"Infant Eyes" and Chord Extensions

After watching Jovino’s Live Seminar on “The Art of the Ballad,” I remembered seeing something about Shorter’s beautiful ballad, “Infant Eyes.” Turns out there is an entire chapter devoted to it in Mark Levine’s The Jazz Piano Book. Chapter 5 deals with chord extensions and uses “Infant Eyes” as a focus for his comments on voicings. Following is an excerpt that you might find useful:

There are no hard-and-fast rules for when to add what notes to a given chord. There are too many variables—what note is in the melody; whether you want a dense chord with lots of notes or a spacy, skeletal, or spread-out chord; how “dark” or “light” you want the chord to be; whether you’re high or low on the keyboard; and so on. What follows is a chart of the possible notes that you can add to three-note minor seventh, dominant seventh, and major seventh voicings:

minor seventh:
5, b5 (on ø chord), 9, ll, 6, b6 (rare), +7 (on minor major chord)

dominant seventh: 5, 9, b9, +9, +ll ,l3, bl3 (or +5)

major seventh: +4, 5, +5, 6, 9

The context determines what is acceptable to your audience, your fellow musicians, and, most important, yourself.

Here’s Levine’s transcription of the piece.

Infant Eyes (Levine book).pdf (378.3 KB)

The Jazz Piano Book is a great reference. If you’re interested, you can find it here:

It’s also available on Amazon.