Rhythm changes

Rhythm changes is a standard 32-bar song form (A-A-B-A) that has a bridge (B section) that - like in the B section of “I Got Rhythm” composed by George Gershwin in 1930 - back-cycles back to the original key of the final A section.

From a Usenet discussion group

Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 21:54:55 -0500 (EST)
From: Kimberly Stephans <kstephan[AT]indiana.edu> Subject: Re: Rhythm Changes
Tim,

Well, you asked for it, here it is: a Very Incomplete Yet Still Very Long List of Tunes Based on Rhythm Changes.

[ahem...]  
 
Allen's Alley (AKA Wee)                         Denzil Best  
Almost                                          David Baker  
Anthropology (AKA Thrivin' From a Riff)         Parker/Gillespie  
Apple Honey                                     Woody Herman  
Bop Kick                                        Nat Cole  
Boppin' a Riff                                  Sonny Stitt  
Brown Gold                                      Art Pepper  
Bud's Bubble                                    Bud Powell  
Call the Police                                 Nat Cole (?)  
Calling Dr. Jazz                                Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis  
Celerity                                        Charlie Parker  
Chant of the Groove                             Coleman Hawkins (?)  
Chasin' the Bird                                Charlie Parker  
Cheers                                          ""      ""  
Constellation                                   ""      ""  
Coolie Rini                                     Howard McGhee  
Coppin' the Bop                                 J.J. Johnson  
Cottontail                                      Duke Ellington  
Delerium                                        Tadd Dameron  
Dexter's Deck                                   Dexter Gordon  
Dexterity                                       Charlie Parker  
Don't Be That Way                               Edgar Sampson  
Dorothy                                         Howard McGhee  
The Duel                                        Dexter Gordon  
Eb Pob                                          Fats Navarro/Leo Parker  
Fat Girl                                        Fats Navarro  
Father Steps In                                 Dixon/Randall/Hines/Fox  
Fifty Second Street Theme                       Thelonius Monk  
The Flintstones                                 Hoyt Curtain  
Fox Hunt                                        J.J. Johnson  
Goin' To Minton's                               Fats Navarro  
Good Queen Bess                                 Duke Ellington  
The Goof and I                                  Al Cohn  
Hamp's Paws                                     Hampton Hawes  
Harlem Swing                                    Nat Cole (?)  
Hollerin' and Screamin'                         Eddie Davis  
I'm an Errand Boy for Rhythm                    Nat Cole (?)  
In Walked Horace                                J.J. Johnson  
Jay Jay                                         ""      ""  
Jaybird                                         ""      ""  
The Jeep is Jumpin'                             Duke Ellington  
Jug Handle                                      Gene Ammons  
Juggernaut                                      ""      ""  
Juggin' Around                                  Frank Foster  
Jumpin' at the Woodside                         Count Basie  
Lemon Drop                                      George Wallington  
Lester Leaps In                                 Lester Young  
Lila Mae                                        Nat Cole (?)  
The Little Man on the White Keys                "       "  
Miss Thing                                      Count Basie  
Moody Speaks (original version)                 James Moody/Dave Burns  
Moody's Got Rhythm                              James Moody  
Moose the Mooche                                Charlie Parker  
Mop, Mop                                        Gaillard/Stewert/Tatum  
Newk's Fadeway                                  Sonny Rollins  
No Moe                                          "       "  
Northwest Passage                               Herman/Jackson/Burns  
O Go Mo                                         Sonny Rollins  
Oleo                                            "       "  
On the Scene                                    Gillespie/Fuller/Roberts  
One Bass Hit                                    Dizzy Gillespie  
Opp-Bop-Sha-Bam                                 "       "  
An Oscar for Treadwell                          "       "  
Ow                                              Charlie Greenlea  
Passport                                        Charlie Parker  
Pogo Stick Bounce                               Eden Ahbez  
Raid the Joint                                  Erskine Hawkins (?)  
Red Cross                                       Charlie Parker  
Rhythm in a Riff                                Billy Eckstine  
Rhythm Sam                                      Nat Cole (?)  
Rhythm-a-ning                                   Thelonius Monk  
Salt Peanuts                                    Dizzy Gillespie  
Seven Come Eleven                               Charlie Christian  
Shag                                            Sidney Bechet  
Shaw Nuff                                       Dizzy Gillespie  
Shoo Shoo Baby                                  Phil Moore  
Solid Potato Salad                              DePaul/Prince/Raye  
Sonnyside                                       Sonny Stitt  
Squatty Roo                                     Johnny Hodges  
Stay On It                                      Tadd Dameron  
Steeplechase                                    Charlie Parker  
Straighten Up and Fly Right                     Nat Cole  
The Street Beat                                 C. Thompson/ Robert Mellin  
Strictly Confidential                           Bud Powell  
Swedish Schnapps                                Charlie Shavers  
Swing Spring                                    J.J. Johnson  
Swingin' With Diane                             Art Pepper  
Syntax                                          J.J. Johnson  
Ta-de-ah                                        Nat Cole (?)  
The Theme                                       Miles Davis  
Tiptoe                                          Thad Jones  
Turnpike                                        J.J. Johnson  
Wail                                            Bud Powell  
Webb City                                       "       "  
Wee (AKA Allen's Alley)                         Dizzy Gillespie  
Who's Who                                       Art Farmer  
Wire Brush Stomp                                Gene Krupa (?)  
XYZ                                             Budd Johnson  
Yeah Man                                        J. Russel Robinson  

And then of course there are a bunch of Aebersold tunes over Rhythm changes:

Ah! A Bossa  
Almost Like...  
Bebop O'Rooney  
Blue Top Expresso  
Climbing Up  
Flat Tire! Flat Tire!  
Groovin'  
Homecourt Advantage  
Is This Blues?  
Oh, Yell!  
Put On Your Thinking Cap  
Slidin' Home  
Weaving Thru Changes  

AND, there are plenty of tunes that use Rhythm changes, but alter the A section or use a different bridge. But I think that's another post
altogether….

Hope that's enough to get you started! All of the tunes above were taken from a list in David Baker's book “How to Learn Tunes” (Volume 76), which is published by Jamey Aebersold Jazz, Inc.

And yes, the class with David Baker was absolutely incredible! I've never felt so overwhelmed in my life – on the other hand, I've also never had so much fun in a class (although this semester's jazz combo course with Pat Harbison is pretty awesome too).

Kimberly
kstephan[AT]indiana.edu