Etude 23-“Cry Me A River” Variation Over Coltrane Matrix

 In this etude I’ve taken a well-worn jazz cliche borrowed from the standard song, Cry Me A River, made slight variations and connected them over the Coltrane Matrix chord changes. Below is the cliche (lick) in one of its most often used form in a jazz context:

Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 5.32.58 PM

As you can see, it’s a 9-1-5-3-9-1-7 pattern in E minor. It’s a beautiful sounding basic pattern that’s good to learn in all 12 keys. It is most typically applied over dominant 7th chords resolving to tonic. Now take a look at how I’ve altered it and connected it over the Coltrane changes: Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 5.40.36 PM

The first four notes of the first measure form the beginning of Cry Me A River, and the rest of the measure is the variation. If you analyze it harmonically its: +11, 3, 7, 5 over major; 1, 7 over dominant. The 7th then voice-leads up to the +11 of the next major chord (Ab) and the pattern continues, resolving slightly differently on the final major chord:  7 to 3 (F to E). The entire pattern is very poignantly lyrical (if somewhat angular) and quite beautiful. I’ve presented it here in all 12 keys for reference and practice. If you’d like to find even more unconventional ways to approach these chord changes, please take a look at my book, The Coltrane Matrix: 40 Unique Melodic Ideas In All 12 Keys. Click the link below for the .pdf version of this etude. I’ve also included a midi version for you to hear.

“Cry Me A River” Variation Over Coltrane Matrix .pdf

Cry Me A River Over Coltrane Matrix midi