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Dan Gould

BFT Tracking - Originals vs Standards

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Thinking about my *awesome* BFT planned for January and I am wondering how both compilers and participants view the issue of using originals vs standards.

Standards allow people to feel good to ID a tune (sometimes, and I notice a lot of hardbop "standards" just frustrate people. Okay, they frustrate me.)

Of course if your BFT is less mainstream and more "out" originals are inevitable.

I know some prefer standards on new CDs by unknowns, to judge how they handle the repertoire. 

So what do you few guys think?

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Has there ever been a BFT of just the same standard played by different artists/groups? 

I like a mix of both, but also extremes in terms of either/or, but I'm relatively new to jazz so probably feel differently than grizzled jazz vets. 

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21 minutes ago, Dub Modal said:

Has there ever been a BFT of just the same standard played by different artists/groups? 

 

An interesting idea no one has done before - though the current version of my next effort does include the same standard by two artists. I fear that people will prefer the "wrong" one from my perspective. ;)

I recall one BFT by MartyJazz - my former south Florida neighbor - who I think selected all originals based on recognizable standards (whatever the heck those are called) or else he chose all originals based on the same standard?  Can't recall, but we've never had a single BFT composed of the same song.

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As a listener, my focus is always more on IDing the players.  That and the fact that the iPod has done tremendous damage to my memory for song titles, I don't really consider standards-vs.-originals.  Heck, it all mostly boils down to V-I, anyway.

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I don't give a damn, really. Just make it good. That's the only "standard" in which I am interested.

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My goal in doing a BFT is to share some music that I like.  Surprising and hopefully interesting, but it always starts with something that I like.  Since I tend to like standards and melodicism, that's largely what you'll encounter in my BFT.   

It's a different experience for the BFT listener, since they're going into it cold.  It's very possible they'll have a different reaction than if they knew the album and/or artist, because they lack a preconception or frame of reference.  Heck, I sometimes have a different reaction from one listening to the next.

I do find too many originals to be tiring and somewhat boring.  In my current BFT, track 7 is someone doing Herbie Mann's "Comin' Home Baby."  I imagine that if I were listening to the BFT cold, my ears would perk up, as in "Hey!  I know that song!"

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Comin' Home Baby is a BenTucker original.

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I like standards very much, but they have hardly played a role in the two Blindfold Tests I have done.  The first had none at all, unless one counts Bob Dylan's "Cold Irons Bound," and the second had just one standard: "Little Girl Blue."

The originals often do something quite different, and I like to show the compositional abilities of those who are notable as composers but don't have the fame of Monk, Duke, Mingus, Silver, etc.

 

    

 

 

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I don't have a preference, and I use both liberally in my BFT's. 

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When I did my BFT here (eons ago), it was nearly all originals.

I mostly highlighted artists and songs I loved, and the whole idea was to both introduce (some) people to some artists and/or tracks they’d never heard (more obscure stuff). And to try and stump the experts, in terms of ID-ing particular artists/leaders.

The only standard I used was by Bill Evans, but it was from an entire disc of Bill Evans solo arrangements, performed by a classical pianist. The idea, was to see how people took to something like that, and if anyone though they performance was particularly ‘square’, or especially ‘lush’ to the point of somehow being odd or weird. I had not idea if anyone would take it that way, but I thought it was a different way to include something jazz-oriented that maybe some people might not consider legit.

Otherwise, it was all originals.

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Comin' Home Baby is a BenTucker original.

It's a tune that everyone knows.  That's why, in the context of this thread, it's not an "original."

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Comin' Home Baby is a BenTucker original.

 

4 minutes ago, mjzee said:

It's a tune that everyone knows.  That's why, in the context of this thread, it's not an "original."

 

It's a "jazz standard" which for my purposes as thread opener, is a standard.

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All "standards" were at one point originals.

Truthfully, if you put "Blue Bossa" next to "I Believe In You", my hunch is that you will get an exponentially higher recognition of the former than the latter, yet "I Believe In You" would never be classified as an "original". It's a "show tune" which in the limited vocabulary of musical discourse today should qualify it as a "standard". "Blue Bossa", yes, that's an original composition, composed by a jazz musician as a vehicle for improvisation. It's only a "standard" within the limited audience of jazz familiarity.

The differentiation is meaningless, really, as is the discussion. Pretty much any [piece of music that is not otherwise created is an "original". And something is only a "standard" with the boundaries of the audience at any given time.

So really, just bring good muic. Good forms, good designs, good ideas well presented with sincerity, insight, and integrity. That's ultimately all that matters.

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12 minutes ago, JSngry said:

 

 

So really, just bring good muic. Good forms, good designs, good ideas well presented with sincerity, insight, and integrity. That's ultimately all that matters.

Unless I decide to call the whole thing off.

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Yeah, there's the idea of the "jazz standard" (Monk instead of Gershwin, Silver instead of Porter)--and that is certainly a real thing.  And there are jazz compositions that should be jazz standards.

I guess any well-composed tune that is melodic and plain memorable is, or could be, a standard.

 

 

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But this also begs the question of how they become standards. On my playlists I had "Warm Canto" by Mal Waldron and "After the Rain" by Duke Pearson (Coltrane's tune of the same title is a standard), and I have to wonder why the are not standards.  

 

 

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"standard" really means nothing more than " more people are likely to already know it", and that's more about the audience than it is the music, including musicians. But where is the line between playing a tune that a lot of musicians like to play and a tune that a lot of people want to hear other people play?

Also, when does a standard become a cliche? Are you asking do I want to hear cliches?

It's silly. I just want to hear music that doesn't make me want to skip it, that's all. Substance, please. Then style, but only then.

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For the Blindfold Tests, we have deliberately tried not to have any rules or regulations as to what the presenter may include in their Blindfold Test. It really is up to the preference of the presenter. Who can tell what will appeal to the Blindfold Test listener? It seems to vary widely. 

Edited by Hot Ptah

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