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SAVOY 697; APRIL, 1949

 
 

 
With only a few more records to go before we get to the 1950’s we’re going to take some time to add in a few 1940’s songs we either overlooked or intentionally avoided for various reasons when first covering this ground. It won’t take long and hopefully will paint a more vivid picture of the first era of rock as we head into the second era in the next week or two.
 

 

It was a common occurrence for saxophonists in the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, something which was carried over from jazz instrumental showcases for horn players… and that was the tackling of a standard.

The reasons for this were easy enough to understand. It was one less song that had to be conceived by the artist to complete a “four songs in three hour” session. These standards also had durable and familiar melodies that would be widely recognizable to audiences, thereby piquing a potential customer’s curiosity and making it easier for them to get into it on first listen. Finally it offered the musician the chance to add plenty of elements of their own unique playing style to the arrangement that would exhibit their creativity.

But how many of them really took advantage of that opportunity to re-imagine those standard songs and really put their own stamp on it? Moreover, how many – if any – actually went for broke and tried to obliterate the song’s origins to come up with something utterly distinctive as a way to establish themselves as someone who had their own musical vision that wasn’t about to be reverential to the ideals that most in the music industry held dear?

Sadly the answer is not nearly enough.
 
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