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  1. #201
    Here is what I mean. You can totally hear the abstract, embellished form of the melody in the solo (pickup to the solo at 0:54). The melody totally runs through the solo as a theme. The feeling of mental connection you get with Joe Pass when you hear the abstract melody in the solo is very cool.
    I don't know it's fair to expect a listener to hear the melody that well if they only heard the head in the introduction.

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  3. #202

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    IMO the main point of having standards is not the performers, it's the listeners. The more listeners know the melody of a tune, the more they can enjoy the solos. If you don't know the melody, then the solo is just bla-bidi-guk-duba. It's rare that a player can create spontaneous composition detached from the tune that is very memorable.
    The songs we now call standards were popular at that time and jazz was popular music. The likes of Mingus and Monk and a host of critics made it an art form, in which original composition by the performer is primary. So no new standards.

  4. #203

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    This thread = people who listen to jazz from the 1950s and then are surprised that there are no songs written later than the 1950s.

  5. #204

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    Where this thread might have a little tiny bit of a point is that if I go to a jam session and call a pop song of the past 40 years, no one is going to know it or want to play it.

    This has, I think, much more to do with the jazz is taught; with people learning songs from written sources such as the real book where the repertoire is somewhat reified. If players were more comfortable using their ears to play songs, it wouldn't be a big deal to bust out something a bit more recent. (And this counts for myself.) Players like Robert Glasper just know a lot of tunes, old and new. Pro musicians are also very fast at learning tunes.

    In professional jazz circles playing a recent pop or rock tune is so unremarkable as to be scarcely worthy of note.

  6. #205

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    his royal highness, King Sco of Field
    This is so beautiful.


  7. #206

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    Has any one listed this or does it qualify.Halie Loren 'A Womans Way'

  8. #207

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    The songs we now call standards were popular at that time and jazz was popular
    Jazz has always - with perhaps the exception of the big dance bands of the ‘30s - been a marginal music, in terms of sales and popularity. And there’s nothing wrong with that, some of the best music and other great artistic and cultural products are not “popular”.

    If you look at sales numbers, radio play, and charts, you discover that pop singers, songs from Broadway musicals and films, novelty numbers, ethnic and regional styles, and saccharine instrumentals ruled. Jazz went up and down, but, except for Goodman, Miller and Dorsey (and Guy Lombardo), it was never generally popular. And never will be.

    Why did the jazz musicians of the ‘20-‘60s lean on what we now call “Standards” - pop songs/show tunes written by professional songwriters? Maybe they liked the songs. Maybe there’s enough melodic and harmonic content to make something out of. Maybe they knew the audience would at least have the pleasure of hearing a tune they recognize for a minute of so before the musicians proceeded to express their superior melodic “artistry” for the ensuing 12 minutes. Maybe the proximity of Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, the major record companies and recording studios (before they moved West), the sheet music publishers, and the Jazz Center of the World, all there on the tiny island of Manhattan?

    Maybe there are no more “Standards” because there is no longer a culturally unified popular audience, fed the same songs, across the nation and the world, by the major labels and radio networks. Everybody is their own niche audience now, and hears what they want when they want.

    There are just special times when a lot of diverse elements converge and magic happens - nobody plans it, and nobody could. And there’s never any going back.

    Besides, we already have enough “Standards” - have you learned them all? I haven’t.
    Last edited by BickertRules; 01-04-2021 at 10:29 PM.

  9. #208
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Where this thread might have a little tiny bit of a point is that if I go to a jam session and call a pop song of the past 40 years, no one is going to know it or want to play it.
    I agree that it's not that unusual for modern tunes to be performed in jazz style. But these tunes do not become part of the "standards" even when the tunes are considered modern classics.

    Probably partly because of the more diverse and geographically dispersed nature of the jazz community now compared to the 30's and the less improvisation inspiring progressions.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 01-04-2021 at 08:42 PM.

  10. #209

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I agree that it's not that unusual for modern tunes to be performed in jazz style. But these tunes do not become part of the "standards" even when the tunes are considered modern classics.

    Probably partly because of the more diverse and geographically dispersed nature of the jazz community now compared to the 30's and the less improvisation inspiring progressions.
    I agree with all your points here.

    Whenever I hear a jazz group play something like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or “Creep”, it comes across as ironic, not like someone picked the tune because they love it and saw all the potential improvisational developments they could do. It’s like those Bluegrass groups that play stuff like “Highway to Hell” and “All the Single Ladies” - reminds me of Spike Jones.

  11. #210

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    I agree with all your points here.

    Whenever I hear a jazz group play something like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” it comes across as ironic, not like someone picked the tune because they love it and saw all the potential improvisational developments they could do.

    Sigh .. This forum doesn't get excited easily, does it?

    There are people that actually love Smells like teen spirit .. I'm not the only one ... It's a great melody (starting at 7:40):


    Brad Mehldau's covers of Radiohead are stellar btw ... Don't think he has done creep, but Paranoid Android and especially Exit music (for a film)
    Last edited by Lobomov; 01-04-2021 at 10:51 PM.

  12. #211

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    There are people that actually love Smells like teen spirit .. I'm not the only one ... It's a great melody (starting at 7:40):
    Does it take 22 minutes to explain (convince?) why “The Way You Look Tonight” is great, or do you just hear it in the minute and a half it takes to play it?

    Jerome wants to know.

    Why no new standards?-20c69532-737c-49bd-9e2d-2ec9b4fd2358-jpeg

    Nirvana only sounds great if your expectations are low. Very low.

    Before you assume I’m an old crank, I was in my 20s when “Teen Spirit” came out, and I played it in bar bands for at least 5 years after. Maybe it only sounded “great” because we had been previously subjected to Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey, who’s to say.
    Last edited by BickertRules; 01-04-2021 at 11:35 PM.

  13. #212

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    Does it take 22 minutes to explain (convince?) why “The Way You Look Tonight” is great
    That is one way to look at it .. Another way is to note that it apparently is a totally irrelevant song as no one can be arsed to talk about it.

  14. #213

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    Jazz has always - with perhaps the exception of the big dance bands of the ‘30s - been a marginal music, in terms of sales and popularity. And there’s nothing wrong with that, some of the best music and other great artistic and cultural products are not “popular”.

    If you look at sales numbers, radio play, and charts, you discover that pop singers, songs from Broadway musicals and films, novelty numbers, ethnic and regional styles, and saccharine instrumentals ruled. Jazz went up and down, but, except for Goodman, Miller and Dorsey (and Guy Lombardo), it was never generally popular. And never will be.
    The twenties and thirties were called the Jazz Age for good reason. Of course, if you exclude the dance bands of the thirties, jazz appears to be marginal, but that is akin to excluding the Beatles and Motown from a survey of the sixties. Jazz was a popular music form, played by dance bands in ballrooms. But then it went to the Philharmonic and became an art form, played by combos in clubs. They wrote their own tunes, which were undanceable. Jazz became respectable. The New Yorker hired a jazz correspondent, Whitney Balliett (Phillips Exeter, Cornell). In December 1956, he wrote:
    But now jazz is played in concert halls and colleges around the world, as well as taught in accredited university courses. It is sent abroad under the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department as a benevolent cultural ambassador. Heavily attended summer festivals of jazz are sprouting around the country. The New York Times has a jazz critic. And lastly, jazz has become, with the combined help of the long-playing record and an economic boom, a big business – perhaps the most heartfelt blessing Americans can bestow on a native endeavor.

    Perhaps there are few new jazz standards because jazz as art music is largely indifferent to songs from outside. It has turned inwards. Its practitioners have college degrees in jazz. They have been taught to compose. They may acknowledge the tradition with a standard or two in a set, but they are mostly interested in making original work. That is probably a good thing, because the contemporary songs that might be candidates for canonisation can never be free of their creators: while the original Stella by Starlight is now forgotten, one cannot listen to a version of Teen Spirit without thinking of Nirvana’s recording, and of lobby music.

  15. #214

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    The twenties and thirties were called the Jazz Age for good reason. Of course, if you exclude the dance bands of the thirties, jazz appears to be marginal, but that is akin to excluding the Beatles and Motown from a survey of the sixties. Jazz was a popular music form, played by dance bands in ballrooms. But then it went to the Philharmonic and became an art form, played by combos in clubs. They wrote their own tunes, which were undanceable. Jazz became respectable. The New Yorker hired a jazz correspondent, Whitney Balliett (Phillips Exeter, Cornell). In December 1956, he wrote:
    But now jazz is played in concert halls and colleges around the world, as well as taught in accredited university courses. It is sent abroad under the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department as a benevolent cultural ambassador. Heavily attended summer festivals of jazz are sprouting around the country. The New York Times has a jazz critic. And lastly, jazz has become, with the combined help of the long-playing record and an economic boom, a big business – perhaps the most heartfelt blessing Americans can bestow on a native endeavor.

    Perhaps there are few new jazz standards because jazz as art music is largely indifferent to songs from outside. It has turned inwards. Its practitioners have college degrees in jazz. They have been taught to compose. They may acknowledge the tradition with a standard or two in a set, but they are mostly interested in making original work. That is probably a good thing, because the contemporary songs that might be candidates for canonisation can never be free of their creators: while the original Stella by Starlight is now forgotten, one cannot listen to a version of Teen Spirit without thinking of Nirvana’s recording, and of lobby music.
    I think that's a bit of a simplistic account. Which is to say I actually think it's possible for you to both be right. What complicates things vastly is the definition of jazz itself was open to constant revision.

    As I understand it jazz in the 1930's meant really New Orleans jazz to many; swing was something distinct. Later Parker himself was keen to differentiate the new music he made from 'jazz.' And then there are differentiations between 'hot' and 'sweet' music in dance orchestras... and that jazz emerged from an early century environment with many related forms of music, including ragtime and society marches... jazz meant something quite specific; music in the New Orleans style. Scott Joplin hated jazz!

    It's hard to untangle these threads. 1920s-40s dance music and jazz are two not entirely separate but not entirely identical things. The first trad jazz/New Orleans revivals happened during the height of the swing era. And people were always moaning about this or that music not being 'real jazz.' If we take real jazz to mean Lester Young blowing after hours in Kansas City, that was always niche. That's the bit we're left with now, really, as popular culture marches on...

    Furthermore, the raw material of jazz is not itself jazz necessarily; while there was overlap with early jazz, film music and music theatre. Watching Tom and Jerry cartoons* with my daughter, there are constant references to songs like All God's Chillun in the the soundtrack, which is a dance orchestra with strings (so not really jazz?); nowadays if someone plays All God's Chillun, they are probably thinking of Bud Powell or someone. BUT - the original was played by Duke Ellington in a Marx Brothers film, so where does that put us?

    So, I'd say what's gone is that continuum; from society dance orchestras, music theatre, film music and of course jazz which meant that jazz could thrive as an artistic reinterpretation of pop culture tropes, moving from the accessible, popular music of Benny Goodman to the very niche jam sessions of Minton's playhouse. And there are all sorts of social layers to that story...

    The idea of a 'cover version' is as you say a construct of the recordings becoming definitive. Robert Glaspar is 'covering' Smells Like Teen Spirit in a way that he is not if he plays a mid century popular song. It's complicated!

    *Oh and doesn't that little lick at the end of the main theme remind me a bit of Bird's Cool Blues?

  16. #215

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    I was fascinated by the music of Tom and Jerry as a child, especially "Shortnin' Bread”, which the maid often sings. I now know, because Internet, it is an African-American folk song dating back at least to the 1890s, song number 4209 in the Roud Folk Song Index. Reading further, I now realise she is singing "Shortened Bread", the first folk version of this song, which E. C. Perrow collected from East Tennessee in 1912 and published in 1915.

    Mammy's little baby loves short'nin'
    Mammy's little baby loves short'nin' bread (rpt.)

    All God's Chillun Got Rythym, played by Duke Ellington in a A Day at the Races, was written by Walter Jurmann, Gus Kahn and Bronislaw Kaper: an Austrian, a German and a Pole.

    The man behind the Tom and Jerry music was Scott Bradley. According to Wikipedia:

    As was common practice in scores for animation, Bradley's early style incorporated fragments of popular and traditional melodies. By the mid-1940s, however, his compositions and orchestrations had become more original and complex, occasionally utilizing the twelve-tone technique devised by Arnold Schoenberg; the first being the 1944 Tom and Jerry cartoon Puttin' on the Dog. Other influences were Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky and Paul Hindemith.

    Hooray for Hollywood. All these different musical influences are found together in the music for a cartoon series about a cat and a mouse.





  17. #216

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    There are no new standards because Cole Porter is dead. Sorry to be the one to break that to you...

  18. #217

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    The twenties and thirties were called the Jazz Age for good reason.
    Maybe because the intellectuals, writers, artists, and celebrities of the time in New York, Chicago, Hollywood, and Paris liked jazz? And maybe that’s how we define eras in retrospect. I’m not sure that the millions of people living outside that narrow milieu were jazz fans, or lived the lifestyle we associate with the “Jazz Age” or the “Roaring Twenties”.

    When people today think of “The Sixties” I don’t think what they have in mind is this list of the top selling albums of the decade.

    Why no new standards?-0ecf4fcb-bed5-4aec-a715-051c2e6fcfb6-jpeg
    List of best-selling albums by year in the United States - Wikipedia

    Three things jump out for me:

    • Broadway Show Original Cast/Soundtrack Recordings (for over HALF the decade!)
    • The Monkees!!??
    • No Jazz (actually, not surprising)
    • No Beatles


    Sometimes the stories we are told (or tell ourselves) are very incomplete, if not romanticized fictions.
    Last edited by BickertRules; 01-05-2021 at 05:08 PM.

  19. #218

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    Broadway Show Original Cast/Soundtrack Recordings, for the first half of the decade, when albums were bought by adults and pop music was sold in singles.
    The Monkees were a very popular group, with their own TV show from 1966 to 1968.
    Herb Alpert’s album had a woman covered in shaving cream on the cover; very popular.
    Then Hendrix and Iron Butterfly: album rock had arrived

    Of course, history is contingent: it is not a record of events in the past but a narrative written to serve the present. This was the theme of my PhD, incidentally. But I have not seen any evidence to cast doubt on my understanding that jazz was a popular medium in the 1920s and 1930s. All those bands were playing to audiences. People wanted to dance.

    Here are the top artists of the 1930s

    1: Bing Crosby
    2: Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
    3: Tommy Dorsey
    4: Duke Ellington
    5: Benny Goodman
    6: Eddy Duchin
    7: Fred Astaire
    9: Fats Waller
    10: Louis Armstrong
    11: Leo Reisman
    12: Billie Holiday
    13: Glenn Miller
    14: Rudy Vallee & his Connecticut Yankees
    15: Ray Noble
    16: Cab Calloway & his Cotton Club Orchestra
    17: Hal Kemp
    18: Glen Gray
    19: Artie Shaw
    20: Shep Fields & his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra



    A lot of jazz in that list.








  20. #219

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Broadway Show Original Cast/Soundtrack Recordings, for the first half of the decade, when albums were bought by adults and pop music was sold in singles.
    The Monkees were a very popular group, with their own TV show from 1966 to 1968.
    Herb Alpert’s album had a woman covered in shaving cream on the cover; very popular.
    Then Hendrix and Iron Butterfly: album rock had arrived

    Of course, history is contingent: it is not a record of events in the past but a narrative written to serve the present. This was the theme of my PhD, incidentally. But I have not seen any evidence to cast doubt on my understanding that jazz was a popular medium in the 1920s and 1930s. All those bands were playing to audiences. People wanted to dance.

    Here are the top artists of the 1930s

    1: Bing Crosby
    2: Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
    3: Tommy Dorsey
    4: Duke Ellington
    5: Benny Goodman
    6: Eddy Duchin
    7: Fred Astaire
    9: Fats Waller
    10: Louis Armstrong
    11: Leo Reisman
    12: Billie Holiday
    13: Glenn Miller
    14: Rudy Vallee & his Connecticut Yankees
    15: Ray Noble
    16: Cab Calloway & his Cotton Club Orchestra
    17: Hal Kemp
    18: Glen Gray
    19: Artie Shaw
    20: Shep Fields & his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra

    A lot of jazz in that list.

    All well put.

    Of course, “adults” count in popularity, too, but yes, the spending power of 30-40 year olds probably trails what the kids are enjoying by a generous margin.

    I have always suspected that many people bought the Herb Alpert album for extra-musical reasons. It was in every household in my childhood.

    Why no new standards?-f0f8eb1e-8967-4fca-ac66-5da2eef49026-jpeg

    I don’t dispute your 1930s list, but I think of most of those individuals and groups as jazz-informed pop and dance music. Of course, Armstrong is the quintessential jazzman, but his biggest hits were a Broadway show tune and a very sappy 12/8 pop ballad.

    I did concede a few posts back, that if jazz was ever popular, it was in the ‘30s. Even if I were willing to include the ‘20s, the jazz that many of us probably listen to and idolize now (I doubt many of us are making playlists including Ray Noble and Rudy Vallee) - Bird and Diz and Miles through Trane and Herbie all the way down to Bill Frisell and Robert Glasper, etc., was never widely popular. We know about it because we WANT to know about it and we seek it out. But just mention any of those names to 10 random people in your local market and “Watch What Happens”, so to speak.

    I’m not trying to burst anyone’s balloon, but the urge to mythologize a so-called “golden age” is strong, and not just in music.
    Last edited by BickertRules; 01-05-2021 at 08:21 PM.

  21. #220

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    I have always suspected that many people bought the Herb Alpert album for extra-musical reasons. It was in every household in my childhood.

    Why no new standards?-f0f8eb1e-8967-4fca-ac66-5da2eef49026-jpeg
    That is a photo shoot that probably was a lot of fun and laughs.

  22. #221

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    That is a photo shoot that probably was a lot of fun and laughs.

    Erickson, who wore a bikini with the shoulder straps pushed down and hidden, was for the most part surrounded by cotton batting and many cans’ worth of shaving cream because actual whipped cream turned runny and smelly under hot lights. The real thing was used only on her head and on the index finger she touched to her lips.

    Here

  23. #222

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    Even if I were willing to include the ‘20s, the jazz that many of us probably listen to and idolize now (I doubt many of us are making playlists including Ray Noble and Rudy Vallee) - Bird and Diz and Miles through Trane and Herbie all the way down to Bill Frisell and Robert Glasper, etc., was never widely popular. We know about it because we WANT to know about it and we seek it out. But just mention any of those names to 10 random people in your local market and “Watch What Happens”, so to speak.

    I’m not trying to burst anyone’s balloon, but the urge to mythologize a so-called “golden age” is strong, and not just in music.

    Yes, I think you are right. We listen to the good stuff, and it is good because it is ours. We would probably resent the masses liking it. Back in the day, most people just wanted to dance. Whitney Balliett, writing in 1958, is helpful:

    There were at least three distinct types of big band: the milky, unabashed dance band (Guy Lombardo, Charlie Spivak), the semi-jazz dance band (Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw), and the out-and-out jazz band (Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson). The demise of this small but lively industry was due largely to economics; it is also true that the big jazz band had just about run dry. It ended as it had begun as a plump, highly regimented expansion of the traditional New Orleans instrumentation of cornet, clarinet, trombone, and rhythm section.

  24. #223

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    Smells Like Teen Spirit is a 30 year old song. That audience is now in their 40's and 50's.

    Who do we think 'Jazz Standards' are for? Historians? A very small number of hipsters in very large urban areas?

    Jazz musicians must be flexible, adaptable, and change their daily repertoire or remain wallpaper for expensive restaurants. Because without an audience, musicians are nothing.

  25. #224

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Smells Like Teen Spirit is a 30 year old song. That audience is now in their 40's and 50's.
    Yes, they are, and they still don’t want to hear an instrumental jazz quartet play Nirvana covers with 7-minute Slonimsky-informed saxophone solos. (A person who already likes jazz might)

    They want to hear the original recording, or at least maybe a graying, thicker-around-the-middle cover band of their own generation playing a note-perfect cover, more or less.

    As someone mentioned below (or above), at some point we went from a time when there would be 100 versions of a Cole Porter tune out there by different singers, orchestras and instrumentalists, but once we hit the songwriter-IS-the-singer/band era since the mid-sixties, the original recording IS the only version, with rare exceptions.

    I disagree about the need for flexibility. The jazz listening public outside of musicians is small; I doubt you’re going to add any new Gen Xers to that audience by covering grunge classics, but you might chase away the existing fans.

    I like playing in restaurants, private parties, and bars; it’s where jazz was born and probably where it should have stayed. When it became “America’s Only Original Art Form”, it doomed itself to a elite exclusivity only surpassed by Classical Music (which I also love).

  26. #225

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    Yes. They do want to hear a jazz quartet play Nirvana. And other tunes they are familiar with. Wouldn't worry about 'jazz standard' fans being run off. There aren't many to chase away. And those left can't really move that fast in their walkers.

    The definitions and labels need to change. Michael Hedges should have been labeled a jazz artist as well as Bela Fleck. If there are no new jazz standards, then jazz is over. And those of us looking to perform and listen to interesting music will find different names for the music we like. While those that have invested in the pureness of jazz will die off with it.

  27. #226

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    While those that have invested in the pureness of jazz will die off with it.
    That’s very poetic, almost biblical.

    We all do what we think is right, and then, sooner or later, we all “die off”. That’s how it works.

    and Jazz, too, shall pass away...

    Peace be with you.

  28. #227

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    Yes, they are, and they still don’t want to hear an instrumental jazz quartet play Nirvana covers with 7-minute Slonimsky-informed saxophone solos. (A person who already likes jazz might)

    They want to hear the original recording, or at least maybe a graying, thicker-around-the-middle cover band of their own generation playing a note-perfect cover, more or less.
    This is mixing apples with bananas ..

    Yeah, you're right that in general very little people want to involuntarily be exposed to jazz and prefer the original recording. But we're not talking general listening habits here. We are talking jazz standards .. So the setup is a jazz gig

    And at a jazz gig hell yeah .. a lot of us would love to hear Smells like teen spirit.

    The nightmare is something like the standard rendition of Love for Sale, which has to me become the pinnacle of torture at a jazz gig. Same shit every time .. a bit of latin, a bit of swing and 4-5 people taking turn sounding just more or less like the 4-5 that played the last time I heard that tune

    There is this notion that every jazz performance brings unbridled creativity. But it doesn't .. It often get's very samey. after 30 years with concerts where there is a 70% chance of Love for Sale ... at least you could throw some new tunes our way. I say thank you very much to a Nirvana or a Radiohead song

    Edit:
    Whether that is feasable in 2021 where culture is just people showing up and blowing without rehearsal is up for debate. .. Given that a coherent standard repertoire is vital. Time is money.



    Last edited by Lobomov; 01-06-2021 at 07:03 PM.

  29. #228

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    I think it’s helpful if we stop worrying about the word ‘jazz.’ (At least for music that isn’t an obvious historical recreation.)

  30. #229

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    I might share my study of the use of the word ‘jazzy’ in British architectural criticism.

  31. #230

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    Not All Songs Are Jazz - Not All Jazz Are Songs:
    Jazz Standards are a SUBSET of the American Songbook. Tunes that qualify to be classified as Jazz Standards may be SELECTED from the American Songbook, but Jazz Standards are not a collection of ALL the songs composed between 1920 and 1950. They are a small selection of songs uniquely suitable to become Jazz Vehicles for Jazz Musicians. Most music from the 20's to 50's is unusable in Jazz.

    Anything Goes?:
    Any music can be reharmonised and jazzified, but it may never become a Jazz Standard. Jazzification is like Gentrification - the fine art of putting lipstick on a pig.

    Was It An Improvement?
    Another consideration is that if the song of interest sounds better in it's original form and genre, it would be very uncool to convert it into a Jazz Piece. A Hard Day's Night was re-invented by Ramsey Lewis and there's another version by Peggy Lee. There are Bach pieces that sound good when Jazzified. But they make it because they are examples of an exception. It's interesting to hear, but it doesn't make a Jazz Standard. People would probably prefer the original, as it was written, to the revamped version.

    You Had To Be There:
    Most music of the first half of the Twentieth Century was considered to be "corn" by Jazz Musicians of the time. We have the luxury of historical revision, because we can view the entire past from the Internet. However, a review is not the same as being there, and not as valid.

    They Were Smarter, Then:
    If you take a letter and photocopy it, then photocopy the photocopy, and keep repeating this, soon you will end up with a blank paper. DNA is similar. After a while, the slate is clean, the pot is empty, and the horn goes un-played. Examine the genius of the Greek Philosophers. That era has not yet been duplicated. Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he wrote the DOI. Today, there are many 33 year old's still living in their mother's unfinished basement. Schools once drilled the 3 R's until it was second nature. Today, most graduates are intellectually challenged. Most of what we take for granted in our lives was invented by people long dead. Television, transistors, computers, automobiles, jazz...

    Technology today only re-hashes the past. The jazz Standards were written by composers and lyricists that have never been duplicated, and certainly not exceeded, in our residual worn-out gene pool. Today, Mediocrity Rules. Riot in the Streets, Loot & Burn. No Jefferson's here. No music, either. Just look at the birth years of the most accomplished Jazz Musicians for an eye opener. Do the Math, not the Meth.

    Music is over and so is Jazz. Music has become a Museum Adventure. People are even immersing themselves in Jazz by dressing up in suits and dresses and jiving the dance floors in imitation of the Jazz Years. Every time I pick up an instrument and play Jazz, I assume the role of a dead man. Often I mourn for those days. I was born at the tail end of The Music Era. Old enough to know it, but too young to be it.

    A Musician used to be an occupation. Many Men and Women could raise a family by being a Musician. Today, 15 year old's are paying Licensed Establishments for a spot on the stage for "exposure". They even have to drag their friends and parents and uncles to drink there as a prerequisite of their invisible "contract". After a few weeks they catch on to the scam and go back to school. Being a Musician today has become a Hobby.

    Here Today - Gone Tomorrow:
    Democracy is often worshipped by some, yet scorned by others. Standards are continually ratified by the public eye. There were songs, considered as Jazz Standards once, that are no longer remembered. Due to their great popularity in other genres, these attempts at Jazzification that would never pass muster now. Songs that I like may not coincide with yours: Margie, Canadian Sunset, Making Whoopee, and a host of Dixieland Classics. If reviewed by the public, the American Songbook, or the Real Book would look very different. Perhaps they would be gutted.

    Fake Jazz:
    Most Fake Books and Jazz Sheets are selected by editors who "deem" the song as a Jazz Standard for obvious marketing purposes. Is Petula Clark's "Downtown", by Tony Hatch, a Jazz Standard or a Carnaby Street Pop Ditty of the British Invasion? A truly wonderful song that could be Jazzified easily. However, it would not be considered a Jazz Standard. Burt Bacharach's compositions, as sung by Dionne Warwick, make a similar case. (I just noticed that the Great American Songbook excludes many British and French songs that I grew up with. Interesting. Perhaps there's a Cross-Over list similar to what the music editors did with Country Music in the 60's...)

    Rock Ditties Do Not Make For Good Jazz:
    Usually, an emerging artist wants to make a name for himself by forcing a size 11 Rock Song into a size 9 Jazz Tune. This occurs because it is not just Jazz that has died. Music has been exhausted. There was only so much that could be done with seven notes. Even in it's hayday, Jazz and Popular Vocal Music and Big Band Tunes were composed on the backs of other tunes. Plagiarism abounded and there were many songs that could be considered as twins. Rock is ON THE BEAT, Jazz is OFF THE BEAT. Rock does not propel listeners into a foot-tapping frenzy. Rock is always on the beat, so there is no need to snap your fingers. Jazz, by definition, invokes the listener to mark the "an" either physically or internally. Rock does not "swing". If it "swings", then it's Jazz. Rock is great and Jazz is great, but only a wanker puts Pop in Whiskey.

    Jazz Was:
    Like the ubiquitous "Kilroy Was Here!", Jazz has left its mark in plain sight, but no one can seem to find the crayon, anymore. The density of Jazz in the Past is a stark differential to the current situation of Rehash and "Oh! Let's make an original jazzy sounding song! My cousin has a gi-tahrr! We could be kinda sorta like the Andy Sisters!" Retro Rules...
    Last edited by StringNavigator; 04-09-2021 at 11:48 AM.

  32. #231

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    Musicians today are brilliant enough to compose the tunes. I think the missing element is there's no old pop music culture (first half of the 1900s) for the tunes to sit in and give them relevance, and then have the musicians jazz them up.

  33. #232

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    If new standards would appear today they would have to be tunes that cross generational lines. Back in the day everyone would know the songs that turned into standards, regardless of their age. I don't know how that can happen again.

  34. #233

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    The dancing is missing. Dance halls brought bands and audiences together. The bands played the popular songs of the day, because nobody wants to dance to a tune they do not know. The band members adapted the tunes, copied the adaptations of others, played homage to their heroes, reverse-engineered new songs from old tunes. But when people stopped dancing to jazz bands, the connexion was broken. Why play pop songs when nobody is dancing?

  35. #234

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    Quote Originally Posted by StringNavigator
    Not All Songs Are Jazz - Not All Jazz Are Songs:
    Jazz Standards are a SUBSET of the American Songbook. Tunes that qualify to be classified as Jazz Standards may be SELECTED from the American Songbook, but Jazz Standards are not a collection of ALL the songs composed between 1920 and 1950. They are a small selection of songs uniquely suitable to become Jazz Vehicles for Jazz Musicians. Most music from the 20's to 50's is unusable in Jazz.

    Anything Goes?:
    Any music can be reharmonised and jazzified, but it may never become a Jazz Standard. Jazzification is like Gentrification - the fine art of putting lipstick on a pig.

    Was It An Improvement?
    Another consideration is that if the song of interest sounds better in it's original form and genre, it would be very uncool to convert it into a Jazz Piece. A Hard Day's Night was re-invented by Ramsey Lewis and there's another version by Peggy Lee. There are Bach pieces that sound good when Jazzified. But they make it because they are examples of an exception. It's interesting to hear, but it doesn't make a Jazz Standard. People would probably prefer the original, as it was written, to the revamped version.

    You Had To Be There:
    Most music of the first half of the Twentieth Century was considered to be "corn" by Jazz Musicians of the time. We have the luxury of historical revision, because we can view the entire past from the Internet. However, a review is not the same as being there, and not as valid.

    They Were Smarter, Then:
    If you take a letter and photocopy it, then photocopy the photocopy, and keep repeating this, soon you will end up with a blank paper. DNA is similar. After a while, the slate is clean, the pot is empty, and the horn goes un-played. Examine the genius of the Greek Philosophers. That era has not yet been duplicated. Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he wrote the DOI. Today, there are many 33 year old's still living in their mother's unfinished basement. Schools once drilled the 3 R's until it was second nature. Today, most graduates are intellectually challenged. Most of what we take for granted in our lives was invented by people long dead. Television, transistors, computers, automobiles, jazz...

    Technology today only re-hashes the past. The jazz Standards were written by composers and lyricists that have never been duplicated, and certainly not exceeded, in our residual worn-out gene pool. Today, Mediocrity Rules. Riot in the Streets, Loot & Burn. No Jefferson's here. No music, either. Just look at the birth years of the most accomplished Jazz Musicians for an eye opener. Do the Math, not the Meth.

    Music is over and so is Jazz. Music has become a Museum Adventure. People are even immersing themselves in Jazz by dressing up in suits and dresses and jiving the dance floors in imitation of the Jazz Years. Every time I pick up an instrument and play Jazz, I assume the role of a dead man. Often I mourn for those days. I was born at the tail end of The Music Era. Old enough to know it, but too young to be it.

    A Musician used to be an occupation. Many Men and Women could raise a family by being a Musician. Today, 15 year old's are paying Licensed Establishments for a spot on the stage for "exposure". They even have to drag their friends and parents and uncles to drink there as a prerequisite of their invisible "contract". After a few weeks they catch on to the scam and go back to school. Being a Musician today has become a Hobby.

    Here Today - Gone Tomorrow:
    Democracy is often worshipped by some, yet scorned by others. Standards are continually ratified by the public eye. There were songs, considered as Jazz Standards once, that are no longer remembered. Due to their great popularity in other genres, these attempts at Jazzification that would never pass muster now. Songs that I like may not coincide with yours: Margie, Canadian Sunset, Making Whoopee, and a host of Dixieland Classics. If reviewed by the public, the American Songbook, or the Real Book would look very different. Perhaps they would be gutted.

    Fake Jazz:
    Most Fake Books and Jazz Sheets are selected by editors who "deem" the song as a Jazz Standard for obvious marketing purposes. Is Petula Clark's "Downtown", by Tony Hatch, a Jazz Standard or a Carnaby Street Pop Ditty of the British Invasion? A truly wonderful song that could be Jazzified easily. However, it would not be considered a Jazz Standard. Burt Bacharach's compositions, as sung by Dionne Warwick, make a similar case. (I just noticed that the Great American Songbook excludes many British and French songs that I grew up with. Interesting. Perhaps there's a Cross-Over list similar to what the music editors did with Country Music in the 60's...)

    Rock Ditties Do Not Make For Good Jazz:
    Usually, an emerging artist wants to make a name for himself by forcing a size 11 Rock Song into a size 9 Jazz Tune. This occurs because it is not just Jazz that has died. Music has been exhausted. There was only so much that could be done with seven notes. Even in it's hayday, Jazz and Popular Vocal Music and Big Band Tunes were composed on the backs of other tunes. Plagiarism abounded and there were many songs that could be considered as twins. Rock is ON THE BEAT, Jazz is OFF THE BEAT. Rock does not propel listeners into a foot-tapping frenzy. Rock is always on the beat, so there is no need to snap your fingers. Jazz, by definition, invokes the listener to mark the "an" either physically or internally. Rock does not "swing". If it "swings", then it's Jazz. Rock is great and Jazz is great, but only a wanker puts Pop in Whiskey.

    Jazz Was:
    Like the ubiquitous "Kilroy Was Here!", Jazz has left its mark in plain sight, but no one can seem to find the crayon, anymore. The density of Jazz in the Past is a stark differential to the current situation of Rehash and "Oh! Let's make an original jazzy sounding song! My cousin has a gi-tahrr! We could be kinda sorta like the Andy Sisters!" Retro Rules...
    Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. No snark. This is thought-provoking material. Kudos!

  36. #235

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    This thread = people who listen to jazz from the 1950s and then are surprised that there are no songs written later than the 1950s.
    OR...

    This thread = people who are surprised that there are no songs written later than the 1950s so they listen to jazz from the 1950s.


  37. #236

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    I think straight-ahead jazz would not survive without standards. They hold it together, maintaining links with the past and among the community of players.

    But what would I know? I listen to jazz from the 1970s.

  38. #237

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    Quote Originally Posted by StringNavigator
    OR...

    This thread = people who are surprised that there are no songs written later than the 1950s so they listen to jazz from the 1950s.

    Well that doesn’t really work, because it’s quite obvious they haven’t listened to anything recent, so how would they know?

    its not like I’m Mr contemporary jazz....

    people should listen to what they like, and there’s an interesting conversation to be had on this topic, but you would expect people discussing this to have at least a cursory knowledge of contemporary jazz, where the recording and performance of post-GASB popular tunes is unremarkable.

    Which is not the same thing as making them standards, true, which I think leads to quite an interesting discussion on what makes a repertoire and so on.

    But there are those on the thread who seem to have it as a forgone conclusion that post pop/rock era material is not played. Which is false.
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-11-2021 at 03:12 AM.

  39. #238

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    But there are those on the thread who seem to have it as a forgone conclusion that post pop/rock era material is not played. Which is false.
    I am sure we have all experienced jazz bands playing pop songs, and the vague sense of discomfort they cause. I am sure we all know, in a very real sense, that pop songs will resist becoming standards, because the original recording will remain sovereign. We can listen to Wes Montgomery playing Polka Dots and Moonbeams with perfect ease because it is the sort of song jazz musicians play and many had done so before him; it is part of a tradition. But when we hear Montgomery play A Day in the Life we feel slightly awkward, because we know it isn't true. Only the original on the Sgt Pepper's album is authentic; all the imitations are pale and the interpretations slouch towards hotel lobbies.

  40. #239
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    But there are those on the thread who seem to have it as a forgone conclusion that post pop/rock era material is not played. Which is false.
    Yes, there are occasional performances of modern hits in the jazz style. But since this thread is about there not being any new jazz standards, do you know of an modern pop/rock hit that has become a jazz standard?

  41. #240

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    Cannot agree. There are lots of Beatles songs that can be covered profitably by jazz musicians: "Yesterday," "Here, There and Everywhere," "Eleanor Rigby," "Blackbird." Listen to The Bad Plus covers of pop songs, "Don't Dream It's Over," for example. Brad Mehldau plays "Blackbird." I'd like to hear jazz covers of Joni Mitchell songs, e.g. "A Case of You." There's the famous Pat Martino version of "Both Sides Now." I think you should google "Jazz covers of recent pop songs" and see what you find. There is an album of jazz covers of Stevie Wonder tunes by different people. There is a Billie Childs album of various singers covering Laura Nyro songs. (I can't say enough good things about Laura Nyro, she's the bomb, as far as I am concerned.)

    This kind of crossover isn't as common or obvious as it used to be in the 30's-50's, that's true. This may have more to do with rhythm than with anything else. There aren't that many songs written now, or at least played on Spotify, that mimic that older style of song.

  42. #241
    Quote Originally Posted by ledocs
    Cannot agree. There are lots of Beatles songs that can be covered profitably by jazz musicians: "Yesterday," "Here, There and Everywhere," "Eleanor Rigby," "Blackbird." Listen to The Bad Plus covers of pop songs, "Don't Dream It's Over," for example. Brad Mehldau plays "Blackbird." I'd like to hear jazz covers of Joni Mitchell songs, e.g. "A Case of You." There's the famous Pat Martino version of "Both Sides Now." I think you should google "Jazz covers of recent pop songs" and see what you find. There is an album of jazz covers of Stevie Wonder tunes by different people. There is a Billie Childs album of various singers covering Laura Nyro songs. (I can't say enough good things about Laura Nyro, she's the bomb, as far as I am concerned.)

    This kind of crossover isn't as common or obvious as it used to be in the 30's-50's, that's true. This may have more to do with rhythm than with anything else. There aren't that many songs written now, or at least played on Spotify, that mimic that older style of song.
    But I don't think any of them has become a jazz standard, no?
    Last edited by Tal_175; 04-11-2021 at 07:36 AM.

  43. #242
    Also it is important to distinguish between covering a tune in the jazz style vs using the tune as a vehicle for jazz improvisation. Many of the jazz covers of modern hits are very thin in the improvisation department. There might be a few contrary examples, but most are just jazz arrangements.

    Nevermind the new hits, I was looking for a jazz recording of "Send in the Clowns" with an improvisatized chorus, I couldn't find it anywhere.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 04-11-2021 at 09:13 AM.

  44. #243

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    How does a song become a standard? I think it needs to be played by numerous ensembles for many years. This creates a two fold problem. I suspect the turn-over/refresh rate in popular music is much faster than it used to be in the 30-50s. IE contemporary songs don't remain relevant long enough to become worth covering. Or they are not well known enough by the general audience to be worth covering/improvising over. There are now sooooo many more songs to pick from. The amount of popular music to choose from in the 30-50s pales in comparison to what is available today. Nevermind, the current trend/preference in less melodically and harmonically interesting music as a vehicle to improvise over. Two examples: "All Star" by Smash Mouth and "One Week" by the Barenaked Ladies. Both have verses and melodies that are essentially rapping. It doesn't make for good embellishments. That isn't too say they aren't good songs. I only recently noticed that the final verse of "All Star" they repeat the second verse lyrics but use the chords of the chorus instead. I can't think of many pop songs that reharmonize the verse like that. (Though it is easier to do when he hits essentially singing the tonic as a melody)

    The second point: there aren't enough Jazz enables to reach a critical mass of covers to create a new standard. Everyone wants to be original in their choice of covers. Why do what another group did?

    I also suspect current ensembles would rather write their own songs rather than pay royalties. Or folks play songs that are so old you don't need to pay royalties.

  45. #244

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Yes, there are occasional performances of modern hits in the jazz style. But since this thread is about there not being any new jazz standards, do you know of an modern pop/rock hit that has become a jazz standard?
    Yeah that's an interesting question partly because I don't really know what a jazz standard isn't, if that makes any sense.

    For instance, is a less well known GASB tune a standard, for example, something like, I dunno 'Lullabye of Broadway' or 'To Each His Own'? Something that you wouldn't call at a jam? So in that case what makes it more a standard than Wichita Lineman, say? All have been recorded by a number of jazz musicians, which is my point. The difference for me is I've played WL on jazz gigs, and I've never actually played either of those. (Although I've heard LoB)


    • If you decide the criteria that something is a standard must come from the GASB tradition, you've kind of answered the question by definition. Standards = GASB.
    • On the other hand if you define a standard as something you can call at a jam session, some of the standards on jazzstandards.com aren't really standards. In this case you would definitely been safer ground calling 'Isn't She Lovely' or 'You Are the Sunshine.' At least where I am.
    • If a jazz standard is something you can play at a gig with no rehearsal off a lead sheet etc; well I've played originals, Middle Eastern tunes, Radiohead, all sorts. But I don't think that's a common definition.


    Probably I missed other ways of categorising.... And, of course jazz standard =/= standard song
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-11-2021 at 09:58 AM.

  46. #245
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yeah that's an interesting question partly because I don't really know what a jazz standard isn't, if that makes any sense.

    For instance, is a less well known GASB tune a standard, for example, something like, I dunno 'Lullabye of Broadway' or 'To Each His Own'? Something that you wouldn't call at a jam? So in that case what makes it more a standard than Wichita Lineman, say? Both have been recorded by jazz musicians, which is my point. I've played WL on jazz gigs, and I've never actually played either of those. (Although I've heard LoB)


    • If you decide the criteria that something is a standard must come from the GASB tradition, you've kind of answered the question. Standards = GASB.
    • On the other hand if you define a standard as something you can call at a jam session, some of the standards on jazzstandards.com aren't really standards. In this case you may actually be safer with something Beatles for example.


    Maybe I missed another way of categorising....
    I'd go with the second definition. Countdown, Maiden Voyage etc aren't GASB tunes but they are jazz standards.

    Well, most concepts do not have a hard boundary. What's the exact minimum height for being considered tall? What makes a tune a jazz piece?

    So, I agree what qualifies a song to be a standard doesn't have an exact answer. Is any song ever published in a real/fake book collection a standard? Is every GASB tune a standard? There is no doubt ATTYA is a standard, So What is a standard, but there is also no doubt there are tunes that are on the boundary.

    One reasonable definition of, I think, a song being considered a standard today is it's likelihood of appearing in the next "X Plays the Standards" album. So what is the likelihood of "Blackbird" appearing in the next standards album?
    Last edited by Tal_175; 04-11-2021 at 12:35 PM.

  47. #246

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    I thought of another way to define a standard. Whatever wedding bands play must be standards (or a bar band). They have to play (though rarely if ever interpret), songs that a wide cross section of the public know. In that definition I think blackbird is a standard. And so is white wedding and the chicken dance lol.

    Jazz is no longer mainstream. No new standards.

    There are however newer songs in the Gypsy jazz scene. Bosa Dorado is for sure a newer standard.

    In rockabilly stay cat strut.

    In ska a message to you Rudy.

    In Punk linoleum or blitzkrieg bop.

  48. #247

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I'd go with the second definition. Countdown, Maiden Voyage etc aren't GASB tunes but they are jazz standards.

    Well, most concepts do not have a hard boundary. What's the exact minimum height for being considered tall? What makes a tune a jazz piece?

    So, I agree what qualifies a song to be a standard doesn't have an exact answer. Is any song ever published in a real/fake book collection a standard? Is every GASB tune a standard? There is no doubt ATTYA is a standard, So What is a standard, but there is also no doubt there are tunes that are on the boundary.

    One reasonable definition of, I think, a song being considered a standard today is it's likelihood of appearing in the next "X Plays the Standards" album. So what is the likelihood of "Blackbird" appearing in the next standards album?
    So I reckon Stevie Wonder tunes are standards then

  49. #248

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I'd go with the second definition. Countdown, Maiden Voyage etc aren't GASB tunes but they are jazz standards.

    Well, most concepts do not have a hard boundary. What's the exact minimum height for being considered tall? What makes a tune a jazz piece?

    So, I agree what qualifies a song to be a standard doesn't have an exact answer. Is any song ever published in a real/fake book collection a standard? Is every GASB tune a standard? There is no doubt ATTYA is a standard, So What is a standard, but there is also no doubt there are tunes that are on the boundary.

    One reasonable definition of, I think, a song being considered a standard today is it's likelihood of appearing in the next "X Plays the Standards" album. So what is the likelihood of "Blackbird" appearing in the next standards album?
    Gypsy jazzers play Isnt She Lovely (mind you even Barry Harris plays that one) Birelli does it, the Macaferri botherers get on it.

  50. #249
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So I reckon Stevie Wonder tunes are standards then
    The definition I find reasonable is : A song's likelihood of appearing in the next "X Plays the Standards" album. Which is not a definition but a way to gauge jazz communities' commonsensical view of jazz tunes.

    I shouldn't have said in the previous post that I agree with the definition of a "standard" as a song that can be called in a jam session. What I meant was, it's a more reasonable definition than only considering GASB tunes.

    In jam sessions, any tune can be called. Whether it's played or not is a matter of spontaneous consensus. If the sax player calls out a pop tune they want to play, I'm the guitar player, if I know the chords or can find them out quickly, I'd go along with that. I may lay out on the solo or play it. As long as there is a horn player who is willing to do the solo, the song gets played

  51. #250

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    No standards in 2021, just people playing music. Take it or leave it and try not to get left behind.

    Norwegian Wood is a blast to jam to.

    This is great, but old by now, looks like it was recorded on tape