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Top 20 vocal jazz standards
#2478792 11/09/15 12:01 PM
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I would like to see what people think are the top 20 vocal jazz standards. I would like vocal because my sister has a very good voice and would like her to sing while I accompany her.


Musica Anima Mea Est (Music is my life)

"Music is my mistress and she plays second fiddle to no one" - Duke Ellington
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Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2478889 11/09/15 03:53 PM
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Summertime

Autumn leaves

All of me

I beginning to see the light

You don't mean thing if you ain't got swing

The Man I love

You don't know what love is

Bye bye blackbird

What’s new

The one and only love

Skylark

St louis blues

Black Orpheus

How insensitive

I am in mood for love

Lush life

Don't get around much anymore

Someone To Watch Over Me

Misty

Body and soul

Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2479093 11/10/15 11:38 AM
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These answers you will find are purely subjective, as my list hardly matches Nahum's at all! smile

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; 11/10/15 04:49 PM. Reason: Added Over the Rainbow, top 21, but who's counting? :)
Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2479113 11/10/15 12:32 PM
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Thanks, it is just fun to see what other people like. And I want to build a strong repertoire.


Musica Anima Mea Est (Music is my life)

"Music is my mistress and she plays second fiddle to no one" - Duke Ellington
Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2479138 11/10/15 01:52 PM
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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!

Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2479194 11/10/15 04:42 PM
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Hi Pover,

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# smile


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!) smile

Last edited by erichlof; 11/10/15 04:47 PM.
Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2479322 11/10/15 11:24 PM
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I have enjoyed the thoughts and suggestions! Thanks!

I'm curious to know whether there are some pieces that you think should be on the list that aren't. smile

Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2479736 11/12/15 08:16 AM
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Thanks erichlof for the response smile

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.

Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2479796 11/12/15 11:51 AM
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Hi Pover,

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! smile



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).

Best of luck! smile

Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2479809 11/12/15 12:23 PM
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erichlof, thanks again for the recommendations!

I hope I don't sound completely ignorant when I say that the video you posted is a little "too jazzy" for me eek 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

Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2479815 11/12/15 12:33 PM
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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
Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2479844 11/12/15 01:53 PM
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GonnaFillThoseShoes, I'm SOOOOO sorry! I honestly completely forgot I was still here, sorry to be rude!

To write a signature, click the arrow next to "My Stuff" at the top of the page, then go to edit profile. At the bottom of that page you have the option of writing a signature and a lot of other things you can play with.

Again, please excuse my rudeness.

Eric, can we take it to PM? smile

Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
Pover #2479859 11/12/15 02:48 PM
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Sorry also, GonnaFillThoseShoes. Pover, I will PM you smile

Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2479905 11/12/15 05:38 PM
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Thank you pover


Musica Anima Mea Est (Music is my life)

"Music is my mistress and she plays second fiddle to no one" - Duke Ellington
Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2480455 11/14/15 05:17 AM
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"An Affair to Remember".

I like the lists of songs above. One more artist to listen to and get ideas for more "classical" (hehe) music is Barbra Streisand, like "Smile" and lots.

In this link, there are like 50 songs from Rod Stewart's "American Songbooks". Famous old lovely songs, so more ideas. smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWHHHh8z7Ss&list=PL3FFB80D2E8215728

Last edited by Albunea; 11/14/15 05:20 AM.
Re: Top 20 vocal jazz standards
GonnaFillThoseShoe #2484683 11/26/15 07:12 AM
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HI, I would have to agree with the first 2 posts. Both have a great section for female vocal.

I would add in:

Round Midnight

All my Tomorrows

When Sunny gets Blue

Anything by Ella smile

Diana Krall have some great Arrangements too.

All the best

Greg


Email - greg@greglloydmusicschool.com

Website - greglloydmusicschool.com

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