Jazz Improv

Quarter Three Jazz Class Repertoire

Blues in the Closet - Oscar Pettiford F Blues Practice Background

Tee Pee Time - Clark Terry (B flat blues with a Rhythm Changes Bridge - Blues with a Bridge)

Jumpin at the Woodside - Count Basie Jumpin at the Woodside (Rhythm Changes)

Some of the better-known tunes that employ Rhythm changes are: “Anthropology,” “Dexterity,” “Oleo,” “Steeplechase,” “Cottontail,” “Moose the Mooche,” “Lester Leaps In,” “Shaw ‘Nuff,” “The Theme” (Miles Davis), the theme to “The Flintstones,” “Allen’s Alley,” and “Rhythm-A-Ning.” “Scrapple From The Apple” uses a Rhythm bridge with a “Honeysuckle Rose” A section; “Good Bait” has a Rhythm A section, with a bridge that uses the same chords, transposed up a fourth. The majority of these tunes date from the bebop years (1940s to early 1950s).

When the Saints Go Marching In - Louis Armstrong Recording When the Saints Backing Track

Improv Ensemble Listening

Blue Trane (John Coltrane)

Moment's Notice (John Coltrane)

Freddie Freeloader (Miles Davis)

All Blues (Miles Davis)

Fast F Blues Background

So What Practice Background (Dorian Minor)

Sack O' Woe - Cannonball Adderley

Autumn Leaves Practice Background

Freddie Freeloader (Kind of Blue Album - Miles Davis)

Practice Blues Background

Autumn Leave Listening Links

Coleman Hawkins

Duke Ellington

Dizzy Gillespie

Bill Evans

Wynton Marsalis

Cannonball Adderley

Sarah Vaughn

Ahmad Jamal

Eva Cassidy

Count Basie Listening Links

Jumpin' at the Woodside

Until I Met You

April In Paris

One O'Clock Jump

Lil Darlin'


Important Members of the Basie Orchestra

Sax - Lester Young, Buddy Tate, Coleman Hawkins

Trumpet - Thad Jones, Clark Terry

Trombone - Curtis Fuller, Bill Hughes

Guitar - Freddie Green

Drummers - Butch Miles, Philly Jo Jones, Louie Bellson, Sonny Payne

1940's Swing Listening Links

Bebop Listening Links

Duke Ellington Listening Links

1. It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got That Swing)

2. Sophisticated Lady

3. Don't Get Around Much Anymore

4. Satin Doll

5. Black and Tan Fantasy

6. Caravan

Louis Armstrong Listening Links

1. Heebie Jeebies (Hot Fives and Hot Sevens Album)

2. Cornet Chop Suey (Hot Fives and Hot Sevens Album) 1926

3. I Got Plenty O' Nuttin (With Ella Fitzgerald, Porgy and Bess)

4. Dinah (1933)

5. Mack the Knife

6. Chimes Blues (with King Oliver)

Melody and Improv is a class offered at Westbrook High School that focuses on a student's ability to play tunes, and improvise in a jazz combo setting. The course is tailored to the ability level of each student, allowing them to improve their skills as much as possible. All students must be part of the Westbrook Band Program (unless they are a piano or guitar player.)

Melody and Improvisation

Course Expectations and Syllabus

Course Goals: At the end of the year students will be able to:

    • Improvise in a combo setting;
    • comp chord changes for blues, major/minor ii-V tunes, and rhythm changes on piano
    • Understand the history of jazz through study of the most influential musicians and time periods.

Expectations: Each student will need their instrument/equipment, as well as supplied class music for each class. A folder will be provided for students wishing to use one.


    • Class preparation/participation 30%
    • Listening Projects 30%
    • Piano 20%
    • playing quizzes 20%