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jazz standards we dont like


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I love all those tunes.

We've been down this road before, and I still think it has more to do with the specific interpretation and not the tune itself. I've heard corny/lame versions of many of these and other standards, but I don't write off the tune. I might write off the particular performance, though.

Just when I think I'm tired of a specific standard I discover a version that breathes new life into it. I don't want to be close-minded about any tune until I hear what the player has to say.

EDIT: I also think my perspective comes from being a player. I always feel like there is the undiscovered angle that I haven't yet thought of, so I tend to blame my own lack of creativity before the tune itself.

Edited by Free For All
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I love all those tunes.

We've been down this road before, and I still think it has more to do with the specific interpretation and not the tune itself. I've heard corny/lame versions of many of these and other standards, but I don't write off the tune. I might write off the particular performance, though.

Just when I think I'm tired of a specific standard I discover a version that breathes new life into it. I don't want to be close-minded about any tune until I here what the player has to say.

It's all good (most of the time). :g

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Satin Doll...

That one is a magnificent little composition for orchestra that loses something essential when reduced to a blowing vehicle.

It also helps none that almost everybody plays it just a little faster than Duke did. But Duke's tempo really allowed for the inner sax voicings (which are really pretty off-the-wall - and Gonsalves is playing lead!) to speak, and if you don't have those in there, why bother? Or so they seem to think...

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow :bad:

Oh come on... each and any Art Pepper version of this was great! There are some players that can even make something out of "Emily"...

I don't really dislike any particular standards, I think I'm with Free for All on this... much of it depends on the context, the musician, the treatment, the blowing... Hawkins on "Night and Day" (Keynote) - no one can hate that, for instance, it's marvellous! And then, in a live setting, some old and wrought out standard can suddenly become alive again, if it's presented honest and comes across to you as a true expression of what the musicians feel right at that moment... I dislike the Beatles tune "Yesterday" quite a lot, but when Shirley Horn did her Kern/Lennon Yesterdays/Yesterday medley in concert, it was terrific!

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Satin Doll -- though I can imagine that, given McCoy Tyner's harmonic predilictions, his version of it on Impulse (which I've somehow never heard) might solve that ditty's inherent problems by upping the ante on them. Red Garland, in his way, might have done likewise.

The greatest version I have ever heard was by Sun Ra and the Arkestra, in a concert at the Detroit Art Museum close to Halloween, 1980. It was a lightly swinging, highly appealing version, with beautiful short solos. It was a beautiful, subtle. and very memorable arrangement. Everyone in the audience seemed to be grinning with delight, as one, as the song ended.

I wonder if that concert is out there to be downloaded or purchased somewhere.

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jitterbug waltz

One of my favorites (to each his own, as they say). To me it has a certain magic... sounds easy in a way, but it's a bitch (for me, at least) to play. Most of the renditions I've heard are relatively modern (not sure what year Waller wrote it, but I know I haven't heard many older versions). The canadian guitarist Reg Schwager recorded it in the 80's on a record called "Resonance", and that version completely knocked me out.

I'm basically with Free For All, although there are a couple mentioned so far that I don't exactly "love".

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There are some players that can even make something out of "Emily"...

Carl Fontana :wub:

Call me biased, but for me, he put that tune on the map! Paul, I know you have the recording of him at the Colorado Jazz Party where he plays Emily in a quartet setting! Terrific.

I listened to my copy so much that the Dick Gibson's intro alone is deeply ingrained in my memory.

"and now, Carl Fontana"

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jitterbug waltz

One of my favorites (to each his own, as they say). To me it has a certain magic... sounds easy in a way, but it's a bitch (for me, at least) to play. Most of the renditions I've heard are relatively modern (not sure what year Waller wrote it, but I know I haven't heard many older versions). The canadian guitarist Reg Schwager recorded it in the 80's on a record called "Resonance", and that version completely knocked me out.

I'm basically with Free For All, although there are a couple mentioned so far that I don't exactly "love".

I'd agree except for Dolphy's version which is brilliant.

'Summertime' for me, not that I dislike more that I don't want to hear it done again. Miles and Gil and Booker T have nailed it for me and that's enough

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Satin Doll...

Satin Doll was one of my mom's very favorite tunes, so it always leads me to good memories when I hear it. :)

But C-Jam Blues is an Ellington tune I could certainly do without. (Or at least when small combos perform it.)

My other two least favorite standards are...

Autumn Leaves

How High The Moon

And although it pains me to say it, when I'm out and about I'm starting to get more and more tired of hearing Monk tunes. I think there ought to be a two-year moratorium on...

Brilliant Corners

Epistrophy

Evidence

Well, You Needn't

And maybe everything Monk wrote. Give it a rest for a while, people.

Edited by Rooster_Ties
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Don't forget Albert Ayler's version of "Summertime"! Gives me goosebumps each time I play it!

As for "Autumn Leaves": when I saw Tom Harrell (see other thread in respective forum), he did it, and it was (together with "Darn that Dream") the definite highlight of the evening, a terrific, deeply felt version, a very beautiful moment of my life that was, when he played it... no way to just "have had it"!

Also I enjoyed the version Jacky Terrasson did putting the "Chameloen" bassline below it (on "Alive" on Blue Note - funny thing was I saw Terrasson, he didn't play it, but later the same night at the same festival, the Ahmad Jamal/George Coleman Quartet did it as an encore and used... guess what? The "Chameleon" bassline!)

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I've had it with My Funny Valentine. Maybe it's overexposure. Maybe it's just what Hot Ptah said. But whatever, I don't need to ever hear it again.

What really gets me is when a group begins "My Funny Valentine" or "Round Midnight" and kicks off a glacially slow tempo, and then from their demeanor you can tell that they think that they are incredibly cool and doing something just fantastic simply because they are playing the melody.

It is as if they think that just running through the head of either song entitles them to immediate induction into Jazz Valhalla.

It usually goes way downhill from there, as each solo is interminably long and dull, with few ideas--the musicians seem to think that merely because they are playing these two songs, that anything they play will be infused with genius by association. I have witnessed live performances by famous national groups like this, on both songs.

Meanwhile, I am trying to keep from getting whiplash as my head is snapping back as I lurch out of a deep sleep several times throughout their renditions.

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I don't know if this is really considered a standard, but I really can't stomach 'Sunny'. No matter who plays it, I just think it's a corny tune. Maybe because it was a huge European hit for 70s disco group Boney M and I'm mostly familiar with that version.. just can't help but dislike that tune.

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