Harmonic analysis of the jazz standard “Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)” by Jimmy Davis.

Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) was composed by Jimmy Davis in 1942. The song follows an AABA form and is originally in the key of C major. This is an analysis of the harmony in Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) and an explanation of the concepts used in the analysis. The image above shows my full analysis, which I will walk through below. You can refer to the conventions page to explore the analytic concepts used or get the PDF for free.

Section A

Section A begins with two parallel ii — V cadences that each are repeated twice. The first is ii — V of V repeated twice and the second is ii — V in the key. This is followed by I7 which to my ear sounds like it is functioning as V7/IV. IV7 is the next chord, which can be thought of as a modal interchange chord borrowed from the Dorian mode. This is followed by subV7/V, V7, and IΔ7 with ii — V of vi turnaround leading back to the repeat of A.

Section B

Section B opens with a diatonic iii-7 to V7 and a brief modulation of a major second up to D for a measure and a half with IΔ7 — bVII7 — vi-7 before going back to ii — V of ii in the original key. This is followed by ii — V leading to IΔ7 — bVII7 and another ii — V of vi turnaround leading into the final A section. On beat 3 of the fifth measure of the B section there is a ii-7(#5) chord, which functions the same as the ii-7 preceding it just with some added color. The IΔ7 — bVII7 cadence that happens twice can be thought of as a borrowed chord from Aeolian.