Hey I have only been playing mandolin a few months, but I have been a musician for years, I already know a lot of theory and can read standard notation (but don't practice enough). I can play most any thing, exept for real classic Jazz. I can build any chord and i've learned some stock 2-5-1 progressions.
I still feel like I don't know what truly makes something jazz, it seems like it is a matter of resolving the notes you hit into a new chord rather then thinking about a specific chord progression. Is it just a matter of learning standards at the start? I listen to good music and good jazz musicians already. I mean I can add some crazy tension with the bebop scale or write songs that modulate, but I still feel like something is missing from the sound of a strait jazz song.
"And above all, respond to all questions regarding a given song's tonal orientation in the following manner: Hell, it don't matter, just kick it off!!"