[ED. NOTE: This is a continuation of a couple threads I posted about joining an existing working blues/jazz band with serious jazz musicians and me being a Jazz 101 player at best 3 weeks ago. Maybe if I get bored later I'll link them to this post, otherwise they're currently findable on the first or second pages of this forum. Check them out...they're awesome, and you can easily read them in a trip to the can!] So now I've got all the tunes down and we're adding more at a much slower clip than 60 in a week and a half, thank God! The guys are liking what I'm doing a lot more now that I'm pushing the swing tunes. The faster they swing, the more they want them pushed, even the drummer. I told them, "Yeah, but I don't want to rush the tempos." They said, "Rush, damn you!" So I did, and I totally got it. The bass SHOULD be out in front of the drums a little on faster swing tunes, and he'll hold it back if it gets out of control. Somehow or another it all works out. A fine point I really didn't notice before. On the rare times I do jazz sets, folks have been happy I could read a Real Book chart without stumbling But this is the first time actually playing them with a real jazz standards trio (sometimes a quartet) other than as a sub. I suppose I'll get a lot more fine points thrown my way in the next batch of jazz songs, but when the guitar player comes offstage of the 3rd gig and says, "Now you're swingin', Jim," it makes me think I could be a real jazzbo after all! The next batch is about 20 they can pull out of a hat, a few I knew, plenty I don't. They told me to learn enough to do an entire set. Included in this list are the two most cheesy-ass 1930's show tunes that jazz musicians always learn first...yep..."Autumn Leaves" and "All The Things You Are." More musicians who might otherwise develop a finer appreciation for jazz have been turned so off by these two hokey songs that they avoid them like the plague after that, and some just forget about jazz altogether. And jazz teachers for newbs will take you through every single example of the musical concepts in them the second they think you're ready for the concepts, and do so in sometimes excruciating detail. I sympathize. I've been there. But if any music teacher doesn't take you through these songs to show you how music is made in real life, they are doing you a big disservice. These songs contain all the practical application wisdom in the countless hours spent learning your notes and chords and beginner musical concepts. These two songs are the payoff, my friends, and they apply to every instrument in music and every style of music in the world. Among the big stuff you get are how to create melodies, interesting chord changes, how to use occasional out-of-key moments to create tension and release in your music, and these can be applied to any kind of music from classical to EDM and hip-hop. And you will see why your teacher kept after you to learn the circles of 4th's and 5th's, and you will thank him/her profusely. Once you hear these concepts in action, you will be listening to music you love and you will hear these concepts, and sometimes you'll think you heard a direct lift from one of these songs. Chances are it was, or it was lifted from something else that lifted it from them. Every time I listen to a new song I can trace the concepts to something I first learned in these two songs, whether the creator knows it or not. It happened so much when I was a teenager that I finally gave up on it because there was no point anymore. After all, they were still pretty hokey when it came right down to it... ...OR SO I THOUGHT!!! Tonight, 42 years since the time I was taken through these two songs for the first time by Mr. Ron Gilotti (who still plays his ass off around here on upright and electric bass at age 75), I shall wait till it's a little quieter, and I am going to re-examine everything about these songs that makes them so important. I've already listened to a handful of different versions of each, and I'll sit down with the Real Book charts and a guitar and go through the chord changes and melodies first till I can play them halfway decently. Then I'll pick up a bass and try to think of ways to play a cool bassline and melody for them that don't sound like some ancient black and white musical on the Ancient Black And White Musical channel. BTW, Ella Fitzgerald doing "All The Things You Are" is required listening! And then I'm going to listen to about 10 original versions of songs from Duke just to cleanse the palette, the old-timier, the better. And then I'll figure out my own spin on playing them with what sounds good with the other guys and forget about it again But they never truly go away. No matter how far away from them you think you're getting, you're never any more than one degree away from them. TL DR; You can't ever call yourself an educated musician till you learn why "Autumn Leaves" and "All The Things You Are" are the two most awesome songs for musical education of all time. And even if you're not an educated musician, you will hear them one day and understand why your so-called "new discoveries in awesome new music nobody has ever heard anywhere else" are nothing but variations on the same old crap your great-great grandparents listened to that you're trying to avoid. Then go listen to some Duke Ellington...it's good for the soul.