John Coltrane, one of jazz history’s most revered saxophonists, released ‘Giant Steps‘ in 1959. It’s known across the jazz world as one of the most challenging compositions to improvise over for two reasons – it’s fast and it’s in three keys. Braxton Cook and Adam Neely give me a crash course in music theory to help me understand this notoriously difficult song, and I’m bringing you along for the ride. Even if you don’t understand a lick of music theory, you’ll likely walk away with an appreciation for this musical puzzle.
This is the original version The Bobbettes recorded. It’s based on an actual Mr. Lee that the Bobbettes hated.
The Bobbettes – ‘Mr. Lee’, 1957 Below is their much more famous “safe-version” most people know.