The word "comp" as it is used in jazz is probably derived from the word accompany. It may also come from the word complement. In either case, when you are asked to "comp" in an ensemble setting, rarely are you given more direction as to what to do than whatever vague meaning either of those words may imply: to accompany in a complementary way. In this lesson, a transcription of Wynton Kelly's comping behind the flute soloist Bobby Jasper over the changes to his Bb blues head "Kelly Blue," from his 1959 sextet album of the same name is used as a model for deriving and codifying the essential elements of good comping: voicings, voice leading and rhythmic placement, duration and activity. The application of each element is discussed in the context of standard tunes in common jazz styles such as mid tempo swing, up tempo swing, ballad, latin and 3/4 waltz time.
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Five Essential 7th Chords
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About the instructor
Bill did undergraduate work at the Berklee College of Music and holds the M.Mus. degree in Jazz Studies from the Boston Conservatory/Berklee College of Music where he studied with Ray Santisi and Charlie Banacos. Bill taught and played extensively around the Boston area for the better part of two decades appearing everywhere from the legendary Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge MA to a long stand at the Hampshire House on Beacon Hill in Boston before relocating to the Raleigh-Durham NC area where he teaches full-time on JazzPianoOnline.com.