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  Angel Eyes  

Ted Greene Arrangement - Feb 2 -1998
Ted’s chord diagrams combined with music notation by P. Vachon

Ted's Original Lesson sheet
AngelEyes_TedGreene_Original 1998-02-02.pdf

My Compilation Page

Here we have Ted’s beautiful solo guitar arrangement of the jazz standard Angel Eyes, transposed to the key of F minor—up a fourth from the original key of C minor.  I find it interesting that Ted wrote on his page, “Key of Fm(6)” to distinguish this as a darker, more serious minor sound than the usual Aeolian minor.  The Fm6 includes the natural 6th note (D), not the flatted-6th (Db).  So when the Db7 chord appears it immediately evokes a real bluesy, soulful sound.  Yet to be “musically correct” the key signature needs to have 4 flats (not 3 flats).

This song was written in 1946 by Matt Dennis (music) and Earl Brent (lyrics), and was used in the 1953 film, Jennifer.  (The 2001 film, Angel Eyes starring Jennifer Lopez does not use this song.)

Ted subtitled his page, “Harlem Nocturne  / Melancholy Serenade / Pete Kelly’s Blues.”  I’m not familiar with those pieces, but I’m assuming that they have a similar chord progression, and so perhaps Ted is putting them all together as a sound-reference.

When I studied with Ted he talked about the different kinds of minor sounds.  He said, “The minor 6th colors things in a more atmospheric, true minor sense.  Dorian makes a very soft, easy, pleasant minor sound—even in a modern context.  It’s not so much minor as it is soft, whereas the minor 6th sounds minor.  It can also have the natural 7th, and of course the 9th, etc.”

At another lesson he said, “Angel Eyes has the dark, minor sound.  Think waterfront New Orleans.  This is as bluesy as you can get on the American half of the world.  In Angel Eyes the progression of I minor – bVI7 hits you right away with the blues.”

There are several challenging chords in this arrangement, but they’re certainly doable if you put in the time.  One “less comfortable” chord form is the dominant 9th voicing which first appears as a Db9 in the first measure.  It’s not so much difficult as it is awkward.  In another arrangement Ted referred to this voicing as a “Gershwin-esh 9th."  You’ll want to get friendly with that one, for it pops up several times in this arrangement.

In Ted’s original sheet he did not include the chord names.  This was left blank for the student to add, so I went ahead and added names in red so as to make it easier to read.

Some Comments: (the measure numbers refer to the compilation pages)

  • Measure 1:                       Notice Ted’s finger indications just below the grid diagram.  Using this allows you to sustain the F bass note for the move.
  • Measure 2:                       To get the G melody note (the square shape in the grid diagram), you’ll need to either lift your little finger off the C note on the 4th string and move it right over to the 3rd string.  Or you could simply lay the 4th finger down.  (Knowing Ted, he probably did the latter). 
  • Measure 3:                       Ted has a variation on the melody in this measure.  The original melody is a descending chromatic line on the minor chord: the 9th to b9 to the root.  Instead, Ted played the 9th twice.  I’ve indicated the “correct” Gb note which you may wish to play as an option. 
  • Measure 5:                       For the C note in the Fm7 chord, Ted directs: “release for X.”  He also gives fingering numbers below the grids.  So, play the F and C together, then release the C and move it to the F on the 3rd string (for the X) and play that, followed by the two square notes.  Make sure the F bass note sustains throughout.
  • Measure 8:                       My ears want to hear a C7(#9) on beats 3-4 here (maybe even with some harp harmonics to fill), as a short turnaround for the second verse.
  • Measure 11:         Try this fingering for the first Fm6:  3 for the dot, then 1,2,1 for the X notes.  Now, add your 4th finger for the square note.  Finally, to get the triangle note (the C) on the first string, lift either your 2nd or 1st finger and use it, all the while keeping your 3rd and 4th fingers planted for the sustain.
  • Measure 11:         Here again Ted has a variation on the descending melody line.  As in measure 3, the original melody is G to Gb to F, and again Ted plays the G twice.  I’ve indicated the “correct” Gb note if you prefer that.  Notice Ted’s comment about the phrasing of this chord and melody line:  “or hit the chord 1st."  So you could play the X notes first, followed by the dot, square, and triangle.  Try it.
  • Measure 16:         Play the F note on beat 4 alone, no chord.  This is not indicated in Ted’s diagrams, but its part of the song.
  • Measure 18:         For the Bb13(b9) try this fingering:  1,1,2,3,2 then lift 2 for the X note.  Or, use finger 4 instead of 3.
  • Measure 21:         The D-natural melody note on beat 3 was not included in Ted’s diagram, although the song calls for it.  I added this in the notation in parentheses.  If he had included it in his diagram, then it would have had a solid dot under (or with) the square on the first string.  I finger it as:  1,2,2,3,4 then lift your 3rd finger and slide your 4th finger up to the E note and play the top two strings (the X notes).  Now play the D note on the first string using either your 3rd or 4th finger.  Also, Ted indicated an option to hit the F bass note first.
  • Measure 22:         For the hammer-on the C chord, play it as:  1,3 with a full barre.  Now play the X note on the 1st string with the Eb on the 3rd string and hammer-on to the E-natural note with your 2nd finger.   Next, you should add the missing A-natural melody note which I’ve added as a red square on the chord diagram and also in the music notation.
  • Measure 24-25:    In order to sustain the E note from the C7 into the next measure try this fingering:  C7:  1,1,2,1.  Now keep your 2nd finger planted and play the Em as open,3,1,2.  Then for the next Em6, keep the open 6th string bass note ringing and lift all fingers up and play 2,3,1 and 4 for the X.
  • Measure 32:         Finger the C/9 to C9 as:  3,2,1 to 4,3,2,1.  Simple.  Now comes a monster:  B7(#9#5):  3,4,1,1,2.  If this is too much of a stretch try playing these notes on the top 4 strings:  A, D#, G, D—which is same notes as the B7(#9#5) but without the additional #9 on the 4th string. 

Hope you enjoy learning and playing this awesome arrangement.


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