19/07/20 - week 6
I've been meaning to learn 'My One And Only Love' for a while now, I thought I'd share the process.
For me, it's important to transcribe the original recording because these old tunes have a tendency to evolve over time, a bit like Chinese whispers. It's always funny when lyrical ballads with heart wrenching narratives become up tempo swingers at a jam session. Listening to the first recording gives a sense of the composition's intended purpose. Consulting Ted Gioia's book 'The Jazz Standards' is a big help when tracking down initial versions and lists other seminal renditions.
So, here's the original 'My One And Only Love', which was actually called 'Music From Beyond The Moon' back in the day.
Next, I transcribed a few alternative chord progressions on the tune. I particularly enjoyed writing out Gwilym's version - in pink if you can decipher it!
Finally, I compiled a master chart with a set of changes most likely used at a jam.
After playing and writing it out in a couple of keys and spending time with different versions, hopefully it'll become an ear worm. That's the initial stages of tune learning complete!
In a masterclass last week, Rob Luft suggested learning, in this case relearning, a Joe Pass chord melody or two as hybrid picking exercises. This is my attempt at 'Have You Met Miss Jones'. Here's a transcription.
I've been tuning into Ali and Taimur Abdaal's 'Not Overthinking' podcast since its inception. Their chatter often results in a unique discussion concerning happiness, creativity and the human condition. This week, their conversation centred around constructionism and autodidacticism, the latter has been on my mind this week too!
Practically my only qualm with Guildhall's jazz course is the absence of a specific repertoire class. Tunes are learnt as a by-product of the syllabus covered in harmony and ensemble classes, but there is no specific time allocated to the study of repertoire - I've started to think that this is a good thing. It would be impossible to go into the necessary depth during class time, thus forcing us to take Great American Songbook study into our own hands.
Being able to freely improvise on repertoire requires a deep understanding of the songbook, hopefully my process (as outlined above) helps me get there. As Ali and Taimur describe, the more personal your method of learning, the better.