• Carl Does Music

YouTube's "Giant Steps" overload...

YouTube’s suggestion algorithm is forcing an OD amount of "Giant Steps" on me, others, and many. I see a lot of people allude to it in different comment sections, but I haven’t seen any videos really analyzing it. So I went through dozens of videos that have “Giant Steps” in the title.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30FTr6G53VU [the original "Giant Steps"]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgdiffT71HA [the original w/ looped footage]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hmyVxA9hIk [an alternate take of the original]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkWvDUwPGMo [a jam session]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC8E9HIDeck [Cory Henry on keys]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUd-w5XQOqw [someone else on keys and bass]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eth6Ch9Gl4 [a guitar solo]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4BR_BvE98w [another jam session]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXPgdzMQ6sg [Branford Marsalis on sax]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfhYgBwcVVQ [kenny g holding a note]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYoadikm1sI [the greatest ever, Stevie]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwJLoBN_pcw [macrotonal tuning]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0aMiLJxjVg&list=PLjlaCYpACO26LKphEI2LixwILzYzJOkTi&index=2 [19 equal temperament]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTYzYpb1MY0&list=PLjlaCYpACO26LKphEI2LixwILzYzJOkTi&index=9 [fully C major, ignoring the Coltrane changes]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d27JKz4VW0A [played in 13/8]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QImmZfwmV3Y [played in 18/8]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I8mFQYCPbA&list=PLZxO8rnqnv_9dwRzLPUsZ2SNQwwlzLwoT&index=6 [on shakuhachi.. a type of flute]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1ek4siKqn4 [scatting]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwTroXPxsec [more scatting, w/ french lyrics]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQFySnj-NbM [bass clarinet]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAu75Ou5S9w [black metal version]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og4kwL2JpsY&list=PLZxO8rnqnv_9dwRzLPUsZ2SNQwwlzLwoT [EDM]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4gBXvkTXc8 [trap]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhIYuCw_A1Q [more trap]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57NAW5nMKKY [uptempo bossa nova]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nibvd5QT9aM [slower bossa]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POqmJgGISPo [even slower bossa]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UzCccwZgGw [orchestral + vox]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWkBZFkbe4M [big band]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WiINuiVm6o [a Katy Perry mashup]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn1Zz5BrdoA [Coldplay]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz9Z_VJ-YMw&list=PLjlaCYpACO26LKphEI2LixwILzYzJOkTi&index=3 [mashup w/ “Take Five”]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyPVSQBkVmM&list=PLjlaCYpACO26LKphEI2LixwILzYzJOkTi&index=5 [“Baby Shark”]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bQuay163xc&list=PLjlaCYpACO26LKphEI2LixwILzYzJOkTi&index=10 [“Gucci Gang”]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIqOgmAYNho&list=PLjlaCYpACO26LKphEI2LixwILzYzJOkTi&index=7 [Smash Mouth]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHV6gMLZkmY&list=PLjlaCYpACO26LKphEI2LixwILzYzJOkTi&index=8 [“Stayin Alive”]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OcIvsQttAc&list=PLjlaCYpACO26LKphEI2LixwILzYzJOkTi&index=12 [something called “Yes Papa”]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_vM0-3eCjc&list=PLZxO8rnqnv_9dwRzLPUsZ2SNQwwlzLwoT&index=13 [“Saints Go Marching In”]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWDlB_3lHgM [“The Pink Panther theme song”]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjONQNUU8Fg [played by a robot]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5vyQO81qNc [chiptune]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xsvX7e2x1c [Star Wars themed]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIwNTrpXUjs [Nintendo Wii themed]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_KC5gdgpM4 [Overwatch]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZO43XZDC20&list=PLZxO8rnqnv_9dwRzLPUsZ2SNQwwlzLwoT&index=5 [a kitten meowing]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh5lA4_Jwtw&list=PLZxO8rnqnv_9dwRzLPUsZ2SNQwwlzLwoT&index=11 [Minecraft]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM3WwSjJ0jw&list=PLZxO8rnqnv_9dwRzLPUsZ2SNQwwlzLwoT&index=15 [the lick]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAV5E1J0lv4&list=PLjlaCYpACO26LKphEI2LixwILzYzJOkTi&index=4 [Thomas the Engine]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f3yoNSxkyc [@ 150 bpm]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKKj0v82EpM [...@ 220 bpm]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62tIvfP9A2w [from earworm]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J98jwtm5U4E&t=220s [adam neely]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTTNL-RHEMs [Barry Harris]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgpTiaaVqtw [Barry Harris again]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9KApQL2dqo [from rick beato]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZmNGsNehns [a guy]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPTesa6NAVg [another guy... mainly talking]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFrgIhamXlo [and one more guy]

Here's a conversation with Coltrane himself [not even about "Giant Steps", but it’s in the title for some reason]


I even got hit with an ad for an app featuring "Giant Steps". And here's the one I really want to talk about, because all the "Giant Steps" videos have one true thing in common: the comments section… roasting the original piano solo played by Tommy Flanagan. Wikipedia even gets on him. If Giant Steps is truly the most feared song in jazz, it's mainly for the keys player, who has to play 2 hands full of music simultaneously and actually define the chords for the rest of the band. Bass and sax only play one note at a time, with bass playing a loose, literally low-key, walking line that just needs to hit the beats. Drummer is simply hitting a swing rhythm on cymbals with arbitrary snare fills. And the elephant in the room… Coltrane is probably the greatest sax ever and is the one that composed the song… so of course he's prepared. How can you make keys sight read... on any tune, let alone one of the most challenging & innovative?

Tommy eventually did his own cover of "Giant Steps" and recorded a whole new solo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkXerGtKtKM. I believe he was essentially bullied into covering his own work. It would be nice to talk to him about all of that, but he’s dead now. I feel jazz snobs had a hand in his death and I challenge them all to take a giant step... off a roof.

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© 2021 by Carl Does Music. All rights reserved.

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