A jazz standard is a composition that is held in continuing esteem and is commonly used as the basis of jazz arrangements and improvisations. The most common categories of origin are: Tin Pan Alley, Broadway musicals and Hollywood movies and to a less extent certain jazz composers. - jazzstandards.com
written by Cy Coleman
Witchcraft was composed by Cy Coleman with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh. It was released as a single by Frank Sinatra in 1957
At the 1st Grammy Awards, held on May 4, 1959, Frank Sinatra was nominated for six Grammy awards, with Sinatra's recording of "Witchcraft" being nominated for the Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, and Nelson Riddle's arrangement nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement.
My arrangement is a laid back swing version with a simple shout chorus after the solo. A 2nd trombone joins in with a counter melody.
written by Léo Chauliac and Charles Trenet
This beautiful tune originated as a popular French song titled “Que reste-t-il de nos amours?” back in 1942. The music was written by Léo Chauliac and Charles Trenet and the French lyrics were by Charles Trenet. In 1957, the song was released to English-speaking audiences as "I Wish You Love", with new lyrics by Albert Askew Beach. Natalie Cole did an absolutely wonderful version on her 1993 album “Take a Look”.
My Latin-flavored arrangement skips the intro (“Goodbye, no use leading with our chins…”) and features an expressive trombone :-).
written by Hoagy Carmichael (lyrics by Johnny Mercer)
This is another gorgeous song from yesteryear. The music was penned by Hoagy Carmichael ("Stardust", "Georgia on My Mind" and others). Its a beautiful melody and sits well with the trombone.
My arrangement features the jazz guitar paired with vibes.1 The bone solo section is based on quartal-voiced harmony for a bit of contrast. It was re-recorded in November 2022 to "tame" the trombone sound.
FORM is Intro › AABA (tune) › Bone solo › B (Vibes Solo) › A (Tune Recap and coda)
Linda Ronstadt does an absolutely stunning version... be sure to check out the YouTube link.
- Jazz Guitar: Roland D-50 / JV-880 combo
- Vibes: Roland MKS-20
written by Hoagy Carmichael
Another amazing jazz standard written by the ever-so-talented Hoagy Carmichael.
I have rewritten the tune in 3/4 rather than the original 4/4 time signature. My arrangement is in F, keeping the trombone in a resonant yet somewhat brighter register. (Norah Jones, who recently made this tune famous once again, does it in the key of C).
As in my other tunes in this studio arrangement section, the interplay between the Rhodes, jazz guitar and electric bass keeps the accompaniment subtly lively despite the absence of a live drummer. It was re-recorded in October 2022 and is sounding a helluvalot better!
FORM is Intro > AABA (tune) > AA (Bone solo) > B (surprise!) > A (Tune Recap) > Outro
This song was been covered by a wide variety of artists. Ned Washington’s lyrics wonderfully capture the soft sensuality of love at its best. Three eclectic choices below:
written by Ray Evans
This beautiful tune was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston for the Paramount Pictures film Captain Carey, U.S.A. (1950). The soundtrack version by Nat King Cole spent eight weeks at number one in the Billboard singles chart in 1950 and Cole's version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992. Among his many recordings, Nat King Cole described this song as one of his favorites.
It's a gorgeous melody and I have chosen to keep the arrangement simple. There's no improv solo—just the melody once through. Strings provide a lush orchestral countermelody. It was re-recorded in October 2022...
composed by eden ahbez (a.k.a. George McGrew)
George McGrew—the songwriter—was living in a cave when he wrote this masterpiece! He was following a back-to-nature lifestyle called Lebensreform and had changed his name to “eden ahbez" (lower-case letters).
The tune was first made famous by Nat King Cole debuting on the Billboard charts of April 16, 1948. Nature Boy stayed there for 15 weeks, ultimately peaking at number one. It also reached a peak of number two on the R&B charts and went on to sell a million copies in 1948.
The success of the song allowed ahbez to accumulate about US$20,000 ($199,363 in 2016 dollars!) in royalty. However, Billboard reported that ahbez kept only 50% of the royalty for himself, and distributed the rest among people who had helped him in bringing the song to limelight. About 25% was shared with Mrs. Loraine Tatum for helping him with the lyrics and the rest with Cole's valet, Otis Pollard, who had brought the song to Nat King Cole's notice.
My Latin-flavored arrangement features both an acoustic and jazz (electric) guitar. I kept the song in the original key of Dm as the trombone sounds very dark and rich in the lower register.
Other Versions: (expand/collapse)
composed by Ernesto Lecuona
I have always wanted to record this tune, it was written by Cuban composer/pianist Ernesto Lecuona and has such a beautiful melody. Andalucía (Andalusia) is a region in southern Spain known for its hot, dry and mountainous terrain. The region was historically long under Moorish (Arabic) influence and the many recorded versions of this song stylistically reflect the flamenco-esqe music associated with this region of Spain.
I first heard the tune as recorded by Curtis Fuller. It was popularized in the 1950s by the Italian singer, guitarist, dancer, and actress Caterina Valente. The English lyrics are simple yet poignantly wonderful. Xavier Cugat released a great version on the Mercury label in 1965.
My arrangement is in the key of F and incorporates a strong Latin groove. Latin percussion (bongos, congas, cowbell, etc.*) and two acoustic guitars (both a 12 string and a nylon string) provide a pulsating blend of salsa and flamenco behind the trombone and strings.
* Customized from Agustin Espina: Latin Percussion (Samplephonics) Tracks
Other Versions: (expand/collapse)
music by Eddie Heywood
"Canadian Sunset" was written by jazz pianist Eddie Heywood with lyrics by Norman Gimbel. An instrumental version reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1956. It emerged as a jazz standard in the 60s and quite a few artists covered it.
Canadian Sunset (Wikipedia)