hi!

i'm playing the jazz standard "alone together" (i've got the real book sheet).

i'm a jazz beginner, so perhaps this question might sound stupid.
there's this emin7/b5 chord. (half-diminished). i'm playing this song with simple left hand rootless voicings to comp the melody, and with this chord i'm also using a 9. so my voicing is (from bottom): b3(g)-b5(bb)-b7(d)-9(gb). is this 9 (gb) correct? cause it sounds nice! i'm asking this because the diminished scale has a b9 and not a normal 9! thanks for your help!
There are 2 comments, leave a comment.
when playing a iim9b5, the nat9 tends to imply an eventual resolution to a major tonic. this is because the nat9 relative to the ii chord in minor progressions is identical to the tonic minor's defining m3.

the b9 relative to the ii chord in minor progressions is identical to the tonic minor's defining m3.

therefore, the nat9 over a iim7b5 chord tends to resolve to the major tonic, the b9 (melody note) over a iim7b5 chord tends to resolve to the tonic minor.

in this case, the current tonality is minor.

however, this does not give you license to play a b9 in your lh as part of a block chord. the b9 over a iim7b5 chord sounds best as a melody note and *not* as a block lh chord component (due to the m9 harshness).

as a consequence, the m7b5b9 chord in a minor ii-v-i progression is a rarity, and the m7b5 chord is most commonly played rooted without extension(s):
r b3 b5 b7

however, many players do opt to add the 11th (sus4).

here are the two most common rootless voicings for em7b5sus4 (aka em11b5):

e a bb d {r p4 b5 b7}

bb d e g {b5 b7 r p11}

note the presence of the root.

also note the absence of the m3 - which is what leads me to be more comfortable calling this a m7b5sus4 rather than a m11b5 (especially since there is no 9 in that 11th chord).





thanks! i know these voicings. the second voicing: didn't you make a mistake here? the last note should be a (11), because g is the b3.

i'll try to play the song with these voicings, but the way i played it (with the 9) didn't sound bad either (in my opinion): from em7/b5/9 to a7/b9: g-bb-d-gb to g-bb-db-gb. only one finger is moving.
nontheless, thank you!
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