Every musician should sit down at the piano and hammer out the 2 note voicings for every song they learn. In this case, these are the guide tones, or the 3rds and 7ths of each chord. The guidetones are the most important parts of the chord because they identify major/minor for the 7th and the triad.
Here are the chords outlined for all different instruments for Sonny Rollin’s Sonnymoon for Two. You can download the chords by clicking the download button underneath the PDF.
On the recording, you will hear a very “plain” blues during the first head – the changes below are the soloing changes and include turnarounds in measure 8 and measures 11 and 12. As always, listen to the rhythm/soloist for turnarounds. By plain, they didn’t use any turn arounds on the head. You may hear some people add a diminished chord on the second half of the sixth measure, I have omitted that given that I didn’t hear the diminished chord on the head or in the soloing on the recording I worked off of. I used the recording off his album, “The Freelance Years.” Also, on the recording, the rhythm section did a ramp up in the bass line in measure 4 – that has been omitted from these chord changes for teaching purposes, but you are welcome to follow the recording in that sense. Have fun soloing over these twelve bar blues!
Here is the rhythm chart for Sonnymoon for Two. The head is as written, then the solo changes start at measure 13. Measure 18 of the solo changes has a diminished chord which is on some (but not all) recordings.
The great Sonny Rollins wrote Sonnymoon for Two which was released in 1957. Since then, it has become a jazz standard and was recorded many times. You will hear him play this on his live Village Vanguard album as well as the 2005 release of The Freelance Years, among other albums and collaborations. Below is a recording from the Freelance Years album.
This website his several resources for you on how to play this tune.
First and foremost, I encourage you to learn the melody from the recording. You can use a real book, but sometimes the chords are wrong, so I advise to use the recording first.
Once you’ve learned the melody and play along, I would advise you to start learning the chords.
After learning the chords, I would advise to learn the piano voicings.
Another way to help internalize the chords is to learn the bass line. Below you will find bass line resources for all instruments.
Once you have internalized the chords and you can play the bass line, practice the two note voicings on the piano with the recording. Listen to the pianists comping for ideas about rhythm.
Hope this is helpful!
Below you will find a sample bass line for Sonnymoon for Two. Scroll down till you find your instrument: a C chart, an Eb chart, a Bb chart, and a bass clef chart are included. You can print directly from the website or download the chart to your device or tablet for easy viewing. Only print the page you need to save paper.
Below you will find a chord chart for the great Sonny Rollins’ Sonnymoon for Two, which was originally released in 1957. You will hear him play this on his live Village Vanguard album as well as the 2005 release of The Freelance Years. Below is a recording from the Freelance Years album.
Below is the chord chart. In this case, I have provided the rhythm parts for the head and then the changes used on the solos, which is different. There is a walk up in the fourth measure used on solos I didn’t write out, see if you can figure that out. This is a very common chord progression in jazz, and notice the 3 – 6 – 2 – 5 turnaround on most choruses at the end of each head. Be sure to be listening to your rhythm section so you are in sync on the turnarounds.
Scroll until you find your part – either Eb, Bb, or C. You can download using the download button below the chart. You can print directly from this website if you’d like as well.