what approaches do you guys take when playing the same chord for a large number of bars to avoid boring the listener.  e.g. impressions by coltrane opens with 16 bars of dm, and even though the piece is slow and subtle, just arpeggiating dm for 16 bars sounds false.  is this a good place to reharmonise slightly? e.g. play other chords that fit in the scale of d dorian (such as f, em etc).  thanks for the help.
There are 6 comments, leave a comment.
try thinking of the d as just a bass note - not neccesarily d minor - experiment with playing different chords over the d - like bb triad, cmaj7, ebmaj7 etc...the different harmonies offer interesting melodic possibilites for soloing too...(heribe does that kinda thing)
pianists generally use passing chords, chromatic chords, what jamey aebersold calls "side slipping," etc.

the transcribed voicings from aebersold's playalongs vols. 54 (aebersold on piano; first tune is impressions) and 50 (mark levine on piano; 2 versions of so what) offer some excellent and useful ideas of how to comp behind these tunes).

for solo playing, my impulse is generally to use quartals and to employ a less "active" version of the passing chords etc. than when comping.
get the piano transcription book of mark levine's comping on "the magic of miles" . levine uses three (out of five) comping systems again and again through all the choruses of "so what". it was well outlined in a previous thread on this forum.
he uses:

stacks of thirds
stacks of fourths
left-hand voicings with, single note, octave+fifth or octave+third in right hand

see the transcription to understand how he moves them about.
all his systems:

stacks of thirds
stacks of fourths
stacks of fifths ("kenny barron" voicings)
"so what" chords (and inversions of them)
left-hand voicings with, single note, octave+fifth or octave+third in right hand
upper structure triads (often combined with left-hand voicings)
drop 2 block chords *
an easy thing to do is to think rhythmically.  play a bass root on the one beat, and then, with a swing feel, play a rootless voicing on the and of the two beat.  

-adam
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