Soul Stream

Jazz Standards you never get tired of

78 posts in this topic

1 minute ago, jcam_44 said:

My favorite standard though lesser known is Never Let Me Go. 
 

 

Do you mean the Johnny Ace song that Stanley and Shirley recorded?

 

MG

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Stanley did it. It’s a Jay Livingston song I believe. I know Roy Hargrove was playing it regularly. 

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31 minutes ago, jcam_44 said:

Stanley did it. It’s a Jay Livingston song I believe. I know Roy Hargrove was playing it regularly. 

According to the credits on the Johnny Ace and Stanley Turrentine recordings, it was written by Joe Scott, who ran the band at Peacock Records for about thirty years and wrote scores of R&B songs. Probably some Gospel songs, too, though I can't call any to mind.

Jay Livingstone wrote a song called 'Never let me go' for a 1956 film called 'The scarlet hour', but that has to be a different song because it was two years after Johnny Ace was on the R&B charts with the Joe Scott song.

MG

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Who else has recorded it? The version on the Turrentine album of the same name is incredible, in line with the rest of that, severely underrated, album.

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I never tire of "Stella by Starlight" or "All of Me" (and one that should be a standard, Armstrong's song based on "All of Me"--"Someday You'll be Sorry.")

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Charles McPherson, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Stacy Kent, I think I have a recording of Masabumi Kikuchi, Sam Yahel, I think Jimmy Greene, Silvano Monasterios, Zaid Nasser on the stroller album… that’s all I can think of right now. I’d say for me the McPherson is the quintessential version followed by Roy at the Village Vanguard that was on the set up on wbgo/npr years ago where Roy actually sings it. 

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1 hour ago, jcam_44 said:

My favorite standard though lesser known is Never Let Me Go. 
 

 

Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro is a great fan of the Great American Songbook and used "Never Let Me Go" as a book title.

As for me, I love the changes of "All the Things You Are", "Body and Soul" and "Cherokee".

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I don't know of any song that can't be tainted (or worse) by a bad or indifferent or just....unaware performance. I don't care if it's vocal or instrumental,

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As well as Stanley Turrentine, I have versions of the Joe Scott song by:

Aretha Franklin;

Al Smith (with Jaws & Shirley);

Houston Person - three recordings from '68, '82 and '17; and

Hank Crawford.

(I've only searched among the albums I've ripped to my hard drive.)

Wikipedia lists:

Luther Vandross;

Roy Hamilton;

Bob Dylan;

John Martyn; and

Katie Webster.

MG

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One that I never want to hear again, not as an instrumental, is "Lush Life." As an instrumental it seems to go on forever.

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3 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

This latest came out of a blog / Twitter post by Ethan Iverson to the effect that jazz standards should be the core curriculum for jazz education, which was then attacked by Phil Freeman of the Burning Ambulance blog and record label. The usual dull stuff, with the usual predetermined sides.

Yeah, I kinda don't think that "standards" should be the "core curriculum". The core curriculum should be understanding of what it means to be an improvisor, period. And then - how can you improvise, how will you improvise, and then what materials will you choose to improvise with?

But they should be presented, and goddamit, with lyrics and context. Not just vehicles to play changes with. Otherwise, your not teaching jazz, imo, you're just teaching a skill set to get you into the machine. More cogs, please? No, please don't do that.That shit is past tired and right now is pretty much a living death.

But - lyrics matter. As do overall structures, verses, etc. Too many (FAR) too many instrumentalists today either act like they don't even know the song has lyrics that actuallu tell a story, or else...they really DON'T know.

And songs...I am officially tired of songs. But still, a good song meaningfully presented...yeah, that's ok.

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13 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

One that I never want to hear again, not as an instrumental, is "Lush Life."

I find there's something somewhat decadent (in the French literature sense) about all Strayorn's material - and Duke's song, too.

MG

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38 minutes ago, BillF said:

Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro is a great fan of the Great American Songbook and used "Never Let Me Go" as a book title.

I had never made that connection!

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Actually the whole "Thelonious Monk Songbook" .... and non Monk="Goodbye" (Gordon Jenkins) ....

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32 minutes ago, The Magnificent Goldberg said:

I find there's something somewhat decadent (in the French literature sense) about all Strayorn's material - and Duke's song, too.

MG

It's the late Strayhorn compositions, like "Upper Manhattan Medical Group" and "Intimacy of the Blues" that most appeal to me.

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6 hours ago, JSngry said:

Yeah, I kinda don't think that "standards" should be the "core curriculum". The core curriculum should be understanding of what it means to be an improvisor, period. And then - how can you improvise, how will you improvise, and then what materials will you choose to improvise with?

But they should be presented, and goddamit, with lyrics and context. Not just vehicles to play changes with. Otherwise, your not teaching jazz, imo, you're just teaching a skill set to get you into the machine. More cogs, please? No, please don't do that.That shit is past tired and right now is pretty much a living death.

But - lyrics matter. As do overall structures, verses, etc. Too many (FAR) too many instrumentalists today either act like they don't even know the song has lyrics that actuallu tell a story, or else...they really DON'T know.

And songs...I am officially tired of songs. But still, a good song meaningfully presented...yeah, that's ok.

I'd ay I'm pretty much on the same page here (only I've never really learned to improvise much myself), only I'd add learn blues and/or the folk of your own folks before standards,

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6 hours ago, JSngry said:

But - lyrics matter. As do overall structures, verses, etc. Too many (FAR) too many instrumentalists today either act like they don't even know the song has lyrics that actuallu tell a story, or else...they really DON'T know.

And songs...I am officially tired of songs. But still, a good song meaningfully presented...yeah, that's ok.

I'm always surprised at how rarely this approach is audibly adopted, not just for old "Standards" (capital S) but also by groups or players like The Bad Plus (whose Mr. Iverson started all this) or Vijay Iyer when they pick new tunes by Nirvana or Radiohead or whoever, and then just treat them as a bunch of chord changes, but with updated harmonies.

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"I Remember Clifford"..  One of the greatest "love" songs ever composed.  Gets me every time.

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People like Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Vernon Duke, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and others were great, trained composers. Their songs came from full length musicals which contained full music scores for orchestra.. Did you know that Cole Porter wrote a Ballet that premiered in Paris the same night as Milhaud's "Creation of the World"?

If jazz musicians stop playing songs that people still know from musicals and movies, how is the listener going to be able to understand the musicians' improvisations?

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25 minutes ago, sgcim said:

People like Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Vernon Duke, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and others were great, trained composers. Their songs came from full length musicals which contained full music scores for orchestra.. Did you know that Cole Porter wrote a Ballet that premiered in Paris the same night as Milhaud's "Creation of the World"?

If jazz musicians stop playing songs that people still know from musicals and movies, how is the listener going to be able to understand the musicians' improvisations?

How many people know those tunes now.  Make more sense to play current tunes from movies or musicals.

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If jazz musicians keep playing songs that people no longer know from musicals and movies, how is the listener going to be able to understand the musicians' improvisations?

FOr that matter...if jazz musicians are playing songs that they never knew from musicals and movies, how are they going to be able to understand what the hell they're doing, never mind why they're doing it?

 

Ever notice how the younger the players and the older the sound the higher the odds of both cluelessness and ticket prices? To say nothing of wardrobe choices that make coggish replacementality more likely?

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