“Well You Needn’t” is a tune written by Thelonius Monk in 1944. It was written for one of Monk’s students, a singer named Charlie Beamon. Monk wrote the tune and told Beamon he was going to name it after him, to which he replied “Well You Needn’t.” This tune utilizes the use of dominant chords moving chromatically.
A very important note: There are two sets of different changes to the bridge on this tune. There is Thelonius Monk’s original changes which go:
Db7/ /D7/ /Eb7E7/Eb7/D7Db7/C7B7/C7 /
And the changes that Miles Davis made popular which are:
G7/ /Ab7/ /A7Bb7/B7Bb7/A7Ab7/G7C7.
Miles Davis’s version has become more popular to play in jam session situations. The reasons for this are partly because of Miles Davis’s popular influence on the jazz scene, but also younger generations have looked to the Real Book to learn tunes which includes those changes. It is very important to know both sets of changes. You may encounter musicians that play both of them. Our chord charts include both versions.