*(This has an MPSIMS-y feel, but it’s about music and a mod recommended that I start it here; if another mod feels compelled to move it, I’ll totally understand!)
I started taking piano lessons at 7 and voice lessons at 16, and spent most of my life bouncing around various genres; I even had my own rock/folk band for a while in the late '90s. I’d always loved jazz standards (Great American Songbook stuff), but wasn’t sure that I had the chops for jazz singing until I discovered an 8-week jazz vocal workshop in the spring of 2009: by the time it was over, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that jazz was where it’s at for me.
For the past 2.5 years I’ve been doing everything I can to become a working jazz vocalist*: I’ve repeated that workshop several times (I learn so much every time I take it; the next one starts in a couple of weeks); I’ve taken other workshops and master classes; I’ve attended jazz-related lectures; I started taking voice lessons again (though I just stopped them a few months ago, after nearly two years of weekly lessons); I’ve been going to jazz piano bars and jam sessions as often as possible; and I’ve been going out to hear working jazz singers (and meet local musicians) as much as possible. Anything I can think of to learn, network, and/or practice – in other words, I’ve been paying my dues.
Well, all of that is finally starting to pay off: I’ve been booked as the singer for a private holiday party in early December! It’s not a public gig at a bar/club, but I’ll be getting paid to sing jazz…which is pretty much the dream. I am very, very psyched.
*Part-time, mind you: I have a day job that I enjoy and that pays well, and I’m not trying to quit it any time soon. Ideally I’d gig once a month or so.
I figure I’ll use my one allowed bump to post the song list. These are in alphabetical order, and were decided by the guitar player and me; set lists/title order will be decided at the next full-band rehearsal.
[ul][li]A Night In Tunisia[/li][li]Ain’t Misbehavin’[/li][li]All Of Me[/li][li]But Not For Me[/li][li]Danny Boy[/li][li]Dindi[/li][li]Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas[/li][li]I Won’t Dance[/li][li]I’ll Remember April[/li][li]I’m Beginning to See The Light[/li][li]It’s Only A Paper Moon[/li][li]Just One Of Those Things[/li][li]Like Someone In Love[/li][li]Lullaby of Birdland[/li][li]Misty[/li][li]Santa Claus Is Coming To Town[/li][li]Skylark[/li][li]Sleigh Ride[/li][li]Someone To Watch Over Me[/li][li]Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most[/li][li]Summertime[/li][li]The Christmas Song[/li][li]They All Laughed[/li][li]This Can’t Be Love[/li][li]Two For The Road[/li][li]What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?[/li][li]White Christmas[/li][*]Winter Wonderland[/ul]
Some stuff, but it’s under my real name (which I’m inclined to keep separate from my Doper identity, or I’d have provided a link to my website already).
(And “ha” to your NYE joke!)
“A Night in Tunisia” and “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most” aren’t exactly winter music, either. We picked a handful of holiday tunes, but for the standards we focused on songs that most people are likely to know (since it’s a holiday party for a martial arts school, and not a jazz audience). Plus, it’s been my experience that as soon as you don’t plan to do “Summertime” someone requests it. grin
I don’t like singing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” unless it’s a duet, and I’m the only singer in the band; that’s why it didn’t make the list in the first place.
Oh, that was not our choice: the guy who owns the martial arts school asked for it. It’s his only request, and he’s paying pretty well, so I’ll do it. That song is a real pain in the a**.
Good job. I prefer private parties vastly to club dates – the pay is almost always better and, depending on the job,m you can get some chow and drinks maybe after or during a break.
There’s good versions of “Danny Boy” (Bill Evans) and “Misty” (Groove Holmes) out there! But I get that they may not be everyone’s favorites. I’d toss in “It Was Very Good Year” if it was and lose “Summertime” if it was me, but it’s your job, and it sounds like a fine book to play from.
“Summertime” is the only jazz number that my band does, and it always goes over really well. My shtick is to throw in a lot of quotes during my solo: “Pink Panther,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Powerhouse,” etc.
Wow, really? “It Was A Very Good Year” is a tough song to cover, because so many people have Sinatra’s version stuck in their heads – and that’s what they want to hear when they want to hear that song. Plus it’s kind of schlock-y. Plus it’s hard to sell when you look 30. (I won’t be singing “Something Cool” any time soon, either, even though I love it.)
Yeah, there’s actually a reason why it gets done to death. I’m hoping the guys (drums, sax, bass, and guitar) will have some fun with it during their solos…I also plan for us to do it a little up, and not as a shoot-me-now ballad, which should help.
I want a goddam YouTube of the performance, that’s what I want. Then, I may give you the opportunity to ask me to be your drummer.
But the YouTube first.
Kidding, of course, Doll. Sure would like to be there, though!
Also, I’d like for you to think of this performance as the nicest present you’ve ever given yourself, and take all the time you need to “unwrap” it to find the wonderful pleasures you always knew were in there.
If you can promise me/us you’ll do that, then I’ll lift the YouTube requirement.
But not the drumming gig. Shit! I’m batshit and out of work and my drums are sitting there gathering dust and holding clothes!