There are very few books available that focus specifically on the jazz standards. A new text, written by Jason Wolbach, examines the subject in detail.
Wolbach’s study is organized into three sections: Defining a Jazz Standard, The Current State of Jazz Standards, and Measuring the Value of Jazz Standards.
In the section titled The Current State of Jazz Standards, Wolbach compares and contrasts jazz audition lists from several geographically disparate universities, and analyzes the contents of popular fake books, including the Real Book. He also takes a fascinating look at the “new standards,” the innovative work being done by contemporary jazz musicians who are bringing pop songs into the jazz idiom, just as their predecessors did decades ago.
Measuring the Value of Jazz Standards examines (through interviews) which tunes should be considered jazz standards, and finally, my favorite topic, the future of jazz standards.
Jason Wolbach holds a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.