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Historically important facts about St. Thomas, Groovin' High, Body and Soul

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Aaron Saunders, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    At the University of Toronto auditions, it's apparently really important that you have a sense of jazz history, etc. This means them asking things like "So, what can you tell me about this song? Cool. So who wrote it? What can you tell me about this person," etc. etc. This is a huge plus for me as it weighs heavily in the interview section, because I think it IS very important and make efforts to study this stuff in addition to just playing it. However, for the sake of being thorough, I was wondering if there are any historical facts about the following that I might need to know?

    St. Thomas
    Groovin' High
    Body and Soul

    Just for reference, I know bout Trane's reharm of Body and Soul and that before that Hawk had the definitive version before this. I know that St. Thomas is Sonny's most historically important composition, and easily his most popular tune. I know nothing about Groovin' High other than how to play it, and misc. assorted facts about Dizzy.
  2. Groovin High is based on the changes to Whispering.
  3. VTDB


    Oct 19, 2004
  4. i heard from john riley that when an interviewer was asking dizzy what his new music was all about, he told him:

    "i don't know but it sounds like: (scatting the melody to groovin high)"

    the interviewer heard him finish scatting the melody's phrase with "bebop", published the story and that's how bird/dizzy's new music got its name
  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    OT I know, but for several years I worked with a vocalist who sang Groovin' High in the key of B. He picked all his keys based on where his voice was comfortable.
  6. Menacewarf


    Mar 9, 2007
    I always thought it was based on Hungaria but sometimes you guess wrong.
  7. About St. Thomas,

    From: http://www.sonnyrollins.com/faq.php

    "How did you write St. Thomas?

    St. Thomas is a traditional island melody; what I did was to create make my own arrangement. My mother came from St. Thomas and she sang that to me when I was a little boy. It has become a trademark tune."


    As such, it's not his 'composition', but rather his arrangement of a traditional song with ancient origins. As a background, listen to recordings by Calypso artists like Lord Melody, Mighty Sparrow, and Harry Belafonte released in the 1950's.

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