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Possible Names for a Community-Based Original Jazz Book

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by PauFerro, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. The Jazz Originals Book

  2. The New Book

  3. The Young Standards Book

  4. The Original Jazz Book

  5. The True Jazz Book

  6. The Originals Jazz Book

  7. Today's Jazz Book

  8. The Originals Composition Real Book

  9. Other (please give suggestions in the thread)

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Quick background....working on a free or low cost book to distribute book of lead sheets for original jazz. Composers give up print royalties and public performance rights for venues with maximum seating less than X occupants. Managed through a 501 (c) 3 non-profit.

    Purpose is to allow composers to get exposure while also making it easier for small establishments to hire live jazz musicians without getting hit by BMI/ASCAP public performance license fees etcetera....The book could also be distributed for free electronically or maybe for the cost of printing it if in hard copy. Possible Concert Window performances of candidate songs for online jurying (jurying process to be decided).

    This isn't about the mission of the book -- that is being discussed elsewhere.

    A number of suggestions have come from Talkbassers regarding a suitable name for this book. I would like to get some input on what would be a good name since I view this as a grassroots project. Here are the suggestions below taken from threads on Talk Bass -- please check all you think would be suitable. If you want to explain why certain names are definitely not suitable, or why you picked the ones you did, great. If you want to suggest others, let us know.

    One of the names should say Original Compositions Real Book; I spelled it wrong and couldn't change. I'm not saying you have to choose it...just clarifying the suggested name.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  2. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I went with Today's Jazz Book for a few reasons:

    1. It is timeless, as today is always today. And the vision is to add new stuff to it all the time.

    2. it is short and concise.

    3. I didn't like anything with "standards in it". I think it's kind of presumptuous to publish a book and call them standards. Even the New Standards Book current, top artists on the scene today have published is a bit presumptuous. Standards become standards when musicians play and call them all the time. Not because someone decided to call a song they wrote a standard. Now, we hope these songs WILL become standards, but I think a better name removes any allusion to the fact that the songs are standards.

    4. There was some concern from Steven Ayres about naming it a Real book when Hal Leonard has kind of hijacked the name from the original, illegal book. And other concerns. That could raise legal concerns. No one can fault you for using public domain fonts, though and keeping it somewhat handwritten.

    5. As Steve Ayres pointed out, even the Real Book has original compositions in it, so called it the Original Compositions Real Book isn't really distinguishing it from any music, whether created 40 years ago or today. All that stuff.

    7. I didn't like True Jazz Book because there is debate whether newer styles like contemporary, smooth, or even fusion-oriented material is jazz among many musicians. I didn't want to disappoint people who are jazz purists. I like what Pat metheny said -- it's all just music, and what distinguishes jazz from other styles is the focus on improvisation. So I think the title needs to be broad and not drag "true" into it.

    Thanks to @Sylenthunter , @Steven Ayres @Groove Doctor @Adam Booker @JRA @Febs and @Need Gigs who have contributed to this discussion so far.

    I hope to hear from you in this thread about what might be a good name, along with anyone else who is interested in giving feedback.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
    Josh Kneisel and Groove Doctor like this.
  3. Great idea @PauFerro
    I like "Today's Jazz Book" best too.

    I also voted The Jazz Originals Book and The Originals Jazz Book, but maybe a basic description on the cover like "Original compositions for today's jazz player" explains the rest.
    PauFerro and Sylenthunter like this.
  4. I like this^
    PauFerro and Groove Doctor like this.
  5. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    How about "New compositions for today's musicians"? It's a bit shorter and avoids the duplication of the name Jazz in the title of Today's Jazz Book.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    How about: The Hairy Fox. ;)
  7. Drgonzonm


    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    >MMXVIII (C)FREE JAZZ; the (c) defaults to the copyright symbol, I would like to the word free as a red slash.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  8. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I love the idea, you should start a YouTube channel where people play the tunes on whatever instrument or ensemble they want. It would be cool for reference and might spread the word.
    Quinn Roberts and PauFerro like this.
  9. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I am slowly working through the logistics of this. If it's going to be sustainable as a free thing, it's going to have to be easy to screen songs for inclusion in the book. You don't want a lot of songs that aren't memorable or that local, gigging musicians don't want to/can't play easily.

    I had thought about the youtube channel.

    Any thoughts on how to qualify the songs for inclusion in the book? Whatever you recommend, make sure it's cheap and easy.
  10. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    Bearing in mind that there's no way that everyone will agree on what's "good," you'll have to have some sort of editorial process, meaning someone or a group of someones accept the duty and take the heat. Short of putting everything in, any decisions will be ultimately subjective, that's just given. I think what you're going for is a curated collection, where pieces are submitted and may or may not be accepted by the curators (editors), as is standard practice in art galleries, magazines and South By Southwest, for examples. Having one curator is simplest, and the process gets more complex the more you add (e.g. participating members on Talkbass). In the end you (we?) will have to decide based on cost-benefit analysis.
    Sylenthunter likes this.
  11. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Very good thoughts...I tried getting a few of the people I play with locally with to "jury" a bunch of songs one of the people in my network had written. There were 10 songs. I listened to them and thought 4 had legs, and mentioned them to these guys. The two other guys did the following. One of them listened to all four songs and said yes to 3 of them, but didn't listen to the full 10 songs. 10 is a lot anyway, I know, so he was glad I vetted a few of them to save him time. The other guy kept telling me he was going to do it, but then never did after I mentioned it twice. So I have decided he's probably not suitable.

    I do think it's worthwhile to talk about general criteria though...

    It is challenging because, as Esperanza Spalding said, asking someone whether music is any good is like asking someone what kind of food they like to eat. There is a wide diversity of tastes.

    We discussed this a while ago, but these are the ideas that sort of distilled on my soul after listening to what people think are good songs, as well as reading ideas from other artists.

    1. Really strong melody -- memorable, not just bland notes and rhythmns that fit the chords, but something quotable and that becomes an ear worm on a few spins or even one. As one musicians said "Dying is easy, melody is hard!".

    2. Interesting chord changes, although one should be open to typical blues or simple changes if the melody is good. Look at Mr. PC or Comin' Home baby -- simple minor blues changes, but they are good songs people in my town play a lot. Same with Cold Duck Time by Eddie Harris.

    3. Not too many "movements" in them. I think one reason no one plays a lot of Pat Metheny's original music even though he's published all of it for us in two books is that it's too complex. You have to find guys that like it and want to put the work into rehearsing it if you're going to play it. And I find the higher level players don't want to rehearse unless there is serious money on the table. They would rather just sight read the charts at a gig.

    In other words, the tunes have to be the kind where you can just plop it down in front of a cat on a gig and the band can generally sight read it easily without having to rehearse. That's why I think James, Song for Bilbao, and Bright Sized Life and maybe phase dance are the songs that get played the most in my town out of Pat Metheny's repertoire and books. They fit the criteria. he even took out some orchestral movement-oriented parts in some of his songs for his new Real Book....

    4. There is a recording of it so people can decide if they like it easily before they print it or introduce it to the band.

    5. It's no more than two pages.

    6. It sounds good with basic instrumentation like bass, piano, guitar, sax, drums etcetera, but is playable, where possible by a variety of wind instruments too (trumpet, trombone etcetera).

    7. You want to play it (subjective I know).

    I have another "engraving" concept I am going to post in a different thread. This arranger/formatting guy -- he did it 22 years in the military of all places, world wide, has a style he likes to use in Finale. I know some of you said you don't mind the handwritten style, but since we have gotten away from the Real Book name, I thought I would throw it out there to see if there is a wave of opinion one way or the other....stay tuned in another thread.
  12. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I appreciate all the feedback and input. Keep it coming....one thing I liked about how the Real Book went viral was that they did it simple. Although it was illegal, it was direct -- get the charts (even approaching people like Steve Swallow, and Gary Burton for original charts), copy them in a simple format without minimums, bindings, professional converings, and get it out there. It took off...

    I like the idea of the enlightened editor in chief, curator who has reasonable autonomy. One thing I've learned over years of working in large corporations and with government is the more people involved, the less fun, the slower, and the more effort and labor intensive. Often you get a solution that satisfies no one, although sometimes you get a better solution to a problem. Many of the suggestions I've been getting have been "expeditious", which I appreciate.

    One thing coming up, a few of the musicians were willing to do a Concert Window performance of local stuff one night as well to kick if off. Good news is I'm in the middle of a network of musicians who have a lot of stuff they have written given our gigs two years ago where we had to play original music to avoid copyright/BMI.
  13. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    I was told by a professor once: "Never use the word "new" in a title because at some point, it won't be new anymore".
    Groove Doctor and PauFerro like this.
  14. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    I've been thinking about how difficult it might be to design criteria, thinking it might be better to leave it open, see what you get and edit from there. Here's an example of another tune of mine, which I have to wonder whether could be too complex. We haven't played it with one horn, but I imagine it could be made to work. (Please ignore the errors, this was recorded over 13 years ago.) Your thoughts?

    Attached Files:

  15. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    As a song to listen to -- I love it. It's got that blatty, slinky, sultry, smoky bar, sleazy sound to it that is REALLY cool. I laid back and listened to it twice end to end. I even chuckled to myself in a few spots. The musicians were awesome, all the way up from the drums to the lead instruments.

    But I have some questions -- is it doable do you think, by a variety of musicians with different instrumentations? I notice there is a lot of slidey articulation in the horns, for example, that seems to really make the tune. And I am finding it hard to envision how it would sound if played by say, a piano alone in a bass, drums, and piano trio. Or with a guitar lead. The other one you submitted, For What Never Was or similar title, was very relatable and I thought it could probably be done by a variety of different instrumentations. But this one, I'm not so sure.

    Would like input from others since you posted it....
  16. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    We called the outfit Jazz and Pie. Carlos B Jones on drums, who's now working mainly country gigs; me on bass, not doing much at all now; Steve Annibale on trumpet, now doing restaurant singles, playing horn over his keyboard; Jesse Pursely on bone, raising his young family in a hut in Mexico someplace and not playing at all; Dave Russell on tenor is still working pretty often in a restaurant quartet and doing big band for free; and co-writer Matt Jackson on piano, who died in '16, way too soon.

    Since I last posted I've been running Gone Cat through my head with variations. It's got Latin possibilities, and I think it could kill as funk. It would be hard to squeeze down to trio, but I can imagine a single-soloist version. Bear in mind that these guys were working from pretty basic charts just covering the harmony, the expression is all theirs. I also have a big-band arrangement.

    As a counter-example, take a look at Sue's Changes. Would that make the cut, you think?
  17. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    Let me know if/when you are taking submissions I'll let my pianist know about it. Also, how difficult should these tunes be?
  18. Cool little tune. As for the issue of it being playable with different orchestrations....
    It reminds me of some of the mingus stuff. All interesting, contemporary quintet sextet septet arsngments. That being said, I don't think there's much mingus in the real books or other fake books for that matter. They require specific orchestrations and voices to accurately play the music.
  19. So you designed a poll to get input on your book title, then waited a whole 10 minutes before selecting one yourself?

    EDIT: The OP has informed me that what I read as a selection, was merely him indicating his poll vote. I am sorry that I misinterpreted the second post.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
    PauFerro and Tom Lane like this.
  20. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    It reminds a bit like Jelly Roll that is in the Real Book, also by Mingus. I put that one on the list for one of my groups and it's the only song I've ever suggested that they refused to play. They said it was because it didn't have the trombone part at the beginning.

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