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Discussion Starter #1
Call me an old fart, but there are so many young cats- 25 on down, that don't know any tunes. A lot of them play with some good bands but for me I can hear holes in their playing. It seems like a lot of the younger generation's jazz ed starts with Wayne Shorter and nothing before. Some of them have so much talent but to the educated ear they're missing a big chunk of it. I'm not saying you need to know every tune and every record but for me there is a certain amount of homework that needs to be done. You can hear that cats like Miguel Zenon, Mark Turner, Brad Meldau, Jeremy Pelt did their home work. Some of these cats coming up after them are using Mark Turner as a starting point and not checking out Trane, Warne Marsh, and forget about somebody checking out Prez. I'm Old Fashioned I guess.
 

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I'm not one of those cats that has every record but Prez is a good example. His early stuff with Basie (Decca, I think) check out Every Tub- his solo on the bridge starts w/ what was later Ornitholgy. Tunes like Tickle Toe. He was heavily influenced by Hershal Evans and you can hear that he doesn't get that light sound to a little later. Then tunes like Sometimes i'm Happy from the Keystone sessions. You can hear his influence on Dex on those early Savoy dates- Dexter's Deck, Dexter Rides again. Then check out Trane w/ Johnny Hodges band ( kind of rare) he sounds a lot like Dex and Jacquet. Then check out how Mark Turner uses Trane and Warne Marsh who was influenced by Prez via Tristano. Plus all his other influences and makes his own voice. Chris Potter and Josh Redman both checked out a lot of Sonny Rollins and Trane and have very different personal sounds. add Branford to that too. What about the 2 most famous jazz solos in Jazz history- Hawkins Body and Soul, Jacquet's Flying Home, and in third Moody's Mood for Love. How many young cats have even heard these solos? I'm sure they have heard Branford's Crazy People's Music (one of my favorites too!)
 

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i barely know any tunes on sax, or even from memory when i try... I can barely read my real book. I'm young, around 25... I know plenty of tunes (50% of standards maybe) I just don't remember that I know them, but can often recognize them if I heard it being played... but to master each one on sax is not something I have done. Fortunately I have heard Hawkins' Body and Soul, and Jacquet's Flying Home. :D
 

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How about these recordings as sort of a Standard's starting point?
-Charlie Parker with Strings
-Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers
-Phil Woods' American Songbook Album
-Kim Richmond's "Ballads"

AND,
By all means listen to everything you can by Ella Fitzgerald so that you can learn what the songs are about... You'll also pick up some great ideas about phrasing that can be applied to any instrument.
 

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jrvinson45 said:
How about these recordings as sort of a Standard's starting point?
-Charlie Parker with Strings
-Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers
-Phil Woods' American Songbook Album
-Kim Richmond's "Ballads"

AND,
By all means listen to everything you can by Ella Fitzgerald so that you can learn what the songs are about... You'll also pick up some great ideas about phrasing that can be applied to any instrument.
I think I learned the words to most of the standards I know from listening to the 'Songbooks' series of Ella's--not to mention that they're all great arrangements.
 

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Another GREAT recording to get some tunes in your head is Carmen McRae's "Carmen Sings Monk".
 

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I understand what you're saying and where you're coming from and can very much agree with you.

Please ask yourself this. Is it that these kids don't know any tunes or just the tunes YOU want them to know? Sure, there's the standard repertoire (and I think everyone should check out the list of 100 tunes everyone should know from Jazz Improv's Coltrane issue, I'm using it to fill any holes in my knowledge).

Here is my caveat though.

I have been to plenty of sessions with "old timers" grumbling about playing these tunes (when we've spent most of the night playing they're requests), yet, call something like A Night in Tunisia or some Monk and it goes back to the same grumbling "c'mon, don't you guys know any tunes?"

True story. I've even been to a few where "Have you met Miss Jones" is too modern.

So, that is to say. It's a two way street. It's our responsibility to try and bring history into the playing. But it's the responsibility of the legends to keep moving ahead as well. Or at least stay open to it. It's a real big turn off to jazz in general when every idea on the band stand is 70 years old. We are trying to make jazz relevant to us. It's already relevant to you.

And remember, the music doesn't owe any of us a thing.

I mean this with the highest respect.
 
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