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Thread: Naima

  1. #1

    Default Naima

    Thought I might share my very basic chord melody arrangement of Coltrane's beautiful "Naima". I'm very open to any constructive criticism or ideas on how I might improve it

    https://youtu.be/Cy8DU-GJBLQ

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  3. #2
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Naima

    The version done by Dave Grisman is pretty darn good too.
    Nic Gellie

    Gellie #4 2017 A-5 mandolin

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Naima

    I agree with Nick. Grisman's version is, in my opinion, classic.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Naima

    just some alternatives perhaps...

    bar by bar, in TAB lo to hi 8-6-4-8 or 3-3-4-8/6-4-8/2324-542/5-3-6/
    4-6-6/6-2-3 or 4-6-5-3/ 4-6-6 or 4-4-6-6/ 6-2-3 or 4-6-5-3 or 1-3-2-3/
    second part 7-8-7-9/ 4-4-6-6/ 8-6-10/3-2-6
    coda 5-5-6 or 5-6-6 6-6-8/1-1-3-3 1-3-3-4/ 5-3-6-6 6-6-8-8/6-10-11

    a couple of these leave the pedal note off, assuming it will be played on a bass or some such
    also when fakebook calls for a major seventh chord perhaps taking the liberty of a maj 6 or straight maj

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Naima

    and speaking of good versions George Benson has it on his Guitar Man CD

  8. #6

    Default Re: Naima

    Nick, Denny,
    thanks for pointing out Grisman's version for me!

    I used to listen to Quintet '80 a lot, and it's safe to say that the "New Acoustic" music of David Grisman and Tony Rice led me into my current appreciation of jazz (Coltrane included). I vaguely recall listening to Naima on that album and thinking "gee what a pretty, haunting, tune" but since recently getting into Coltrane, I haven't revisited Quintet '80 and somehow didn't make the connection... Silly me

    Anyway, I think the single note tremolo really suits this tune; that's definitely the way I would play it if I had such fine guitar and bass to back me up.

  9. #7

    Default Re: Naima

    Don!

    Thank you for your thought out reply! I had to sit right down and try to work out your suggestions... they're great!

    I've long been a fan of your playing, and am currently (albeit slowly) working my way through Jazz Mandolin Appetizers.

    One question: I notice several of your suggestions seem to take the "melody on top" rule rather loosely, but they still sound great! Do you have any tips for helping the melody stand out even when it's not the top note in a voicing?

    I will definitely check out Benson's version!

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Naima

    Hi C.,

    Thanks for your kind words.All of us chord melody people have to stick together!

    The voicings I posted do have the melody on top. Top of course meaning the highest note sounded in the group, just to clarify. Could be on the A string, could be on the E string, etc..Another reason you might think some might not have melody notes on top is I omitted melody notes that I didn't harmonize..all of these are the places where the melody lands on a big old chord. For example, bar one should be notated as 8-6-4-8 followed by 6 on the E, 11 on the E, then the second bar 6-4-8...Sorry for that confusion. There are a couple other spots like that in there as well. But sure enough each of the chords has a melody note on the top of the group of notes.

    Thank you also for reminding me of this wonderful and beautiful piece.I played it some with my friend and musical guru John Carlini. We even recorded it, but I'm not sure that track was ever released.When we played it I just played tremolo melody and tried to improvise on those changes. That was a challenge I'm not sure I met--those are not your everyday chords! I remember also Johnny tuned his E on the git-tar down to Eb and played the bass part from the Coltrane record on that.Grabbing a chord melody as usual puts the tune's harmony in clearer focus, so again thanks for starting this thread.

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  12. #9

    Default Re: Naima

    Don,

    Thanks for the clarification, and what cool stories! I really like Mr. Carlini's playing as well. River Suite for two Guitars is one of my favorite recordings full stop.

  13. #10

    Default Re: Naima

    Thanks for posting this thread C., and thanks for your cool chord melody. I haven't listened to this tune in a very long time until I listened to your take. I've been listening to a lot of different versions since, Coltranes of course, Bensons', which was posted on here, Grismans' of course, and my favorite so far is Eric Dolphys' soloing on his version.

    Thanks for the Chord tab Don. I love that first structure, and even though I'm in standard tenor tuning, it was a cool extension to the Bb- straight up.

    Here's Dolphys version, and one of my own. My Backing track was a little "elevatorish", but the closest I could find to a decent lead sheet.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPiDFQJ15P8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qfc4ZBNDM0

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