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Thread: jazz standards for funeral

  1. #1
    Registered User david rickert's Avatar
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    jazz standards for funeral

    My uncle and I are looking to perform a song for my grandfather's funeral - me on guitar and him singing. My grandfather loved jazz and we thought a nice standard would be good. A lot of the standards I can think of are love songs and I'm having trouble thinking of anything suitable. Any suggestions? Beyond Amazing Grace?
    David Rickert
    http://www.grammarcomics.com

  2. #2
    Bassist and raconteur
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    Depends - did your grandfather have a sense of humor?

    Straighten Up And Fly Right might be nice, or Pennies from Heaven...

    That Lucky Old Sun may also be appropriate, though it would be pretty easy for a singer to get choked up on:
    "Show me that river, Take me across,
    wash all my troubles away
    Like that lucky old sun give me nothing to do
    But roll around heaven all day."
    Dave Martin
    Nashville, TN
    www.javajivestudio.com

  3. #3
    trumpet tpt1's Avatar
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    How 'bout "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"?

  4. #4
    Registered User docbop's Avatar
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    I do audio editing for a church and edit a lot of memorial services and hear every kind of music you can think of played. I would say any tune you knew your grandfather liked would be appropriate.

  5. #5
    musician Jeff Smith's Avatar
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    How 'bout "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"?

  6. #6
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    Funeral Standard

    In New Orleans, "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" is performed at most funerals--first slow and reverently (in accordance with the religious lyrics) and then up-tempo in celebration and with less emphasis on the lyrics.

  7. #7
    Registered User jazzman1945's Avatar
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    In every forum about the music inevitably comes a time when specified
    this question.I was only confused dissonance between the question and avatars who asks. - this is in jest or earnest?.
    In the past I've had the experience of performing with Olympia Brass Band, and of course they played funeral music .2 principal for funeral repertoire:
    Saint James Infirmary Blues and Just A Closer Walk With Thee.
    http://www.jazzideas.com

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We shouldn't wait for favors from the Theory, take them from it is our goal!

  8. #8
    Musician Author Educator Jeff Brent's Avatar
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    Since nowadays funerals are more often a "celebration of life", might I suggest Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World".

    Is it Jazz? Maybe, maybe not. But it certainly IS a standard.

    And the words are very uplifting.

    There are some interesting "jazz" changes in the Armstrong arrangement, too.

    Here is my transcription of the definitive recording:

    Wonderful World

    intro

    || F | Am7 | Bbmaj7 | Csus9 ||
    -------

    Verse 1

    || F | Am7 | Bbmaj7 | Am7 | Gm7 | F | C9 | Dm |

    | Db/Ab | % | Bb | C7 | F | Am | Bbmaj9 | Cadd9 ||
    -------

    Verse 2

    || F | Am7 | Bbmaj7 | Am7 | Gm | F | C9 | Dm |

    | Db/Ab | % | Bb | C7 | F | Gm7 | Bb6 | C ||
    -------

    Bridge

    || Gm | C7 | F | F | Gm | C7 | F | F |

    | Dm | C | Dm | C | Dm | F#dim7 | Gm7 | C9 ||
    -------

    Verse 3 and Coda

    || F | Am7 | Bbmaj7 | Am7 | Gm | F | C9 | Dm |

    | Db/Ab | % | Bb | C7 | F | Gm7b5 | Am6 | D (hold) | % |

    ritard
    | Bbmaj7 | Bbmaj7 | Bb/C | Bb/C | F | Am7 | Bbmaj7 |

    molto ritardando
    | Bbmaj7 Csus9 | F ||


    Sorry that I can't post the lyrics too, but AAJ is pretty strict about that stuff.

    Listen to the recording and you'll get it no sweat ...

  9. #9
    Compose /Arranger / Jazz Prod. Phil Kelly's Avatar
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    Willard Robisons' "Old Folks" might fill the bill as well as be a fitting commentary on the occasion .
    Swing ..or I'll kill you ( Bill Potts )
    RIP

  10. #10
    Banned User
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    Quote Originally Posted by david rickert View Post
    My uncle and I are looking to perform a song for my grandfather's funeral - me on guitar and him singing. My grandfather loved jazz and we thought a nice standard would be good. A lot of the standards I can think of are love songs and I'm having trouble thinking of anything suitable. Any suggestions? Beyond Amazing Grace?
    Sorry to hear about your grandfather david.

    I'd like to contribute a suggestion but I'm not clear what you're looking for. You're looking for a jazz standard but not "Amazing Grace?" Does this mean you consider that to be a jazz standard? You're coming up with a lot of love songs but none are suitable - so does this mean you are looking for a love song? Or that all love songs are not suitable?

    Without knowing what to suggest, I'd certainly 2nd docbop's suggestion above, "I would say any tune you knew your grandfather liked would be appropriate."

    Whatever you do will be appreciated

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