Ted Greene Arrangement - August 14, 1985
My compilation pages, changes and Ted's Original Lesson sheet
Here we have Ted Greene’s beautiful arrangement of Duke Ellington’s 1938 song in the key of C. This was kept in his “level 3” or “difficult” folder and handed out to some of his more experienced chord-melody players. Ted also made a version in the key of A that was written out during 3 private lessons. The chord voicings and moves are almost identical, so if you learn one of them the other will follow easily.
There are some tough chords here, so take your time, start slow and build up gradually. It is meant to be slow rubato piece, so you don’t have to get it up to a tempo.
Some of the V-1 chord passages require some extra work to play smoothly. Ted really loved the “cluster” or close voicing that V-1 chords provide. If you spend the time on these sections you’ll hear what Ted loved so much.
Make whatever modifications you deem necessary in order to get the arrangement into a workable form. Also check out Ted’s 1992 key of A version—you may decide to combine the two or make a hybrid version that you like.
Some comments and fingering suggestions: (referring to the compilation pages)
Bar 11: Use the George Van Eps 5th finger technique to play the B7b9+ chord: 3,4,2,1,1.
Bar 12: You may find it easier to play the A7b9+ with the GVE 5th here as well.
Bar 16: Okay…this C+D/B to B/A isn’t exactly my favorite chord move, but it’s doable. The barre with the second finger needs to include the 4th string as well in order for the finger to bend backward and allow the first string to be free (at least it’s necessary for me with my fat fingers). The 4th finger barre is a challenge, but if you work on this it will help with other similar moves that are common in Ted’s arrangements. The fingering for the B/A is: 3,2,2,1 then for the X’s: 4,2.
Bar 19: Beautiful Em6/9maj7 !
Bar 20: Unless you have either large hands or a small neck, you may find the F#7#9sus4 to F#7#9 to Fmaj7 to be a challenge. I have to cheat on that one and drop the 6th string bass notes.
Bar 22: Finger the A7#9 / D9 to C as follows: 1,3,4 to 2,1,4 then 2,1,4 and then add 3 for the X. Keep finger 4 planted on the C note the whole time.
Bar 25: Finger the F/9 to Gm7b5 / G7 to G7b9+ / Am like this: 2,1,4,3 then 2,1,4,1 then 3,2,4,1 and keep the 4th finger planted the whole time.
At the end of the arrangement Ted indicates to modulate to the key of B or another key. I added a follow-through with an F13sus4 to Cmaj13 as a suggestion if you just wanted to end there in C without any modulation.
Thanks to David Bishop for his assistance with some of the notation. We hope the compilation pages help you to learn this fine arrangement by the Chord Chemist, Mr. Ted Greene.
Good luck and enjoy!