[JPL] D-Lovely, a D'must see

Gig.Brown at ccmail.nevada.edu Gig.Brown at ccmail.nevada.edu
Wed Jul 28 12:21:02 EDT 2004


Jazz musicians have always acknowledged the beauty and artistry of many the
Tin Pan Alleys songs and composers that have become a large part of the
standard repertoire in jazz. I think the saying goes, "imitation is the
greatest form of flattery".  But jazz musicians weren't just imitating
these songs.  There were recreating them harmonically, rhythmically and
melodically. Jazz musicians have reworked these tunes to make them more
interesting and challenging for their improvisations.  Many of these songs
in their original forms and arrangements, for films or shows, don't have
the same appeal as they do when in the hands and minds jazz musicians.
Yes, these tunes live on today in classic movies you can see only on
certain cable channels that focus on nostalgia but many of these songs
became more popular in the hands of the jazz musicians than they were in
their original form on stage or screen.  If not  for these jazz musicians
and the way they have for years taken even the most mundane show tune and
decade after decade repeatedly breathed new life into them they surely
would have been long forgotten.  And with it the notoriety, popularity and
royalties enjoyed by the composers and their estates so many years after
they had both outlived their usefulness to Broadway and Hollywood.
This is not to take anything away from the greatness of these works of art
or their creators.  But, I agree with Arturo that it is largely because of
what jazz musicians have done with these tunes, much owed to their
individual and collective interpretations, performances and improvisations
over the years that there is still interest in these songs and, for that
matter, the films and shows for which they were created.



Gig Brown, Program Director
KUNV 91.5
University of Nevada Las Vegas
4505 South Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-9900
Office: (702) 798-9115
Fax: (702) 736-0983
Gig.Brown at ccmail.nevada.edu
http://kunv.unlv.edu



                                                                                                                                            
                      JanLeder at aol.com                                                                                                      
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Arturo,

You said:

"Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and all the Tin Pan Alley composers owe the
popularity and longevity of their pop songs to jazz, those songs would have
been
long-forgotten if not reworked by jazz musicians and become standards. "

I haven't seen this movie however I do feel compelled to respond.

While I understand and agree that jazz musicians are responsible for
keeping
some of the great standards alive today (I play them just about every day
in
performance), is it also possible that we jazz musicians owe something to
the
great songwriters for creating such beautiful harmonies on which to
improvise?

Also, I disagree that these songs would be long-forgotten.  Film keeps the
songs alive as much as living musicians do, and had as much to do with many
of
the songs' initial popularity.

Any good song (of any genre) will long outlive its creator(s), no matter
who
"covers" the tune - it will live on.  (I can think of some rock and
certainly
r&b tunes that have long, long lives ahead of them as well.)  For instance,

when I play "It Had To Be You" everyone, young and old, knows it.   Don't
underestimate the power of a good song: it can cross age and race and
cultural
differences, it will remain in peoples' memories longer than most other
information
they get in their lives (they seem to reside in a different part of the
brain), and can easily live long beyond the life of its creator.  I know my
kids
will be singing my songs into their old age, and maybe they'll teach them
to
their kids, who know?
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