mynstrol:

have you studied much in the way of standard jazz harmony?  by this, i mean ii-v7-i sequences, tritone substitutions, turnarounds, secondary dominants, major and minor blues, etc.

it sounds to me like you're interested in playing changes, rather than simple modal grooves or vamps.  the above techniques form the backbone of most jazz progressions.

to answer a specific question you asked, b7alt is basically a b7 chord, with a sharp 5th and a sharp and/or flat ninth.  for example, play a b bass tone, and a chord voicing that includes a(7th), c## (yes, that's double-sharp, enharmonically d, which in this case is the #9th), d# (3rd), and f## (the #5th).  the c## can then move to cnat (the b9th) before resolving to em.

to play the b7(b9) chord i referenced, play a b bass note, and a cdim7 chord (or any inversion) with your right hand. (the cdim7 constitutes the b9th, 3rd, 5th, and 7th over the b root.)

here's another "fusion-ey" technique you might like, which can work well in funk-jazz:  cycled parallel slash chords!  it sounds like a mouthful, but is really easy.  a common slash chord used in fusion is a major triad with its major second in the bass, such as c/d (left hand plays a d bass note, and the right hand plays a c major triad).  now cycle this same voicing according to some familiar pattern, such as the minor pentatonic scale.  this yields a sequence of parallel chords, as follows: c/d, eb/f, f/g, g/a, bb/c, etc. you can construct other cycles as well, such as using a constant interval (like minor thirds) or some other alternating pattern.

try it, and see what you think!

ben blau
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