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  1. #1

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    There's another venerable thread on tunes you should know, but I thought it would be interesting to list tunes that it would be embarrassing not to know.

    So, to take perhaps the most obvious example, Autumn Leaves. If you present yourself as a jazz musician you have to know this tune. Otherwise, the other players will look incredulous and think, or say, "he doesn't know that??"

    So, here's my initial list. I took out of a lot of tunes that are important and tried to leave only the ones that it would be shameful not to know.


    1. All The Things You Ar
    2. Autumn Leaves
    3. Blues changes and Rhythm changes - any key
    4. Black Orpheus
    5. Blue Bossa
    6. Bye Bye Blackbird
    7. Days of Wine and Roses
    8. How High The Moon
    9. Just Friends
    10. On Green Dolphin Street
    11. Satin Doll
    12. Stella By Starlight
    13. So What
    14. Take The A Train
    15. The Girl From Ipanema
    16. There Will Never Be Another You
    17. Out of Nowhere

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  3. #2

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    Shameful??? This is the 21st century, not 1959.

  4. #3

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    I still haven't learn the Days Of Wine And Roses. I'm sooo embarrassed!

    Screw that. The only embarrassing tune not to know is Happy Birthday. And I saw that's happened a few times.

  5. #4

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    I know all of those so I can make everyone else feel ashamed.

    Shame on you!!!! Shame!!! Great shame!!! You bring shame on your family!!!

    DW&R is kind of lame. Except when Wes plays it. Terrible lyrics too.

  6. #5

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    Thing is this is all relative. You might think you know the jazz repertoire and go and hang out some other gang of dweebs and they have a whole different bunch of tunes they were ordered to learn at mode school.

    By far the worst for this are, however, early jazzers. What do you mean you don’t know ‘it ain’t no sin’, ‘figgety feet’, ‘my little eggcup’, ‘do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?’ and ‘button up your overcoat’? FILTHY BOPPER!!!!

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I know all of those so I can make everyone else feel ashamed.

    Shame on you!!!! Shame!!! Great shame!!! You bring shame on your family!!!

    DW&R is kind of lame. Except when Wes plays it. Terrible lyrics too.
    DW&R aint bad, I played it a few times from the charts, just too lazy to memorize. That and I'm not too keen on ballads.

    ATTYA is a required standard, ok, I can play it, but why would I? My definition of a perfect musician- one who knows how to play ATTYA, but doesn't.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Thing is this is all relative. You might think you know the jazz repertoire and go and hang out some other gang of dweebs and they have a whole different bunch of tunes they were ordered to learn at mode school.

    By far the worst for this are, however, early jazzers. What do you mean you don’t know ‘it ain’t no sin’, ‘figgety feet’, ‘my little eggcup’, ‘do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?’ and ‘button up your overcoat’? FILTHY BOPPER!!!!
    Say what you want about the early jazzers, but the tunes are great. I love most of them, and rather play that than freaking Jeanine or Beatrice or what have you. You can tell I was at a 'serious' jazz jam session recently.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    I still haven't learn the Days Of Wine And Roses. I'm sooo embarrassed! .
    It is not a big problem to play it just by ear on the spot (once you know how it sounds of course)... and after one or two takes you just play it...And think this is more important skill than learning all the songs)))

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    By far the worst for this are, however, early jazzers. What do you mean you don’t know ‘it ain’t no sin’, ‘figgety feet’, ‘my little eggcup’, ‘do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?’ and ‘button up your overcoat’? FILTHY BOPPER!!!!
    I remember quite long ago I got a CD with early Billie Holiday and Lester Young sessions and I think I could not identify anything except a few songs like Georgia, All of Me, They Can't Take That Away From Me and maybe a couple more... and I thought I knew standardsand not only the names but they also all souded to me the same song with minor variations...

  11. #10

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    Black Orpheus? Samba de Orfeu or Manha de Canivale I assume?I "know" every song on that list...theres also a few I haven't played voluntarily in 10 years
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    DW&R is kind of lame. Except when Wes plays it. Terrible lyrics too.
    I love to hear Herb Ellis play it.



    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  13. #12

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    Circumstances vary.
    If you're a solo guitarist (or doing ocassional solo guitar gigs), you need to know some tunes people who are willing to pay to hear a solo jazz guitarist will want to hear. But you don't have to know all of them. You need a few hours' worth that hang together. You can play lots of ballads or only one or zero---so long as the whole thing holds together. Some people lean toward romantic tunes, other toward novelty tunes, some lean toward blues and others toward simple standards (All of Me, Summertime) while still others like to take the familiar in an unexpected direction (as Blossom Dearie did by making "The Surrey with the Fringe On Top" into a ballad, practically a lullaby.) A lot has to do with what you can make come across. (What you can project on stage may not be the same thing you most enjoy hearing while home alone, either.)

    If you front a contemporary band and compose a lot, you'll play mostly your own stuff and are likely to play only standards. that fit in with the rest of the set. (Sonny Rollins played "I'm An Old Cowhand", for godsake, and it was great fun to hear him do it.)
    If you're a sideman looking to get called as much as possible for gigs, then you can't know too many tunes.

    How you like to improvise matters a lot too. Some people love to blow over rhythm changes while others avoid them. If you want to play in a sparse, moody, melodic way, you'll probably want tunes with fewer changes (and slower tempos.)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    DW&R aint bad, I played it a few times from the charts, just too lazy to memorize. That and I'm not too keen on ballads.

    ATTYA is a required standard, ok, I can play it, but why would I? My definition of a perfect musician- one who knows how to play ATTYA, but doesn't.
    Yeah, I think we may be of the same mindset there HTTJ. Not too sure about a musician who hasn't attempted to drowned a broken heart in alcohol.

    I'll add INDIANA to the list but like the man says...just know it don't call it.

    Here's my remedy for ballad indifference: For All We Know, Solitude, Two For The Road, Your Face Before Me...well you get the idea.
    If you can distinguish between rehearsing and practicing...you're better than half way there!

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    I remember quite long ago I got a CD with early Billie Holiday and Lester Young sessions and I think I could not identify anything except a few songs like Georgia, All of Me, They Can't Take That Away From Me and maybe a couple more... and I thought I knew standardsand not only the names but they also all souded to me the same song with minor variations...
    In the 30s and 40s, there really weren't vocal 'standards' in the way we think about the Great American Songbook tunes now (there a few chestnuts that lots of singers kicked around, but not a whole accepted body of songs that formed some kind of canon). The folks controlling the recording sessions for singers like Billie and Fats Waller were just looking for hit records, or looking to do favors for songwriters or exploit songs that they had a financial stake in. So you get Billie and Fats singing this endless string of forgettable songs (well, we remember them today only because Billie recorded them) until the record companies realize she's not going to sell a million records, and then she spends her last decade recording great standards for Norman Granz. It was true for lots of other artists too, including "Mr. Standard-maker" himself, Frank Sinatra, whose Columbia recordings from the 1940s are about 2/3 forgettable turkeys.

  16. #15

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    As a non-gigger I'm curious: does anyone care to hear these standards besides older folks? Is there much of a demand for such tunes?

  17. #16

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    I still like DoWaR and Stella.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  18. #17
    A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to play in a jam with a master pianist from another country. Everyone deferred to him. He wanted to make sure that everybody would know the first tune, so he started playing Autumn Leaves. I thought, it would be embarrassing not to know it. This tune made no real sense in the context of the music he was teaching -- it only made sense insofar as everyone could reasonably be expected to know it. That's where I got the idea for the thread.

  19. #18

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    Far be it for me, a mere semi-hollowist, to disagree with Christian77 (I assume the 77 is his level of mastery of all taste in the universe), but there is nothing better in said universe (or some universe, anyway) than Pat Martino's version of DoW&R



    John
    Last edited by John A.; 10-14-2019 at 04:24 PM.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by zdub View Post
    As a non-gigger I'm curious: does anyone care to hear these standards besides older folks? Is there much of a demand for such tunes?
    I think it depends what you do with them. I’ve just been listening to Common Practice, the newly-released cd by Ethan Iverson 4tet with Tom Harrell — reinventing the chestnuts in delightfully intriguing ways. Or listen to the Inside Out recordings with Lorne Lofsky if you require guitar content. It’s not the meat—it’s the motion!

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by zdub View Post
    As a non-gigger I'm curious: does anyone care to hear these standards besides older folks? Is there much of a demand for such tunes?
    There is not demand for specific tunes per se, apart from the occasional request from someone who knows the repertoire.

    I think these lists are hard. No one in my circles would ever call "Satin Doll", but, probably most people have played it and could definitely hear the changes after a once through. I agree very much this varies by region as well, I have a friend in poland and he said "green dolphin street" is super common because the composer is polish. When I used to live in SF I would hear "I'm getting sentimental over you" called at a jam I frequented, everyone knew it, I had never really heard this tune called before.

    For me, stuff like "I'll Remember April" and "Beatrice" and "I mean you" would definitely be on the list. Autumn Leaves is kinda exceptional because it is perhaps the most basic changes ever besides a blues: who can't hear a ii-V-I in the major and relative minor?

    Anyways I think lists like this are hard and always tend towards a long list of standards, but if they are also fun, then that's cool, too. Lately I just focus on the tunes I really like to play and hear, and hearing the harmony to these standard tunes just keeps getting easier.

  22. #21

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    For some reason this thread got me thinking about Joe Pass' album "Apassionato" which has a bunch of tunes that I had never heard of, all of which he plays wonderfully. "That's Earl Brother," "Red Door," "Stuffy," "YOu're Driving me Crazy"--alongside some universal favorites. I sometimes think of that album as an almost ideal set list.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    For some reason this thread got me thinking about Joe Pass' album "Apassionato" which has a bunch of tunes that I had never heard of, all of which he plays wonderfully. "That's Earl Brother," "Red Door," "Stuffy," "YOu're Driving me Crazy"--alongside some universal favorites. I sometimes think of that album as an almost ideal set list.
    It's kind of an interesting exercise to look at the repertoire on your favorite jazz albums in general: when I do this, I see very very few albums that I know all the tunes from start to finish, and by most people's standards I know a lot of tunes. The "standard repertoire" is a lot of cherry picked songs, Ella's songbook series includes WAY more songs than most people play, for example, when's the last time you had anyone call "Early Autumn" or "This Time The Dream's On Me?"

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    It's kind of an interesting exercise to look at the repertoire on your favorite jazz albums in general: when I do this, I see very very few albums that I know all the tunes from start to finish, and by most people's standards I know a lot of tunes. The "standard repertoire" is a lot of cherry picked songs, Ella's songbook series includes WAY more songs than most people play, for example, when's the last time you had anyone call "Early Autumn" or "This Time The Dream's On Me?"
    Early Autumn gets called a fair bit around here. Maybe because we’ve been getting frost warnings for the last couple of weeks. I haven’t heard Blackberry Winter called in years.

  25. #24

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    I never play Bye Bye Bl. or Take the A Train very often so I probably can admit I would stumble for a few times. Otherwise I know the tunes but again is it just old guys like me approaching 60 an over who even care. Sadly I wonder if in fact due to age we just fall by the wayside playing to our own generation. I think it would be cool if younger fellow did this but guess not many. Maybe I am wrong about that but?

    These days the more I listen I just sorta of like nice chord melody and then maybe a chorus of solo that is interesting. So I am listening to Wes play ballads and out own Fred Archtop he has a perfect touch I just love the playing.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  26. #25

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    It's a good list of standards in the jazz culture I know, plus or minus a few. And yeah, some are overplayed to the point of cliche'.

    Not knowing some of them (or keeping them committed to memory) shouldn't be shameful. We all had to learn, and the jazz world can be a bit snobby about that.

    I still get a bit nervous going to a jam session and doing that little negotiation with people I probably haven't played with before, of who's calling what tune, hoping I'll know it well enough. And being relieved and bored if it's ATTYA!

    Just for kicks, something outside my usual bag, I started going to a bluegrass jam once in a while. It struck me how different it was, more relaxed & fun. Don't know the tune? So what, it's easy enough, just follow along, take a solo or not. No weird attitude or "you must know Orange Blossom special"

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by zdub View Post
    As a non-gigger I'm curious: does anyone care to hear these standards besides older folks? Is there much of a demand for such tunes?
    It seems like there's a demand on the bandstand side of the equation for tunes that you can play with pickup bands on a casual/background music gig, tunes that "everybody knows." Not only does "everybody know" these songs, but many of them (uptempo or ballad) can be played as pleasant background music, so they meet that requirement too.

    I imagine the farther you move away from "background music" / "pickup band" situations, towards gigs with real bands who are the main attraction, the less likely you would want to play warhorses from the Real Book. Or at least play them in "faked" arrangements, off the cuff.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by 44lombard View Post
    It seems like there's a demand on the bandstand side of the equation for tunes that you can play with pickup bands on a casual/background music gig, tunes that "everybody knows." Not only does "everybody know" these songs, but many of them (uptempo or ballad) can be played as pleasant background music, so they meet that requirement too.

    I imagine the farther you move away from "background music" / "pickup band" situations, towards gigs with real bands who are the main attraction, the less likely you would want to play warhorses from the Real Book. Or at least play them in "faked" arrangements, off the cuff.
    ...or perform one's own compositions; about half the tunes my jazz trio performs are originals.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by 44lombard View Post
    It seems like there's a demand on the bandstand side of the equation for tunes that you can play with pickup bands on a casual/background music gig, tunes that "everybody knows." Not only does "everybody know" these songs, but many of them (uptempo or ballad) can be played as pleasant background music, so they meet that requirement too.

    I imagine the farther you move away from "background music" / "pickup band" situations, towards gigs with real bands who are the main attraction, the less likely you would want to play warhorses from the Real Book. Or at least play them in "faked" arrangements, off the cuff.
    I rarely hear old fashioned standards gigs any more. That is, where some players get together and call tunes randomly, no charts and they just play. I do hear some gigs which have a similar format -- some originals, a few well known tunes, and a few more obscure tunes. Some, or all, of the gig being arranged, but with head-solos-head format.

    The old fashioned way can sound good, if the players are good enough but I usually hear that sort of thing at a place where the venue but not the band has a following. And, it tends to appeal to an older crowd.

    In my visit to NYC last week, the shows I saw at Smalls were great, but followed the basic format described above. There were many younger people (younger than the musicians, anyway). I couldn't tell if they were local jazz fans or tourists, or what.

    Then, I heard Robert Glasper at the Blue Note. His set defied virtually all of those conventions -- despite the fact that he played a version of Stella and quoted Body and Soul and a few other standards. Again, I couldn't tell how he attracted that audience. I did notice that at my table of 12, everybody, including us, was visiting NYC. The audience skewed older, but the Blue Note is much more expensive.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    Far be it for me, a mere semi-hollowist, to disagree with Christian77 (I assume the 77 is his level of mastery of all taste in the universe), but there is nothing better in said universe (or some universe, anyway) than Pat Martino's version of DoW&R



    John
    Thanks of that. Not a big fan...sometimes wonder why not. That did swing.
    If you can distinguish between rehearsing and practicing...you're better than half way there!

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    Far be it for me, a mere semi-hollowist, to disagree with Christian77 (I assume the 77 is his level of mastery of all taste in the universe)
    Excellent, you are learning!

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    Say what you want about the early jazzers, but the tunes are great. I love most of them, and rather play that than freaking Jeanine or Beatrice or what have you. You can tell I was at a 'serious' jazz jam session recently.
    There's some dogmeat early tunes. But yes they tend to have catchy melodies. i might start a thread, modern guys playing old tunes. Always fun to hear. Not tonight though... The thing I find, and I say this as someone who is plunging into the post-bop rep a bit more seriously atm, is that people often play more modern tunes, I think, because they like the record, not the tune. But I think Wayne Shorter is genuinely a really good composer of melodies. I reckon he comes up with melody first. A lot of other modern jazz tunes sound like they came up with a chord progression and then added a melody as an after thought.

  33. #32

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    I suspect you are also going to disagree here, but I think Kurt comes up with great melodies. It's just that they are sometimes pretty unconventional, often tinged with a whole tone meets pentatonic vibe. Certainly not pop songs. But I think he often goes melody first. Zhivago is a good example, extremely motivic, catchy melody.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I rarely hear old fashioned standards gigs any more. That is, where some players get together and call tunes randomly, no charts and they just play. I do hear some gigs which have a similar format -- some originals, a few well known tunes, and a few more obscure tunes. Some, or all, of the gig being arranged, but with head-solos-head format. The old fashioned way can sound good, if the players are good enough but I usually hear that sort of thing at a place where the venue but not the band has a following. And, it tends to appeal to an older crowd. In my visit to NYC last week, the shows I saw at Smalls were great, but followed the basic format described above. There were many younger people (younger than the musicians, anyway). I couldn't tell if they were local jazz fans or tourists, or what.Then, I heard Robert Glasper at the Blue Note. His set defied virtually all of those conventions -- despite the fact that he played a version of Stella and quoted Body and Soul and a few other standards. Again, I couldn't tell how he attracted that audience. I did notice that at my table of 12, everybody, including us, was visiting NYC. The audience skewed older, but the Blue Note is much more expensive.
    I think jazz in the big metropolis with intensive entertainemen and cultural life (like NY, Paris, London etc. or even the city I live in) - jazz became a part of the general landscape: it can be baclground music in the restaurant but also it can be some kind of siphisticated enetertainmen for young people.It is like new type of book stores with cafeteria - I see many young people in the book stores today - it is kind of fashionable trend today... I like it... whatever trash they actually read there...And jazz became a part of that activity... and I know quite a lot of young people who do not really understand jazz (I mean they can't follow music) but they regular visit popular local clubs and jam bars just for the sake of communication and atmosphere... Also today we live in the time of 'revival' of everything... every other day I hear: it's reavival of uke, revival of manouche, revival of Russian 7-string guitar, revival of lute, renaissance of renaissance etc. It is all partly true becasue there is really activity in these areas but it is a part of general process which I believe partly connected with Internet development - cultural interestes today are not presented with one-two general trends - of course there is still Hollywood, TV and pop music - but today (especially in the big cities) people can afford ignoring those major trends and still feel themselves in quite comfortable active and freindly cultural enviroment... in the past only artistic Boheme could afford it... not every on can search the net, find friends on FB and join the Lute Society of America or Association of Lindy-Hop Dance of Finlandia... Those 'revival movements' are quite small but it does not matter any more.What I am trying to say that there is no such scene for mainstream jazz as for pop music (and there is no such audience for Woody Allen as for Marvel trash) but still there is one... And by the way Woody is a good example... I meet people who enjoy his current films and think this is what he really is.. younger people know 'Mindnight in Paris', 'From Rome with Love' etc.People a bit older say: Today Woody is no good.. I remember days when he did good - when Scarlet Johansson was in his movies... not his greatest period - but much better than today.But for me he is 'Purple Rose of Cairo', 'Anny Hall', 'Hanna and her Sister', 'Manhattan'... where he was really creative. (not becasue I am old but becasue I watch not only modern movies.)The same thing may happen with jazz... As for standards - it may be a bit different in teh States where old tunes are a part of national culture and people may have some personal associations that are connected with particular generation... (like 'my mom used to sing it while cooking' etc.)...

  35. #34

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    I live in Philly---a college town. To establish myself here I've had to make jam sessions with Temple and other students 1/3 my age. The good news: I've gotten 3 gigs in 2 years as a result. Why, I figure by age 107 I should be working 2-3 nights a week! Just hook up the aqualung and dialysis machine and get to the gig. Oh joy!Seriously, ladies and germs, what is quite disconcerting about these nice, baby-faced fledgling jazzers is their lack of knowledge of the American Song Book. I mean meat and potatoes tunes one must know to get through the average paying gig. They play the same 'hip' jazz standards: Straight Street, Solar, Minority, Herbie/Wayne tunes. The few standards they know are MAYBE There Will Never be Another You or Invitation. This is not true across the board, but it IS a disturbing trend. What are these guys gonna do on a gig w/a vocalist w/o charts? Scratch their asses and either sit down---or bring out the dreaded (by me) apps. Where are they ever gonna work if they don't know tunes? Door gigs playing those 'hip' tunes they were taught in school? Try feeding a family on that sad $. I have a student, a multi-reed player and a shrewd article. I love this young man b/c he soaks up knowledge like a sponge, and approaches music as both art and business. B/c he's playing all kinds of gigs, including rock, shows and swing gigs he came to a lesson one day and I had written titles of must-know swing and early jazz tunes---everything from That's a Plenty to Sleepy Time Down South to After You've Gone. Turned into 8 pages, both sides. At 22 in 10 years, b/c he composes and arranges and reads shows down this cat is gonna OWN this town. It is gratifying to me to have been able to help. There are other sincere young players I'd like to work with, on these tune gaps and other weaknesses, but one has to be careful approaching people b/c they already have teachers and you also don't want to come on strong---like YOU'RE the shnizzle. When I do get young musicians' ears I tell them my approach to learning standards: go on youtube, find Doris Day or Jo Stafford--NOT a jazz singer we may love---b/c those gals will sing the MELODY and the chart will be close to the composers' changes in most cases. I sing it to myself, sometimes for a week, internalize it. Then I write my own lead sheet. I have file cabinets full of these sheets. The songs, though, are in my head---and that's the point. So, yeah, learn Beatrice and Fee Fi Fo Fum or Voyage, but do not sleep on the songs that are the plasma of our musical contribution. Not if you want to be accomplished and not feel embarrassed---and especially if you want to WORK...

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    The only embarrassing tune not to know is Happy Birthday.
    I reckon I should probably take a bit of time and figure it out...

    But I used to know The Beatles "Birthday" and in my youth it was a big hit and got everybody up dancing, in fact there were nights when nobody had a birthday but our youthful rock band would call out the birthday song for (insert a name here) just to play it. And we would also call out special requests that were non-existent but since we knew the tune and it was on our set list people would think that we could play anything on demand...

    Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end...

  37. #36

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    What's really emabassing is what you need to tell the landlord when he comes hunting for the rent, because you thought knowing a bunch of 70 year old tunes would get you gigs...

  38. #37

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    Truthfully though, if all the things you are is boring...it ain't the song's fault.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  39. #38

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    Inagadadavida.

  40. #39

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    From a fairly evangelical standards'n'bop vibe, I've basically downgraded my expectations to - it is good if a musicians knows a repertoire of songs. The more songs the better. Obviously in jazz, it is important to have some songs in common, hence standards. Quite a lot of jazz guitar students don't know any songs at all.

  41. #40

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    When you go to a jazz jam these days in Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona or Milano and expect to "survive" on the bandstand then you better have a good understanding of jazz harmony, good ears and TIME .... the level of musicianship is rising steadily and sessions are increasingly becoming more of a showcase event than a friendly get-together of some nerds.... there are session leaders, prepared setlists and an un-experienced player will have major difficulties keeping up.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by geogio View Post
    I reckon I should probably take a bit of time and figure it out...

    But I used to know The Beatles "Birthday" and in my youth it was a big hit and got everybody up dancing, in fact there were nights when nobody had a birthday but our youthful rock band would call out the birthday song for (insert a name here) just to play it. And we would also call out special requests that were non-existent but since we knew the tune and it was on our set list people would think that we could play anything on demand...

    Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end...
    It's no joke. I was on the gigs with some dudes who seem like pro players, but all of a sudden we asked to play HB, and they messed that up. Recovered quickly, of course, but its funny see them messing up chords or melody to THIS tune.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    From a fairly evangelical standards'n'bop vibe, I've basically downgraded my expectations to - it is good if a musicians knows a repertoire of songs. The more songs the better. Obviously in jazz, it is important to have some songs in common, hence standards. Quite a lot of jazz guitar students don't know any songs at all.
    Mimi Fox tells the story of going to meet Joe Pass at his hotel for a lesson. He was in a bathrobe, smoking a cigar. He had her play several things. Then he put the cigar out and said, "Thank f*cking God. Mimi, you won't believe the shmucks that come to see me and can't play their way through a 12-bar blues."

    She tells this story around the 6:30 mark of this video.

    Jazz is a way of playing. If you don't know some tunes other players can be assumed to know, what will you play when you get together?

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Truthfully though, if all the things you are is boring...it ain't the song's fault.
    then the way you look tonight may help... maybe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    then the way you look tonight may help... maybe
    I’ve never liked that tune much. But Jimmy Raney does some cool things with it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I’ve never liked that tune much. But Jimmy Raney does some cool things with it.
    The whole album is remarkable. Something special for me.Though I was kidding a bit as mr.beaumont wrote 'if all the thing you are is boring... ' as if it is not a tiltle of a tune so I continued 'maybe the way you look tonight would help')))Byt the way I never liked ''All Teh Things You Are'' - I uderstand why it became a standard and why it can be interesting changes to solo over... butas original song... I always found this set of harmonic sequences a bit mechanical.And also... I never liked minor jazz tunes like Beautiful Love, Autumn Leaves etc. - formally ATTYA is not minor key but it has general sound minor key tunarounds.The Way You Look Tonight is a bit too simplistic I agree... very inert diatonic harmonic movement - such a traditional pop song of the period --- but it has its bit of a charm to me ... I like this 11th over minor Dominant... the trunaround itself is common but its location (how it is used) in the song is a bit unpredicatable and brings in special colour... I also like the bridge ... 'all in' the song sems made pretty well to me.

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    I like it when they have nice melodies.

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    All the Things You Are was from a movie musical. Quite a few years ago I happened to see the scene it was in, it was a crooner number for the male lead. Very, very, stiff, corny, and schmaltzy. It's a wonder it was adopted as a jazz standard.

    I first learned it probably 40 years ago, and boy did I get sick of it. I didn't play it for a long time, but I put it back in my repertoire about 5 years ago, in case some young kid called it at a jam session. Which happened. I don't go there much anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JGinNJ View Post
    All the Things You Are was from a movie musical. Quite a few years ago I happened to see the scene it was in, it was a crooner number for the male lead. Very, very, stiff, corny, and schmaltzy. It's a wonder it was adopted as a jazz standard.
    Not really. Most of the original versions of jazz standards were 'legit' - i.e. stiff and corny...Jazz is the art of making stiff and corny things hip. It's basically the job description.

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Not really. Most of the original versions of jazz standards were 'legit' - i.e. stiff and corny...Jazz is the art of making stiff and corny things hip. It's basically the job description.
    Agreed, that was especially true in the 40's and 50's, and Coltrane did that with another Hammerstein tune, My Favorite Things in the 60's. And I have to correct myself about the origins of that song- it was originally from a Broadway show, and the only one used when it was adapted to the movie. They both flopped, but the song certainly lived on. And on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JGinNJ View Post
    Agreed, that was especially true in the 40's and 50's, and Coltrane did that with another Hammerstein tune, My Favorite Things in the 60's. And I have to correct myself about the origins of that song- it was originally from a Broadway show, and the only one used when it was adapted to the movie. They both flopped, but the song certainly lived on. And on.
    Uh, not so sure about 'they both flopped': "they" being the song and The Song of Music musical the song came from: The original Broadway production, starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, opened in 1959[1] and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, out of nine nominations. The first London production opened at the Palace Theatre in 1961. The show has enjoyed numerous productions and revivals since then. It was adapted as a 1965 film musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, which won five Academy Awards. The Sound of Music was the last musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Oscar Hammerstein died of stomach cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.