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Resources for Original Changes to Standards

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Oct 3, 2003.


  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Hi all,

    In the spring, I'll be teaching a new section of graduate jazz theory at the U., and I'm redesigning the course from the ground up. One of the sections that I want to add regards the amount of reharmonization that has already been added to the changes that most of the current generation of players came up using. I'd like the course to have an ongoing theme on this subject and will be curious to see how the subject affects (or doesn't) the student's views on the subject of reharm in general.

    However, in order to do this, I'll need access to some older sets of changes to many standards that we all now think of as being "in the repertoire". Clearly, a lot of these came from musicals, and while I am sure that getting the original score of each musical to cop the one or (if I'm lucky) two "standard" tunes from it would be the most authentic way to go about this - and I may look into making this a nice 20 year or so project - this approach won't help me much for this spring's section of the class. If anyone knows of some more readily available resources for more originally authentic standard changes, any and all suggestions are welcome.

    In addition, I like to make a point of calling out reharmed changes that clash with the melodies of tunes as discussion subjects and as "error detection" exercises (For instance, "I Hear a Rhapsody" and "I Can't Get Started" are two notorious examples of commonly used changes which contain glaring clashes with the melody). If you have any real annoying examples of this annoying phenomenon, post 'em here and we'll get a nice list going. I'm hoping that eventually, the lists of "annoying clashes" and "original changes" can be brought together to shed some more light on the music.

    Don't get me wrong - I love a good reharm as much as the next guy...I just think that it's so much better to approach the subject from a very organic starting point (which is a very PC way of saying that arbitrary ii-V chains and the like get on my nerves big time, and I would greatly enjoy being in a position to debunk them with more authority than simply saying that they often sound like **** rather than music :) )

    Anyway, enough rambling. Any and all contributions welcome.
     
  2. I dont have any ideas, but it's a great subject. I agree with your ideas on the clashes, and overuse of II,V's.
     
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    A quick upadate - I sent out the bulk of the text of this thread in a mass-emailing to the entire faculty of the Aebersold summer workshops. This morning, I received a reply from one of the best know jazz educators in the country, and the author of many well respected books on jazz improvisation (no, I don't mean Jamey). I won't name him here for reasons that may be unnecessarily overcautious, but here is a portion of his reply:

    "Chris,

    Among the many issues of fake books (illegitimate), there is one which is called the "Million Dollar Library", comprising about 3,000-4,000 tunes, nearly all of them show tunes and early standards, and if my memory serves me, they're all duplicated from the original sheet music! That's as close to the original as you could hope to get, since the sheet music follows the dictates of the composer/publisher/copyright. There are so many tunes in that collection that it is in TEN volumes, with Volume 1 being simply a very fat INDEX! If you're unable to locate the set from 'the dirty man in the black cloak', we have the 10-volume set in the **** Music library. I often refer students to it to locate the original changes of old tunes.

    Hope this helps.



    "Hope this helps." :D I'll say...This sounds absolutely wonderful, almost too good to be true! However, there is still the issue of how I can get my hands on this little marvel without driving quite a large number of hours (I'm easily willing to do this, but if there's an easier way.... :) ). So my next question would be, does anybody have any idea where I might find this particular "dirty man in the black cloak"? If so, please PM me with any details or clues.

    Also, I'm already starting to get some responses to my query about clashes between the melody and changes of various tunes, and as a long-term project, I'll be compiling a list of these - probably on a Word document or spreadsheet - for future reference. If there's any interest here at TB, I'd be happy to try find a home for the results here on the forum. Let me know if interested.
     
  4. Check out Yestertunes.com. They have a mountain of stuff, all very reasonably priced.
     
  5. I'm sure you're already familiar with the two books by Frank Mantooth ("The Best Chord Changes for the World's Greatest Standards", and "The Best Chord Changes for the Most Requested Standards") - both from Hal Leonard - the ISBNs are 0-88-188-852-4 and 0-88-188-853-2 respectively.

    - Wil
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    An interesting example might be Gershwin's Summertime - which I have played loads of times, but always with slightly different chords.

    So - the amateur Jazz musicians I play with, often regard it as a minor Blues and I've done it a 6/8 Latin etc etc. But having heard the "Classical" recordings of the tune - there is clearly a definitive version which has many more chords and details.

    Just a thought that "classical" Gershwin scores might well be available from Music Libraries and could be compared with what Jazz musicans have done to them since?
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I was not aware of the nature of these books until I began this inquiry. Since then, 4 or 5 people have mentioned them along with several books by Dick Hyman. If I understand the format of these books correctly, they show both the "Original" changes and the more common "jazz subs" on the same lead sheet, yes? Do you own any of them? If so, care to post a short review? Thanks.
     
  8. The books were recommended to me by a friend who is a piano teacher, when I asked him for something which would give me (a piano dabbler) a rough guide as to how things work in terms of basic jazz harmony and theory. There is an introduction which explains the basic terms, and each book contains around a hundred tunes set out in the follwing format:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    I find them to be quite useful as well as interesting - I think I'd appreciate them even more if I were a pianist...

    If nothing else, these books have made me realise that it really doesn't matter what you do as long as it fits in with what everyone else is doing (something which wasn't immediately obvious to me coming from a "classical music" background...)

    Hope this helps -
    - Wil
     
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks, Wil! Looks like I'll be picking those up this week along with the Hyman books. One more question: What do David and Frank describe as the source for the "original" changes? Is it the original sheet music?

    This looks like a great book.
     
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Just a quick follow up: I got 2 each of the Hyman and Mantooth books in the mail today, and while it looks like they'll be interesting additions to the old fake book library, neither one is the kind of thing I'd hoped, since the "unaltered" changes are not original. I think I'll check out the Yestertunes option next. In the meantime, if anyone has a heads up on the whereabouts of an outlet for the "Million Dollar Fake Book" please send me a PM. The library at the U. has funds for this project, and I've gotten permission to snag a set if I can find them.
     
  11. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    Chris

    The 'Pocket Changes' books adhere to the vanilla/original changes school of thought. For the money ($20) it might give the students more material than the other books. I don't think it's available in bass clef though.

    I got mine from jazzbooks.com.

    Also, I think there's a vanilla changes book by a Ralph Peterson out there. I've heard good things about it.

    kevin d.
     
  12. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    KWD,

    The "Pocket Changes" book was actually compiled by a colleague of mine here at UofL. He's recently published a second volume, which is also useful as a basic guide for gig playing. The changes are for the most part okay, but are by no means original Edited to erase moderatorial stupidity.

    I still think these are valuable books (and I carry Vol. 1 to most gigs where I don't know the bandleader too well just in case) and I recommend them to most beginning/intermediate students, but what I'm looking for in this case is the original changes of the tunes as they existed before jazz players came along and reharmed them to make the "jazzable". I'll look into the "Vanilla Changes" link as well, thanks for the tip!
     
  14. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    Best of luck to you. Now I'm wondering if 'vanilla' necessarily implies 'original'.

    I've played with a guy out here who is a proselityte of your collegue. It's to the point where he refuses to play out of anything but 'Pocket Changes'. Edited to remove reference to moderatorial stupidity...MY FAULT! ... He's always insisted -vociferiously- that PocketChanges==the real changes.
     
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I probably shouldn't have said that in public, and will delete that staement later today in the interest of not stirring up a hornet's nest. In this case, all it means is that I play with this person a lot and he trusts my judgement and sense of harmony. As I said, I use this book a lot, but it's just not what I'm looking for here.

    And to me, "Vanilla" changes simply mean the most basic, stripped down changes. The "original" changes would be way more "Old School", with minor chords where many jazzers put secondary dominants, and diminished 7th chords in place of 7alt harmonies, etc. I'll keep everyone posted, assuming I don't stick my foot any further into my mouth and choke to death...:rolleyes:
     
  16. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I would tend to agree with Chris about the pocket changes. I keep it in my bass bag, and it comes in handy when you get a call to play with an 80 year old sax guy who calls tunes you've never played. However, they are stripped down, so you need to use your ear. An example I can think of off my head is Body and Soul. In the 3rd bar of the bridge, most people will play a iii-VI7-ii-V, but at least in the old copy of the Pocket Changes, it only has the ii-V.

    Monte
     
  17. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I'm glad I have a copy for the same reasons, but I've never really warmed up to it. I played with a guy who insisted the P.C. changes to Nica's Dream were correct and incorrect in the old standby RealBook. To my ears it's the other way around.

    I'm getting off topic a bit, but I am interested to know what people think of the PC harmony for Nica's Dream.
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - that's not really a "standard" in the sense that Chris was talking about is it?

    So - this was an original tune written by Horace Silver and there is no doubt that the "correct" version must be what Silver originally wrote and played.

    It's not like it was a Broadway show tune that was played many different ways - Horace Silver wrote, recorded and played it in bands - and he's still alive to ask what the chords are!! ;)
     
  19. ole Jason

    ole Jason Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Louisville, KY
    Chris, we have quite an extensive library here at EKU. Most of the grad students from UK and some from other schools in the bluegrass come here for research. If you need me to look into anything for you just let me know.
     
  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks! If I can think of anything, I'll let you know. Right now, the "Million Dollar Fakebook" looks like the holy grail.