Sunday, June 16, 2013

Standard Setting

This month I have had several gigs playing at private parties and functions.  I quite enjoyed myself on these outings, despite not having pursued this type of work in recent years.  It got me thinking about how both the nature and frequency of my gigs has changed. During the '90s it wasn't uncommon for me to play at least three nights a week in hotels, bars and restaurants.  The material was always standards, which I will define as American Songbook repertoire mixed with pieces by celebrated jazz musicians.  I spent hours learning and memorizing tunes, daily.

During the past ten years or so, most of my performances have been concerts focusing on original music or arrangements by myself or the bandleader.  It's a completely different ballgame.

"Calling tunes" and revisiting the familiar, old jazz standards is a lot of fun.  Plus, the interaction within the band is typically elevated when no one is staring at a music stand and reading. On the last gig, I jotted down the song titles as I went along.  Here are the set lists:

Set #1:
Jazz Standards
  • Beatrice
  • It Could Happen To You
  • Star Eyes
  • Yesterdays
  • Cherokee
Set #2:
  • You Don't Know What Love Is
  • Stablemates
  • Rhythm-a-ning
  • How Deep Is The Ocean? 
  • Up Jumped Spring
Set #3:
  • My Foolish Heart
  • Pent Up House
  • Speak Low
  • Giant Steps
  • Dolphin Dance
  • Blue Monk

Maybe it's time that I try to achieve a better balance between the types of gigs I'm doing.  Finding a nice venue for a weekly jazz trio gig, to play tunes, is something I may be seeking for the fall.

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