Autumn Leaves vs A Million Years Ago

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by ASATKat, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,790
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Location:
    next to the burn zone
    Autumn Leaves is a jazz classic, and Adele's A Million Years Ago comes out of the rock camp. They both use the same progression, Adele uses Autumn Leaves progression for like 3/4 of her song. It doesn't sound like jazz though.

    Would you call Adele's song "jazz"?
     
  2. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    565
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Location:
    Australia
    This version on youtube sounds to me more jazzy than rock.
     
  3. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,212
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Fullerton CA
    The finger-picked steel-stringed guitar backup makes it sound folky to me. It's always sounded like that to me, like Simon & Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, even the definitive Edith Piaf version.

    It's one of those circular chord changes that seem to go on forever, but eventually wind up back where you started. See "Windmills of Your Mind" by Michel Legrand for the best (worst?) example.

    Now if you make it an instrumental, with sax, upright bass, and drums with brushes, it'll be jazzy for sure, Daddy-O.
     
  4. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,209
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    Sting copped Autumn Leaves for his song A Moon Over Bourbon Street.
    I guess you steal from the best.
    And he was trying to sound jazzy.

     
  5. Matthias

    Matthias Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,967
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    Pop with jazz influences.
     
  6. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,547
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    NELA, Ca
    The autumn leaves chord sequence comes from Vivaldis "winter".

    Adele = not jazz.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
    maxvintage likes this.
  7. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    4,154
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Not jazz, unless by "jazz" you mean "more than four chords."

    They're pretty much vanilla major minor chords in her song. It sounds folky.
     
    klasaine likes this.
  8. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,833
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Location:
    Europa
    It's not chord choice that make jazz jazz.
     
    klasaine likes this.
  9. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,547
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    NELA, Ca
    Exactly.
    The chord progression is diatonic.
    The original song was not written as 'jazz' to begin with. It's just a pop song. It's also got a really long intro or verse section that nobody anymore plays. What we know as autumn leaves is the refrain or chorus section.

    In the words of Bill Evans, "jazz isn't a what, it's a how".
     
    maxvintage likes this.
  10. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    4,154
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Silly. It's one of the many things that make jazz, but chord substitution is pretty central to jazz practice.
     
  11. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,547
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    NELA, Ca
    Not silly at all.
    Steely Dan, Chicago, BST, Stevie Wonder, EWF, King Crimson, Rush and Yes use a ton of chords, substitutions as well as altered and extended voicings not too mention a lot of improvisation but they are not 'jazz' either.
    Conversely, artists like Herbie Hancock, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis and Horace Silver - especially during the 60s and 70s - wrote a lot of songs with 3 or 4 chords sans a swing beat and I don't think anyone would mistake those tunes for anything other than "Jazz".

    As I mentioned ... jazz is a how, not a what.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
    ASATKat and Lobomov like this.
  12. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    4,154
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Arlington, VA

    Huh--I don't recall saying they were
     
  13. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    4,154
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Yeah, which I already agreed with. Wanna bet some substitutions are being made in the comping behind the solos of the songs you mentioned?


    I wrote: "It's one of the many things that make jazz, but chord substitution is pretty central to jazz practice." Does this seem incorrect?
     
  14. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,547
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    NELA, Ca
    I probably misunderstood (post #10). I think we're in agreement.
    Substitutions are of course de rigueur in jazz but other types of music use substitute chord changes to spice up as well as reinvent standard chord progression.
    So back to the OT. Those types of music such as R&B, a lot of pop and prog aren't jazz. Jazz influenced yes, but not jazz. They same way that Cantaloupe Island is only 3 chords and the beat is straight but the way the band approaches it - it ain't rock.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  15. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    11,209
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    The Far-Flung Isles of Langerhans
    Is this Jazz?



    Give it to these guys and it is:

     
    klasaine likes this.
  16. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,828
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Funny, when I first heard that Adele song I thought "WIndmills of your mind" another similar thing. Not really the same though.
     
  17. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,833
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Location:
    Europa
    My point exactly :)
     
  18. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,547
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    NELA, Ca
    Perfect example of the "how, not what".
     
  19. fretWalkr

    fretWalkr TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    56
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Location:
    DFW
    Interesting discussion. I found this at http://www.jazzstandards.com/theory/overview.htm
    I thought it was very well thought out and articulated.

    "What Makes a Song Come across as “Jazz”?
    In the 1920s and 1930s, when jazz was taking shape as cutting-edge popular music, factors were: a danceable swing beat, blue notes, characteristic rhythms, and vocal/instrumental timbre. ...Many jazz standards began as popular songs, with melodies and/or lyrics that mass audiences found appealing. ...Any melody - pop tune, folk song, Christmas song, even classical theme - can become “jazz,” if it is played with a jazz interpretation. This can be accomplished by using a beat identified with jazz, by using an instrumental or vocal timbre that is associated with jazz, by altering the melody in ways associated with jazz, and/or by featuring improvised solos in the setting."
     
  20. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,273
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    "Europa" and "Still Got the Blues for You"
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.