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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome to the December 2020 Beginner's and Intermediate TOTM! The tune I have chosen for this month is 'I Can't Get Started'. It dates back to 1936 when it first appeared as part of that year's Ziegfield Follies. The melody was written by Vernon Duke and the lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It was first performed by Bob Hope, (believe it or not!), who sang it to Eve Arden. In the song he goes through a list of his many spectacular achievements, but laments that these have made absolutely no impression on Arden - the object of his affection. In the show the song was played for laughs with Arden making wisecracks during Hope's performance. Many of the achievements Hope sang about in the song were very specific to the era of the 30s. This might explain why the song is not performed more often, (the vocal in particular), and it has now become one of the less often played jazz standards. This is a pity because it is such a beautiful melody.

I have attached charts for C, Bb, and Eb, and also found that there are quite a few backing tracks available online.

'I Can't Get Started' was very popular with swing and bop horn players. Lester Young recorded it multiple times, and there are also fantastic versions from Bird, Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, and Stan Getz - to name just a few!

Billie Holiday - featuring Lester Young
Lester Young and Nat King Cole
Charlie Parker
Ella Fitzgerald
Sonny Rollins
Cannonball Adderley
Cannonball Adderley "I Cant Get Started"
Stan Getz
Stan Getz Quartet - I Can't Get Started(1987)

This tune is one of my favourites so I am really looking forward to hearing your takes. Even though it is the Beginners and Intermediate TOTM it is always great to hear versions from our Expert and Pro colleagues, so please feel free to join in!

Bill
 

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Bill, thanks a lot for picking up the hosting task for this month and preparing this thread. :)

I've added this month thread to the B&I TOTM index thread:
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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An oldie but greatie! I love it Bill, phenomenal choice - happy to be able to give this one a shot.
 

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Here is a great tenor version by Scott Hamilton:


And for the alto players the great Vincent Herring:

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here is a great tenor version by Scott Hamilton:

And for the alto players the great Vincent Herring:
Thanks for sharing those two amazing performances with us Peter! I hadn't seen either of them previously. It is almost like seeing modern reincarnations of Prez and Bird in their approaches to the tune.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great choice for this month's TOTM. Looking through the versions on my iTunes, I found this lovely recording by Bobby Jaspar.

Maybe this would be a good performance for me to transcribe.

Rhys
That is a beautiful version Rhys, thanks for sharing it with us - I'd love to hear your take on it as well!

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fantastic version Saxy! Wonderful tone and feel all the way through. I'm usually not the biggest fan of Aebersold backing tracks but that one is a beauty - I too love the sound of the B3! I also like the way you locked in on the backing and surfed the swells in intensity. Great stuff!

Bill
 

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Fantastic version Saxy! Wonderful tone and feel all the way through. I'm usually not the biggest fan of Aebersold backing tracks but that one is a beauty - I too love the sound of the B3! I also like the way you locked in on the backing and surfed the swells in intensity. Great stuff!

Bill
Thanks for listening and for your nice comments. I'm happy that you liked it.
My love of playing tenor with a B3 started in about 1957 (when I was 14 and had been playing about 2 years or so). My mom and dad took me to a local tavern where they knew the guys playing in a B3 trio and persuaded them to let me sit in. It was my first "public performance" - I played Satin Doll and remember being really nervous, but also remember feeling that the B3 seemed to provide me with a blanket of comfort.
 
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