i've got a question about block chords which i would really appreciate it if people could give their answers to.

suppose you're taking a block chord solo using diminished passing chords for the non-chord tone notes.  how do you know specifically which chord to use in a particular part of the song, and which related diminished chord to use.

for example, suppose your playing satin doll in c.  so the first two bars are d-7 g7.  on the d-7 do you play d-7 chords on the chord tones and a7b9 for non chord tone notes?  and similarly do you play g7 for the g7 chord with d7b9 for the non-chord tone notes?

or alternatively, should you treat the whole d-7 g7 progression as basically being in the key of c - so harmonise notes that are part of a c6 chords with a c6, and non chord tone notes as g7b9 chords?  

if you did the first option above, then what about progressions with minor 2 5 1's - surely you can't do the same thing for them.  eg bm7b5 e7b9 am7.  surely you wouldn't be harmonising the bm7b5 with some related v7b9 chord (ie f#7b9 i suppose??).  

i've read through mark levine's jazz piano book and he doesn't really seem to explain this issue in great detail.  it would be great to hear how other people approach this.  thanks.
There are 6 comments, leave a comment.
one trick is to use the major bebop scale. every other melody note can be harmonized with a diminished chord.
at albetan's area.
it seems to me this is a great opportunity for you to experiment with individuality using some of the  knowledge you've acquired.  why not try those things you mentioned and decide for yourself if you like them or not?  during the process you may accidentally stumble on to some things you had not considered
"for example, suppose your playing satin doll in c.  so the first two bars are d-7 g7.  on the d-7 do you play d-7 chords on the chord tones and a7b9 for non chord tone notes?  and similarly do you play g7 for the g7 chord with d7b9 for the non-chord tone notes?"

   yes, (and you don't need to be moving in constant eighth notes especially when you get on the g7)

"or alternatively, should you treat the whole d-7 g7 progression as basically being in the key of c - so "

no
you are right, levine avpids showingh block chords over examples of ii v i like:
| dmi7  | g7  | cmaj7 | cmaj7 |

most of his examples tweak the chords into

| dmi6 | g7alt | c6  |  c6 |
what works well for satin doll is to treat it like this,
block chord the minor 7th chord (ii) over the entire ii v.
you then get a sus chord on the v and it sounds smooth:

| dmi7 | dmi7/g7 | emi7 | emi7/a7 |

or, levine might have you do this:

| dmi7  | g7alt (ab melodic minor) |

or

| dmi7  | g7#11 (d melodic minor) |
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