Madison Jazz Jam 2

I am thrilled to host the Madison jazz Jam again this coming Sunday.  This week the featured tune is the standard, “There Will Never Be Another You” by Warren and Gordon.

From an improvisation standpoint the tune has many opportunities to work our ii V I progression concepts.  It is a 32 bar song form, meaning that the tune is divided in half – 16 measures each with many similarities in both halves.  This is all well and good and important stuff.  However, what I would like to focus on this particular week with this particular tune is melodic interpretation.

When you look at this tune in a real book or in a lead sheet format, it is written with lots of quarter notes, half notes and whole notes.  Very straight forward.  Lead sheets need to format certain standards in this way to simplify and basically give you a skeleton representation of the composition.  It is the players responsibility to interpret and use inflections to bring the tune to life.  NO ONE should play this tune as written.  Individual interpretation of the head makes for logistical issues in our jam session setting obviously when there are more that one player wanting to play the tune.  If you were in a band with two melody players, convention would usually be that one player would play the first half of the tune by themselves and the other player would come in on the second half.  (Sometimes the player not playing the melody might play light backgrounds or harmony while they are not on their own melodic verse.)  In our jam session setting we will see how many folks are involved and divide the tune up as best as possible.  I would also encourage the player during their solo time that they take this time to explore the melody during their solo as much as they are thinking about the harmonic progressions.

Lastly and Firstly, I would recommend all players learn the words to “Another You” and have them going in their head while they play.  Listen to the rhythm of your speech and let that influence the rhythmic palette of your melodic interpretation or improvisation.  There is a famous story about a great young musician playing a ballad with Art Blakey and after playing a technically dazzling rendition, Blakey said something like, “That was nice kid but you obviously don’t know the words.”  or, “Next time, learn the words before you play the tune.”

There will be many other nights like this,
And I’ll be standing here with someone new.
There will be other songs to sing,
Another fall…another spring…
But there will never be another you.

There will be other lips that I may kiss,
But they won’t thrill me,
Like yours used to do.
Yes, I may dream a million dreams,
But how can they come true,
If there will never, ever be another you?

~interlude~ solos~

There will be many other nights like this,
And I’ll be standing here with someone new.
There will be other songs to sing,
Another fall…another spring…
But there will never be another you.

Yes, I may dream a million dreams,
But how can they come true,
If there will never, ever be…
Another you?

2 thoughts on “Madison Jazz Jam 2

  1. Pingback: There Will Never Be Another You | Madison Jazz Jam

  2. David P. Jones

    Dmitri Matheny, protege of Art Farmer, reports almost exactly this same comment coming from Mr. Farmer. Except that he supposedly said “Know what the words are of the exact phrase you are playing.” A former student of Stan Getz that I am acquainted with said more-or-less the same thing about knowing the lyrics.

    My main problem with all this is that I have a MUCH easier time remembering musical phrases and ideas that I do memorizing words (always been that way). Add to this the fact that we usually learn tunes from lead sheets sans lyrics or from instrumental versions and you compound the problem. Plus, I admit to just being extremely picky about jazz singers I can stand (there … I’ve said it).

    Sometimes the title will give one a clue to the GENERAL tone of the lyrics. My old clarinet teacher, Bill Smith, tells the story of a performance by his old colleague, Dave Brubeck (RIP). Paul Desmond, of course, was a master of quoting other tunes during his solos. Apparently, there had been quite a few snafus on the way to this particular gig, and Paul Desmond, during one of his solos, told the whole story in fine detail through the stringing together of quotes (all extremely suited to the harmonic progression of the tune). The listener, of course, just needed to be able to follow the lightning quick progression of song titles.

    But, I digress. I am welcome to effective methods for remembering lyrics for the hundreds of tunes we must know. Then, there is Monk’s dictum to always play off the melody. So many strategies, so little time …

    Reply

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