Thursday evening my big band class had its final practice for the semester. The next semester begins January 15.
My note reading skill continues to evolve, and my ear gets better too, as time goes by. Songs we have been studying lately include Caravan, Blue Monk, Georgia On My Mind and Sing, Sing, Sing. This is in addition to our songs carried over from last semester, e.g. In The Mood and Pennsylvania 6-5000. Next semester we will study Corner Pocket, Killer Joe, The More I see You and Don't Get Around Much Anymore.
If you haven't heard of some of these songs, neither had I. They were popular songs in the 1930s and 1940s and are still used for jazz. You can find all of them on YouTube, played by various musicians, including the original artists.
The last two songs interest me greatly -- they are called "standards" in musical parlance, which usually means love song ballads -- think Michael Buble or Harry Connick Jr. Playing jazz versions is called playing "jazz standards." Jazz standards is what I most aspire to. These are some of my favorite standards (in addition to the two previously noted):
Fly Me To The Moon
My Funny Valentine
Taking a Chance on Love
Baby It's Cold Outside
Thanks For The Memory
All of Me
Quando, Quando, Quando
A Foggy Day In London Town
I've Got You Under My Skin
Those are some that immediately come to mind. There are many more.
After our last practice ended, some of the other musicians told me that "the bass sounds really good," and that made me happy.
During the Christmas break, I hope to continue studying and practicing the song list on my own. I feel that I am on the verge of a break-through, i.e. that point at which one rises to a new level of performance.
Here's Frank Sinatra singing "Fly Me To The Moon." He really nails it.