4

Below is a chart I made of the standard Evans And B forms (which I have only seen in method books using major key harmony) and my own possibilities for voicings for half-diminished and tritone substitution chords. Are my voicings OK? Are there other standard fingerings I should use?

Note: in the minor key chart I used the flat sign for the 5th and 6th chord tones, but not for the 3rd and 7th where they are assumed to be minor intervals.

EVANS STYLE CHORDS

Major Keys --------------------------------------------

CHORD   TYPE A      TYPE B

ii m9   3 5 7 9     7 9 3 5
 V 9    7 9 3 6     3 6 7 9
 I Δ9   3 5 6 2     6 2 3 5

Minor Keys --------------------------------------------

CHORD   TYPE A      TYPE B

ii m7♭5 3 ♭5 7 1    7 1 3 ♭5
 V 7♭9  7 ♭9 3 ♭6   3 ♭6 7 ♭9
 i m9   3 5 7 9     7 9 3 5

Tritone substitution for V7 ---------------------------

CHORD   TYPE A      TYPE B

♭II 7♭5 3 ♭5 7 1    7 1 3 ♭5
1

You seem to favour voicings based on stacked thirds. The book:

Frank Mantooth Jazz Piano Voicings

says to avoid stacked thirds in favour of voicings based on descending fourths.

This descending fourths structure is exactly the chord shape used by Bill Evans in his performance of 'So What' with Miles Davis.

I've had a printed copy of the book on my piano music stand for years. The chord spellings are brilliant and systematic and they sound proper. Third-based voicings can sound twee.

Two of its chapters are devoted to diminished chord spellings and tritone substitution respectively.

  • 2
    I don't favor those voicings. It's just that the Evans voicings seem to be a staple of jazz so I want to study them. My question is if there are Evans voicings for minor and the tritone substitute. But I appreciate the resource about harmony in fourths. – Michael Curtis Sep 12 '18 at 18:09
  • The idea of Evans voicings is generally to bring out the dissonances peculiar to jazz chords more - and in particular there are usually some 2nds moved inside a 4th instead of being put outside as a 9th. (I'm not usually a jazz musician and never learned the details, but got the general idea.) – Alexander Woo Sep 20 '18 at 19:22

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