revamping my book (my events band's performing repertoire, that is). Here I thought I would share some of the tunes I use to keep the band from going nuts over the more crass Moon River/Fascination/Makin' Whoopee-level of stuff we also perform.
A Sleepin' Bee, Look for the Silver Lining, There's a Small Hotel, This Can't Be Love, The Way You Look Tonight, Lullaby of the Leaves are good for establishing a mood before people are dancing, without wearing the band down with stuff like All of Me.
You Are Too Beautiful, Dedicated to You, I Loves You Porgy, Nancy with the Laughing Face, Stairway to the Stars are set-piece ballads that everyone loves- the band, listeners, slow dancers.
Beautiful Love, I Hear a Rhapsody, If I Should Lose You, You and the Night and the Music are regular blowing tunes for when you can get away with them. We try to get a couple of these in every night.
More tunes after the break:
Charade. One of my favorite tunes- I don't know how much the band digs it. We do it Johnny Hartman-style, in 4/4 as a slow rhumba, swinging on the bridge.
Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me. Nice foxtrot. I use this if older folks are dancing, but I can't bring myself to subject the band or myself to another time through Satin Doll.
Estate. A slow, moody bossa. We tend to reserve this for the end of the night, as things are winding down.
It Might As Well Be Spring. Slow tune we actually don't play that often- maybe during a dinner set. But it doesn't seem to bother the band too badly.
Long Ago and Far Away. Great tune; I think the horn and piano enjoy playing it more than me.
Lulu's Back in Town. Bright and fun, not necessarily a dance tune. Another one I'm not sure the band digs all that much, but it could be worse for them, and I'm fond of it. Monk's got a great recorded version of this.
Our Delight. Tadd Dameron show piece for when people are listening but not dancing.
Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone. Another alternative foxtrot.
Useless Landscape. Mellow, little-played Jobim tune, a good alternative to the too-familiar ones- Meditation, How Insensitive and the like.
Where or When. Good for the beginning or end of the night, but dancers seem to like it, too.
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To. This is a popular tune among the younger jazz musicians right now.