Autumn Leaves

At pickup jazz gigs and jams, musicians are often confused by the key of the standard "Autumn Leaves". It's commonly played in G minor (like the Cannonball/Miles version) or in E minor (as printed in the real book). However it starts in the relative major (in the case of E minor, an Amin7 chord, a ii-chord in the key of G Major), so if someone says "Autumn Leaves... In G" they could mean either version.  I personally feel that it is a minor-key piece, as the piece ends resolved to the Minor, and the first note of the melody is the tonic of the minor, despite it's quick modulation back to major.
 
Recently I've been learning the arrangements off of Oscar Peterson's "Live at the London House" CD- the first CD I ever owned.  The trio plays an elaborate introduction to Autumn Leaves (played in F minor) that sounds composed, but considering their work ethic (the trio practiced together daily), probably grew over time.  I have heard at least three recordings of Oscar with Ray Brown where they play a version of this intro, and one from years later with a different group that doesn't play it.

Click here to download my transcription of the intro.

The version in this clip is similar, but seems more raw to me.



 

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