hello, it's been a long time folks! i've been so extremely busy and i have not had any time left over for jazz the last few years. but now i'm back in the game and eager to learn! and i am about to dive into the deep end, my bone head agent booked me a gig doing a 1 hour jazz concert - me being a blues pianist he thought it was the same. i now have to pick up were i left off, and learn me some jazz! therefore i turn to you guys for some help. could you guys please list 15 to 20 or so easy, fast to learn jazz standards?

cheers mates!

docz
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well it often is exactly the same thing.  for example anyone who knows anything of jazz  would be hard put to deny that charlie parker was a jazz artist and performer, composer.  yet at least half the tunes he composed and performed were very staight forward blues tunes.  so, "now's the time, billies bounce, au privave, blues for alice, to name just a few charlie parker blues heads are all tunes a pianist who considers himself a blues pianist might surley want to consider for a jazz concert.  all of these tunes are undenialby great jazz tunes played and composed by the jazz master of all time,,, yet they are undeniably quite simply "the blues" at the same time.
beyond that you have to consider what exactly is meant by the people who have hired you to play "jazz".  maybe they have no clue what "jazz" really is.  maybe by jazz they really are expecting kenny g tunes.  in this case if they are this lost i suggest cancelling the gig as quickly as possable.  no amount of money in the world is worth the kind of torture you would have to put yourself through to learn an hours worth of that repetoire.
jazz to them maight meand.."dixieland"  in which case you better do a google search for dixieland standards... come up with things like..
"when the saints go marching in."  alot of those tunes are not far from the blues and it would be feasable to put together an hour.
   they may mean the american songbook... gershwin, porter, loesser,
etc.   doable... gershwin maybe tackle "it aint necesarily so" and summertime rather than rhapsody of course.
   if by jazz they mean real jazz compositions  (this is very unlikey)
almost nobody in the world knows what real jazz compostiont  
well there are a lot of easy ones from the funk era.. herbie hancock.
chameleon... and watermelon man.... freddie hubbard.. "red clay" and so on... even the wicked intense coltrane tunes ... the heads are easy.
another idea as i am listening to a great recording of duke ellington and ray brown playing "c c rider".  any of the blues that are in your blues repetoire will please a jazz audience in a "jazz" concert  if approached the way duke and ray are aproaching the blues cc rider here.
basicaly put a walking bass line in your left hand and some swing eigths in your right and there is no limit to what kind of blues head will go for jazz in a jazz concert.  so in that way you do not even have to learn new tunes.. just re arrange the ones you have a bit.
is it solo piano or with a band? some 'easy' tunes aren't so easy if it's a solo situation.  if you let us know, i'll do my best to come up with some...
great ones to learn:

speak low
autumn leaves
softly as a morning sunrise
lullabye of birdland
green dolphin street
summertime
my funny valentine
all the things you are
etc

if you learn some of the most popular standards, you also learn chord progressions that are in almost all standards.  it's a nice vicious circle- the more you learn about how standards are built by learning new tunes, the easier it is to learn new tunes because you know more of the patterns and harmonies that make them the way they are.
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hey thanks folks for great input :)
the thing is that i have no idea as to what type of "jazz" they are expecting. it could be anything from country to bebop, the term is used quite loosely around here. but what i do know is that the guest of honor is a big jazz fan, and the mini "concert" is to be for him. and since canceling is not an option, i just have to make the best of the challenge at hand. i do know some jazz basics so i'm confident that i will be able to at least perform something :)

it will most likely be me singing along to my piano, or worst case scenario i'll bring my keyboard instead and use the onboard styles and sing, or maybe i'll use a drum machine and play bass in the left hand and piano with my right - not quite sure on this yet.  

thanks for that list scot, i know a couple of those so i'll use that as a starting point.

cheers mates!  

doc-z
don't forget that we're piano players- no real need for left hand bass, right hand piano stuff.  if you do it right, no one even notices that there could be a band- they get into what you're doing and nothing else matters :)
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Use the contact link at the top of the page.
i agree completely, and since i too am a piano player, it most likely will be just piano and vocals.

cheers mates!

doc-z
i guess if you're looking for 'easier' standards, the easiest ones will be the ones that don't change key too often.  

ballads are generally 'easier' in solo situations as you have a lot more time to think!  ones i would recommend:

my romance
i can't get started
blame it on my youth
misty
bewitched
in a sentimental mood
i'm old fashioned  
moonlight in vermont
blue moon
isn't it romantic
polkadots and moonbeams
my funny valentine
the way you look tonight

for swing and more uptempo tunes, the following don't modulate as often as some others or are very common:

i get a kick out of you
autumn leaves
time after time
take the a train
don't get around much any more
satin doll
blue monk
perdido
let's fall in love
all of me
these foolish things

many of these can either be played as ballads or swing tunes.  hope this helps.  let us know how it goes!

barry
i don't think the lists being offered are the "easiest" tunes to learn. nor are they very contemporary.
well an argument can be made for autumn leaves because you can use the equivalent of a g major scale to improvise on the entire chord progression.  an argument can be made for perdido because it is a simple ii v i repeated twice with a rhythm bridge.  blue monk because it is just a blues.  the rest i agree, although all great tunes and popular choices, i would not call them easy except for that it is socially acceptable to play many of them at slow tempi.
jazz+

i'm not sure that 'contemporary' was part of the original request.  docz was asking for tunes he could learn quickly.  for my part i tried to suggest tunes that didn't modulate too much or that are based on 'easy' progressions (such as i-vi-ii-v).

if you disagree with the suggestions from me, scot and mike, why don't you help docz out with your own suggestions?  your comment serves no purpose, offers criticism without explanation and does not help the guy who asked the question - not really in the spirit of this forum is it?
'don't blame me'
'blue skies'
all of the tunes below, i consider to be easy:

1. "so what" (miles davis)

2. "all blues" (miles davis)

3. "freddie the freeloader" (miles davis)

4. "peace piece" (bill evans)

5. "killer joe" (benny golson)

6. "blue bossa" (kenny dorham)

7. "night and day" (cole porter)

8. "tenor madness" (sonny rollins)

some more pop tunes that are often thought of as "jazzy"

9. "mr magic" (grover washington jr)

10. "mercy, mercy, mercy" (joe zawinul)

11. "this masquerade" (leon russell - george benson version)

12. "stormy monday blues" (allman bros)

13. "sunny" (bobby hebb)

14. "spooky" (middlebrooke / shapiro)

15. "route 66" (bobby troupe - nat king cole version)

16. "moondance" (van morrison)

17. "lovin' you" (minnie riperton)

that's not quite 20, but it'll get you close ...
7, that's an easy list! i might add bag's groove, blues for sunny moon, c jam blues, blue monk and song for my father
c jam blues has an easy head
equinox
little sunflower (hard to keep you place in the form, same as with impressisons)

maiden voyage
watermellon man
summertime
cantalope island
jazz+

interesting suggestions.  as docz said he's most likely going to be playing solo piano and singing, do you have any tips for playing tunes like watermelon man, cantaloupe island and song for my father solo?  

i have always found it difficult to play very groove based tunes in a solo setting; i find the sleight of hand necessary to maintain the groove feel whilst playing the melody is very tricky to balance and tend not to play that kind of tune on solo gigs.

if you have any tips on how to tackle these tunes solo, i'd appreciate it.
watermellon man ...  it has been a while ... but i remember after playing the head in a funk style which comes naturally with the head and comes naturally solo i think... i can remember switching to swing and a walking bass line to improvise on the changes occasionally hinting at the funk feel chordally then going back to a funk feel for the head to finish.
   song for my father i think just presents the same challenges that all bossa's present for a solo pianist.  all i have to say about that is you either find a way to deal with it or you don't.  i think it is one of the more difficult things for us non- latin american born jazz pianist have to figure out in our solo jazz pianist career's.  our teachers rarely ever address it  nor our music school, not even berkely where we paid a sum of money almost equivalent to the national defense budjet.  but on our first solo jazz gig when someone requests a jobim tune its like  "omg  how am i going to do a bossa without a drummer and a bass player?"  well there certainly is no one answer and of all the many books that you may think are going to address the subject.... hm...  i don't know.   alls i know is i can put together a new swing tune in lickity split.  and i have performed
countless bossa's in cocert and in clubs solo but it still takes me forever to figure out how to approach each new bossa i learn so i do not learn very many new even though i love the idiom... it is not my forte for sure as a solo pianist.
for latin stuff i found helpfull on lh to hit root with finger 2 and when that gets  solid lot fo latin rhythm happens from there then the easiest for lots of tunes just lower 5th sort of double bossa kick drum preceded by really short upper fifth
and that works for all chords  
now to define it more for maj and min chords you can hit 3 and b3 insted of upper 5  
(all sort of latin songs can be played this way varying the pattern a bit )  
taking it further other notes can be hit also in the scales of chords being played
now this sort of playing is basically left hand bass thing and might get quite empty while soloing with right h ,but if you sing and play chords it works
also a maracca shaker in the shoe helps to cheer up
the crowd
barry, i know that when herbie has played "cantaloupe island", he solos with the right while playing the bass with his left, and inserts the chords into the gaps in his phrases.  

i think for "groove" tunes, you can begin by alternating sparse phrases with the chordal groove in the right hand, while keeping up the basic bass in the left, and work up the intensity.  i think as you get to a more complex right hand you'll be able to drop the chords almost entirely and let the solo do the work over the left hand.

i tried to find the video of herbie playing ci solo on jools holland from a few years ago, but it seems to have been purged from youtube.  however, their duet on st. louis blues is still up.
"i know that when herbie has played "cantaloupe island", he solos with the right while playing the bass with his left, and inserts the chords into the gaps in his phrases.  "

exactly! and the same for bossas, drop in the 3rd and 7th in the right hand gaps (in bossa guitar rhythm) while lh plays bass. but, it's not an easy way to play since you are juggling 3 parts all the time. works well on jazz waltzes too.
"for latin stuff i found helpfull on lh to hit root with finger 2 and when that gets  solid lot fo latin rhythm happens from there then the easiest for lots of tunes just lower 5th sort of double bossa kick drum preceded by really short upper fifth"

great suggestion (and play the high 5th on the "and of 2")

then incoporate it with the previous post. use thumb and index finger to fdrop in the 3rd and 7th kicks, and fingers 3, 4 and 5 to imporvise with.
wov thanks guys! lot's of great tips here. and there's at least 15 songs that i know, but had forgotten i knew - wov that didn't sound confusing at all.....

now i just need to dig up som lead sheets!

thanks again guys.

doc-z
here is a list of the tunes i play in some jazz restaurants here in rabat in morocco with 3 jazz musicians -american neighbors-:

things ain't what they used to be
g minor vamp
lover man
twisted
moon river
insensitive
well you needn't  
all blues  
man i love
so what
a minor slow blues
ain't misbehavin'
the cure
giant steps  
solar
corcovado
night & day
james
stella by starlight
wave
black orpheus
naima
summertime
blue bossa
lullaby of birdland
rider (keith jarrett)
nica's dream
central park west  (coltrane)
billie's bounce
one note samba
phase dance (p. methany)
yardbird suite
donna lee
impressions
footprints
night and day
wave
jeannine (duke pearson)
autumn leaves
four
have you met miss junes
blue in green
rider (k. jarrett)
theme from last tango in paris
theme from get carter
con alma

and more......well,some are hard some are simples and easy to play...so just to expand your memory.
think autumn leaves is the easiest.there are many ii-v-i chord
i notice phase dance on the list.  can someone tell me which
metheny album it is from?
the first - just called 'pat metheny group', with lyle mays on piano.
hey nor 251 - i did a gig in rabat around the year 2000 (jazz aux oudayas festival) - where were you?!  

played with some local traditional musicians (caravan), which was fun... does this festival still exist?
yes drjazz! it still exist but under another name "jazz au chellah":

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