Which Ballads?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by TroyK, Jan 13, 2022 at 5:50 PM.

  1. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I've been learning and playing a lot of melodies since we've been shuttered up away from our bands and gigs. I'm working on bebop heads, but I've also for the first time in my life, really enjoyed playing some ballads.

    Specifically, Polkadots and Moonbeams. It's one of those songs that I've never liked and I'm still not sure if I do, but it lays so nicely on the bass and I play it almost every day and work on my pretty tone and time and string crossings and just trying to play melodically.

    I've been just finding ballards and reading them, but so far nothing else has really felt great like PDAMB.

    Any suggestions?

    Loverman is pretty nice, that one's easier arco than Polka.. because there are fewer crossings. A lot of them are surprisingly uninteresting from a melody standpoint. Would love to have a dozen or so that I can work out and keep fresh on.

    I'll hang up and listen.
    Garagiste and J_Bass like this.
  2. CFIrwin


    Nov 23, 2017
    Always been a big fan of In A Sentimental Mood on the bass ... Bowed or pizz.
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks, after I posted this, I thought of "I Remember Clifford", that should be a fun one to dig into and Ab will be good practice.
    buldog5151bass likes this.
  4. Dogfightgiggle


    Mar 4, 2020
    I’m about two phrases into a transcription of this:

    Also been liking “Ship Without a Sail” and “I’ll Be Seeing You”.
    TroyK likes this.
  5. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    There are tons and tons of great ballads out there. A few off the top of my head that I like...

    Moonlight in Vermont

    The Masquerade Is Over

    Nancy with the Laughing Face


    You Don't Know What Love Is

    Seanto, Sam Sherry and J_Bass like this.
  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    This sweet, departed friend was named Nancy (With the Laughing Face), so I have a soft spot for it and have been playing it for years, she used to recognize it and I was singing it to her when they put her to sleep. It definitely always gets me.

    JRA, Seanto, Garagiste and 7 others like this.
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    A couple of my favorites not yet mentioned:

    For Heaven's Sake
    Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
    Detour Ahead
    My Foolish Heart
    My Ideal
  8. statsc

    statsc Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Burlington, VT
    Body and Soul and Infant Eyes
    Carl Hillman likes this.
  9. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Stella by Starlight
    Funny Valentine
    April in Paris
    Blue in Green - a tough one to keep your place
    Here's That Rainy Day
    In a Sentimental Mood
    My Romance
    Nearness of You - Chris has a great recording of this one
    Round Midnight
    Stormy Weather
  10. vanderbrook

    vanderbrook Heretic Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2001
    Denver, CO, USA
    I'll second My Foolish Heart, and add Come Sunday.
  11. bassmanbrent

    bassmanbrent Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    All of the above, plus...
    I Can't Get Started
    My One And Only Love
    JRA and Seanto like this.
  12. J_Bass

    J_Bass Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    Subscribed, great thread.

    Here are my suggestions:

    Shai Maestro Trio, Gal.
    Ruben Samama, Goodbye.

  13. iAsh


    Dec 20, 2021
    Seanto likes this.
  14. I've been having a lot of fun lately with 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.'

    And then there's Ellington: 'I've Got it Bad...', 'Mood Indigo', and (my favorite) 'Come Sunday'.

    I agree with your take on 'Polkadots & Moonbeams'...never did like that song.
  15. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    ...until I started playing the melody on bass. It lays perfectly on the fingerboard.
    Who da Ville likes this.
  16. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Finger Lakes area of New York State
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    Waltz for Debby (lyric will bring tears if you have daughters), When Sunny Gets Blue
    Seanto likes this.
  17. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    Prelude to a Kiss
    Beautiful Love
    You Are too Beautiful
    Phil Rowan likes this.
  18. BrotherMister


    Nov 4, 2013
    PVG Membership
    Someone To Watch Over Me
    CryingBass likes this.
  19. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2010

    Metheny's Farmers Trust...the rare ballad in 3

    When October Goes

    statsc already posted Infant Eyes, so here's my next fave Wayne ballad

    Blame It On My Youth

    ejnachtrab and Chris Fitzgerald like this.
  20. bassobrutto

    bassobrutto Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2010
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    oren likes this.
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