‘Happy Birthday’ in Jazz (updated)
(Note: also check out my new and original Happy Birthday version.)
I was thinking about how to play ‘Happy Birthday’ with a jazz feel and with typical jazz harmonies. I found it at first really difficult to put the standard I-IV-V chords into a more open form with IIm7-V7 progressions. I kept on thinking about and trying different things. Finally I a found a form which sounds jazz-like, yet still natural to me. I sat down and recorded a version this weekend .. sorry, I sang again (of course you need vocals for ‘Happy Birthday’!). The solo instrument is the great Guitalele from Yamaha (illustrated on the image to the left). It is very small, however, since it has six strings, it can be seen as a hybrid between a normal guitar and a Ukulele (which only has four strings). The song also features me on the samba egg.
And by the way, have you thought about this? You know somebody who has birthday? Here is the great idea: Make him happy and send him a link on this post !
I was contacted by Artem Galitsyn who arranged a big-band style Jazz version with a great femal singer and lyrics in Russian ! He kindly allowed me to put his version here online:
For people who are interested in the chords:
|| Gmaj7 Am7 | Bm7 Bb13 | Am7 | D9 |
| Am7 | D9 | Gmaj7 C#dim | Gmaj7 |
| Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 | F9(#11) |
| Em7 A7 | Am7 D7 | Gmaj7 Bbmaj7 | Ebmaj7 Abmaj7 ||
Lead sheet online @ wikifonia: I put this Happy Birthday jazz version also online to the website wikifonia which is a collection a lot of publicly available leadsheets. This is a great website. There you are able to download a nicely layouted pdf version of the leadsheet, you can also transpose it automatically, and download the music file itself!
Lead sheet 2: Thanks to Roger (see his comment below)! He send me a lead sheet for Happy Birthday in jazz that you can download !