Piano - How to Play ? Autumn Leaves III


It's November, so it seems like the perfect time to take another crack at Autumn Leaves. This is now my third time around on this tune, and another completely different arrangement.

My first arrangement was quite a few years ago. That one was ballad style and had a lot of background accompaniment to fill in for my lack of full voicing ability with both hands. I really enjoyed putting together the overall sounds and the story about my family.

The second arrangement was done last year, and was much more complicated. This was was done in an uptempo waltz style, but was both re-harmonized and re-melodicized. I thought that the arrangement was really nice, but some of the solo sections with the band were a bit iffy. I loved that idea of a re-melodicized tune that is so identifiable that you can still easily tell what song it is.

This time, I m still working on solo studies. The arrangement starts with a full run-through at legato tempo with full Shearing chords. It then goes to them up-tempo section with alternating embellished moldy and staccato chords. I think that I got this from Wynton Kelley, but I haven't been able to find the exact performance where he does this.

The song then goes into a walking bass motif to finish out the verse. The Bb vamp then gets much faster and goes into a another waking bass verse. This time the walking bass is done is a call and response mode. One of the great suggestions from my piano teacher, Ed, was that call and response is a good way to work your way into greater comfort with more constantly flowing walking bass. I also break it up with some synchronous double octave lines.

With this very fast tempo in play, I then go into a section of very full chords with m11 voicings. This sounds nice as a switch from the bass lines. But we comes back to bass at the bridge.

Coming toward the end, we slow down get back to legato Shearing chords. But rather then end legato, I come back to walking bass at the bridge. The ending repeats 3 times , mixing up the tempos a bit.

Wynton Kelly Autumn Leaves