View Poll Results: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

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  • Soft Winds

    14 56.00%
  • Mack The Knife

    8 32.00%
  • Five Foot Two

    3 12.00%
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Thread: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

  1. #1
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Here is the March tune of the month poll.

    Soft Winds



    Mack the Knife



    Five Foot Two
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Soft wind - Lionel Hampton on vibes - Charlie Christian on guitar. mmmm!

    I've been meaning to throw the following out there for a while -

    Any other mandolin players find the vibes interesting or relevant or inspiring ? Percussive, similar range in pitch, similarly focussed (narrow?) dynamic and timbre range, possibilties for tremolo, double stops and four note chords, sustain can be limited - depends on the instrument for mando - pedal on vibes. Vibes can do those amazing fast runs so gracefully though - not so sure about mandolin there.

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  5. #3
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Well I love the Goodman combos with Christian - tunes like "Airmail Special", "Flying Home", etc.

    But I voted for "Five Foot Two" - which is great fun to play and works really well on mandolin.

    As much as I love Louis Armstrong, I have never liked "Mack the Knife", not in any version. I cringed when I had to play it on gigs, and I NEVER call it for myself.

    I recorded on guitar this as an example for another forum:


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  7. #4
    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    I think I find myself disagreeing David for the 1st time. Tune of the month or not, I love Mack the Knife for it's killer (pun intended) lyrics.
    Each verse reports some nefarious deed by Old MacHeath.
    "On the sidewalk, Sunday morning,
    Lies a body, oozin' life,
    someone's sneakin' 'round the corner,
    could that someone, be Mack the Knife."
    Joe B

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  9. #5
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Quote Originally Posted by mandopops View Post
    I think I find myself disagreeing David for the 1st time. Tune of the month or not, I love Mack the Knife for it's killer (pun intended) lyrics.
    Each verse reports some nefarious deed by Old MacHeath.
    "On the sidewalk, Sunday morning,
    Lies a body, oozin' life,
    someone's sneakin' 'round the corner,
    could that someone, be Mack the Knife."
    Joe B
    You brought out the real reason for the song - the words.

    Which are a translation anyway since the original is in German:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mack_the_Knife

    "composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their music drama Die Dreigroschenoper, or, as it is known in English, The Threepenny Opera. It premiered in Berlin in 1928"

    ""Mack the Knife" was introduced to the United States hit parade by Louis Armstrong in 1956, but the song is most closely associated with Bobby Darin"

    http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=564

    "The light melody can make this feel like an upbeat song, but it contrasts sharply with the lyrics, which are about a murderer."

    "The original German lyrics were far more graphic, making it clear that this is a murderer we're talking about."

    https://www.shmoop.com/mack-the-knife/meaning.html

    ""Mack the Knife" was composed on a whim by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill while they were putting the finishing touches on Die Dreigroschenoper in 1928. As the story goes, the diva-esque tenor who was playing the part of Mackie Messer, a.k.a. Macheath or Mack the Knife, suggested that a whole song should be written to introduce his character before he comes on stage.

    As one columnist recently wrote, "the essence of the song is: Oh, look who's coming onstage, it's Mack the Knife—a thief, murderer, arsonist, and rapist." (Source) The song, which became the opening number, was composed in less than 24 hours and added to the show at the final hour. Little did Weill and Brecht know it would be one of their most well-known legacies."

    "The song cheerfully announces that Mack the Knife is on his way to town, followed by untraceable dead bodies floating up the river, blood on the sidewalks, and the disappearance of rich people and their cash. But, like the guys in The Sopranos, The Godfather and The Wire, you can't help but like him at least a little bit.
    The Song's Influence
    It might be possible to see the popularity of "Mack the Knife" in the 1950s as a sort of pre-cursor to the massive popularity of gangsta rap in the 1990s."

    Anyway, outside of the original musical, I never got it, but again I am in a small minority as everyone else loves this song.

    So if that's the choice we make, well, I've already recorded it one more time than I thought I ever would, so I'll pass on mandolin on that tune.

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  11. #6
    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Yes indeed, David, it is a dark graphic tune. I’ve Seen a couple of stage versions of the 3penny Opera thru the years & it is fairly seedy. The pop versions of the time may gloss it over, but I still like Bobby Darin’s. & I love The Godfather.
    That said, I’d vote for Soft Winds, cool Blues tune with the extra bars thrown in.
    Joe B

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  13. #7
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Every genre has its murder ballads
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  15. #8
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Quote Originally Posted by des View Post
    Any other mandolin players find the vibes interesting or relevant or inspiring ? Percussive, similar range in pitch, similarly focussed (narrow?) dynamic and timbre range, possibilties for tremolo, double stops and four note chords, sustain can be limited -
    I find both vibes and piano very similar to mandolin, fast attack, little sustain (without the pedal) and have stolen a number of things from those players. Ive transcribed and learned several Milt Jackson solos.
    -----------
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  17. #9
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    David, thanks for the history on Mack The Knife, very interesting. I only knew it as a popular song, and remember it from childhood (my dad was an amateur musician and loved to sing, and I knew the Armstrong and Darin versions).
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  19. #10

    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Martin View Post
    I find both vibes and piano very similar to mandolin, fast attack, little sustain (without the pedal) and have stolen a number of things from those players. Ive transcribed and learned several Milt Jackson solos.
    I'd love to hear how the Milt Jackson solos sound on mandolin (alas my own transcription skills aren't there yet). Come to think of it how about Bag's Groove as a Jazz tune of the month at some time in the future?

  20. #11
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    As a bluegrasser I am learning a lot from these threads before a song is even picked, so thanks to all that contribute!
    Never really heard any of these 3 before but Soft Winds definitely appeals to me the most
    Drew
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  21. #12

    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    I also voted for Soft Winds. I was not familiar with the tune, at least by name, and like the subtle melody.
    <><><>><<><><>
    Start slow, fade early

  22. #13

    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    I like David's take on "Mack the Knife," though not as much as Sonny Rollins (from his classic Saxophone Columbus album.


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  24. #14
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartE View Post
    I like David's take on "Mack the Knife," though not as much as Sonny Rollins (from his classic Saxophone Columbus album.
    Heck, I like Sonny's better too!

  25. #15

    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Nice selection to choose from, Pete; thanks!

    I have been playing "Five Foot Two" in a ragtime medley with "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" and (sometimes) "My Four Reasons". All three have the same chord progression and the improvisation can be exchanged between the different songs. So I'll pass on that one although it would be interesting to hear everyone else's interpretations.

    I am like David in that I am not a fan of the "Mack the Knife" lyrics. That song has been overdone by the Rat Pack crowd IMHO.

    Thus, you know my choice.
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell, and the ones with the words don't know so well." - Bruce Cockburn

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  27. #16

    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Martin View Post
    Every genre has its murder ballads
    Yup. LOTS of 'em in the Child ballads. Plenty in the blues.

  28. #17
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Yes - - always thought of vibes solos as a rich field to explore for mandolin. I've been transcribing Milt Jackson solos for years to get that bluesy spirit-feel he has - - great stuff!
    Will Patton

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  30. #18
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    I love the Superbass version of Mack the Knife (Instrumental) I have never been fond of the vocal versions either. With Ray Brown, Christian McBride, and John Clayton it seems more like a vehicle for improv anyway.



    I had not heard Soft Winds before, that one seems like fun.
    Last edited by Lawrence Fullenkamp; Feb-23-2018 at 4:43pm.

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  32. #19
    Registered User Calicos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Quote Originally Posted by des View Post
    Soft wind - Lionel Hampton on vibes - Charlie Christian on guitar. mmmm!

    I've been meaning to throw the following out there for a while -

    Any other mandolin players find the vibes interesting or relevant or inspiring ? Percussive, similar range in pitch, similarly focussed (narrow?) dynamic and timbre range, possibilties for tremolo, double stops and four note chords, sustain can be limited - depends on the instrument for mando - pedal on vibes. Vibes can do those amazing fast runs so gracefully though - not so sure about mandolin there.


    I really love the vibes! I never really thought about all those similarities, very interesting.
    2015 Rod Smith A

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  34. #20

    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    It's interesting to know that other people - including luminaries like Will Patton & Pete Martin - find vibes inspiring.

    Might be worth a new thread?

  35. #21
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Mack the Knife has lyrics??

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  37. #22
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    Mack the Knife has lyrics??
    If you could call Louis Armstrong's singing "lyrics"
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  39. #23

    Default Re: Poll: March Jazz tune of the month

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Martin View Post
    If you could call Louis Armstrong's singing "lyrics"


    Good one, Pete.

    BTW, for the next month (April), you should consider making one of the three choices an off copyright song; that way, we'll have a song for the cheapskate venues at which some of us play.
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell, and the ones with the words don't know so well." - Bruce Cockburn

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