Hardest jazz standard tune to play?

(24 posts)
  1. Sandemose

    Im wondering which tunes people here have the hardest time playing, either the head, solo over the changes, or both. For me it would be easy to pick a Coltrane changes song since I my repertoire of tunes is very limited. I find it hard to play over kinda of everything, but if I shuold chose one that sounds like utter shit whatever I do with it must be "the Sorcerer" by Herbie Hancock.

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    I laugh so hard at myself when I try to play this tune that I have to dry my eyes after only a short moment. Anyone else have tunes that kick you´re ass instead of the opposite?

    Best, Sandemose

  2. denjz

    That's a hard one indeed.

    What really knocked me off recently was these two by David Sanchez:



    I mean...even the head,let alone the blowing sections.

  3. animitta

    I think this one it's a good example too : )

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    All the Best

  4. Sandemose

    Hey, I was more thinking of standards that you might find in one the realbooks though. Those tunes still sounded bitchy to play, nevertheless.

    Best, Sandemose

  5. I really think the most difficult standards are that ones with very simple harmony and melody!!

    Cheers and Namaste

    Magical rainbow ponies
  6. animitta

    I knew what you intended but i thought that was funny to send that link too. And BTW i am a great estimator of Adam Rogers too : )

    In my opinion there is not exactly a "hard tune", just tune "not yet familiar with" : ).

    Music it's not a competition where the bravest play the hardest tunes. Music it's spiritual enlightment. Every tune, hard or simple, it's unique and every tune must be treated with respect for the composer. Tring to play the best you can and transmitting what you are by your interpretation.

    Hard or simple, good or bad are only concepts. Often, at least inside the musical path, what it's hard today will be simple tomorrow, if you practice. And sometime viceversa, if your attention for the details and the developing of you ears become huge : ). In this case also a "simple" tune as Blue Bossa can be a great way to explore the musical universe.

    Anyway, to my ear, at my actual stage, many Monk's tunes are not yet familiar. But i like that, i just need sometime more to practice : )

    All the Best

    Edit page
  7. you are totally rigth Animitta

  8. wommusic
    Key Master

    On that "note"- have anybody here noticed the iPhone app called iReal Book that Massimo Biolcati (the bassplayer with Lionel Loueke among others) has developed? Shows changes to real book standards, and lets you transpose them to different keys...instantly. I think it's simple yet brilliant....!

    No melodies in there though because he can't publish other peoples songs without paying them for it, but the same law does not apply to changes as you can't copyright those.

    More here: http://www.irealbook.net

  9. denjz

    Oh,I see...

    Sorry for the post with "View from Moscow" chart then...I'll delete the link.

  10. Sandemose

    denjz: why? Wasent that on another thread?

    animitta: I totally agree with you, about being familiar with the tunes is the main thing. And, not to forget, creating good/beautiful music. The qustion might be not so well formulated, I intended more to know what tunes people here struggle with, even if they´re familiar with it. I wasnt implying in any way that music is a competetion where the hardest tunes is a way to demonstrate your chops etc.

    But, isnt 26-2 "harder" than Autumn Leaves? Someone who can play effortlesley over 26-2, head and blowing over the chords would possible get through Autumn Leaves? But not perhaps the opposite? I find "Inner Urge" really hard on the head, esp. in the end. Its drives me nuts :(

    Best, Sandemose

  11. denjz

    wommusic says it's illegal to publish other people's music if it contains the melody.Sorry...

  12. Sandemose

    denjz: to bad :(

  13. jazznan

    You didn't publish it, you posted it for educational reasons

  14. wommusic
    Key Master

    Hey Denjz, a little sharing on this message board won't hurt anybody - the law is if somebody would seriously attempt to sell a product containing other peoples music without compensating them for it.

  15. denjz

    Thanks, Anders.Thought it was a hint addressing me.Would never cause any troubles as I'm a big fan of Kurt's music.

  16. wommusic
    Key Master

    Hey Denjz, No not at all - wasn't a hint at all, I was just saying that the reason why Massimo can't include the actual melody to the tunes in his iReal Book is because of that law. :-)

  17. hello everyone i finally signed up for this great forum, i've been reading ur posts and you've been giving me great ideas, for that thank you, to kurt: to me ur an inspiration and a living book, congratulations on your new album i bought it and its great, full of emotion... anyways, i would have to vote on Conception, to play the changes in this tune is one thing, to sound lyrical and musical is something completely different.....

  18. natjanoff

    I find 26-2 and ESP to be tunes I have to keep playing with some regularity. I could also see how Conception and The Sorcerer could be very tricky
    as well. Countdown is also a bastard as well!

  19. denjz

    Yeah,all the tunes with Coltrane changes are tough.
    Nobody mentioned Inner Urge yet?
    I also find Stablemates to be a tricky one.

  20. I really think the most difficult standards are that ones with very simple harmony and melody!!

    Cheers and Namaste

    I agree, The way you look tonight is more "difficult", for me, than Gian Steps. There is a lot to learn from the masters about the art of turnarounds.
    Best, Jacky

  21. Sandemose

    Yeah, "the simple" ones make me sound awful as well. Like "Impressions". I feel completly naked when I play it. No crazy changes so hide behind. What you show, is what you have :) *brr..*


  22. Gester Lester By kurt rosenwinkel

    Thats incredibly hard

  23. Sandemose

    Joshtaitmusician: yeah, you´re right about that one. Perhaps it will turn out to be a standard as well in the future? This gave me an idea of a new topic I guess.

    "What Kurt tunes do you think will end up as future standards" ? (see new thread, to off topic for this thread)

    Best, Sandemose

  24. I find it works two ways.

    Tunes with very simple repetitive harmony like I VI II V and III VI II V with a bridge that is the same only a 3rd or 4th away. It's a long time on tunes that don't go anywhere harmonically to create something interesting for extended periods of time, especially as rhythmsectionalists to deal with Tenor players wanking away (lol) for hours trying to play something hip. We can't all be Joe Lovano (best Tenor player on standard material like this imo)

    Then it's tunes like ESP. That tune is a true bitch to play something unique over. Dolphin Dance is really hard to play as well between the pedal points and the strange harmonic shifts. I agree also on those Benny Golson tunes like Along Came Betty or Stablemates, weird keys and feel changes.

    Coltrane changes aren't really an issue, you just have to live with them for a while. That's what Trane did, and his solo was rather rudimentary compared to what you hear ppl play over those types of changes now. Obviously I'm not taking anything away from him, I love that solo LOL.


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