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Discussion Starter #1
To my shame for some reason I've never noticed this great Jazz standard to this day. I don't know - I seem to know most standard Jazz repertoire from the Golden Age of Jazz but once in awhile I stumble upon a tune that for some reason went unnoticed for me.

But wait... it's not so simple with this title and I wonder why it is so underrated in general? If you go to jazzstandards.com which is pretty accurate in ranking most standard Jazz tunes in terms of popularity and find 'I'll Close My Eyes' you'll see that it's given a miserable rank #865 out of 1000!
Basically if something is past first 300 on that site it normally means that a tune is out of interest to the major Jazz performers/audience.
So why is that?

I was browsing YT for some trumpet info and found a video by a guy who covered a wonderful Blue Mitchell's solo on this tune. I post a link to the master's take himself at the bottom.
You can look for a transcription on the Web since this solo seems to be very popular among trumpet players (I think there is no reason not playing it on saxophone).

However - why wasn't this beautiful song covered much and often by major Jazz figures? It's mentioned elsewhere that a few other greats including Kenny Burrell, Cannonball and just a few others did a version but the number of artists covering this song is completely in line with the rank given by jazzstandards.com

From the harmonic point of view it's basically a slowly moving cycle of 5th vehicle with a couple of nice simple twists. As I already mentioned and you would probably agree - the theme itself is a nice lyrical melody.
So why not to play it more often?

 

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I’ve played this tune with an older pianist who’s one of those guys who seems he knows every old tune ever written.
The first 8 bars are like some other tunes, Weaver of Dreams, There’ll Never Be Another You, etc.
 

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I wouldn't worry about where it's ranked or how popular or well known it is. It's a nice melody and if you like it, then play it. Sometimes it's actually an advantage to play something that hasn't been played a lot. The audience will hear something new (to them). To try and answer your question, maybe it's a bit too subtle to have attained widespread attention, even in the jazz community. Bottom line though is I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
JL - you are right. Also I agree with whaler that from the motivic point of view this song is very similar to a number of standards with a couple of short kick-off notes that syncopate into the next measure with a long note value giving the song a lyrical and as you JL noted 'subtle' character.
Anyway I confess I posted this on a whim being under positive impression of Blue Mitchell's version.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After scrolling down through YouTube pages I found another version of this classic from the associated brasswind/woodwind performers and it's great.
So it's Dizzy Reece on trumpet and Hank Mobley on sax.
The rhythm section is also top men (Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Art Taylor).

 
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