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5 Woody Shaw ii-V-I Licks


Part of nearly every jazz musician’s practice routine includes learning licks and phrases from master jazz artists. Jazz is truly a language, and learning these phrases can give insight into the rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic “grammar” of jazz.

If you transcribe a solo take the time to comb through it for licks or phrases you like and analyze them. A few weeks ago I transcribed this solo from Woody Shaw on There Will Never Be Another You, and here are 5 of the phrases I really liked.

Lick #1

Lick #1: This lick is characterized by the use of the Eb altered scale (E melodic minor) over the Eb7 to create tension leading to the Abmaj7.

Lick #2

Lick #2: I don’t have a great explanation for what’s happening over the F-7, that’ll require some more thought. It’s possible Shaw was delaying a chord change from the previous measure, which is an F7. Then over the Bb7 he uses a very common “#9-b9-1-b7” line resolving to the 3rd of the Ebmaj7.

Lick #3.JPG

Lick #3: This lick utilizes the Eb dominant bebop scale leading into the Eb7. He creates tension by landing on the #9 of the Eb7, then resolves by enclosing the 5th of the Abmaj7.

Lick #4.JPG

Lick #4: I’m choosing to look at this phrase as two measures of Eb7. Shaw uses two triads (A and E diminished) to highlight the #9, b7, b5, and b9 of the chord. You could also look at the two triads as an A7b9 arpeggio descending from the 5th.

Lick #5.JPG

Lick #5: Very traditional approach to the F-7 leading to the 3rd of the Bb7, followed by a less-than-traditional E6 arppeggio over the Bb7. Shaw doesn’t technically resolve this lick but it’s pretty clear that it’s heading to Ebmaj7, albeit in an unconventional way.

Click here for a pdf of all 5 licks!