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Play Misty For Me


Fred_C

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Hi Gents,

 

I think that Misty is probably my favorite Jazz Standard. I play what sounds to me to be a very cool arrangement that uses two different chord melody charts as a basis with some of my own ideas included. It starts in straight time, segues (sp?) into swing time and then returns to straight time. It's got a nice turn around into an "outro verse", ends on a nice MAJ7 arp. and I really enjoy playing it. It has been in a continual state of refinement for about the last 4-5 years. The other day, I stole a three note phrase from some arrangement on Youtube and incredibly, these three little notes took me into a completely new rhythmic "feel" that I think I may have subconsciously stolen from Joe Pass.

 

I happened to visit the Just Jazz Guitar magazine website and there it was. In this month's issue there is an article entitled, "20 Ways to Re-harmonize Misty". Damn! I don't think I'm ever going to complete a definitive arrangement of the tune. This is going to go on forever.

 

My biggest concern is that I've got lots of new music I want to learn. I've probably got 6-10 new pieces that I haven't even started yet, but I continue to obsess over Misty. Somehow, I've got to finalize the arrangement so I can focus on other tunes.

 

Any advice/observations?

 

 

If you play cool, you are cool.
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If MISTY strikes a chord [pun intended] with you Fred, keep playing it, arranging it, studying it, etc. There is whole lotta learning going on...you can limit the time spent on it each day to five or ten minutes, or skip a few days and work on it again for an hour...there is something special about a song that you fall in love with and you may find yourself playing it many different ways.

 

I just watched a blind piano player on PBS last night and I have already forgotten his name. But he is just a fantastic jazz improv pianist and during the interview the interviewer asked him if he could play in the style of Scott Joplin. He played Joplin's style and then gospel style from his church roots. Then he went on to play improvs of America the Beautiful by five or more big band artists like Duke Ellington improvising in each of their styles. It was just amazing! If the song touches you, it's worth doing it 100 different ways, in all the ways you can imagine and learn from it IMHO. :cool:

Take care, Larryz
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Don't "finalize" it. Instead have several different versions of your own that suit different moods, so that you can pull out the one that fits at any given moment. This way, you can have your cake and eat it, too- instead of agonizing over whether you want it this way or that, do both, and more. THEN work on other pieces of music, while occasionally working on or just playing/enjoying/practicing "Misty" now and then.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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@Larry & @Caevan,

 

You guys are absolutely correct! I have been thinking about this most of the day and came to the same conclusion.

 

This is my favorite tune and as such, is a living, breathing piece of art. Like all living, breathing things, it should be in a continual state of refinement and improvement. There is no rule that says I have to play it the same way every time (although this would make life easier). I can play it one way and a different way on another day.

 

Thanks to you both for your valuable and insightful remarks.

 

Regards.

If you play cool, you are cool.
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@Larry & @Caevan,

 

You guys are absolutely correct! I have been thinking about this most of the day and came to the same conclusion.

 

This is my favorite tune and as such, is a living, breathing piece of art. Like all living, breathing things, it should be in a continual state of refinement and improvement. There is no rule that says I have to play it the same way every time (although this would make life easier). I can play it one way and a different way on another day.

 

Thanks to you both for your valuable and insightful remarks.

 

Regards.

 

It's fun and refreshing to try to do various slow, fast, lilting, humorous, angry, high-energy, different keys and/or registers, two-note comping, five or six note chord, complex brainiac, simplified rootsy/retro Blues/Rock, Jazzy chord-melody, etc. etc. etc. versions of a given piece; and doing so will most likely breath new life into your playing in general on other pieces, as well.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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No, you're NOT going to complete a "definitive" arrangement of "Misty", nor SHOULD you. Actually, once you THINK you created the "definitive" arrangement, it won't be long before someone else comes up with something really different.

 

Truth be told, you will only be able to come up with a wholly different arrangement that pleases YOU. THAT should be good enough.

 

And now, that tune is going to be stuck in my head all day. The upside is that for once, a tune I LIKE is stuck in my head for a change!

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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And now, that tune is going to be stuck in my head all day. The upside is that for once, a tune I LIKE is stuck in my head for a change!

Whitefang

 

Yeah. It is a beautiful piece of music.

If you play cool, you are cool.
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@ DBM

<--- here's a lady that can play it with her voice...I learned this song back in '78 from a studio jazz musician friend of mine. It inspired me to teach myself improvisation even though I can't remember how I used to play it...I really appreciate hearing Joe Pass playing this tune and showing us all how a guitar should sound when you "know how"... :cool:

 

ps. speaking of knowing how, I have tickets to go see Frank Vignola (and his back up man Vinny Raniolo). If he ever comes near your town, it's worth the drive to hear them play. Frank plays with the likes of Tommy Emmanuel and Bucky Pizzarelli and in the past with Les Paul. Looking forward to April 14th! :cool:

Take care, Larryz
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@ DBM
<--- here's a lady that can play it with her voice...I learned this song back in '78 from a studio jazz musician friend of mine. It inspired me to teach myself improvisation even though I can't remember how I used to play it...I really appreciate hearing Joe Pass playing this tune and showing us all how a guitar should sound when you "know how"... :cool:

 

ps. speaking of knowing how, I have tickets to go see Frank Vignola (and his back up man Vinny Raniolo). If he ever comes near your town, it's worth the drive to hear them play. Frank plays with the likes of Tommy Emmanuel and Bucky Pizzarelli and in the past with Les Paul. Looking forward to April 14th! :cool:

 

:cool:

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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@Larryz:

 

Here's another nice vocal arrangement by Dakota Staton.

 

 

Julie London also does a nice job with the vocal and as an added plus looks like she could "suck a grapefruit through a garden hose".

 

If you play cool, you are cool.
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Somewhere I came across this quote recently:

"When music is settled, it dies".

Maybe Stravinsky...anyhow it's seems relevant here.

 

I've sometimes wondered if all those old "masters"; Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, etc., really MEANT for their compositions to be "written in stone". Or would they be accepting to others who followed to reimagine their OWN takes on the compositions. I know that Mahler tinkered a bit with Beethoven's 9th, but all in all it sounds pretty much the same. At least the "differences" seem negligable in the long run. It seems the only time anybody played around with some old "warhorses" it was someone like Wendy( Walter) Carlos or Tomita, doing them up electronically. I don't recall anyone doing a radical "reworking" of a classical masterpiece.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I recall that back in the late 70's or very early 80's I heard a recording of Beethoven's 5th Symphony by Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic. The famous first movement was one of the most beautiful I had ever heard. The music was powerful, regal and elegant. It was heaven.

 

I immediately went out to a record store and bought the 9 symphonies by Herbert von Karajan conducting The Berlin Philharmonic on Deutsche Grammophon. It was a beautiful set in a really nice box with an accompanying book of gorgeous color photographs. I went home and immediately put the 5th Symphony on my turntable. Von Karajan had increased the tempo to a frantic pace. It was ridiculously fast. All of the majesty, elegance and power that I had experienced listening to the Bernstein was lost. I have never been so disappointed in a recording in my entire life. All the notes were there, but the beauty had evaporated into the ether.

 

I sold the set of records, box photos and all at a significant loss because it had no value to me. :facepalm:

 

"All that glisters is not gold

Gilded tombs do dead men's bones enfold"

 

-Wm. Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice

 

 

If you play cool, you are cool.
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I recall that back in the late 70's or very early 80's I heard a recording of Beethoven's 5th Symphony by Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic. The famous first movement was one of the most beautiful I had ever heard. The music was powerful, regal and elegant. It was heaven.

 

I immediately went out to a record store and bought the 9 symphonies by Herbert von Karajan conducting The Berlin Philharmonic on Deutsche Grammophon. It was a beautiful set in a really nice box with an accompanying book of gorgeous color photographs. I went home and immediately put the 5th Symphony on my turntable. Von Karajan had increased the tempo to a frantic pace. It was ridiculously fast. All of the majesty, elegance and power that I had experienced listening to the Bernstein was lost. I have never been so disappointed in a recording in my entire life. All the notes were there, but the beauty had evaporated into the ether.

 

I sold the set of records, box photos and all at a significant loss because it had no value to me. :facepalm:

 

Karajan is an excellent conductor, but often let his ego get in the way of his delivery. I still have the box set of Bernstein conducting the nine symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic from around 1980. I also have the CD reissue. I haven't heard the 5th with New York that you mention, but I imagine Bernstein's approach with Vienna might be the same.

 

In the 9th, there's always been a repeat of a section of the second movement in all the recordings I've heard of it EXCEPT a recording by Karajan with Berlin for some reason. So, I stick with the Bernstein. But classical music is RIFE with this sort of thing. There are examples of some "budget" label recordings of symphonies and concertos with "lesser" pianists, orchestras and conductors doing a better job than some of the more well known names in their interpretations. At least, to MY ear. People who aren't into classical can't understand what difference a conductor can make if the MUSIC is all written down. But there can be a WORLD of difference, depending on the piece. It's why buying classical recordings can often be a crapshoot.

 

An interesting joke used to circulate among the members of the Berlin Philharmonic: One day there was a disturbance in Heaven. God was in a foul mood and was ranting and raving to extremes. One angel turned to another and asked, "What's the matter with God?". The second angel said, "You know Him. He thinks he's KARAJAN!"

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I recall that back in the late 70's or very early 80's I heard a recording of Beethoven's 5th Symphony by Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic. The famous first movement was one of the most beautiful I had ever heard. The music was powerful, regal and elegant. It was heaven.

 

 

:facepalm:

 

Karajan is an excellent conductor, but often let his ego get in the way of his delivery. I still have the box set of Bernstein conducting the nine symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic from around 1980. I also have the CD reissue. I haven't heard the 5th with New York that you mention, but I imagine Bernstein's approach with Vienna might be the same.

 

In the 9th, there's always been a repeat of a section of the second movement in all the recordings I've heard of it EXCEPT a recording by Karajan with Berlin for some reason. So, I stick with the Bernstein. But classical music is RIFE with this sort of thing. There are examples of some "budget" label recordings of symphonies and concertos with "lesser" pianists, orchestras and conductors doing a better job than some of the more well known names in their interpretations. At least, to MY ear. People who aren't into classical can't understand what difference a conductor can make if the MUSIC is all written down. But there can be a WORLD of difference, depending on the piece. It's why buying classical recordings can often be a crapshoot.

 

An interesting joke used to circulate among the members of the Berlin Philharmonic: One day there was a disturbance in Heaven. God was in a foul mood and was ranting and raving to extremes. One angel turned to another and asked, "What's the matter with God?". The second angel said, "You know Him. He thinks he's KARAJAN!"

Whitefang

 

Fang,

 

It has been many years since I purchased the Bernstein 9. I no longer have the recording (a casualty of a divorce). It may well have been the Vienna set. 1980 was right around the time all this went down.

 

LOVED the Von Karajan joke!

If you play cool, you are cool.
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Damn! I FEEL for ya, Fred. I left a LOT of good vinyl behind when I left the ex. Grabbed what I could, making sure the Bernstein was among them, figuring I'd pick up the rest later. She tossed them before I could though.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I used to do that at first until I remembered my Grandmother's favorite saying( which she couldn't remember who to credit it to)...

 

"My life is in the hands of any fool who can cause me to lose my temper."

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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  • 3 weeks later...

 

Hey Gents,

 

I apologize for the slight bump.

 

I pulled the trigger on the latest copy of Just Jazz Guitar Magazine to get the article on "20 ways to re-harmonize Misty".

 

Pretty interesting. But it was not as expected. For some unknown reason (wishful thinking?) I was picturing 20 different complete arrangements. I know this was unrealistic, because that would take up 40 pages or more of the magazine. As it turns out, it's just the main first phrase (Bb,G,D) harmonized 20 ways. Oh well, it was only $12 + shipping and I should get some valuable improvs of the phrase out of it. :)

If you play cool, you are cool.
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I should get some valuable improvs of the phrase out of it. :)

 

Glad to hear it, Fred. But you could've probably came up with those on your own WITHOUT waiting for a BOOK to tell you what to play.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I should get some valuable improvs of the phrase out of it. :)

 

Glad to hear it, Fred. But you could've probably came up with those on your own WITHOUT waiting for a BOOK to tell you what to play.

Whitefang

 

That may or may not be true. But it probably would have taken me half of forever. It's some pretty advanced stuff.

 

This reminds me to the quotation:

 

"If you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, eventually one of them will write Shakespeare." :laugh:

If you play cool, you are cool.
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Hey Gents,

 

I apologize for the slight bump.

 

I pulled the trigger on the latest copy of Just Jazz Guitar Magazine to get the article on "20 ways to re-harmonize Misty".

 

Pretty interesting. But it was not as expected. For some unknown reason (wishful thinking?) I was picturing 20 different complete arrangements. I know this was unrealistic, because that would take up 40 pages or more of the magazine. As it turns out, it's just the main first phrase (Bb,G,D) harmonized 20 ways. Oh well, it was only $12 + shipping and I should get some valuable improvs of the phrase out of it. :)

 

Reminds me of the song "There must be 20 ways to lose your lover"...so it begs the question, did you find one you like best or did you stick with your own? :cool:

Take care, Larryz
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