And it goes on and on and on ...

Tips and techniques of the trade

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flyingcamel
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And it goes on and on and on ...

#1 Post by flyingcamel » Sun Feb 22, 2004 10:30 am

A lot of the music I like is modern jazz where a song will start out really strong but have several extended solos that go on seemingly forever.

A) Where do you guys come down on fading a song out after the first 5 minutes or so ...

B) Have you ever edited a song by removing a solo or two?

Am I talking silly talk here?

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Lawrence
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#2 Post by Lawrence » Sun Feb 22, 2004 11:50 am

I have done both, but I always try to keep the number of songs I do that to per set down. It's the only way to get to play some of the best songs out there, but it is frustrating to many people, even if the fade-out is well-timed within the harmonic structure of the song.

I sometimes fade them in late, as well. "Hamp's Blues" off the Big 18 album is a perfect example; the second half of the song is AMAZING! But it is an 8-9 minute song, so I can't play it unless I edit it.

It is really tough to edit out a solo. I did it to Gene Harris' "Summertime," (those long piano a capella parts where NOBODY knows what to do) and Shorty Dave almost chopped my head off when I played my edited version at the Austin Exchange two years ago! :D (I like the edits and thought they worked, but...)

A big problem with editing out solos is that, unless you have professional studio editing software, you can almost always hear where the edit is, no matter how careful you are with the splice. The "flow" and volume of the song shifts throughout the song enough to notice the splice even if the notes and pauses are the same. Then there is the simple matter of getting the timing down so that the splices do not abruptly shift the rhythm. I had to burn about 15 versions of that "Summertime" edit of mine before I got to a merely-acceptable splice in terms of timing.
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#3 Post by Shorty Dave » Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:18 am

Lawrence wrote:I had to burn about 15 versions of that "Summertime" edit of mine before I got to a merely-acceptable splice in terms of timing.
And it still stunk! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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#4 Post by Nate Dogg » Mon Feb 23, 2004 8:05 am

Shorty Dave wrote:
Lawrence wrote:I had to burn about 15 versions of that "Summertime" edit of mine before I got to a merely-acceptable splice in terms of timing.
And it still stunk! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Yeah, the Gene Harris version of Summertime breaks a lot of the rules, it is long, changes tempo, etc... Not a song for beginner dancers.

I agree, if you are going to play it, you might as well play it all. The dancers who love the song know it pretty well.

About the only song that I play regularly with an edit is Nina Simone's Jellyroll, I cut out the first three minutes or so. That still leaves about five minutes of quality song.

There are a lot of quality long songs that need shorter edits for dance purposes.

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#5 Post by gatorgal » Mon Feb 23, 2004 8:23 am

Nate Dogg wrote: About the only song that I play regularly with an edit is Nina Simone's Jellyroll, I cut out the first three minutes or so. That still leaves about five minutes of quality song.
I've played that song a couple of times since you gave it to me and not only do the dancers love it, they can't tell it's edited.

Tina 8)
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~ Foreman on That 70s Show

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#6 Post by mark0tz » Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:06 am

Nate Dogg wrote:I agree, if you are going to play it, you might as well play it all. The dancers who love the song know it pretty well.
I agree with Nate Dogg. Leave [Gene Harris's Summertime] alone! Sure, there are extremely few spots where this song would work, but it has its place. Editing out those solos is just neutering the song.

There are a coupla songs I fade, one is Blues for Stephanie on On The Road by Basie. I think the song comes to a predictable ending, and then starts back up again for another two minutes. (making the song upwards of 7min.)

Other is some Harry James song that does the same thing as above.

Hrm, "Night Time is the Right Time" done by Joe Williams and Count Basie .. I fade that IN around 1:31 after a big band flourish and the blues really begin.
Last edited by mark0tz on Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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#7 Post by Nate Dogg » Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:29 am

Edited, due to changes in the post above and below, no need to keep my response in here.
Last edited by Nate Dogg on Mon Feb 23, 2004 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#8 Post by mark0tz » Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:41 am

Sorry, I meant Gene Harris - Summertime not the Nina Simone song.
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Ron
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#9 Post by Ron » Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:30 pm

I've edited about 20-25 modern jazz songs to remove some of the middle parts (particularly drum/bass solos) to get the length down. It's really hard to do it so that it sounds seamless, but I think I've been pretty successful at it. I don't just cut and splice at beat 1, some solos start or end before or after the 1. Sometimes I even cross-mix things during a transition. Not all songs lend themselves to this sort of editing and you'd also better have a good program and lots of time. And you have to edit as to not disrupt the structure of the song--don't be making 3-bar measures or destroy a 12-bar blues pattern or something. It's also painful to do this when all the middle solos are awesome.

I edit songs to salvage a song I otherwise would only play rarely. When I'm about to play a 5+ minute song I always try to remember what I felt like as a beginner dancing to a long song, or what I still feel like getting "stuck" dancing with someone for a song that feels like it never ends. Shorter songs are generally preferred.

But I also agree, that edit of Summertime that you played in Austin, Lawrence, was yucky. I've only edited that song to take out a minute or so of the really slow stuff at the beginning. I start it when Harris comes in with the melody line strongly. I don't edit the middle at all. Those piano parts in the middle help build the song's energy, and besides, it's just too obvious to edit them out. Cutting out the first minute is OK. But it's still such a long and weird song that I don't play it often. But I love it when I do.

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#10 Post by julius » Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:25 pm

One could avoid these issues entirely by playing music played by musicians who played for dancers.

*runs away cackling*

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#11 Post by julius » Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:28 pm

As I recall (I don't remember the source) live swing bands "back in the day" would often play longer songs than what could fit on a 45. Basie's Live at the Famous Door includes a 5-6 minute song if I remember right. It didn't have extended, boring solos though (hence my dig at music not played for dancers).

Is it a historical convention to always dance the entirety of a song with one partner? What if, during a long song, you could just switch to another partner after 3 minutes by mutual consent?

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#12 Post by CafeSavoy » Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:42 pm

julius wrote:Is it a historical convention to always dance the entirety of a song with one partner? What if, during a long song, you could just switch to another partner after 3 minutes by mutual consent?
i think the convention was that you didn't have to dance the entire song. you could stop and chill or cheer or whatever. afterall, joe turner talks about songs that went on for 30 minutes to an hour.

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#13 Post by Nate Dogg » Tue Feb 24, 2004 3:22 pm

CafeSavoy wrote:
julius wrote:Is it a historical convention to always dance the entirety of a song with one partner? What if, during a long song, you could just switch to another partner after 3 minutes by mutual consent?
i think the convention was that you didn't have to dance the entire song. you could stop and chill or cheer or whatever. afterall, joe turner talks about songs that went on for 30 minutes to an hour.
At the first Dallas Exchange (in 2001), the late night blues band played a 20 minute song.

If we had know the song was that long, it would not have been such an issue. But, we kept thinking it would end soon, and it just kept going and going and going.

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#14 Post by KevinSchaper » Tue Feb 24, 2004 3:54 pm

julius wrote:One could avoid these issues entirely by playing music played by musicians who played for dancers.

*runs away cackling*
The songs I really wanna edit right now are some of the 7 minute tunes on Rex Stewart's Fletcher Henderson Reunion and the 16 minute Panama Francis & the Savoy Sultans recording of Perdido..

maybe they're not for dancers, but I can't quite hold that against them in this case.

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#15 Post by julius » Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:50 pm

junior mance's songs sunday at OSDF last year were looong but it didn't really bother me. it helps when you have good dances to live music. i wonder if a long DJed song bugs me as much. i think it does, but the music i'm thinking of that bugs me is filled with annoying repetition and breaks and so on.

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