Wynton Marsalis Discussion Forum


is it the end of the jazz standard?


Total Posts: 2

Joined 2011-05-31


From NPR Blog in 2009:

“...artists heard here break away from covering standards and turn their attention to jazz covers of modern-day fare: Judas Priest, Radiohead, Aphex Twin, Bjork and Elliott Smith. The results are respectful but not overly reverent; some may even unlock new jazz standards for future generations.”


The above excerpt from NPR’s A Blog Supreme also discussed the potential demise of the jazz standard, i.e no more new songs being added to the great american songbook.  Further it lamented the difficulty of selecting what would go into a new american song book, because there is so much more material than at the time the original american songbook was assembled.


As the above post laments there may never be more jazz standards, and that there are just too many songs to choose from, i beg to differ.

Here are my thoughts, and very optimistic, i might add:



look at great songwriters since 1960s and you have the future jazz standards- Paul Simon, Beatles, Carol King, Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Webb, ...the way to determin the new standards song book is to start where the old left off (the 50s) and go from there 20-30 years forward.  Then you have a much narrower song list from which to pick new standards. We know what has held up for several decades provided it was recorded 20 or more years ago- now that encompasses the 1960, 70s, maybe 80s.  Newer than that, we are not sure of yet…


SO that leaves a much smaller list to select your new standards from - then focus on the songwriters/bands of 40 to 50 years ago whose songs are played all the time -  in many renditions, in elevators, in country, rock, pop and other genres…those tend to be the standards.


Songs of:  carol king, dylan, paul simon, barcharach, joni mitchell, Jim Morrison of the doors, Donavan Leach, Moody Blues… and many others.  Then consider the lyrics—are they timeless—do they have depth—meaning—do they give you something that stays with you after you’ve listened to them—do they make you change your mind, fall in love, decide to act, decide to love life again, or get angry about something wrong in your estimation? 


Would they survive in a book of poetry? 


All the above having a yes answer means they are potential standards - provided the melodies click in with those lyrics for maximum impact upon the audience.

Sugar, ya honey honey you are my candy girl==no

Louie Louie me gotta go= no


Tonight you’re mine completely you give your love so sweetly = yes.

Once upon a time you dressed so fine, threw the bums a dime=yes


There are places I remember all my life, though some have changed…in my…life, I love them all = yes


I once had a girl or should i say she once had me…she told me she worked in the morning and started to laff, I told her I didnt’ and crawled off to sleep in the bath=yes.


The time to hesitate is thru, no time to wallow in the mire= yes


Take it easy take is easy…=no


Beautiful faces and loud empty places= maybe


you are the sunshine of my life=yes


I know your image of me is what I hope to be= yes


I wanna make it with you=no


Human kindness is overflowing, I think it’s gonna rain today = yes


By the time I get to phoenix she’ll be rising…she’ll laugh just to think I’d really leave her, cause I’ve left that girl so many times….=yes


how can you mend, a broken heart, how can you keep the rain fromo falling down, how can you stop, the sun from shining, what makes the world go round=yes


On a cold and grey Chicago morn, another little baby child is born, in the ghetto=yes.


just a few observations-  care to add your yes/no list?


People say I’m the life of the party cause I tell a joke or 2 , although I might be laffing loud and hearty, deep inside i’m blue, so take a good look at my face, you’ll see my smile looks out of place = yes!!!!


In the chilley hours and minuete of uncertainty, I long to be, in the warm hold of your loving mind…ah but I may as well try and catch the wind = yes!!


Thanks for reading, please add/share your thoughts…



Total Posts: 2

Joined 2011-05-31


thank you jazz lovers:)


Total Posts: 7

Joined 2011-05-18


Very interesting post you have there bud. I just hope jazz wouldn’t end like that. I love jazz. It’s so relaxing and it’s just sad that fewer people appreciate such music. And evidently, musicians nowadays don’t indulge to jazz music since they think, maybe, that there is only a minimal chance for them to be famous or be heard. Oh well.


Total Posts: 2

Joined 2011-05-31


Thanks for your responses.  What songs would you like to see in a “New” American songbook?