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First off I want to thank Peter (mrpeebee) for reaching out to me to host this month. I will try to be very active in commenting and submitting my own recordings in order to keep it a lively thread.

This month’s tune is “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” which is a beautiful composition originally written for the 1950 musical “Guys and Dolls” by Frank Loesser. I absolutely LOVE this tune and am surprised to find out that a lot of people don’t know it, so hopefully those of you who don’t know it before this month will appreciate it and add it to your repertoire!

I’ve picked this tune to give everyone a chance to jump in – the melody isn’t too technically challenging, the harmony is pretty straight-forward (let me know if you have issues and I’ll help out!) and you can play it slow, medium, or up – it sounds great at any tempo!

One thing I’m a big fan of is taking a song and changing the key/time signature/style/etc. so if you want to take this tune and play it in a hip-hop/country and western/anything you want style, go for it!

Here is a dropbox link with lead sheets (C, Bb, and Eb) and 2 (swing) backing tracks.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v6kt8cyyx9ivm4x/AADeLkiGFGIXCZTyAFpBl07Pa?dl=0

There are some great recordings out there but here are some of my favorites to get you started:

Sonny Rollins (this recording is what first got me into this song, back in high school!)

Tierney Sutton (another version that really showed me how much I absolutely love this song)

Oscar Peterson Trio (this swings SO INCREDIBLY HARD...I quite literally hurt my neck sometimes when listening to this because I'm bopping along to it so hard)

Lea Salonga

Stan Kenton

Frank Sinatra

If you have other backing tracks or anything else related to this tune that you want to share, please go ahead! I might create a ballad backing for everyone to use but if someone else has one already please post it up.

I really look forward to an engaging month and hearing everyone's versions of this great classic!
 

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Chet Baker did an awesome version of this song:-

 

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Dave, what a wonderful tune! Thank you for choosing this for TOTM.
And what a fantastic rendition you play with your band!
It is the kind of tune I think most of us will know from having heard somewhere
but never got to actually play it. At least I had never played it. I had some spare time noodling
this noon when I saw your TOTM contribution pop up. So I immediatly took the opportunity to do some first
quick takes with my iPhone. Heck, it's a video so why not post the whole thing. Anyway, I am not much of a reader so I play it by ear.
Fortunately the melody is not too difficult and I think it is fun to improvise a solo on it. Okay I admit, way too many notes
and side roads. Two takes, both on a Conn 10M and with a Brilhart Streamline and a Brilhart Hard Rubber. I was in a smooth mood.

 

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Will do my best! A bit difficult getting time to get the horn out its case at the moment, let alone record, unfortunately. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dave, what a wonderful tune! Thank you for choosing this for TOTM.
And what a fantastic rendition you play with your band!
It is the kind of tune I think most of us will know from having heard somewhere
but never got to actually play it. At least I had never played it. I had some spare time noodling
this noon when I saw your TOTM contribution pop up. So I immediatly took the opportunity to do some first
quick takes with my iPhone. Heck, it's a video so why not post the whole thing. Anyway, I am not much of a reader so I play it by ear.
Fortunately the melody is not too difficult and I think it is fun to improvise a solo on it. Okay I admit, way too many notes
and side roads. Two takes, both on a Conn 10M and with a Brilhart Streamline and a Brilhart Hard Rubber. I was in a smooth mood.

Thanks for being the first to jump in!

1st video - LOVE the way you play the melody!! Such a beautiful relaxed sound and perfect vibrato for the style- that's IT! I know how you feel about playing a lot of notes sometimes...I feel that especially with backing tracks it's easy to fall into that trap because there's no one else to interact with or leave space for. You say you're not much of a reader and play by ear- well your ear is pretty darn good! Navigating the changes in such a musical way, always keeping the melody close by. Also great use of the range of the tenor- such great color down low to all the way up top. Such a pleasure to listen to!

2nd video - Once again the way you play the melody is top notch. Also love the use of the side middle D in both takes - adds a nice smooth sound/transition in the middle of the instrument. 2:30-2:31 is SO SWINGING!! I think you may have had a cup of coffee before this one - really digging into the more double-time stuff on this and getting after it with some fire!

Just great playing throughout. I hope you can post more this month!
 

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Thanks for the nice comments, Dave. And very helpful too.
And you are right about that coffee. How would anyone be able to play without it?
If I find time I will shure try to post some more. I think it would be fun to do a different backing style.
On youtube I also found a smooth funk version. Maybe I'll try that next.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the nice comments, Dave. And very helpful too.
And you are right about that coffee. How would anyone be able to play without it?
If I find time I will shure try to post some more. I think it would be fun to do a different backing style.
On youtube I also found a smooth funk version. Maybe I'll try that next.
I need to make a cup holder to hook onto my horn for my coffee!

Also could you post the link to that backing track here? I think some people (myself included) would be into using it.
 

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Well I figure I should kick things off! Here's a recording from a gig I did with my buddy's (Dan Rufolo) band a few years ago featuring the GREAT Billy Drummond on drums. Let me know what you think!

Absolutely love the change in feel between brushes and sticks by Mr Drummond, always love that swing feel where it constantly feels to be pushing the beat but doesn't speed up!

Also great to hear the audience appreciating the players!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Absolutely love the change in feel between brushes and sticks by Mr Drummond, always love that swing feel where it constantly feels to be pushing the beat but doesn't speed up!

Also great to hear the audience appreciating the players!
He is a MASTER!! And it was great to be in a performing space where they were really listening to us.

Sorry to hear about the time issues in getting to play - life gets in the way way too often, and doesn't seem to give us a break!
 

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Dave, what a wonderful tune! Thank you for choosing this for TOTM.
And what a fantastic rendition you play with your band!
It is the kind of tune I think most of us will know from having heard somewhere
but never got to actually play it. At least I had never played it. I had some spare time noodling
this noon when I saw your TOTM contribution pop up. So I immediatly took the opportunity to do some first
quick takes with my iPhone. Heck, it's a video so why not post the whole thing. Anyway, I am not much of a reader so I play it by ear.
Fortunately the melody is not too difficult and I think it is fun to improvise a solo on it. Okay I admit, way too many notes
and side roads. Two takes, both on a Conn 10M and with a Brilhart Streamline and a Brilhart Hard Rubber. I was in a smooth mood.

Really nice takes! I like that even with both pieces it's evident that the sound is yours. Nice and big and open, amd love the huge vib, bit great that its not overdone.
 

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Thank you MrPB. I wish I could come even close to his shadow.
 

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https://app.box.com/s/ankof7debouahba51jepr1wgoz2mnh2m

Thanks to Dave for putting this one together. A great tune and one I had the pleasure of playing on tour in the UK many years ago with the show (lead alto chair was a real blast to play) and now a chance to have a blow on Soprano over it......my tenor and alto both recently acquired SBA’s are with my tech in Wellington getting a good seeing to. If you can have a listen to this through headphones as I used no processing on Cubasis and the reverb you hear is the kitchen ambience. It’s a real pleasure to listen to Dave’s take on the video and I’ll leave the commenting on the other takes up to him although as always I’m impressed by everyone who posts on here for a variety of reasons. Thanks for listening if you have time and kind regards to all. Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Quick and dirty, sight reading on soprano (the weakest sax among all my weak saxes), without a net:

https://soundcloud.com/guido-creo/ive-never-been-in-love-before-s20181001

S Rampone & Cazzani Super - Jody Jazz HR 7 - Hartmann Fiberreed Carbon M

Ciao
Thanks for jumping in! I like how you don’t hold back with your soprano sound- I think that’s a good way to actually get a good sound from that instrument (I have a tough time with that!!)

I think there are 2 things that you can look at to bring the level up and I don’t think you’re that far off!

One is the rhythm of the melody. You’re playing it exactly how it is on the sheet which is a fine starting point (especially if you don’t know the tune) but thw way it’s written is not great. I would listen to a few recordings, especially the ones with people singing the melody, and try to incorporate some of those rhyrhms into your own melody.

2nd thing is the solo- you use Bb major pentatonic almost exclusively which is fine at first, but there are a couple times when the changes leave Bb major (most notably the Dmajor on the bridge). Maybe play around with using the melody more in your solo, or at least keep the melody more present in your mind when playing the solo so you can follow the harmonic motion a little clearr theoughout. Don’t have to change it up in a crazy way though! Just little stuff here and there to add to what you’ve already got going on.
 
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