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Jazz standard

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Jazz standard

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A jazz standard is a tune that is widely known, performed, and recorded among jazz musicians. Stricter definitions of the term may be used; therefore no 'definitive' list of standards exists.

As jazz is actually a range of musical styles, musicians and bands can vary in their standards according to what type of jazz they play. Most professional bands will have repertories with many more tunes than the standards, but they will usually be sure to include some standards in an evening's performance, and have them ready to play in case of request.

The categories of jazz are not exclusive as to their standards, and any of the songs may be played by bands that specialize in another style. For example, some avant-garde groups may delight in playing an old tune in their modern style, or a Dixieland band may pride themselves on playing a modern tune in a style that gives it a traditional sound.

Many standards were originally written decades ago, and may be from old popular tunes, Broadway or musical selections, or old recordings of famous bands. However, jazz musicians might also include a wide range of more recent tunes in their concept of standards.

It is common for jazz musicians invited to take part in a standards gig to ask the person who's booking the gig or the other musicians involved for particular tunes they have in mind. However, time spent working through a respectable fake book will help in such situations.



Dixieland and traditional jazz standards include:

"(At the) Darktown Strutters Ball"
"Bill Bailey (Won't You Please Come Home)"
"Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me"
"High Society"
"(Home Again in) Indiana"
"Milenburg Joys"
"Panama" (Original title "Panama, a Characterist Novelty" from 1912)
"That's A Plenty"
"Tiger Rag"
"When The Saints Go Marching In" (Originally a gospel song. Nicknamed "The Monster" by some musicians, as it seems to be the only tune many people knew to request when seeing a Dixieland band, and some musicians dread being asked to play it several times a night. At Preservation Hall, a sign on the bandstand reads "Requests—$1, 'Saints' $10.")


Swing band standards include:

"In the Mood"
"It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing"
"King Porter Stomp"
"One O'Clock Jump"
"Sing, Sing, Sing"
"Take the A Train"
"Woodchopper's Ball"


Bebop standards include:

"Bags' Groove"
"Blue Monk"
"Con Alma"
"Donna Lee"
"Giant Steps"
"A Night in Tunisia"
"Now's The Time"
"'Round Midnight"
"Salt Peanuts"
"Scrapple From The Apple"
"Hot House"


"Mainstream" jazz standards include:

"All of Me"
"All The Things You Are"
"Alone Together"
"Autumn Leaves"
"Blue Bossa"
"Body And Soul"
"But Beautiful"
"The Days of Wine and Roses"
"A Foggy Day"
"Four Brothers"
"Have You Met Miss Jones"
"I Got Rhythm"
"I Remember Clifford"
"Just Friends"
"Love For Sale"
"Misty Blue"
"My Favourite Things"
"My Funny Valentine"
"My Romance"
"Night And Day"
"Satin Doll"
"Softly As In A Morning Sunrise"
"Stella By Starlight"
"Take Five"
"You Don't Know What Love Is"

Derived from classical music

Jazz interpretation of classical material


External links

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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