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  1. #251

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    Where are the New Jazz Standards?
    Apparently, the songs have to be both Jazz and a Standard. One is a Genre, the other is a Rating. What then, is Jazz?

    Cycling Back to New Orleans...
    The best Jazz Standards from the First Half Of The Twentieth Century have a strong Tonic-Dominant struggle; the swapping of Guide Tones: 7b of F7 lowers a semitone and becomes 3 of Bb7 and 3 of F7 lowers a semitone and becomes 7b of Bb7. Then this V7-I7 business is Back-Cycled from Bb to F to C to G to D to A to E to B to Gb...... This Dominant March is the First Principle of any Jazz Standard; Sweet Georgia Brown, Sunny Side Of The Street, Major Rhythm Changes 1625, Minor Rhythm Changes, Major 251(6), Minor 251(6), Sears-Roebuck Bridge, Montgomery-Ward Bridge, Ward-Montgomery Bridge, Back Door Sequence...

    Marching Along
    As the Tonic-Dominant March continues, the Guide Tones descend chromatically while the Roots progress in Cycle Order. The constant hammering of Dominant Seventh Chords can be delightful to Barber Shop Quartets, but Jazz demands the chords to be extended to Seventh Chords: M7 m7 7 o7 7+5 7-5 m7-5. Then, enlist their other four legged friends, the Added Sixths: M6 m6. Then alter them to M7+5 mM7. Extend them further to M79 m711 13-9.

    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?
    And their are quite a few other chord quality combinations stemming from the French Impressionists Ravel, Satie, et al... Creole Musicians in Early New Orleans were well versed in Classical Music. New Orleans, being ruled by Spain and then France, was deeply marked by these transitions of power and culture. You can predict which Diatonic Degrees in the Chord Progression of interest can be minor, major, diminished or augmented. In Jazz Harmony, you know that Jazz is not about Triads, but about Seventh Chords and the Upper Structures 9 11 13.

    Variations By Substitutions
    Blues is Blues, until it is cowed into Bird-Blues or Jazz-Blues by extensive 251'ing. The 12-Bar variations used in Jazz are filled with substitutions, as are all Jazz Standards. Jazz supports many chord substitutions. Not just Inversions, Extensions, and Alterations. ii-V-I's filled with 2m7-57's as a jazz style suspension where 4 leads to 3. The Substitutions of Common Upper Structures such as Dm6 = G79noroot = Bm7-5, CM7 = Em7 = Am7, Dm7 = FM7, G7 = Bm7-5. This works for extended chords, as well. CM79 = Em7... etc. The Diminished-Subs G7-9 = Bo7 = Do7 = Fo7 = Abo7, The Diminished-Dominant Subs G7 = Bb7 = Db7 = E7, then G7 = G#7 = B7 = D7 = F7

    Jerry Coker & Jamey Aebersold
    Then there are the numerous Modulation Schemes that can knock one out of the park, if done well. Every Jazz Musician, unless they have tenure, should bear a copy of Jerry Coker's little book, Improvising Jazz (1964), in their instrument case. It explains most of the above, and more, such as how to set up a jam session, and has 84 boiler-plate tunes, Jazz Standards, that illustrate the magic of Jazz Harmony very well. I've had my battered copy since 1970. Also, Jamey Aebersold Vol. No.76 How To Learn Tunes and Jerry Coker's Hearin' The Changes.

    Can Jazz Be Defined By It's Harmony? It's all about The Changes, But Attitude Helps
    Mix and match all of the above to get the basis for any Broadway Tune. Once you can analyse a Broadway tune, you know Jazz. Adding Swing is like throwing gasoline on the fire. Syncopation? That spice came from Ragtime. Throw it in. The Melody Line and Bass Line must fall into the Jazz Harmony outlined above. They will both jump out at you from the chords. It's all about The Changes. Jazz can be defined by its rhythm and harmony. The melody will follow if you have a trained ear and know the tradition from exposure to artists and knowledge of the Jazz Era.

    The Jazz Window... A View From A Moving Train
    I consider the Jazz Era, with the bulk of Jazz Standards, to be "The First Half Of The 20th Century". That's because of the seat I had on the train. You may be sitting in a different car. Of course there are many outliers; songs that came before and after. But look at a graph, and you will see the big picture, the Bell Curve, The Hump and its Tails. A picture is worth a thousand tunes.

    Jazz Is Not Dead... It's Just No Longer In The Media
    The word "Jazz" has become tired and misused and abused. I listen to the jazz radio station in Toronto, but they play things that I have trouble calling Jazz. Take the Apres-Ski Lounge, the Hipster Restaurants, even Malls and Elevators... Everything is Jazz now. Jazz Night! Go to the Jazz Festival...! Often Jazz is optional or as defined by artistics who are not musicians. They may have no Jazz at all!

    Jazz Camps
    In the end, there are many Jazz Camps... Compare Miles Davis' Bitches Brew to Jack Teagarden or Eddie Condon. Stanley Clark to Ray Brown. New Orleans Jazz to Jazz-Rock-Fusion. Free-Form Jazz Improv? Playin' The Changes vs Scales & Modes. The Jazz Harmony that dominated the First Half Of The 20th Century did not include Modal Harmony. Bebop was the fork in the Jazz Road.

    The Forgotten Art Of Being Specific
    So, we must be very specific in "Talking Jazz". Otherwise, argument ensues. The trouble stems from using the word "Jazz" to describe Jazz. The Jazz of Coleman Hawkins and Louis Armstrong has no other name. Early Jazz? Vintage Jazz? Not good enough. I suggest that when we say "Jazz", we should mean that Jazz Music using Traditional Jazz Harmony as outlined by Jerry Coker, Jerry Aebersold, et al, and used by the composer-lyricist teams, arrangers and artists that wrote the Authentic Jazz Standards before the 70's. Even decade differentiation can be confusing, because of Era Overlap.

    Relevant But Relative
    Is it the phrase, "Jazz Standard" that is not clear? Someone born in the 90's may think of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew album when they hear you say "Jazz Standard". Someone born in 1930 hears "Body And Soul". Both are right, of course, but they will be in disagreement.

    Jazz was a living music. It changed every week. Today, it barely lives, except in museums. Most everyone who exemplified Jazz is dead. We Jazz-Bo's today, are for the most part, hobbyists. Retro-Musicians. The Jazz Radio Stations are filled with retro-versions of Jazz Standards. Whether it is a Jazz Standard is relative to the age of the listener.

    What Jazz? Which Jazz?
    When a thread like this (and a good one, I might add - it's all grist for the mill, eh?) talks of Jazz Standards, it must be more specific. The Jazz of Jelly Roll Morton? Fats Waller? Art Tatum? Count Basie? Wes Montgomery? Miles Davis? Ornette Coleman? John McLaughlin?

    The Many Lives Of Jazz 1890-?
    From its mysterious origins in the gas lit parishes of New Orleans, a Gumbo of ideas from Africa, even Spain and France, and assembled by Creoles before 1890, to the head-wound of Bebop in 1940, the car-crash of the Beatles in 1964 and the strange new-life rejuvenation offered by the shock of electronics and the bubbling Bitches Brew in 1970, followed quickly by a seventies pop-jazz resurrection at the hand of the CTI Record Label and its mixed stable of Jazz artists and Classical arrangers. Today, Jazz is mostly non-existent, except for new recordings of Retro-Jazz. The only jazz musicians making a living today are those who teach "how they used to do it". Professors in Art Museums.

    May Your Jazz Go With You...
    Last edited by StringNavigator; 04-11-2021 at 02:32 PM.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #252

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    Quote Originally Posted by StringNavigator
    When a thread like this (and a good one, I might add - it's all grist for the mill, eh?) talks of Jazz Standards, it must be more specific. The Jazz of Jelly Roll Morton? Fats Waller? Art Tatum? Count Basie? Wes Montgomery? Miles Davis? Ornette Coleman? John McLaughlin?
    I thought we were talking about the songs that jazz musicians play and improvise upon, most of which are not themselves jazz.
    Last edited by Litterick; 04-11-2021 at 04:40 PM.

  4. #253

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    I thought we were talking about the songs that jazz musicians play and improvise upon, most of which are not themselves jazz.
    I'm going on Post No.1, the post by the OP Tal_175

    He said, "This is more a history question perhaps. Why is it that the tradition of basing jazz tunes on contemporary popular music ended after 20's and 30's? I get that jazz lost interest in being the music of the dance halls (or may be the other way around*), but bebop and hard bop players (and beyond) continued to play these standards. It seems like since the end of the bebop era, jazz musicians have been expected to write their own originals and play the standards more out of respect for tradition. Of course new standards were added after the 30's but they are almost always originals of jazz greats like Giant Steps, So What or Full House, not popular music of the time."

    The second part of his post is not something I enjoy addressing or discussing, as I don't see Smells like teen spirit or Another brick in the wall or Creep as Jazz or Bebop. The harmony is incompatible. The use of the beats is also conflicting. Up Up And Away and Windy can easily be converted to the Jazz-Pop Style, and, of course, they were. Even "A Day In The Life" was artistically open enough to be realised in the Jazz World, but with a slight Latin rhythm. However, I could not call it a Jazz Standard. Some of Stevie Wonder's songs are very Jazz like, harmonically, and lend themselves to a Jazz rendition. If enough Jazz Musicians like it, it becomes a Jazz Standard, at least in the Real Book. And why not? I can't visualize expanding the jazz audience by Jazzifying Rock, unless it's Jazz-Rock, or Jazz-Rock Fusion. Even then, that audience would have to be a Jazz-Rock audience, or a Jazz-Rock-Fusion audience.

    It's fine with me for musicians to experiment as they please, and have fun with it. I play Rock and I play Jazz. But they rarely meet. I don't play Jazz on bass guitar and I don't play Rock on double bass. On banjo, I play niche tunes and on archtop guitar I prefer Big Band, Vintage Jazz, Pop-Jazz, Jazz-Blues... I guess I should have explained my rationale in basing my opinions on the instruments I play. Clarinet players have their repertoire, Fender Stratocaster players have theirs.

    Like George Costanza said, "Jerry, my worlds are colliding!" Perhaps the answer to the OP's question is that the reason we have not seen much of this, is a result of the harmonic and rhythmic incompatibility between completed Rock Hit Songs and Jazz, thus their small possibility of being converted into a Jazz Standard. Thus, a technical hitch rather than an artistic one. I could never envision Milt Jackson playing a Rock song like Teen Spirit in a Jazz style. A lot of money goes into music production, so it's not like mixing genres in the basement. Reputations are on the line in the professional world and the absurd quickly gets weeded out.

    Last edited by StringNavigator; 04-11-2021 at 05:37 PM.

  5. #254

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C
    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

    I think is more fun that way?

    Learn songs you like. Play them with like spirits. Teen spirits even...

  6. #255

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    Bye Bye Blackbird, Hello Blackbird
    I can find great videos of accordionists playing "Smoke On The Water". Is it Rock? Certainly not. Do I like it? In a perverse sense, yes, I do. How about AC/DC on clarinet? Why not Rock? Because it's Acker - not Angus. A Jazz Style musician can play Paul McCartney's "Blackbird" and we can appreciate it. Would it be a Jazz Standard? I could not fully agree with that. A cross-over recording, maybe, from Pop or Folk, but done in a Jazz Style. It's interesting, and fun to arrange, but it could never be considered a Jazz Standard. It is certainly a Pop Standard, regardless of the arrangement style, at least according to editors selling sheet music and with radio disc-jockeys pattering their drivel. I like Simon & Garfunkel, but as a pop-folk duo, not warmed up as a Jazz Standard. Jazz is so much a Southern US style, a Broadway Show Tune, a swinging pop-vocal, but it doesn't travel easily into every genre.

    Do-Si-Do, Swing Your Partner To And Fro
    A lot of music deemed to be "Jazz" does exist. But can you whistle the melody? Can you and your wife dance to it? Those two criteria were the hallmarks of Jazz in the 1920's. Even the Jazz of the 1920's was markedly different from the Jazz of the 1940's. It was becoming a listener's music. Try selling a Jazz-Funk album to your great-grandparents.

    Jazz Is A Four Letter Word
    Why do we call music of 2021 "Jazz"? After 120 years, hyphens should be mandatory, otherwise we don't know what we're disagreeing about. You could say something is a Jazz-Funk Standard, or a Rock And Roll Standard. But the term, "Jazz Standard" refers to Cole Porter, Gershwin or Hoagy Carmichael. There are Bebop Standards. To call them Jazz Standards would be less than honest, unless you are referring to the original music being used as a contrafact. We need to stop using the term "Jazz". It is far too broad. And it is misused by marketers. Sounds great, though. Even airline companies claim it, now.

    Living In The Past, Darkly
    Why are there no new Jazz Standards? Because that era has passed. That train has left the station. We're like children crying to our mother's at the amusement park that the ride is over and done and it's time to go home. It's time Gentlemen, Please...! Jazz is dead. Rock And Roll is dead. Jump-Blues is dead. Ragtime is dead. Soul is dead. Dead, dead, dead...

    I Accept Today's Reality
    My happiest moments are when I wake up and my agenda is cleared so I can play a Jazz Standard on one of my instruments. It's a hobby, it's Retro, it's probably from Broadway and anywhere between 1890 and 1964. However, it could be an outlier, also. But I accept the fact that there will be no more Jazz Standards, unless someone copies the past and comes up with a new combination of chords that is good enough to be a Standard and can be passed off as Jazz. But the Business Plan exhibits poor prospects.

    Death By A Thousand Cuts
    People learned to play Jazz from the radio, not in a college.
    Although educated in harmony and sight-reading as children by music teachers, most of the Jazz masters taught themselves to play Jazz.
    Colleges now prefer Scalar-Modal Improv to composing lines on changes. Goodbye Hawk!
    Economics blasted the Big Bands out of the water.
    People stopped dancing together and stopped being charmed by lyrics.
    Television changed everything. Big Bands don't move around very much.
    Accompaniment and melody lost out to long choruses of virtuoso soloing... fastest...highest...
    The Masters Of The Media have found other ways of making money.
    Computers now monitor new songs to detect plagiarism and prove lawsuits, causing songwriters to abandon melody for percussive rhythms and warbling Belly Button Girls.
    Family disintegration led to the loss of traditional ways.
    The media chose to indoctrinate youth into rebelling against their parents' music.
    Internet and computer games preclude children from advancing musically.
    Jazz is a hold-over from The Greatest Generation That Ever Lived. It's not really in us like it was in them.
    The music of our era is certainly not Jazz. It may not even be music.
    Last edited by StringNavigator; 04-11-2021 at 07:42 PM.

  7. #256

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    Good idea to bring up the OP.

    Maybe it's no longer based on pop music because the form of pop music isn't as codified at it was coming from tin pan alley.

    Many pop songs are now written by the performer as opposed to someone sitting in tin pan alley.

  8. #257

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    Many pop songs are not so much written as produced. Finding something on which to improvise behind all the production is not easy.