Misty was one of the earliest jazz standards I learned to play.
I still remember my experience. It was 1998 and I started college. My teacher, Encik Hanafie Imam asked who would want to accompany a vocalist in our ensemble class. I said yes and ended up learning Misty.
Of course, it was a horrible version of Misty that I played.
For one, I had no idea of jazz chords or how to organise learning them.
I referred to this massive chord dictionary. I had no context of voice leading principles. Then, I transposed the entire piece from Eb to C. I took on everything with the little knowledge that I had at 17 years old.
I was more enthusiastic than prepared.
At the end of that first semester, I managed to play shell voicing versions of the chords to Misty to accompany my friend.
Anyway, recently I received a new work from Hristo Vitchev. This was his arrangement of Misty — or what he describes as a ‘Short Harmonic Etude’.
Here’s Hristo’s performance of the etude:
The video demonstrates Hristo’s respectful treatment of the melody & tasteful modern take on the harmonies.
I love his fills and lines. My favorite ones are the parts that break into sustaining chord shapes with open strings.
The fills remind me of lines you might hear Ben Monder, Mike Moreno or Jonathan Kreisberg play. So yes, it’s that kind of modern sound. Now, before you jazz police folk start correcting me. Yes, I agree that Monder, Moreno and Kreisberg sound different from one another. The names mention are the ‘kind of sound’ and not an absolute thing. Hristo has his own unique voice & I love that about his playing.
There’s a lot of challenging sections to the etude. For the hardworking guitarist, this could be a great arrangement for a gig or a long term project. For arrangers, you might dig into it to get ideas for your own arrangements. That’s what I did!
I played this arrangement & then took the concept to rework a Malay jazz piece that I already played. It’s already making me excited to revisit my older repertoire. Looks like I have to add some ‘Hristo inspiration’ to those arrangements now!
In conclusion, this is a great etude for fans of solo jazz guitar playing. If you’re bored of playing standard drop voicings and doing typical II-V reharmonizations, you might like this.
Pros: Cool etude with a lot of ideas to digest.
TLDR: If you want to play a harmonically modern version of Misty, get this. Also recommended for anyone who wants new ideas for their solo guitar arrangements.
This book was a gift from Hristo to me. Thanks Hristo!
You can get it here: https://gumroad.com/l/GaxxM
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
Check out the rest here:
[Read more reviews]
[Submissions for Review Consideration]
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I cannot guarantee a review for every submission & if I’m not too into it, I may opt not to review it. I mean, it’s better to get a good review that for me to write a bad review just because it’s not a match for the kind of stuff I dig right? :p
NOTE: All reviews reflect my honest personal opinion so be aware that I will point out both cool Pros and Cons that I see in the work. You dig?
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