[Dixielandjazz] Rodgers and Hammerstein Songs for Jazz
Stephen G Barbone
barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu May 13 18:45:46 PDT 2010
Suggest Dixieland Bands (not those who are "Trad" bands and stick to
pre 1930s music with emphasis on banjo/tuba) consider the following
songs besides those Al B named: Look at a list of all Richard Rodgers
Songs, not just the ones Hammertstein wrote lyrics to, and like wise,
look at songs where Hammerstein wrote the lyrics but someone else
(like Jerome Kern) wrote the music. Below are just some of the songs
my band plays
There is Nothing Like A Dame
Surrey With The Fringe On Top
There's A Small Hotel
The Lady is a Tramp
This Can't Be Love
The guy wrote some 900 songs and many of them are quite suitable for
Dixieland, and were indeed played as Dixieland by Eddie Condon and
other bands in NYC in the 1950s and 1960s. Many were also played as
modern jazz by John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson et al. Many of them have
wonderful melodies and chord changes. The swing almost by themselves.
There are many other American Songbook tunes which are suitable for
either Dixieland or modern jazz, such as "If I were a Bell" from Guys
and Dolls (Frank Loesser). Or "I Thought About You" by Jimmy Van
Heusen and Johnny Mercer.
Benny Goodman with Mildred Bailey and Bob Crosby recorded neat versions.
Or Gershwin songs like "The Man I Love", which ranks 18th in the list
of most popular Jazz Standards. Or "A Foggy Day In London Town". For a
list of the top 1000 jazz standards, (Most are American Songbook
Tunes) see: http://www.jazzstandards.com/compositions/index.htm
How many of those standards can be adapted to Dixieland? Depends on
the creativity of the band IMO.
Also IMO, the decline in the popularity of OKOM may partially be
caused by the reluctance of many OKOM bands to play these tunes.
Barbone Street experience is that at private parties, and at our
outdoor concerts with generally jazz challenged audiences, these types
of song go over VERY WELL and are in large measure why we have no
trouble getting gigs. The audiences rave about how nobody plays or
writes this kind of music anymore. And the young folks dance to it.
So many songs, so little time. <grin>
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