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Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, and a comment about the Real Books


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Hey guys (and girls? I don't recall if there are any here :-/). I just joined a jazz trio per my Denver band search and am loving it. It's challenging me to learn some standards I had never considered before. One, however, I have been listening to for a long time: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. I am familiar with the Mingus original, MM's cover, as well as Joni Mitchell's and Jeff Beck's. However I am basing my current study of it off of the original. I have to say, the timing is not as straightforward as I remembered. Ironically I have a much easier time playing the melody than the "simple" bass line that is played over the repeated head.

 

It's such a great song, and I was just wondering if anyone had any comments or thoughts about running it down, because it's cut out of a slightly different mold than a lot of jazz charts. Also, what key do you all like it in? Lots of versions are in E-flat minor, but the Real Book has it in F minor.

 

That leads me to a comment about the Real Book: why are SO many songs in the Real Book transposed into another key besides what is on the original recording (which is usually referred to in the notes)? Other examples I can think of are Freddie Hubbard's Red Clay (rec: C#, RB: C); Coltrane's Equinox (rec: B or Bb I think, RB: C); Take The A Train (once again from something besides C into C), etc. etc. etc. Is it just a lot of trying to get rid of accidentals, or were there a minimum of two versions of everything back in the day?

 

 

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Are you talking about the non-royalty Real Book which floats around in jazz circles?

 

I've used this book for years and the more I use it, the more I am convinced that there is something wrong with every single chart in the book. I'm constantly changing things in it.

 

The legal books by Sher Music, The New Real Book volumes I, II, and III are way more accurate.

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Are you talking about the non-royalty Real Book which floats around in jazz circles?

 

I've used this book for years and the more I use it, the more I am convinced that there is something wrong with every single chart in the book. I'm constantly changing things in it.

 

The legal books by Sher Music, The New Real Book volumes I, II, and III are way more accurate.

 

I wouldn't know what I have--it's the only thing I've ever known, and I believe it is the 6th Edition IIRC of the Real Book volumes that were at one point illegal. I always thought mine was legal, but who knows.

 

p.s. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat has very unusual changes and a slightly unorthodox form, but it really is a blues.

 

Try playing a blues solo over it instead of worrying about all those changes.

 

Thanks for this comment. I take it you'd have me refer to the blues scale based around the minor key center?

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I checked out the New Real Books and sadly they don't offer all of the same tunes; for instance I looked for GBPPH and Red Clay, and couldn't find either in any of the three volumes. Also, couldn't find Spain, yet my xerox copy of it is printed in the same type as the New Real Books.
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GBPPH is in Eb originally - 1st chord Eb7#9

Red Clay I think was C#m + Equinox definitely C#m. Real Books often put them in Cm as many horn players fear C#. I thought A Train had always been in C. The Real Book 6th Ed. has Equinox in Eb.

The reality is that in playing jazz tunes you have to be ready to do them in any key, often at a moment's notice. For example, I've performed Autumn Leaves in about 5 keys I think.

For the Mingus stuff I highly recommend- More Than Just a Play-Along + More Than Just a Fakebook which delve accurately + in depth into his tunes.

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I thought A Train had always been in C.

 

Apparently not, I saw a History Detectives episode the other night and the original printing plate was in Ab IIRC (I saw four flats).

 

The reality is that in playing jazz tunes you have to be ready to do them in any key, often at a moment's notice. For example, I've performed Autumn Leaves in about 5 keys I think.

 

Right, I'm not really talking about that though, because as you say transposition is something you have to do almost every time you play. I just don't get why so much transposition was done with these charts. But you brought up one thought I'd had--horn players fear C#.

 

For the Mingus stuff I highly recommend- More Than Just a Play-Along + More Than Just a Fakebook which delve accurately + in depth into his tunes.

 

Hm, will give them a look. Thanks.

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Jeremy and I played this tune in our bass band "Bassed on Jazz". If I remember we used charts that were right on the money from a book of Mingus music. I'm not recalling the name of the book and maybe Jeremy may remember. I believe the URB player, Kurt had the book.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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I wouldn't know what I have--it's the only thing I've ever known, and I believe it is the 6th Edition IIRC of the Real Book volumes that were at one point illegal. I always thought mine was legal, but who knows.

 

 

In fact, every handwritten version differs from the others. I've had for so many years the "fifth edition" and there are a lot of tunes in there that aren't neither on the other handwritten editions, nor in the "legal", commercial press editions.

 

I have the ones by Sher Music ("New Real Book"), and while they add newest, pop/fusion like tunes, they lack a lamentable lot of standards which are in the handwritten versions. However, I've found (and bought) this edition by Hal Leonard:

Hal Leonard's Real Book 6th Edition.

 

I've found this one really useful. consistent, well printed and easy to read fonts, thoroughly organized, maybe with the same kind of "I would rather have written it like this" details as the handwritten editions, but quite useful anyway. There are also other versions (including the "mini", palm-sized versions) by Hal Leonard, which I haven't bought yet (although I've used the "mini" version from a friend once) as I checked Amazon right now, maybe it's time to check on the other ones.

 

My best advice: Whenever possible, try getting them all. There are never enough tunes, and unless you're building a very strict repertoire based on composer/style preferences, they're always useful.

 

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These are the Mingus books I like:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Charles-Mingus-More-Than-Books/dp/0793509009

 

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514YSSA87FL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg

 

http://www.amazon.com/Charles-Mingus-More-Than-Play-Along/dp/0634001531

 

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510KJBQ5J9L._SL500_AA240_.jpg

 

Really worth getting hold of.

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The odd thing about GBPPH is that the changes for the melody choruses and the solo changes are different.

 

Egads, I wasn't paying enough attention because I was mainly just transcribing the notes. :-O

 

I'm referring to the Mingus-Ah-Um track 2, first solo chorus after the second head (the head repeats). Jaco copies this little trilled part in the Joni Mitchell version as well...

 

Thanks Phil and John... Phil those books look great but sadly I'm kind've "overbooked" right now, i.e. my bookshelf is packed to the gills and I think if I bought another book my wife would kill me! I'll have to get rid of a couple first. Let me look through them and offer some up to the Collective.

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Are you talking about the non-royalty Real Book which floats around in jazz circles?

 

I've used this book for years and the more I use it, the more I am convinced that there is something wrong with every single chart in the book. I'm constantly changing things in it.

 

The legal books by Sher Music, The New Real Book volumes I, II, and III are way more accurate.

 

I thought me and my piano player were the only people who thought this. Even in this little town - far removed from any jazz hot spot with snooty players - people cling to those old books like their life depends on it.

 

Whoever is selling/copying those old books needs to stop and lets make the legal ones the "new standard" in fake books. Not only are they more accurate, but they have suggested parts, horn parts, lyrics, etc. A far more useful resource if you ask me.

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But they don't offer the same songs. There is very little overlap. I have gone through the lists in both and the majority of the songs I like to play and need to be able to show people quickly are in the original books but not in the New Real Books.

 

Also, guys, I figured out that my edition is the legal edition.

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