Approach #1: Incorporate Voice Leading in Bars 1 thru 4
Improvise around the voice leading line found in the chord progression of bars 1-4 of the A section:
( in Eb )
Eb Db C B Bb A Ab Ab G
I’m liking the sound of a repeated phrase with one altered note that follows the voice leading line. “In Walked Bud” comes to mind as a good example of this approach.
A way to get started:
In bars 1-2, play a 2 beat phrase that includes the 1 (Eb). Repeat the phrase 3 more times and replace the 1 note with successive notes in the voice leading line up to the b6.
In bar 3, use the P5(Bb) as the substitute note and be quiet for a bit.
In bar 4, paraphrase the melody, which is itself the last four steps in the voice leading line and functions as two melodic cadences a half step apart ( leading to b5 and P4 respectively ).