“Dolphin Dance” is a tune written by pianist Herbie Hancock. This tune was recorded on Hancock’s hit 1965 record “Maiden Voyage”. Maiden Voyage is a very important record in jazz and I would highly recommend jazz listeners and musicians alike to have this in their collection.
This is a beautiful composition with all kinds of interesting harmonic movement. It combines modal and tonal harmony making this a fun but somewhat difficult tune to improvise on. My best suggestion as always is to listen to the original recording and study how Herbie, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Freddie Hubbard and George Coleman approach these changes. Some of the best practice is listening!
There is no set key for this tune as it constantly changing key centers and doesn’t begin or end in the same key.

30 Days to Better Jazz Playing

Play Along

Videos to learn the melody/changes