Body and Soul
(by Johnny Green)
Chord Melody + Jazz Guitar Comping and Improvisation
probably the most played ballad in jazz repertoire. It was written by Johnny Green in 1930
for the actress
Gertrude Lawrence. It has a
poignant melody, great modulations (bridge especially) and a
straight-ahead 32-bar form.
As jazz improvisers and accompanists, guitarists must know this tune
inside out. Sing the melody, comp the chords, create a chord melody and
improvise on Body and Soul!
It is also a great tune to cover lots of ground with. The song includes lots of
"common" traits (present
in most jazz standards). Working on it will improve many aspects of
your playing all at once (chord melody, lyricism, accompaniment, time
feel, solo building, etc.)
You should really take you time with the chord melody found on this page. It has lots of stuff! You may want to change some parts for your style (ie leave the bass notes out) or simple *leave out* some chords is they don't make sense for you.
Video Demonstration (Chord Melody + Jazz Guitar Improvisation)
"Body & Soul" jazz guitar chord melody demonstrated, with some
improvisation. Since the form is AABA (and its slow), I demonstrated each section separately.
See the PDF (with TABS) for the complete arrangement.
melody PDF contains :
-the leadsheet (chord symbols + melody),
-the chord melody arrangement (played in the video here)
-a basic chord chart (basic guitar shapes for you to use.)
Countless great versions of this tune exist. Coleman
Hawkins' 1940 recording is the most popular of the "classic" studio sessions.
Another one of my favorite is Dexter
rendition with the "vamp" stuff in the A sections and Coltrane changes
on the bridge. It can be found on Gordon's compilation entitled