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  1. #26

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    It takes an outstanding melody to create a standard and a nice, interesting series of chords.

    Sunny, The Moon's a Harsh Mistress and Masquerade are great examples. Adele cranked out a few, too.

    The majority of songs don't contain those two ingredients. Most in the last few decades don't even try. New sounds and effects tend to dominate.

    While it seems that we have stalled in creating classics, I'm not sure that our productivity really has. The 20th century seems more prolific than the 19th. Maybe that's due to urbanization, musicals, and TV.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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  4. #28

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    I think you can play whatever songs you like to play.

    The problem is having the interest in contemporary pop music and also the skill set to hear the possibilities in the music for a jazz player. Not so many people have both, but it’s becoming more common.

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    This is a great tune, Dave Stryker manages to give it a jazz treatment.

    My version of this tune will be on my forthcoming album. It’s a good’un.

    There are also versions by Alan Pasqua, Ben Monder and Cassandra Wilson.

  6. #30

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    Wichita works because it's a great strong melody, not over repetitive in pitch (but repetitive enough in harmonic rhythm to be catchy) and it's got great chords...many a jazz player has taken this one on...I love Bobby Broom's take.

    That's just not how a whole lot of today's music is. It often requires a bit of a Brad Mehldau overhaul, which is a pretty defined skill...its tough! I'd much rather start with a tune thats.. already interesting.

  7. #31

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    A lot of today's hits are not only hard to make a jazz version of, but any version with real instruments. As a Rock band teacher I get requests from kids to arrange those songs for them to play, and everyone, including me, is amused how dull and shitty it can sound with regular instruments. It's all in synthetic sounds today, you can make a candy out of turd. But if you strip it off the production qualities... it becomes kinda obvious.

  8. #32

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    Better off doing video game muaic

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Better off doing video game muaic
    That's always fun!

  10. #34

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    Here you go,
    Novas Ideias (Bebel Gilberto & Seu Jorge) written in 2014.
    Great song, perfect for a Jazz combo, nice options for trading fours.
    Give it some air-time and it's a hit.

    Pay attention to the scat improvisation, serious "behind the beat" (lagging just like the "white guys", you know )


    Last edited by JCat; 05-24-2019 at 08:41 AM.

  11. #35

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    I like playing some non-jazz tunes in more jazzy (or not even very jazzy) style that has some sort of 'root' feel in them like some of Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, Ranyd Newman's songs...

    also Gregory Porter's songs like 'Be Good', 'Real Good Man', 'Brown Grass', 'Water Under Bridges' can easily become standards... they sound cool in instrumental jazz setup... and solo too.

    But still they do not become standards.. becasue it is more social thing about being standard - not only music.

  12. #36

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    Yes. Jazz in the popular imagination is mid-century music: swing, bebop and cool. The songs they played back then were 'timeless,' even though they had been written not many years earlier. Modern songs are not the same; they are of our time.

  13. #37

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    I think another factor may be that most of the standards have a structure (AABA or ABAC or 12bars etc) that's formulaic, but which suits the 'just turn up and play' protocol of a lot of jazz performances.

    A lot modern tunes have non-standard, even unique, structures (i.e almost any possible combination and sequence of intro, verse, chorus, riff section, bridge, interlude, solo, breakdown, outro, etc ) that means you can't just call them and expect everyone else on the stand to be familiar with what part is coming next. These tunes mostly have to be rehearsed, or have copious navigation notes on the charts so they're not suited to informal sessions where a lot of the standards get their currency by repetition.

    I know I don't mind turning up to any standards gig without any preparation, because I know the tunes are mostly going to follow a usual pattern.

    But if I have to do a gig of mainly pop songs each one needs to be learnt individually, often just for a single gig, which is a bit tiresome.

  14. #38

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    So just to be clear when we say new standards we actually mean songs from 40-50 years ago as opposed to 80 years ago?

    Radiohead are an obvious reference because it was quite cool to play their songs about 10 years ago. After Brad’s versions those songs got played so much they could almost be thought standards. I’ve done Knives Out on a couple of gigs... only problem being I couldn’t record a version of that song because everyone would say - ‘ooh Radiohead, how very Mehldau’

    And then there’s the bad plus, of course... I always like the (probably untrue) story that Ethan, being mister jazz and classical nerd didn’t actually know any of the ABBA, Sabbath or Tears for Fears songs Dave got him to play and thus his interpretations were completely fresh.... I hope the new guy has literally never listened to a pop record or the magic will be lost.

    But yeah not quite standards if one band does them.

    Anyway, you have the whole Dirty Loops/Adam Neely continuum. I’m constantly amazed what people will find to do with a Selena Gomez tune, but I have to say Knower’s reharm of Get Lucky is now how I hear the song.... still not a standard tho...

    It occurs to me that the musicians I’ve mentioned don’t include any guitar players... I wonder why?

  15. #39

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    Oh yeah McCaslin covers stuff like Boards of Canada, obscure Bowie, Deadmau5 and so on

  16. #40

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    Radiohead are an obvious reference because it was quite cool to play their songs about 10 years ago
    I do not know their music at all... I mean at all... I only know the name of the band becasue somebody told me: I like Radiohead you know... and I said: aha... and thought "strange name.."

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Perhaps it is because they are recordings rather than songs. The standards were originally songs from the musicals and movies that were published as sheet music, to be played at home and by bands in dance halls. Some of the many songs published became standards because many people played them and they became essential to the repertoire of the bands. They became common property, played by many and independent of their origins. For example, Stella by Starlight is much better known than The Uninvited, the film from which it came. The song has its own existence.

    In 1957 (I think) record sales overtook sheet music sales. A record is not a song, but a recording of a particular group of musicians playing a song. It remains the original. Over 2,200 covers of Yesterday have been made, but the original will always be the recording on the Beatles' Help album. A cover version can surpass its original in status (as the Hendrix version of All Along The Watchtower did to Dylan's original) but recordings do not become generic, as songs do. The best-known recording, the original or the dominant cover, remains paramount. Another Brick in the Wall belongs to Pink Floyd and Creep to Radiohead.

    Whenever one hears a cover of such a song, the original is in one's mind. A song can become a standard, but a recording cannot.
    Well said. Note my main hobbies are jazz guitar and movies from the 1930 - 1960. It was a chicken \egg thing for me. I wanted to learn where the jazz standards I was Learning came from so I got into those "old" movies. Then I would hear a song in a movie I never heard before, get the sheet music and learn to play the song in a jazz style.

    Great example of Stella and The Uninvited. But yea, I'm a sucker for Gail Russell, who is Stella in the film.
    Last edited by jameslovestal; 05-27-2019 at 11:08 AM.

  18. #42

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    Thank you. I am very fond of films of the 60s and 70s, which I think comes out in my improvisation.

  19. #43

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    Hopefully, we will have more new tunes become standards. When I heard Barnes and Pizzarelli do this Beatles medley back in 1971, I was blown away. Back then they were still fairly new tunes and they did it right. I still use the reharmanizations of Here There and Anywhere.


  20. #44
    There seems to be some common features of the early standards which were part of the great American song book. 32 bar AABA form, the use of ii V I progressions to modulate through different keys, preference for 4 note chord voicings over triads, bridges that often feature dominant back cycles etc.
    Because these were the popular music during the birth of jazz, these features became associated with jazz also. Somewhere along the line the American music industry abandoned this style in favor of simpler forms. Jazz didn't (by and large).
    There has been a growing disconnect between songwriting styles of jazz and poplar music. So I guess it's difficult now to preserve the innate character of a modern popular tune when played in the jazz style.

  21. #45

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    Jazz composition has also moved away from ii v I

  22. #46
    So modern straight ahead players do not use ii V I's in their compositions? I haven't listen to a lot of modern compositions but somehow I doubt that.

  23. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    So modern straight ahead players do not use ii V I's in their compositions? I haven't listen to a lot of modern compositions but somehow I doubt that.
    Well it’s hard to make a general rule cos jazz is a big tent, but it seems to me that ii v I standard type harmony is not so common in the contemporary mainstream (Potter, Rosenwinkel, etc etc) unless you are basing a tune on a standard.

    Tbh the role of ii v i s on standards harmony while not negligible was always a bit overstated by jazz edu and a certain era of jazz reharmonisation practice.

  24. #48

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    There would have to be an active jazz community for a song to become a standard nowadays, it's too scattered to have a consensus anymore.

  25. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    Tbh the role of ii v i s on standards harmony while not negligible was always a bit overstated by jazz edu and a certain era of jazz reharmonisation practice.
    ii V I's are viewed as one of the distinguishing characteristics of jazz compositions vs other styles of music. While not everything is ii V I in jazz and ii V I's aren't completely non-existent in other music, I think it's a fair generalisation when one considers the whole body of tonal music. After all it's subdominant, dominant and tonic progression, ii is preferred over IV as the chords aren't triads.
    Is it overstated in education? I don't know. In the context of standards I can't imagine a progression more prevalent than ii V I's and vi ii V I's and iii vi ii V I's, which are all chained ii V I's really (even when vi's or ii's are made secondary dominants). I think it makes sense that jazz education is based on the standards as opposed to more modern evolutions of jazz. That said, I don't like practising progressions outside of tunes.

  26. #50
    All pure speculation on my part, but this is how I've always seen our...

    During the GASB era, many many more popular songs inherently had great changes. Around the sixties, changes for popular music became simpler to a large degree. I don't think it's a coincidence that jazzers started playing a higher percentage of their own tunes in later generations.

    Anyway, modern popular songs with really interesting changes which jazzers like) are much more the outliers. Ever some modern songs which have become more "standards" probably have to be more heavily re-harmonized.

    Many people who don't know what jazz is assume that the GASB songs ARE jazz. Fred Astair and co ARE jazz too many, and to be fair, those tunes have much more jazz-like changes compared to pop music of later generations.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 05-28-2019 at 02:36 PM.