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What's the most popular standard you HAVEN'T learned?

1839 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  bjornblomberg
Thought it would be interesting to see what "bigtime" standards people still haven't learned...and why.

For me, it's Stella by Starlight. I feel like this one gets talked about a lot...and it's probably in 5 or 6 Aebersold books. However, after all my extensive jazz listening, I've only heard maybe TWO recordings of it. Crazy, huh?

If anyone could recommend some recordings of Stella that are killin', I'll be sure to check em out :) From the recordings I HAVE heard, it sounds like the changes are really nice to blow on.
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Oscar Peterson did the definitive trio recording of "Stella by Starlight" with Ray Brown and Sam Hayes. It's on his Blues Etude album.

But to answer the question, I can't think of a "bigtime" standard that I don't play. I need the chart to play "Lush Life," though. I'm sure there are some. There are some I won't play. "Fever" is one example. "Love For Sale" is another. For some reason, I hate those tunes.
Do you know Chet Baker's late version of Lover For Sale with Philip Catherine and no drums? It's sweet.
Just one of those tunes that makes me tired to listen to. Uptempo minor key tunes can do that to me. Also 16-bar A and B thing makes me tired. Combine the two and it makes me doubly tired. I don't know a better way to explain it.
I really like Bill Evans' version of Stella from "Conversations with Myself". Actually that whole album is awesome. It's just him overdubbed playing duets with himself but it's fantastic.
Lovano's Stella on "I'm all For You" is great. So is Branford and Ellis on Ellis "Loved One's" There's a million tunes I should know. "In a Mellow Tone" and "The Days of Wine and Roses" are 2 that pop to my mind right now. So much to learn.....
It took me sometime to get around to learning 'Stella'.

It was a bass player friend of mine that got me into it.

He is from Uruguay and he does this thing on electric bass,
where he plays chords rather than single notes to this tune.
Also he plays it with a sorta latin feel.

I must say it is a joy to play as a duet, electric bass and tenor sax.
We certainly blow the cobwebs out on that one.

I like most of Mancini's tunes also. 'Days of Wine and Roses', 'Here's that Rainy Day'
'Mr Lucky' etc.

'Bluesette' is another good one. Once again we do this in 4/4 with latin feel.

Standards I haven't learnt could probably fill a book.
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I like the Parker with strings version of Stella
The Miles live version from Carnegie Hall is probably the most famous. Especially the part when you hear somebody in the audience yell "Yeah!" after the first chorus.
kavala said:
I like most of Mancini's tunes also. 'Days of Wine and Roses', 'Here's that Rainy Day'
'Mr Lucky' etc.
Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen wrote "Here's That Rainy Day."
I like Miles '58 version of Stella and also Bird with strings on Stella. I have learned that tune a half-dozen times and forget it because I never get to play it enough! The changes are actually quite tough to play over.

As far as standard tunes that I don't know -- lots of them!!
The Stan Kenton version of Stella by Starlight arranged by Bill Holman is a must...

I love the Getz version of Stella.

He sounded so pretty. often imitated but...

I love every version of "Stella" I've heard. Maybe I'm just obsessed with the idea of there even being a Stella.
Joe Henderson's Stella (The state of the Tenor - Live at the village vanguard) is excellent. I heard him in a concert here in Norway some years back, there was one tune he started off with a massive improvised part, it took me about 5-6 minutes before I realized it was Stella. What a monster player he was.
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