Smooth Jazz Offering

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niallyboy
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Smooth Jazz Offering

Post by niallyboy » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:10 am

Hello All,

I'd greatly appreciate feedback regarding a composition I'm considering for the following listing:

"The Owner of a thriving, high-end, Music Library needs SMOOTH JAZZ INSTRUMENTALS for film and TV placements. To get an idea of what he's going for, take a listen to artists such as Spyro Gyra, Acoustic Alchemy, Chris Standring, or Chuck Mangione. Tracks should have great melodies that really groove, and sound like real musicians jammin' together in a fancy bar. Instrumentation that is too stiff and MIDI sounding won't work. All tempos are okay for this."

The tune on my TAXI page is Why Do I Love You. It's a pretty straight-forward, middle-of-the-road smooth jazz vibe, me thinks. Any comments regarding mix, EQ, etc. would be dynamite.

Cheers in Advance,

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Re: Smooth Jazz Offering

Post by daveydad » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:34 pm

Really nice in my opinion! Sounds real. All real instruments? I submitted something but am afraid they may pick it apart for sounding too MIDI. Good luck!

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Re: Smooth Jazz Offering

Post by niallyboy » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:11 pm

Yes, everything's totally for real.

nick.moxsom
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Re: Smooth Jazz Offering

Post by nick.moxsom » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:09 pm

Niall, that's delicious.

My only worry is whether the melody's too close to 'The Shadow of Your Smile'. As soon as I heard this I thought of the other song, so I'm wondering whether others might think the same. Hope I'm wrong, though.

Best,
Nick

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Re: Smooth Jazz Offering

Post by niallyboy » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:04 pm

Wow, thanks--

There are four notes that are of almost the same as in the Shadow of Your Smile. I think I'm in the clear, legally, but the hooky nature of those four notes can remind one of that tune, plus the chord change, 2nd time around.

Others, please chime in.

nick.moxsom
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Re: Smooth Jazz Offering

Post by nick.moxsom » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:28 am

Yeah, but it's somehow not just the actual notes that count; it's the intervals too. Here's what happened to me...

I heard your first sax phrase, and it immediately put me in mind of 'Shadow' – the chords as much as the melody line. And you end on a low B, right? Then you repeat the phrase a second time and in my head I'm thinking, "he's gonna go up on this one, whether to the B above, or to the D (as in 'Shadow'). And sure enough, you did. It's a natural bi-product of growing up loving music that such influences become ingrained in our psyches, and come out in our hybrid playing styles. Which is great, and right, and good. But I'm just concerned about your chances of arguing this one in court against the bigger guys.

I don't mean to be negative, Niall, I love the piece, but I've personally been accused of plagiarism where there wasn't any, and that was just over a song title, with no recognisable similarities melodically. I'm just sayin', there's some sharks out there, man, and if it's possible to re-work it, you might wanna consider that, just to be safe.

I might be wrong here; let's see what the others say.

Sincerely,
Nick

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Re: Smooth Jazz Offering

Post by Kolstad » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:16 am

I like smooth jazz a lot, and this sounded close enough to something Chuck Mangione could have put out. Not so much the other a la's given, which is more pop sounding, and have a bit more "production" to their sound, imo. But, when it's in the ballpark of one of the references, I'd say it's worth a shot.

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Re: Smooth Jazz Offering

Post by niallyboy » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:54 am

Great feedback, Nick--

I thought song titles were not copyrightable; is this not true? Also, what about the "six-note rule"-- is that also incorrect, or at least up for judgement?

Cheers,

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Re: Smooth Jazz Offering

Post by nick.moxsom » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:08 am

Man, the rules seem to change all the time. What can I say? Except to reiterate that I heard this piece and it put the other melody in my head. You might just change a chord or two, or maybe tweak that melody slightly, just to stay safe. But if you believe it's just how you want it to be, then stick with it, and hang the consequences.

Nick

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Re: Smooth Jazz Offering

Post by andygabrys » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:29 am

hmmm..... interesting point Nick brought up.

yeah, the notes are almost exactly the same as the second 4 bars of Shadow as most people tend to play it, and in the same key (blame that on the illegal Berklee fake book). However instead of resolving to the relative major you are going to B half diminished, which is almost a diatonic sub.

its a great tune, love the sound, its so well performed and so in the pocket. I think I would be scared to put it out there as a purely original tune having made the realization that Nick brought up. However, seems like it would be a cool funky version / re-imagination of Shadow if you wanted to go that way.

as for the 6 notes - if Beethoven would have been around to have copyrighted his 5th - its only 4 notes, and from that the entire piece is derived. You can't copyright the intervals (otherwise anybody using fourths could be sued by Wayne Shorter a la Speak No Evil) but when those notes are put in time it would have to be fairly different to make it convincing.

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