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Please help a cultural ignoramus: Jazz Ballads?

iamspartacus

Member
Messages
494
Hey guys, I'd like to enlist your help with regards to discovering a new genre for me. I asked a question about The Black Crows earlier, and ya'll were extraordinarily helpful, so I'm sure you guys can help me with this:

I bought Oscar Peterson's "For Lovers" album a while ago, and I've always enjoyed the two vocal tunes, "Sweet Lorraine" and "I've Got a Crush On You." Can you help me in telling me what I kind of style this is? I searched "crooners," but only ended up with songs that were too pop-y. What kind of artists should I look for? I can see that Bill Henderson sung "I've Got a Crush On You," which means I should look into his performances, right?

Let me know if you have any personal favorite albums/performers similar to these two tracks. Thank you, friends!
 

mxk116

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,159
Try Kurt Elling for a more contemporary take on jazz vocals (not just ballads). Also, from a time frame closer to the Henderson piece try Johnny Hartman with John Coltrane.
 

WahmBoomAh

World Crass Guitarist
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,618
It`s not the songs ,,,it the players. You can take a corny tin pan alley song and make it fly it you have the talent and the approach. Or in the wrong hands even Duke Ellington can me massacred.
OK I`ll play... Google " I`m Old Fashioned" by John Cotrane. ... or "Surry With The Fringe On Top" by Beverley Kenney with Johhny Smith.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,316
Google "Great American Songbook," and the artists you're interested in.

There's 20-30 songs which are the "Mustang Sallys" of the pop ballad world. <g>
 

marvin cobain

Member
Messages
1,976
Hey guys, I'd like to enlist your help with regards to discovering a new genre for me. I asked a question about The Black Crows earlier, and ya'll were extraordinarily helpful, so I'm sure you guys can help me with this:

I bought Oscar Peterson's "For Lovers" album a while ago, and I've always enjoyed the two vocal tunes, "Sweet Lorraine" and "I've Got a Crush On You." Can you help me in telling me what I kind of style this is? I searched "crooners," but only ended up with songs that were too pop-y. What kind of artists should I look for? I can see that Bill Henderson sung "I've Got a Crush On You," which means I should look into his performances, right?

Let me know if you have any personal favorite albums/performers similar to these two tracks. Thank you, friends!
as loudboy said, it's the great american songbook. The popular songs that were composed for theater and movies mostly in the first half of the twentieth century by composers like Gershin, Cole Porter, Harold Harlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Vernon Duke, Richard Rodgers, Alec Wilder, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin and many others, sometimes of other countries. There are also composers who continued that tradition in the second half of the century, like Sondheim, Cy Coleman, Dave Frishberg, Alec Wilder and others. To that it's possible to add many pieces of jazz composers when there are lyrics added, Ellington, Monk, Shorter, Strayhorn and many others.
The difference with the songs that you usually find in later rock and pop music is that the songs of the G.A.S are much more sophisticated and harmonically and melodically rich, because most of those composers were trained musicians often with a classical background.
It's the core of what jazz musicians and singers play (so you have often both vocal and instrumental interpretations of the same piece) and of musicians like Sinatra who wasn't exactly a jazz singers. Crooners, cabaret singers, I don't know how you want to call them.
The book considered the bible on the argument was written by Alec Wilder (who omitted completely to talk about his own songs) and is called American popular song: The great innovators, 1900-1950.
It must be said that it talks of the musical structure of the song, so if you're looking for recommendations of albums or favorite versions it's not the book for you.

There's also a second book, not written by Wilder called "Classic american popular song" and dedicated to the songs written in the second half of the century
https://books.google.it/books?id=wCPKAgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=it#v=onepage&q&f=false
 
Last edited:

marvin cobain

Member
Messages
1,976
anyway most of the books on the argument I've seen are focused on single songs, more than albums, simply first of all because the album format didn't exist when many of those songs were written and also because there are many different great renditions of the same song.
This is a good site to explore the most popular standards (but it must be said that because it's a site based on jazz standards there are also many pieces that are only played as instrumentals)
http://www.jazzstandards.com/

This one written by Ted Gioia is on the same argument
https://books.google.it/books?id=oPuMQx9GZVcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=ted+gioia+jazz+standards&hl=it&sa=X&ei=r4iJVaD2NYrMygOOiI8w&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=ted gioia jazz standards&f=false

If you're looking for a book dedicated to the albums of the singers of the songbook (like Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Lee Wiley and hundreds of other artists, mostly female) I can think only of allmusicguide.
About personal favorites I have so many that I don't even know where to start, altough I think more of certain interpratations than favorite albums.
 
Last edited:

dlguitar64

Senior Member
Messages
5,627
as loudboy said, it's the great american songbook. The popular songs that were composed for theater and movies mostly in the first half of the twentieth century by composers like Gershin, Cole Porter, Harold Harlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Vernon Duke, Richard Rodgers, Alec Wilder, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin and many others, sometimes of other countries. There are also composers who continued that tradition in the second half of the century, like Sondheim, Cy Coleman, Dave Frishberg To that it's possible to add many pieces of jazz composers when there are lyrics added, Ellington, Monk, Shorter, Strayhorn and many others.
The difference with the songs that you usually find in later rock and pop music is that the songs of the G.A.S are much more sophisticated and harmonically and melodically rich, because most of those composers were trained musicians often with a classical background.
It's the core of what jazz musicians and singers play (so you have often both vocal and instrumental interpretations of the same piece) and of musicians like Sinatra who wasn't exactly a jazz singers. Crooners, cabaret singers, I don't know how you want to call them.
The book considered the bible on the argument was written by Alec Wilder (who omitted completely to talk about his own songs) and is called American popular song: The great innovators, 1900-1950.
It must be said that it talks of the musical structure of the song, so if you're looking for reccommendations of albums or favorite versions it's not the book for you.

There's also a second book, not written by Wilder called "Classic american popular song" and dedicated to the songs written in the second half of the century
https://books.google.it/books?id=wCPKAgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=it#v=onepage&q&f=false
IMO the greatest collection of popular music ever created.
 




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