Tadd Dameron turnaround

Tadd Dameron turnaround with resolution.  Play 
Conventional progression or cadence without tritone substitution, i.e., NOT Tadd Dameron turnaround.  Play 

In jazz, the Tadd Dameron turnaround, named for Tadd Dameron, "is a very common turnaround in the jazz idiom",[1] derived from a typical I−vi−ii−V turnaround through the application of tritone substitution of all but the first chord, thus yielding, in C major:

CM  Eb7  | Ab7  Db7  ||

rather than the more conventional:

CM  Am7  | Dm7  G7   ||

The Tadd Dameron turnaround may feature major seventh chords,[2] and derive from the following series of substitutions, each altering the chord quality:[2][3]

CM7 Am7  | Dm7  G7   || (original)
CM7 A7   | D7   G7   || (dominant for minor triad)
CM7 Eb7  | Ab7  Db7  || (Dameron turnaround: tritone substitution)
CM7 EbM7 | AbM7 DbM7 || (major for dominant seventh)

The last step, changing to the major seventh is optional.

"One of the most famous improvised lines that outlines the Dameron turnaround"[1][3]  Play .

Dameron was the first composer[3] to use the turnaround in his standard "Lady Bird", which contains a modulation down a major third (from C to A). This key relation is also implied by the first and third chord of the turnaround, CM7 and AM7.[4] It has been suggested that this motion down by major thirds would eventually lead to John Coltrane's Coltrane changes.[4] The Dameron turnaround has alternately been called the "Coltrane turnaround".[3][5]

Further examples of pieces including this turnaround are Miles Davis' "Half-Nelson" and John Carisi's "Israel".[1]


  1. 1 2 3 Coker, et al (1982). Patterns for Jazz: A Theory Text for Jazz Composition and Improvisation, p.118. ISBN 0-89898-703-2.
  2. 1 2 Bahha and Rollins (2005). Jazzology, p.103. ISBN 0-634-08678-2.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Richard Lawn, Jeffrey L. Hellmer (1996). Jazz: Theory and Practice, p.118-19. ISBN 0-88284-722-8.
  4. 1 2 Lyon, Jason (2007). "Coltrane's Substitution Tunes", in www.opus28.co.uk/jazzarticles.html.
  5. Scott, Richard J. (2003). Chord Progressions For Songwriters, p.234. ISBN 9780595263844.

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