This is one of those songs that has been covered by just about everybody, but it isn't that familiar to the public. The melody is familiar, but it isn't a tune that most people can name immediately. This song is very flexible. it can be done at just about any tempo in just about any style. In this case, we have a fairly brisk Samba beat.
The song form is ABA with each section having 16 bars -- 48 bars to the chorus. The changes aren't crazy, but they aren't entirely conventional either. This song is loaded with ii-V and ii-V-I sequences. See measures 9, 11, 13, 17 21, 25, 29, 32, 41, 43, and 45. In others words, nearly half the time, you are in a ii-V pattern of some sort.
There is a fade-out vamp after the out-chorus for you to noodle on a little.
Wes Montgomery's "West Coast Blues" is a jam session favorite. It is a mostly conventional 24-bar blues. The last time, there is a 9-bar tag you can add.
The challenge of this tune is to make it swing. The head has several pick-ups that are done as triplets. It is important to get these in the right time and feel. The pitches aren't as important as the inflection.
In the head, the most characteristic feature is the repetition of the pattern of quarter notes on beats 1 & 2. You find this in measures 1, 3, 5, 9, 11, 13, 15, 21, and 23. These should all be scooped and emphasized over the other notes in the head.
In your improvisation, you can echo those characteristics (heavy quarter notes on 1 & 2, and the triplet pick-ups
Playing a minor 12-bar blues? Not so bad.
Playing it in C# minor (concert)? Not so good.
Playing it to make Coltrane proud? Well ...
Coltrane's "Equinox" is a simple 12-bar blues. Everybody can play the head, even in C# minor with a little practice. But this is a very uncomfortable key for most wind players, so plan to take some time to get the brain and fingers working in this key to open up the improvisation possibilities.
This is a rather simple ballad that everybody should have in their repertoire. It is your basic 32-bar AABA song. It is mostly the familiar I - vi - ii -V progression or something similar. Even the bridge is close to the I - vi - ii -V pattern. This is a good tune to turn your attention away from the technical parts of the song and work on developing emotional, expressive lines.
This song, written by Clare Fischer and popularized by Art Blakey and Freddie Hubbard, is quite challenging. It is AABA, but each section is 16 bars with a lot of changes, so rather dense and unconventional. The melody has haunting, distant intervals. If you don't know this tune, you will almost certainly need a lead sheet. It is in the "World's Greatest Fake Book" by Sher Music. If you have trouble finding a lead sheet, send a private message.
It is common for jazz tunes to have somewhat conventional chord changes in the A sections, and to go crazy in the bridge, wandering into distant key centers. This tune reverses that pattern. The bridge is actually quite conventional, but the A sections really move around.
Oh, and it is in 6 flats (concert pitch.) Don't play any F-flats.
Plan to spend some serious time on this one. The song is well worth the effort.