With thousands of tunes available in the traditional jazz repertoire, there are bound to be many that musicians never learn or get to play. However, I am sure we all keep striving to learn new ones - especially those we have been intending to pick up for months.
That's why I set about learning I'm Coming, Virginia today. It was a tune composed in 1927 by Donald Heywood and Will Marion Cook. I first enjoyed it on a Jack Teagarden recording decades ago. And of course the Bix Beiderbecke version is a classic.
I wanted the full song - Verse included. So I found the 'dots' on Lasse Collin's wonderful site (many thanks, Lasse!) and I entered them into my mini filofax system.
But what was this? The verse was in a minor key but the Chorus was in the major.
This made me wonder how often this switch from minor to major occurs in the popular old songs.
I guess there must be many whose verses in minor keys have been long forgotten and only the Chorus is now played.
I think I'm right in saying that At The Jazz Band Ball, That Da Da Strain, She's Crying For Me and Willie The Weeper all start with a minor theme and then have a second theme in the related major key.
Cole Porter worked wonders with the minor-major effect in I Love Paris, where the first sixteen bars offer a lovely melody in a minor key and the second sixteen - like a flower suddenly blossoming - use virtually the same melody an octave higher but now in the major key.
Cole Porter plays a similar trick in My Heart Belongs to Daddy, which is essentially in a minor key, though there is a 'blossoming out' into the major in the second half of the Chorus, before the tune settles back on the minor in its final bar.
There are tunes such as I'm The King of the Swingers, where we begin in the minor (I'm the King of the Swingers, the Jungle VIP.....) and then switch to the related major key (Oh oobee do, I wanna be like you.....) for the second half of the Chorus.
But I am stumped in trying to think of other interesting examples, especially of tunes with a Minor Verse leading into a Major Chorus.
Maybe you can help me? If so, please kindly email details. I'm:
ivantrad (@) outlook (dot) com