I really want to share these great voicings which I’ve transcribed from Joa’s live performance of Desafinado, and of course his singing and phrasing is in a class by itself.
In a practical sense the internet has brought us back to an earlier time when musicians learned material through the aural tradition. These days it is easier to send a youtube link of a specific recording than to send someone a chart, and that is one of the great boon’s of the information age to musicians. There are other sides of this issue of which I’m not so optimistic, but I’ve found among my peers that youtube has really cut down on the presence of charts on the gig.
I’ve been thinking about how damaging the Fake Book culture has been to Jazz music. I’m certainly not an advocate of reading charts on a gig unless its absolutely necessary, but I’ve been thinking more about how we’re conditioned to have a “chord symbol mentality” about harmony in music. A-7 is such a poor substitute for learning the specific voicing. I think one of the reasons that ‘pop’ music can be such an engaging departure for jazz musicians is because the harmony is not so much about chord symbols or progressions-but SOUND! I think that most truly engaging music has carefully selected chord voicings which are layered to create a unique texture. And of course the great jazz music operates at a level far beyond mere chord symbols.
I was speaking with a friend about this Joa version of Desafinado and he said, “We’ll the first chord is really D major 7, because if there was a bass player that’s what they would probably play under the guitar voicing.” This argument that functionality equals sound is really the problem I’m talking about. Audiences don’t hear D major 7, they hear the notes! So lets go out and choose the best notes, as I believe Joa has done so beautifully in this live clip. Also, I have these voicings transcribed, so message me if you’d like to have them.