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These answers you will find are purely subjective, as my list hardly matches Nahum's at all!
In no particular order:
from Frank Sinatra: Fly Me to the Moon The Way You Look Tonight New York, New York Witchcraft On the Sunny Side of the Street It Was Just One of Those Things I've Got you Under My Skin
from Harry Connick Jr. (in the style of Frank): It Had to Be You
from Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong: Our Love is Here to Stay Cheek to Cheek Mack the Knife Someone To Watch Over Me Stardust
from Tony Bennett: I left My Heart in San Fransisco The Nearness of You
from Johnny Mathis / and Sarah Vaughn: Misty Summertime
from Joao Gilberto: Girl From Ipanema
from various female vocalists: My Favorite Things Somewhere Over the Rainbow
from male vocalist I can't remember the name of right now: As Time Goes By
The above list would be the most recognizable and the most marketable. There are other jazz standards out there that have more compositional merit, but that would be another top 20! In any case, the above list is a good place to start with your sister. Good luck!
Last edited by erichlof; 11/10/1504:49 PM. Reason: Added Over the Rainbow, top 21, but who's counting? :)
Sorry to semi-hijack this thread, but would those also be considered among the top choices for playing solo jazz? Like, would taking the piece and arranging it for solo still keep it one of the "golden standards" or are there different ones for solo piano primarily? Sorry again!
Yes you could play the above suggested tunes on solo piano and still make it interesting without the lyrics and vocals. Personally, I enjoy playing all the above without vocals with the exception of maybe Mack the Knife because the changes can sound a little repetitive. I've played in bands before that, in order to combat this boredom, bump the original C Key of this song up a half-step every chorus. (Start out in C, next chorus Db, D, Eb, etc.) This increases the anticipation of your turn to solo - last time I was the lucky one who got F#
Most of the greats have recorded the above tunes solo. Search YouTube for Our Love is Here to Stay, My Favorite Things played by Bill Evans on his Solo Sessions. Search Oscar Peterson plays the Gershwin Songbook for Summertime solo. Dave Brubeck also plays a nice version of Our Love is Here To Stay on his solo album. Keith Jarrett plays Someone To Watch over Me on his solo album.
Basically anything by Gershwin is great on solo piano because he had the gift of giving a standard great progressions that stand on their own merit, even without the melody. So, to summarize, gravitate towards the songs that you like the progression for, and the song will help you along - it will "play itself" (at least on the head!)
I can't tell you how frustrating it is to try and be creative playing from fakebooks/jazzy things after playing exclusively classical for 3 years. I seem lost even at the most essential stages, like finding different rhythms in the LH and things to spice up any arrangements. Ordered a book on it so hopefully that should help.
Well, playing classical will give you the technique to be able to execute your ideas more readily. As for coming up with said ideas in the first place, I find it helpful and inspirational to listen to Bill Evans Solo Sessions Vol#1 and Vol#2. If you don't already own these, get them from the digital music section of Amazon.com or somewhere like that - well worth the price. They've changed my approach to solo jazz piano and given me some great ideas, stuff to work on, etc.
Check out YouTube user William Hughes - he has exhaustively transcribed most of Bill Evans solo piano recordings including the Solo Sessions Vol.1 and Vol.2. Here's a sample from a well known Christmas tune. Don't know if you like playing jazzy Christmas tunes or not, but with the holidays a little over a month away, I figured it's time to dust off the old Christmas fakebooks!
I love how Bill changes up the accompaniment rhythms in the L.H. - very inspiring and something I struggle to work on all the time (trying not to fall into rhythmical ruts/patterns while the R.H. is busy soloing).
I hope I don't sound completely ignorant when I say that the video you posted is a little "too jazzy" for me Is there such a thing? :P I love jazzy christmas tunes, but I was thinking of waiting until next year before trying them out so I have at least a foundation to work with.
Here is a great example of what I aspire to play. This is in my opinion sort of simple and fun (on the ear of course, can't figure out how the heck to play it lol), and original. This is lovely in my opinion: The way you look tonight
Okay, now my thread has been hijacked not just semi-hijacked. But it is alright. Any thing to help other musicians. So now I am going to Hijack the hijacked thread. How does one get the qoutes at the bottom of their replies?
Musica Anima Mea Est (Music is my life)
"Music is my mistress and she plays second fiddle to no one" - Duke Ellington
GonnaFillThoseShoes, I'm SOOOOO sorry! I honestly completely forgot I was still here, sorry to be rude!
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