i'm having a hard time improvising over the bridge i'm no sure what to do. are there any practice tips you might have?

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click on it, there you'll find midi renditions of "have you met miss jones" by many of ljp's best and brightest contributors, including:

scot ranney (two versions), doug mckenzie (two versions), warren fields, sid thomas, ryan cullen, barry dallman (two versions) and even one by me.

if you have the (free) vanbasco player, you can watch these being performed on a virtual keyboard on your computer screen while you listen to the tunes.

very educational!

if those files don't give you some great ideas for your own treatment, nothing will.
find a good recording of the tune, and transcribe what is played over the bridge.
the link above is something i posted a few years ago over here as a way of dealing with this and other musical situations..check it out and let me know what you think of the approach over there(360 degrees)if you want.........
looks like a potentially broken link smg...love to see it though
hi nate-
please be more specific about your problem. are you having difficulty hearing the harmonic movement? in my case, difficulties in hearing material to play always comes down to my ear training. i recommend bruce arnolds ear training materials to develop the ears that will let you play the kind of lines you want to play.  
you might hear the whole bridge in the key of bb, or gb or d.
if you heard it in bb, you would have
cm7 as 2,4,6,9 f7 5,7,9,4 bbmaj 1,3,5,7
abm7 b7,b9,4,b6 db7 b3,5,b7,b9 gbmaj7 as b6,1,b3,5
em7 +4,6,+1,3 a7 7,+2,+4,6 dmaj7 3,+5,7,+3

try playing a cadence in bb and then singing those tones over it. if you can sing all of those in time a 100 bpm, you'll have no time playing over the bridge. this is a very long process. this is just to get you started.
good luck.
the link above should get you to the files over there at "360 degrees"
and then scroll down to the file called "developing melodic improv skills"......
hey gang this is all very interesting. fyi the john coltrane classic giant steps is based on the bridge of have you met miss jones ---- cool hah? trane was a big fan of richard rodgers` music
you can see it in the first two chord center- giant steps goes from b to g, and have you met miss jones goes from bb to gb.  it's that lesser known circle of thirds :)
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chet baker has a couple of very nice takes on this tune -- i'd suggest looking them up for transcribing.  as is typical for his work, very tuneful, coherent development of thematic material.

speaking of chet, and "coltrane's changes" -- "but not for me" is a tune  both musicians have made stellar recordings of.  it might be a nice idea to study both performances as well, to further cement the somewhat tricky harmonic progression while keeping one foot firmly planted in the basic melodic material both artists treat and exploit.
on the coltrane version of "but not for me" they play the same 'cycle of thirds' as in "giant steps." the chords for the first 4 bars are

i ebmaj7 f#7 i bmaj7 d7 i gmaj7 bb7 i ebmaj7       i

then it repeats one time, the second time at the end there's a quick ii-v to the iv chord, the ab, which is the first bar of the b section. coltrane alters the melody to fit the chords.

on the chet baker version i have they play the complete original verse as an intro, which is cool, you don't hear anybody do that anymore. both versions play the same progression on the b sections. the chet baker version is in db.

i'm a little confused as to what the "standard" changes are supposed to be on this tune, on the ralph patt page he has the first chord of the tune as ii7. the chet baker changes differ from the rp changes in a number of ways, but most noticeably they start the chorus on i, not ii7. it seems like i've heard other people do it the rp way, the melody doesn't sound bad at all over those changes, but these are the only two recordings i actually have of this tune. i like this tune a lot, i'd be curious if other people have different takes on it.
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