WHY IS THIS BALLAD ....



  • Why is You Don't Know What Love Is such a favorite with so many jazzmen ? A trumpet buddy of mine even thinks it is the greatest love song ever written. It's an okay piece but not one of my favorites, and IMHO is far from the best love song ever. What do you folks think ?



  • It's maybe not the best love song ever written. But it's one of the better "angry love songs". 😉

    It's one of my favorites, and a popular song in my jazz trio's regular lineup. Initially, we performed it as a ballad. It became a crowd-favorite after we switched over to a double-time feel, to give the song a bit more energy.

    Mike



  • The question is why so many players like it, right? I believe it's because of the chord changes, which are not so usual. The melancholic nature of the melody probably is attractive to some, as well. The form is predictable, 8 bar phrases, so there's nothing special there.

    Me personally? I don't think it's ever been a part of my repertoire or that of any band leaders, for whom I've played. To me, it's not bad just nothing special. And for those reasons, I would also be surprised to know that it's that popular.



  • Even though it is a '40s song, I honestly don't recall my little combo ever getting a request to play it at any of the gigs we did in the 50s and 60s. In fact, I never played it until my comeback in 2016. And I can count on one hand the number of times I have played it. I don't dislike it, there's just nothing about it that makes me want to play it often.



  • It depends on how it is played. I have heard it as Latin, driving bop and ballad. It was written as a ballad but has taken many changes by many musicians.



  • Of note, Li'l Darlin' was drafted initially by composer Neal Hefti as a driving up-beat tune. Everyone knows it as this and I must admit I have NEVER heard it as a bop tune:



  • @tmd said in WHY IS THIS BALLAD ....:

    It's maybe not the best love song ever written. But it's one of the better "angry love songs". 😉

    It's one of my favorites, and a popular song in my jazz trio's regular lineup. Initially, we performed it as a ballad. It became a crowd-favorite after we switched over to a double-time feel, to give the song a bit more energy.

    Mike

    Mike, I would disagree. Nothing says love like "The Look of Love":



  • @Dr-GO said in WHY IS THIS BALLAD ....:

    Mike, I would disagree. Nothing says love like "The Look of Love"

    No fair using Diane Krall. 😉 But to clarify, I said "You Don't Know" is one of the better angry love songs.

    Here's an excerpt of my band playing the song, with me on Chromatic Harmonica.



  • Excellent tmd (the T in tmd obviously stands for Toots, yes?)



  • I think the chord progression is great, and it sits real nicely on the piano. I don't personally see the point in comparisons or in trying the name the best or worst of anything.



  • @veery

    The best or worse of anything is nothing more than one's opinion.



  • @GeorgeB said in WHY IS THIS BALLAD ....:

    The best or worse of anything is nothing more than one's opinion.

    You know, I keep reading that, but I'm not so sure.

    Now it's true that some things are just a matter of opinion or taste. But other things just aren't. That doesn't mean that you don't or shouldn't like them, but they're still bad and nothing will change that.

    I get a kick out of the Shaggs. I like listening to them from time to time. But nobody in their right mind would call that good. And that's not a matter of opinion.



  • @Kehaulani said in WHY IS THIS BALLAD ....:
    ...And that's not a matter of opinion.

    Which is your opinion.



  • @Dr-GO said in WHY IS THIS BALLAD ....:
    @Kehaulani said in WHY IS THIS BALLAD ....:
    ...And that's not a matter of opinion.

    Which is your opinion.

    Which you missed, totally. That the Shaggs are bad is not a matter of opinion. One might like them but that still doesn't make them good.



  • @Kehaulani said in WHY IS THIS BALLAD ....:

    @Dr-GO said in WHY IS THIS BALLAD ....:
    @Kehaulani said in WHY IS THIS BALLAD ....:
    ...And that's not a matter of opinion.

    Which is your opinion.

    Which you missed, totally. That the Shaggs are bad is not a matter of opinion. One might like them but that still doesn't make them good.

    Got the point that this is your opinion.



  • My post was about why a certain ballad was so popular with jazz players. I didn't mean to start a controversy about the definition of " opinion ".

    I'd still like to hear from other members about the main subject of this thread.



  • George, it doesn't matter what I say, Dr. Go is emotionally headhunting, so don't worry about it. I doubt that anything is going to change so I just ignore it the best that I can.

    Regarding your question, I think I answered it from my POV. The fact that there is little substantial response just illustrates, unfortunately, a point I made on another thread.



  • @Kehaulani said in WHY IS THIS BALLAD ....:

    George, it doesn't matter what I say, Dr. Go is emotionally headhunting,

    That is how we as physicians function. Glad its working on you. You just made my day validating this. So I will keep a head's up for more of your commentary, but I agree with GeorgeB, we should focus towards the topic of ballads. I for one would NOT classify Herbie Hancocks Headhunter album as one of ballads. See. Just sticking to the point of the thread.



  • @Kehaulani
    Yeah, you provided a very sensible answer, Kehaulani. Thanks. I like your posts. They always get right to the point. I like that.



  • @Dr-GO
    Thanks for getting the thread back on track, Doc, but isn't that Headhunter Album thing some kind of a dig ? C'mon, now, let's be nice.


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