Here’s a great lick that I heard Dizzy Gillespie play over “A Night in Tunisia” years ago. It’s based on a whole-tone scale in descending thirds with chromatics filling in between each pair of notes. It’s the kind of lick Jimmy Heath refers to as a “fit’em” (because it fits over just about anything).
It sounds particularly good over “Night in Tunisia” because the two chords in the vamp; Eb9#11 to Dm69 both sound great with Jazz Melodic Minor (Bbm and Dm respectively). Bb Jazz Melodic Minor contains a whole-tone segment; Db Eb F G A, and D Jazz Melodic Minor Contains the whole-tone segment; F G A B C#. So the combined effect is that the Whole-Tone Scale F G A B Db Eb sounds good over BOTH chords, particularly when used in this sort of run.
Click on the image above to see it in a full-size window or 2010-05-04 Dizzy Gillespie WT Line with Chromatics