Lapp Nils' Professor's Note

"...... thinking music all the time."

- From early in his career Svend Asmussen often uses this chord: a C7 with a D-triad on top. This chord is born out of the series of harmonics or partials - here from the low C.

  • The octaves are partials numbers 1-2-4-8-16-32......
  • Partials numbers 4-7 are the C7-chord - numbers 9-11-13 are a D-triad.
  • All the red notes is a C9 with #11 and 13 = C13(#11)
  • Surprise: Partial numbers and 13. correspond with the chord intervals.

This Poly-chord, Slash-chord, Upper-structure-chord, Overlayered-chord, or whatever: C13(#11) can be notated like this

Lyd7 - D-major chord over C7

- When you move the 2 chords (red notes) to the same octave you get this scale, which in modern jazz-theory is called a Lydian-b7-scale - C-lyd.b7. (Lydian for raised fourth)

Lydian b7
- This scale is identical with a G-minor melodic scale - in modern theory: Gm(mel.) Molidic minor

Comments to Svends Solo

(You can download the pdf LINK with comments and print it)

You may think after reading the analysis, that here the Professor runs amok. BUT.

  • The solo reflects the way a jazz-musician often thinks:
  • He may start with a short statement, an opening.
  • He remember what he just played and comments it or repeats a variation (in a standard-tune over the chord-changes in the next bars)
  • He builds up to more action - and then -
  • - he calms down - and builds up again.
  • All the time he remembers what he played and formulates then the next sentence.
  • This is just like talking with music-words and -phraces.
  • In an interview Dizzy Gillespie once answered to the Question: "What do you think before playing the next phrase; rhythm or notes?" Answer: "I think the rhythm!"
  • Experience, ear and harmonic overview guide the musician to the appropriate notes.


  • The solo opens up with the mentioned chord upwards - followed by a downwards comment
  • Bar 8: The scale cascades up to a "strange" Db followed by a leap down and up again to C-
  • This phrase is repeated ending with a Bb - and again now ending with an A.
  • From bar 13 the phrases have direction downwards.
  • In bar 15 is used a common jazz-technic: "targeting": playing the notes around the note you are aiming at. (I have marked some of the cases in red)
  • Bar 17. A "new" strange note Eb. Often if a musician hits a wrong note he will play it again: "Hey. I meant it. No mistake."
  • Bar 23 opens up again. And after a series of repeated triplets .....
  • is Svend from bar 31 running amok in cascades up and down in rhythms contrasting to the beat, hitting the high Db twice and then calming down on the C and on the lydian sound.
  • In bar 41 we hear the phrase (from bar 10) again.
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