Jazz Standards

Until my son sent me the link and asked me if I knew about it, Jazz Standards : Songs : History : Biographies
was unknown to me until this week.

From their list of Songs and Instrumentals here are the Top 25:

Rank Year Title
1  1930   Body and Soul     
2  1939   All the Things You Are      
3  1935   Summertime      
4  1944   'Round Midnight      
5  1935   I Can't Get Started (with You)     
6  1937   My Funny Valentine      
7  1942   Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)      
8  1930   What Is This Thing Called Love?      
9  1933   Yesterdays     
10 1946   Stella By Starlight      
11 1947   Autumn Leaves (Les Feuilles Mortes)      
12 1929   Star Dust      
13 1932   Willow Weep for Me      
14 1939   What's New?      
15 1929   Honeysuckle Rose     
16 1925   Sweet Georgia Brown      
17 1936   Caravan     
18 1924   The Man I Love      
19 1935   In a Sentimental Mood     
20 1914   St Louis Blues      
21 1940   How High the Moon      
22 1924   Oh, Lady Be Good!      
23 1941   Take the "A" Train      
24 1930   Embraceable You      
25 1947   On Green Dolphin Street  

And the list goes on for the top 1000 over the next 20 pages.

There may be many topics that we can come up with but for a start what are your Top 5 songs and instrumentals on this list.

What other interesting features of this site would you like to call attention to or discuss?

Interesting site - have you spent much time on it?

As for the songs - well, I love most of the songs that I know that are on the last, so it would make me curious about the ones I don’t know…

I can’t say I agree with the rankings - I mean, it would be hard to find a bigger Les Paul fan than me ;), but ranking How High the Moon before Take the ‘A’ Train?! Who was smoking what in order to make that choice? :smiley:

And where is Our Love is Here to Stay? So many Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, etc…

As I say, I just found out about the site this week from my son who stumbled onto it himself while looking for some info on Autumn Leaves. I have looked around a little and found this page with some answers you might appreciate.

As for the song you mentioned,
57 1938 Love Is Here to Stay (Page 2)

So what makes something a jazz standard as distinct from a pop standard - these were all popular songs at one time. Some of the songs & composers that **Wordman **is looking for are certainly standards, but maybe not jazz standards.

I’ve always thought that, to be a jazz standard, a song has to be not only popular but also musically interesting, so that jazz musicians and singers will want to do even more interesting stuff to it. But I would very much like to hear from any jazz musicians in the audience their take on this point.

Slight hijack - In one of life’s wierd little coincidences, when I opened this thread, “'Round Midnight” (Charlie Parker) came up on my iPod. Followed, by “How High The Moon” while I was typing this. Perhaps I should delay hitting “Submit” and see if another one of the Top 25 follows.

Excellent karma there! What are the odds? May I ask what you’re listening to?

Perhaps this page has some answers.

I hear where you are going, but I don’t see that much distinction. How High the Moon is great because of Les Paul and Mary Ford’s version - it is not famous as a song that jazz players play and stretch out on. OTOH, My Favorite Things is a 100% “standard” - i.e., written by famous American Songbook composers, from a famous musical, etc. - that is very much a “jazz” standard because folks like Coltrane and Grant Green took it on as a song and stretched it out jazz-style…(if you haven’t heard Grant Green’s version, it’s truly wonderful…)

I assume we are referring to “songs from the Great American Songbook”…

This looks like the songs that Jazz musicians like to improvise on, rather than great songs of melody and lyric. Although some are certainly both.

Perfect examples" “I Can’t Get Started” and “Yesterdays”.

The idea of a “standard songbook” has no real meaning anymore, because jazz people and theater people (the only ones left with any investment in quality pop music) have too little common ground to agree upon.

If you really do want a feel for music that comes close to being of jazz standard quality, I would say talk to people in your community who are a.) over 60 and b.) either Jewish, gay, or not too uncomfortable around those who are. I don’t say this because I believe culture is tribal, more because these are some of the few people left who agree that it need not be tribal.

“The Bird” - Charlie Parker. It’s from a old CD I picked up somewhere. The collection of tunes is excellent, but most were recorded live in clubs and the recording leaves a little to be desired. It hasn’t been remastered or cleaned up in any way.