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Discussion Starter #1
I have some trouble soloing to jazz ballads (of all kinds) mostly due to style issues. so what are some ballads that you recommend for me to play and listen to?
 

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'Round Midnite,
Stella,
Body and Soul,

There are so many it is hard to know where to begin.
There is a lesson in every tune.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have problems with style, e.g. articulations, tone, etc. Notes and rhythms often come out angry, funk-like or maybe even rock-like. Basically, my solo doesn't belong in a ballad, and I just want to listen to some ballads to get an idea.
 

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Maybe you could listen to some players to get a different idea about soloing on a ballad. Coltrane, Mulligan, Getz, Rollins and Ben Webster were great ballad players just to name a few. I don't think it's in the tunes, it's in the approach.
 

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Everything happens to me, stardust, in a sentimental mood, sophisticated lady.
 

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The trap with playing ballads is to double time everything, especially
in a big band setting where you may only get eight bars to solo.

The difficult thing is to slow down and create a pretty melody from
your ideas, rather than just filling up space with many notes.

To begin with, try working out and learning a solo with some nice ideas.
Later you can start to play around with these ideas as you gain confidence
to go where your ear is leading you.

Hear and feel your solo, don't think it.
That's the essence of ballad playing.

Here is a great example by Stan Getz. This is so beautiful.
Listen to the crying repeated motif he uses at around 2:50.
So much feeling....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItfCtl29eUI
 

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The Nearness of You is one of my favourites. Very easy to play (technically speaking) and easy to remember by ear.
 

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Ceora is also a very pretty tune and the changes are really fun to solo over.
 

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...what they said.

And, listen to Whisper Not by Benny Golson. One of the things that I have/had trouble with when playing ballads was to create an alternate melody line so, yes, listen to some of the masters and think about the style. Another problem that I had with ballads was the changes - not enough, believe it or not - but Whisper Not is a fabulous tune when you know the changes.
 

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my funny valentine :)
 

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Get some Stanley Turrentine, God Bless the Child, Willow weep for me, Since I fell for you and many more... Stanley's ballads are awesome
 

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You Don't Know What Love Is
My Never Ending Love
 

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Listen to as much Dexter Gordon as you can. I'd suggest Stairway to the Stars and Don't Explain for starters.
Totally agreed on the Dexter Gordon. Probably the quintessential balladeer. Rollins did some nice ballads, too.
 

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