stitt

This excerpt presents the saxophonist Sonny Stitt outlining a set of substitute triads on the first four bars of a blues in C. The root of each triad moves by half step first ascending and then descending. This chromatic root movement provides tension during the first three-bars of twelve-bar blues form, acting as a replacement for the typical I–IV–I progression. Stitt transitions from the chromatic triads smoothly into a traditional bebop idea over the tonic dominant 7th chord (C7) in measures 3 and 4, which leads to the IV chord in measure 5.

stitt-sonnystune

Sonny Stitt on "Sonny's Tune" from New York Jazz (1956)