as The Owl Call Sequence from now on. It may be expressed as:   I7   -  IIIbo7   -   IIm7-5  -  I.

I wonder whether it occurs at the start of any other tunes. Can we think of one? I doubt it.

You can listen to Tuba Skinny playing Owl Call Blues, with Erika singing, BY CLICKING ON HERE. And you can read what I wrote some months ago about Owl Call Blues BY CLICKING HERE.