Repertoire - Spring 2018 workshops

The difficulty of the material and the amount covered will be dictated by the level of the group and is subject to change if the tutor feels that something else would be more appropriate and helpful, so this list may be updated. Of course there are many recorded examples of all of these tunes, but it is essential that you are very familiar with the original or definitive versions of the tunes you are trying to learn. 


For the current series of workshops we'll be looking at the following tunes and we'll be using transcriptions of these specific recordings, not "Real Book" or "Aebersold" or "Hal Leonard" versions. Make sure you are sourcing the correct version in the correct key and make sure you know the particular recording that we will be working on, not another version.


Mack The Knife - by Kurt Weill - as recorded by Heads South on "Record Flight"  - Click HERE to get it on iTunes

Blue Monk - by Thelonious Monk - as recorded on "Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk" - Click HERE to get it on iTunes. 


Of course, I would recommend that you get the whole albums, not just the tracks, and check them out too. But that is not an essential requirement for the workshop sessions. 



A thought about jazz repertoire in general... 

Jazz has been around for about 100 years and over that time it has evolved and is continuing to evolve. As each new generation came along with a new style of jazz, so they approached the music in new and radical ways. There are many different ways of playing jazz, each with its own sets of protocol and concepts according to each different style and individual approach. Thus, we need to be aware of the history and development of each different style and approach to jazz and understand the different concepts and how they work in context with the music and what the musicians were trying to do at the time. The concepts and musical devices that Louis Armstrong used for improvising were different to Dizzy Gillespie, and Dizzy Gillespie used different methods to Miles Davis, and so on. As the music evolved so did the methods and concepts for improvising on the music. This can be confusing for students of jazz who may have learned one thing from one teacher or workshop and then struggle to apply it in another situation, which may be out of context. Playing Jazz Standards from Real books can add to this confusion because they can feel very generic and not specific to any style. Of course, for the experienced jazz musician this can be beneficial and liberating as it enables the music to be played in any style. But for the jazz student this lack of context can be confusing as there is no protocol to guide them. Therefore, when learning it is extremely beneficial to focus on particular recordings, as they give a sense of time and place and context, which can guide the student when making artistic choices.