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  1. #51

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    I remember selling them on west coast in 74 for as little as $10, but usually $20. And I gave them to most of my friends... they were printed down the street from Berklee. I remember the guys who were involved... I just don't think it's cool to bring up... It wasn't only a $ making venture at first... But I was a naive kid.... hell I still am...

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    I guess I'm late to the party here, but I have 3 "Fake Books" - Volumes I, II, and VII I think - that I got got from my guitar teacher in the mid '60's. I think I paid $25 each for them. He said he got them from someone who sold them out of the trunk of his car! I've also got a green one and pink one that I got at Berklee in the early '70's that looked like they were made on a copier. (Does that ring a bell, Reg?) I'm going to go now and see if I can find them amongst all the years of clutter around my house.

  4. #53

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    $20 in the mid 70's was a heck of a lot more th an$20 is today.

  5. #54

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    Hey Tom... I was on west coast in 60's... never saw anything like real book. Have some lousy smaller with lousy changes, and melodies, fake books from 60's... pretty useless except for reference to stimulate the memory. I guess that's what they really all do... but harmonically they're pretty bad.
    And yea the real book went off pretty quick... it really helped...

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    $20 in the mid 70's was a heck of a lot more th an$20 is today.
    Indeed, $20 in 1975 is the equivalent of $80.13 in 2010.

    The Inflation Calculator

  7. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Indeed, $20 in 1975 is the equivalent of $80.13 in 2010.

    The Inflation Calculator
    hehe - great little site that. Further evidence that Gibson are charging way too much for Super 400's and es-175's.

    NL

  8. #57

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    I just bought the Hal Leonard play along series and am finding the tunes recorded are sharp by varying numbers of digital cents. It is not pleasant. Anyone have a tuning chart for the tunes?

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nighthawks
    I just bought the Hal Leonard play along series and am finding the tunes recorded are sharp by varying numbers of digital cents. It is not pleasant. Anyone have a tuning chart for the tunes?
    No tuning chart, but what some would do is to rip the tracks to .mp3 format (Windows Media Player does this) and then play each one back in a media player or editor that allows for pitch correction. Audacity is a superb freeware music editing program that lets you do this, I'm pretty sure.

    Once you have a track corrected, "save it as" the New Version (maybe to a special folder or flash drive, for later burning to DVD, etc.)

    Playing along with an actual CD is asking for slight discrepancies in pitch, IMO. Go digital.

  10. #59

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    On a related note, what's the difference between the "Real Book" and the "New Real Book"? Is the "New Real Book" an update from the publishers of the "Real Book?" They have a completely different cover and when I was taking jazz guitar lessons my teacher told me to get the "regular" Real Book because the chord progressions are simpler. He said the New Real Books are good, but he wanted to pencil in the subs himself, so I could see the basic chords compared to the subs, whereas the New Real Book already has way more substitutions presented. When people say they use the "Real Book" do they mean either version?
    Last edited by Steze; 02-26-2012 at 01:04 PM.

  11. #60

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    The idea that you can import the audio files into a good sequence application is appealing but I have not found that it works as far as retuning. I have Logic Pro 9 and run backing tracks and play along tracks to performance standards.

    When I play guitar with the newly purchased Realbook play along imported audio files and use Pitch Correction to retune i get occasional digitalized warbles that ruin the track. It seems like a chart like:
    Autumn Leaves/ guitar needs to be tuned 7 cents up.
    Bright Size Life/ guitar needs to be tuned +15 cents
    Etc.
    ...is needed for this series of Trio accompanied Realbook tunes.

    Unless someone has a steps like answer.

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steze
    On a related note, what's the difference between the "Real Book" and the "New Real Book"? Is the "New Real Book" an update from the publishers of the "Real Book?" They have a completely different cover and when I was taking jazz guitar lessons my teacher told me to get the "regular" Real Book because the chord progressions are simpler. He said the New Real Books are good, but he wanted to pencil in the subs himself, so I could see the basic chords compared to the subs, whereas the New Real Book already has way more substitutions presented. When people say they use the "Real Book" do they mean either version?
    Most folks mean the Hal Leonard Real Book, which is the most similar to the old illegal RealBook.

    Both are worth having....the new Real Book has better charts--meaning you have to play with them less to get things "right"--but any fake book chart is a suggestion, not an ultimatum.

    The Hal Leonard Real Book has more common jazz jam session tunes.

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nighthawks
    It seems like a chart like:
    • Autumn Leaves/ guitar needs to be tuned 7 cents up.
    • Bright Size Life/ guitar needs to be tuned +15 cents


    ....is needed for this series of Trio accompanied Realbook tunes.

    Unless someone has a steps like answer.

    If the CDs need a chart or document to follow so that a guitar can be tuned to them (and thus play in tune with the tracks), it seems to me you have a faulty product and you should ask for a refund. What are the poor piano players going to do when playing Bright Size Life, followed by Autumn Leaves?

    Do you have problems with other jam tracks, or only with these?

    kj

  14. #63

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    Most backing tracks that I own do not have this problem. I even have Hal Leonard CD plus book collections, like Bill Evans Originals, with split track arrangements that give a Bb to tune to.
    This RealBook Trio collection is a different sort of problem because there are alot of tunes and if they used different pianos to record this series, then the collection is bound to be out of tune with itself. The playing is good. The fidelity is mono and above average. As a guitarist, I'd love to just get a series like this that was split track to where you could mute the piano and just hear the standup bass and drums. I played alot with it today and will pick and choose the best. Chelsea Bridge was in tune and had a good feel. It was easily worth the money and if nothing else good for the woodshed.

  15. #64

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    Another good example would be that some pieces as presented in the real book are based on specific versions. The commonly accepted version of Stella by Starlight for instance is mostly based on a version of Miles Davis I believe. Anyway, the presumably "original" changes are a lot less "dramatic" if you will. Les half-diminished chords etc. If you want to know what I mean, listen to the Parker with strings version and you will find a totally different version of the harmony. That may have been the original! Maybe not, who knows. But it's a good example of possible origins of this "right"/"Wrong" battle. My teacher showed me this and I thought it was an awesome perspective.

    Cheers

  16. #65

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    The good ole real book (prior to Hal Leonard edition) sure has a lot of mistakes in it.
    e.g. the tune 'Blue Train' by John Coltrane.

    There's no doubt that the main reference for a written sketch (lead sheet) of this piece has to be the composer's 1957 record 'Blue Train'. The real book explicitly also does so.

    Please note that I refer to the good ole (illegal) real book vol #1. My 6th European (Hal Leonard) edition doesn't contain the tune anymore. So I can't guess if the 6th American edition possibly contains a (corrected?) version.

    Now let's see how accurate the chart is:

    1) the title: 'Blue Trane' instead of 'Blue Train' - we let it pass as a kind wink to the composer.

    2) the melody: there are 2 wrong notes in bar 8 on beats '3' and '3and': accepting the transposition to the key of C, the notes would have to be 'Bb' and 'Eb' instead of 'C' and 'D'.

    3) the key: I can't find any reason to transpose the piece down a minor third from the original (from Eb to C) - but one: in a gracious mood the transcriber (teacher) didn't want to confront the students with a key signature with 6 flats - which directly leads to the next error:

    4) the chords and the key signature suggest that the piece is a blues in a MINOR KEY - which is completely wrong. Blue Train as played on the record I mentioned is a perfectly normal (major) blues in Eb. During the head section, the chord changes are:

    4 bars of Eb7#9, 2 of Ab7#11, 2 of Eb7#9, 2 of Bb7#9, 2 of Eb7#9.

    On the melody repeat the horns sound an Eb minor triad on the I chord, giving it a strong #9 flavor, while the piano continues to play Eb7#9.
    For the solo sections the form is a perfectly normal Eb major blues, with a #9 for the I and V chords only as one of many options.

    5) the typical vamp figure for the chords on beats '3' and '4and' in every other bar during head section is missing in the chart.

    I think that's quite a lot of inaccuracies for 12 bars of music. I wouldn't say that it isn't possible to play the tune as a minor blues or with the altered melody. But to me this chart doesn't give a hint how it has been played, as a basis for jamming and for possibly finding your own way of playing it, which I think is the object of lead sheets in general.
    Last edited by andypiano; 04-16-2012 at 04:04 AM. Reason: precision

  17. #66

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    More proof that you can't trust anybody! Go back to the source and do your own transcription/analysis.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by andypiano
    The good ole real book (prior to Hal Leonard edition) sure has a lot of mistakes in it.
    That's why we don't rely on it anymore. It's 2012.

  19. #68

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    But the g.o. one has been there for about 40 years, and admittedly there is a lot of good transcription work in it also. It is common ground, a lot of people learned their tunes from it, so we can't ignore it. It has got a bible status of sorts, e.g. meaning that all the tunes it contains (and just those) tend to be considered 'standard tunes', which isn't true, of course. There are quite some tunes in it that were of some interest only at the time the book was set up. But that is true with all of the Sher Music new real books either.
    The Hal Leonard edition on the other hand is sure much more accurate, but the selection of tunes is rather different from the g.o. one (a lot of unquestionable standard tunes are now missing / others are now contained at last / some are presented in a different key now), so it isn't an easy alternative.

  20. #69

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    There is an interesting mistake in the Real Book 1.
    It is in the Jobim tune "corcovado".
    The first chord after the intro is written as D7/A althought it should be an Am6. They are actually enharmonic equivelent and have the same notes in both chords.
    But...
    Whenever bass players play this tune when it comes to that chord they play: D D A A D D A. When it should be A A E E A A E

  21. #70

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    you're right that both chords are equivalent, so I think both bass figures will work, as well as staying on A for 2 bars, or staying on D for 2 bars...
    here's a version of the song played by the composer with a D7 (D in the bass):

    I wouldn't consider D7/A a mistake - it's just an option as is Am6.

    andreas

  22. #71

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    That 'A' in the melody in the third bar of the Gm7 IS NOT an Ab, despite the key signature. (Which by the way should include a Gb, because the song is in Db.)
    There's mistake

  23. #72

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    Why do people resurrect such ancient threads? How does this happen?

  24. #73

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    I think perhaps they find a post or thread directly via a google search, and start replying without realising the age of it.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I think perhaps they find a post or thread directly via a google search, and start replying without realising the age of it.
    Ah yes - could be...

  26. #75

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    Yep. That's how zombie threads work. some people get annoyed by it but it doesn't bother me very much. It is a little odd, though, on Usenet newsgroups when someone is asking a question to a person whose post is 10 or 12 years old. In a couple cases of those questions were addressed to people who had passed away several years earlier.

    In some circles knowing and correcting those Real Book errors is a litmus test of your legitimacy as a jazz musician. The expectation is that you can go learn it by ear from listening to the root source recording. If you can't do that, you're not a real jazz musician in some people's opinion. The 5th edition has several errata pages providing the corrections; the musician is expected to do those corrections themselves because the publishers of the Real Book did not redo the charts. My understanding is that the transcriptions were done by Berklee music students and the final charts were written out by a well-known bassist.

    Heh. I remember getting my copy in the 80s; there was an address IIRC in Illinois that I sent $20 in cash to, and a week later received my copy of the Real Book in a brown paper wrapper. No return address, all very clandestine and skulduggery-ish. I still have it; I've had to replace the comb three or four times now over the years. The pages are turning brown but I have a certain sentimental attachment to it. The Sher and Hal Leonard books seem more accurate, but the RB 5th edition is what seems to lurk in gig bags to this day.

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Yep. That's how zombie threads work. some people get annoyed by it but it doesn't bother me very much. It is a little odd, though, on Usenet newsgroups when someone is asking a question to a person whose post is 10 or 12 years old. In a couple cases of those questions were addressed to people who had passed away several years earlier.

    In some circles knowing and correcting those Real Book errors is a litmus test of your legitimacy as a jazz musician. The expectation is that you can go learn it by ear from listening to the root source recording. If you can't do that, you're not a real jazz musician in some people's opinion. The 5th edition has several errata pages providing the corrections; the musician is expected to do those corrections themselves because the publishers of the Real Book did not redo the charts. My understanding is that the transcriptions were done by Berklee music students and the final charts were written out by a well-known bassist.
    I can believe it! I used to be a bit like the myself lol. OMG Desifinado... EVERY ****ING TIME.

    Yeah I haven't learned a tune for the RB in ages, but I usually take a look to see what's in there.

    Jazz shibboleth stuff - yeah whatever... Those guys should get along well with the trad jazz crowd who look at you funny if you can't transpose Tishomingo Blues up a fourth at the drop of a hat. Life's too ****ing short to please everyone haha.

    My main aim on stage is not to be a dick TBH. If I hear someone do a RB thing even if it's a mistake or a misprint, or a dodgy sub, I try to know enough to go with it. In a way it's a annoying, but I guess it's part of the homework. I might gently suggest a change to the chart beforehand.

    I get the impression in NYC everyone has a good handle on the GASB, but in the UK there's greatest value placed in most circles on being able to work well and quickly from charts - lots of originals stuff, show work and jazz stuff is often originals and arrangements. So while the more dedicated straight-ahead players have a good working rep of standards often there are many very well regarded and indeed excellent players who don't have a big standards rep and even if they do might not have done a jazz pick up gig for several months. They might need to read a tune from the RB....

    And in the end... you are going to get roasted by someone. Puts hairs on your chest....

    Heh. I remember getting my copy in the 80s; there was an address IIRC in Illinois that I sent $20 in cash to, and a week later received my copy of the Real Book in a brown paper wrapper. No return address, all very clandestine and skulduggery-ish. I still have it; I've had to replace the comb three or four times now over the years. The pages are turning brown but I have a certain sentimental attachment to it. The Sher and Hal Leonard books seem more accurate, but the RB 5th edition is what seems to lurk in gig bags to this day.
    Of course the 5th Ed version has the pretty comprehensive Errata that literally NO-ONE read.

  28. #77

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    I like to learn tunes by listening to a number of classic recordings. At jams I try (with varying success) to hear what changes my bandmates are playing and adapt. The real book seems to lock everyone into one particular interpretation. It gets tiresome to always play a tune the same way, always using the same subs, even if they aren’t “wrong.”

  29. #78

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    I like F#o7 in All of Me.

    You wouldn't believe the looks I get.

  30. #79

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    Typically, what seems to happen at my level (in a no book situation) is that the lead instrument, usually a horn, has a pretty good grasp on the melody, but is more likely to play an interpretation than stick right to the original. The pianist, if there is one, plays the changes he likes - which could be anything. RB changes are most likely, but I know some players who just sort of improvise a reharm on the spot.

    It's hard enough for the guitarist to fit in with a busy pianist (a lot are) even if playing changes out of a book. But, with the pianist reharmonizing on the fly and perhaps differently every chorus, laying out looks better and better. If the pianist is playing RB changes, you then deal with the issue that not all the RB's have the same changes. When there was one RB, that wasn't a problem but now there has to be a discussion between guys with different paper books and the electronic tablet guys.

    In a band where everybody has big enough ears to know what's "right" and immediately identify what is being played at the moment, this all works out. But not every player can do that reliably. Even so, most of the time, it works out. If I'm the only chord instrument and I'm playing just 2 or 3 notes, there isn't much chance for a major clash. If there's a pianist, I'm likely to defer. If I can't figure out the piano chord, I try to get a couple of notes that work.

    Also, the people I play with know the usual standards but nobody wants to play them very much. People want to play more obscure tunes. So, often, knowledge of a recording or composer's chart just isn't there.

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I like F#o7 in All of Me.

    You wouldn't believe the looks I get.
    That sounds great if the bassist and soloist are thinking the same. If they go for the usual Fmin6 two notes will be dissonant. One I could handle but two seems a bit much.

    I guess another option over Fmin6 is Bb7, which isn’t dissonant at all.
    Last edited by KirkP; 11-07-2019 at 07:26 PM.

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I like F#o7 in All of Me.

    You wouldn't believe the looks I get.
    But a nice bass movement if you play:

    F/F#dim/C6 [G in bass] G#dim/A9/

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Why do people resurrect such ancient threads? How does this happen?
    A reckless explorer stumbles onto the lost site of an ancient temple, scrapes away a layer of sand from from a stone tablet marked with hieroglyphics, inadvertently invokes the magic words, and boom! A Real Book demon stirs to life, releases a plague of man-eating scarab beetles, and we start arguing about Round Midnight.

    John

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    A reckless explorer stumbles onto the lost site of an ancient temple, scrapes away a layer of sand from from a stone tablet marked with hieroglyphics, inadvertently invokes the magic words, and boom! A Real Book demon stirs to life, releases a plague of man-eating scarab beetles, and we start arguing about Round Midnight.
    Indiana Jones and the Mystery of Who Wrote Donna Lee.

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojo27
    I've heard it so much, I had almost accepted it as a given, but then it hit me -- what's _wrong_ about it, but more important, says who, and why?

    kj
    There can be (are) many reasons. Tonal clashes, non logical chord progressions, for example if you know a certain composer would most unlikely compose in a certain way (for example a Shorter tune, and Carter chooses a bass note in the spur of the moment doesnt change the chord in a way were it should be written in the lead sheet ). Or a pedal point with underlying chords might be noted as individual chords with its own roots etc..

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by greveost
    There can be (are) many reasons. Tonal clashes, non logical chord progressions, for example if you know a certain composer would most unlikely compose in a certain way (for example a Shorter tune, and Carter chooses a bass note in the spur of the moment doesnt change the chord in a way were it should be written in the lead sheet ). Or a pedal point with underlying chords might be noted as individual chords with its own roots etc..
    I'm sure the OP will have been glad to have his post answered 8 years later....

  37. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I'm sure the OP will have been glad to have his post answered 8 years later....
    Haha, oops, anyways, this is still a valid question that can be discussed

  38. #87

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    Uncle Joe was a union man out in California, the Bay Area to be exact, I have his Union card someplace...

    Anyway, he was a pro grew up in territory bands etc... and they would get these Union books which I have seen and they were kind of like the Real Book only the transcriptions were very rudimental. It was up to the musician to use those books as a map and work up their own Arrangements.

    These union books were highly guarded and sold by genre and as a union they paid royalties to the artists whose songs were contained in those books.

    I don't know if they were called Union books but as a union member you had access to them and you paid for them as the unions held the rights to these songs as much as ASCAP does these days with royalty fees generated from DJs etc going to the correct copyrighted entity .

    Later on the real book came out in which the arrangements and chords were much better, but I think people have gotten away from working up their own arrangements and I believe that has become a stagnanted part of the process in the community as a result.

  39. #88

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    Thank you for that fascinating post. I love the first line, sounds like the start of a short story....

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Thank you for that fascinating post. I love the first line, sounds like the start of a short story....
    Just like Raymond Chandler.

  41. #90

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    I had always heard that Gary Burton penned the first Real Book. IDK whether it's true.

  42. #91

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    I think the problem is the title!!! If it had been called the " Pointing you in a Jazz like direction Book" or "WinkWinkNodNodBook" or "JazzStuffBook" we might not be getting so concerned)

    Will

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    I had always heard that Gary Burton penned the first Real Book. IDK whether it's true.
    The first iterations of the Real Book were done at Berklee college of music in Boston. As I understand it they were originally transcriptions done from recordings by students and as such there are errors and inaccuracies, as well as the ambiguities of transcribing chord voicings, etc. What the transcriber hears may or may not be what the musician intended. There are some flat out errors such as bars missing from songs, inaccurate melodies, etc.

    Allegedly the 5th edition handwriting is that of Steve Swallow. The books were sold by word-of-mouth, and back alleys like knock off watches, etc. I got mine in about 1980 by sending $20 cash to an address in Illinois provided to me by my jazz guitar teacher, and received my 5th edition in a plain brown wrapper a couple of weeks later. All very skulduggeryish. That version has some errata pages with corrections to make to various charts.

  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    I had always heard that Gary Burton penned the first Real Book. IDK whether it's true.
    I have trouble imagining he’s that bad of a musician haha....

    In fairness, most of the mistakes in the RB are of the careless chart preparation variety. But there are some real oddities. I cannot imagine a professional jazz musician getting the charts so incorrect for Four for instance.

    So I think it’s more likely that some of the charts may have been from Burton’s pads, and many of them transcribed by talented but slightly careless students. Given the variety of handwriting it seems likely it was a mix of sources.

    Anyway I like the mistakes, for me they are part of the history..... of course the newer editions straighten everything out. Makes it a better book, but less interesting.

  45. #94

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    To the OP - the real book is definitive. The recorded music is frequently inaccurate.

  46. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    But a nice bass movement if you play:

    F/F#dim/C6 [G in bass] G#dim/A9/
    New Orleans style

    But also

    F F#dim C/G G#o7 Am D7 G7 can I get a hallelujah?

  47. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP
    That sounds great if the bassist and soloist are thinking the same. If they go for the usual Fmin6 two notes will be dissonant. One I could handle but two seems a bit much.

    I guess nother option over Fmin6 is Bb7, which isn’t dissonant at all.
    check out how people handle this type of change on the records. Both are quite frequently played against each other. This is one of the big tip offs I got that vertical chord scale relationships don’t apply to moving chords in jazz common practice.

    Ethan Iverson picks up on this often in his blog. Gunther Schuller described them as mistakes, which Iverson regards as .... a mistake.

    Here’s a great example from recent years from a player who certainly is doing it on purpose:
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-02-2019 at 07:05 AM.

  48. #97

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  49. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Steve Swallow tells his version of the tale on video here (at 22:30):


    TL;DR version is Steve's handwriting does not appear in the Real Book, but his did give some of his handwritten charts of his own tunes to the students who make the original book, and they created new versions of those charts. Steve also wrestled with the idea of giving away his compositions for free in written form, and ultimately decided he'd be better off with them circulating in bootleg form and hopefully then being recorded by people exposed to them through the real book. He doesn't regret that decision in this interview.

    To add to the short history on the Official Realbook website, check out this book review about a book chronicling the history of the fakebook:

    Peter Spitzer Music Blog: Review: "The Story of Fake Books" and the "6th Edition Real Book"

    To the question of the OP, "Who says the Real Book is 'Wrong'", this guy makes the argument that it's time to retire at least the original bootleg version:
    It's Time To Get Rid Of Your Real Book
    Last edited by 44lombard; 11-02-2019 at 05:30 PM.

  50. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Oh that’s a cool little history...
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-02-2019 at 06:45 PM.

  51. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Why do people resurrect such ancient threads? How does this happen?
    necro threads come back to life like zombies here...