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4463Re: [RedHotJazz] Take It From The Verse...

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  • David W. Littlefield
    Jul 10, 2007
      At 01:35 PM 07/10/07, you wrote:
      >-- it surprises a lot of people (no one here, of
      >course) that a lot of jazz standards we know and love are really only
      >known by their chorus'... but virtually all of them have verses that -
      >for whatever reason, have been eliminated from subsequent versions...
      >It's really only through sheet music that I know they exist -- it's
      >like a language being shed of its elements!
      >I'd love to find more recorded versions that include these.
      >For instance, how about a good version of 'Dinah'with the verse (I
      >think the Boswell Sisters have one, but is it the real verse) ? 'China
      >Boy'? 'Nobody's Sweetheart'? 'Some of These Days'?
      >I know if anybody knows, the mavens of this list will!

      Hi Dave. I'm very interested in verses, specifically because I
      publish fake books for musicians and have increasingly included
      verses in my sheets. This is due in part to increased interest by
      musicians with a hobbyist interest in the tunes, partly because there
      are some neat verses that truly enhance performance of the tunes. The
      "jazzbos", as I call 'em, weren't/aren't interested in the
      verses--they just use the parts of tunes they can jazz up, and verses
      generally don't jazz readily. Verses are really more for vocalists.

      So, Dave, to get recordings with the verses, you go to the non-jazz
      pop records by "feature" singers like Annette Hanshaw, Gene Austin,
      Rudy Vallee, Bing Crosby, Al Jolson Sophie Tucker, all of whom
      usually sang the verses, more or less straight. Sophie Tucker sang
      the verse of "Some of these days", on, I think, both her 20s records.
      On the records by dance orchestras, the vocalists generally sing only
      the chorus, but many records do play the verse instrumentally.

      Many records were made by bands (eg. California Ramblers) that used
      orchestrations ("stock charts", "stocks") put out by the same
      publishers as the sheet music. The charts were written in sections:
      1. melody played one or more times, often with vocal; 2. verse (no
      vocal) in a key higher than the melody. 3. in the same or higher key,
      a clarinet trio or something; 4. one or more out choruses. Usually
      the charts when played in full were longer than the 78s, so sections
      were omitted. To the uninitiated listener, the verse just sounds like
      a 16-bar interlude.

      That'll get you started. Ask me questions!

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