JAZZ CLASSICS-150 STANDARDS
We know as standards those compositions performed and recorded by a large number of musicians that are part of their usual repertoire and widely known among their listeners. There is not a definitive list of standards as the song index is under continuous change over the years.
The standards have their origin in popular songs such as Tin Pan Alley (1), in Broadway musicals, or in films, generally from Hollywood. During more than twenty years, since the 30s, the most recorded jazz standard was “St. Louis Blues”, by W. C. Handy, which was replaced by “Star Dust”, by Hoagy Carmichael. Nowadays, the number one is taken by Johnny Green’s “Body and Soul”.
EACH SONG´S INDEX CARD
This web page includes a hundred and fifty standards chosen by me among the most popular ones. For the analysis of the selected songs, an index card has been used (the same for all of them) containing the following information: title of the song, name of the music and the lyrics’ authors, and year of composition; a brief review indicating the song’s origin and its first performance; the recording versions that appeared in the popular top charts, indicating their date of inclusion; famous jazz versions of each song, instrumental as well as vocal, indicating their principal performer, the recording date, and the artists that took part in it; and, finally, the films whose soundtrack include that song. The chosen date format has been year.month.day in order to facilitate the chronological order.
The selection of the instrumental and vocal versions is exclusively based on recommendations of critics, writers, specialised authors, musicians, etc. It is not, therefore, my personal election; I like a lot of them and some others are not of my taste. The latest are kept to respect the experts’ and the possible readers’ judgement.
THE CONTENT OF THIS WEBSITE
This website offers information and music. Its aim is to serve as a guidance to people who take their first look into this area of jazz, mostly young people, as well as give amateurs in general some information that they might not have. This website does not have lucrative or commercial purposes; it is only didactic and educative, as it can be clearly seen throughout its organisation. It has not been carried out by a music professional but by an enthusiastic veteran who has dedicated many years to listening, gathering and organising references about jazz. If this work brings adepts to this unique and original genre, I will be grateful.
This website is divided into six chapters: presentation, songs (that, in turn, contain four sections), most prominent performers, compositors, songwriters, and a blog. When opening each chapter or section, their content and how they work is concisely explained.
Inside each song’s index card, all the information contained in the section “Versions in the top charts” refer to the Pop lists and are taken from the unbeatable and absolutely recommendable Joel Whitburn’s books. When the information refers to the Rythm & Blues lists, or the Country & Western lists, also taken from publications of the same author, it will be indicated in the column on the right.
(1) Name of an area in New York where, between 1890 and 1940, a lot of the music editorials of the city where established.