[Dixielandjazz] Original keys

John Farrell stridepiano at tesco.net
Fri Dec 5 17:13:19 PST 2003

Lewis D. Custode, Jr. wrote :

"I'm just wondering....why is it so important to do the tune in the original
 key?  Why not simply perform the song in the key most comfortable?"

For me it depends on the tune. For instance if you were to kick off numbers
such as Cherokee, Body And Soul etc. in a strange key, when you hit the
bridge you would be in very deep trouble. Of course there are exceptions to
that rule - I remember meeting Johnny Guarnieri on my very first visit to
the US years ago - he said to me "Name any tune and I'll play it in 5/4 in
any key you like". I have never felt so inadequate in all my life.

John Farrell

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