Tadd Dameron's 1947 Lady Bird (IMaj7-bIIIMaj7-bVIMaj7-bIIMaj7) Turnaround

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Dameron Turnaround
(IMaj7-bIIIMaj7-bVIMaj7-bIIMaj7)

The progression for this turnaround was first used by Tadd Dameron in his 1947 jazz standard Lady Bird. The chord progression for Lady Bird is shown below in the original key of C. The last two bars of this sixteen-chord progression is referred to as the Dameron Turnaround.

CMaj7 / / / / / / / Fm7 / / / Bb7 / / /
CMaj7 / / / / / / / Bbm7 / / / Eb7 / / /
AbMaj7 / / / / / / / Am7 / / / D7 / / /
Dm7 / / / G7 / / / CMaj7 / EbMaj7 / AbMaj7 / DbMaj7 /

The Dameron Turnaround can be created from the Standard (I-vi-ii-V) Progression by applying the chord quality and tritone substitutions as shown below.

CMaj7 Am7 Dm7 G7 -Original Standard Progression
CMaj7 A7 Dm7 G7 -Quality Substitution: Dominant for Minor
CMaj7 A7 D7 G7 -Quality Substitution: Dominant for Minor
CMaj7 Eb7 Ab7 Db7-Tritone Substitution
CMaj7 EbMaj7 AbMaj7 DbMaj7-Quality Substitution: Major for Dominant

The opening four bars (shown below) to Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke's 1949 standard Here's That Rainy Day is built around the Dameron Turnaround.

CMaj7 / / / EbMaj7 / / / AbMaj7 / / / DbMaj7 / / /
Dm7 / / / G7 / / / CMaj7 / / / Gm7 / C7 /

JazzStandards.com puts it this way: "Van Heusen’s original harmonic progression over section “A” corresponds to what jazz musicians often call “Lady Bird” or “Half Nelson” changes – I – bIIIma7 – bVIma7 (in the original, Fmaj7 - Ab maj7 –Dbmaj7), with one chord per measure. Some players perform this starting in the parallel minor and then follow a descending bass line. In the original key, this is: Fm7 – C7/E – Ebm6 – Dm7(b5) – Dbmaj7. This is not necessarily an improvement over the original; however, it is a bone of contention between the more rabid players. In either case, the Dbmaj7 skips down two minor thirds to ii7 (Bbm7 to Gm7), proceeding to V7 – I."

You will want to try substituting the Dameon Turnaround for the Standard Progresion in other tunes.


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