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Music for jazz quartet with vocalist

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by hoedown_j, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. hoedown_j


    Mar 3, 2005
    So I've been invited to play in a group of high school musicians (about the same age as me) with bass, drums, piano, and a singer.

    Now I don't really know where to start for music. What songs/artists should I consider for songs we could play? I'm guessing we'll be playing out of a Realbook/some other fake book. Any suggestions/help/advice would be appreciated.
  2. I actually just played my first gig like this last week. Our set list included God Bless the Child, I Love to See You Smile, All of Me, and a lot of old big band tunes--I can't really remember what else. Play things that have easy forms that the vocalist can really internalize. I learned after a few rehearsals that playing repeated bass patterns is a better idea than notmal walking--simplify everything the best you can. Playing with a vocalist in a jazz setting is a bizarre experience. Best of luck.
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    As long as your vocalist isn't awful (hard to find, eh?) and you're experienced enough with walking that you can outline the harmony in a very clear manner, I see no problem with walking over charts.

    I play in a quintet with a vocalist that started as a quartet (now alto sax, vocals, guitar, bass, drums, then without the altoist.) Our setlist includes:

    Sweet Lorraine
    Turn Me On
    Cry Me A River
    Autumn Leaves
    Come Away With Me
    Embraceable You
    Nature Boy
    All The Things You Are
    Route 66
    East of the Sun
    Fly Me To The Moon
    If I Were A Bell
    The Shadow of Your Smile
    The Girl From Ipanema
    How Insensitive
    A couple of originals.

    I've also wanted to add the following to our setlist:
    C'est Si Bon
    But Not For Me
    The Nearness of You
    Blame It On My Youth
    It Don't Mean a Thing
    Besamé Mucho
    Get Happy
    You and the Night
    Body and Soul

    Luckily, our vocalist is very talented. Playing in a group with her is always a treat for the ears.
  4. Hi Aaron, how did your band end up including an alto sax? Did you guys feel the band really needed another instrument?
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    A couple reasons. He's not only very skilled and educated in music and the use of his horn, but he's also one of the most talented musicians I've ever known, so if for nothing else, it's been a huge pleasure to play music with him. Also, myself and the guitarist are still very much developing as soloists, so our solo choruses were kind of lacking, so when we got this guy -- Jay Jantz -- we could instantly get way more mileage out of each tune, even if we just kept it to one or two solo choruses for him.

    We got him because we needed to expand our setlist significantly for our second gig, and I'd wanted to jam with him for a while since I saw him play with his school's jazz band at the 05 Kiwanis Music Festival. I met him through our drummer, who played in Jay's band in Kingston last year.
  6. Yeah, ours...how do I put this tactfully...was pretty awful.
  7. Sounds good, I understand.

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