There Will Never Be Another You

It occured to me while looking over the things I want to write about that I haven't really done much jazz yet- mostly popular music.  I do consider myself primarily a jazz musician, and yet I feel strangely like I want to be somehow distanced from the jazz community.  Partially, there just happens to be a ton of great material out there, and I'm worried I'll address something many people have looked at in way more detail than I have.  I'm not going to let this stop me, I have a few things I've been looking at in depth that I'm eager to talk about by Ornette Coleman and Wayne Shorter.

Click here for an overwhelming list of amazing online jazz resources - Bob Keller's site

Another thing I want to distance myself from is the idea that jazz is playing standards for three hours as background music at medium tempos while everyone thinks about whether they can get free food during the break or not.  I have done so many of these gigs that often when I play with the same musicians in a concert, similar vibes creep in, and it terrifies me.  There are a few things I have done to fight this.  The first is to always try tunes at different tempos and feels than I'm accustomed to.  Of course, this isn't always desirable, but whatever the choice-- making a conscious effort to dig into it.  Listening to your bandmate(s) with full focus should keep the tempo from moving to a nearby auto-pilot speed, but I find three sets of this is all I can handle and then I'm exhausted physically and mentally.  I used to play 4 sets a night at a restaurant multiple times a week.  I can only imagine how much spacing out must have happened.  I even played 18 sets in two days once- (3x3hr 'gigs' separated by an hour Saturday&Sunday) for the opening of the Loblaws on an old portable keyboard.  I'm lucky I didn't hurt myself.  The other thing you can always do is keep your attitude positive.  It seems obvious, but playing songs you love will make you have more fun than reading tunes in alphabetical order out of the fake book.  Mind you, all those tunes are very lovable.  I'm especially fond of the 'A's and early 'B's.

I'm going to conclude this post with a look at version of "There Will Never Be Another You".  At one point I swore this was the tune I was most sick of playing.  (As far as overplayed standards on cocktail gigs go, I really love Autumn Leaves, but I feel like somehow other people shot it down more than half the times I wanted to play it).  It's a great tune with unique changes.  (Almost unique).

The first version I heard was from "Chet Baker Sings", a great collection of short tasteful arrangements of common vocal tunes that now I realize really helped start me learning tunes quickly by internalizing the lyrics and melody, and then recalling the harmony that fit. 

I also remember being struck by Joe Williams' version.  While slower, somehow he seems happy at his loss, which is a different layer to the lyric than I would have thought of.  Chet's version is upbeat, but he's always kind of withdrawn and wistful.

This Nancy Wilson version has more longing in it (and not just because of the overly epic string sectional solo), although I seem to remember her doing an upbeat version as well.

I even transcribed a Joe Lovano solo over the similar changes to "Weaver of Dreams" (played in Eb, the usual key for "Another You")-- this after I realized I was looking for ways to refresh my outlook on a song I would have to continue playing whether I liked it or not.  It's safe to say now that I have found many ways to enjoy it. 
I'm hoping to post excerpts from the solo here, but I'm still looking into copyright issues.  It looks like excerpts are alright for educational purposes, but transcriptions are definitely a grey area.

Leave a comment

Add comment