#1
Alright, so I already knew about the 'WHAT SONG SHOULD I PLAY OMGZ?' threads, but I didn't think this would fit.

I'm trying out for jazz band at school, and of course I need to pick a song to play. Right now I'm thinking of Mack The Knife or the original german Mackie Messer. But the differences in the music of the versions is so subtle I'd just be doing it for the fact that it's the original and the lyrics and such.

Anyway, what can you recommend as far as impressive jazz since it's not really my cup of tea and I don't know how I would go about finding some nice jazzy bass lines.
#2
"so what" miles davis
"red clay" freddie hubbard
"four on six" wes montgomery
#DTWD
#3
There are a number of genres within the collective of jazz music. It would help if you were more specific. Are you looking for something traditional, with a walking bass line? Does you band play bebop? New Orleans jazz? Jazz/rock fusion?

If it is traditional jazz, you might want to audition with a good melodic walking bass line. Try Autumn Leaves. It's a jazz standard. If you're going to be playing bebop, you'll be improvising more than playing a solid groove, so a particular jazz bass line would not be helpful. The main thing you will want to demonstrate is that you can hold down a solid groove and still support the song.
#4
I'd do "Moanin'" by Charles Mingus. That guy plays bass like a mother ****er.

or

The version of "Birdland" that Jaco Pastorius plays on.
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#5
+1 to So what and Autumn leaves

I'm going to throw in 'Mr. PC' - John Coltrane and 'Straight no chaser' - Thelonious monk
#6
If you have never played jazz actively, I really would suggest "Straight no chaser" for a variety of reasons. Its in 4/4 and for the most part follows a pretty predictable blues form. The head is a bear, but for a bassist, its fun as hell. You get a lot of stretching room to walk and be creative.

And to British Josh +1 on Moanin. I love that song and worked it up as a solo piece for a class assignment. I am trying to get the guitarist in my jazz group to add it to the set list!
#7
Some of my personal favs (either for the head or for the walking/ solo opportunities):

Miles Davis: Crazeology, Freedom Jazz Dance, Gingerbread Boy, ESP
Charlie Parker: Salt Peanuts, Ornithology, Donna Lee
Chick Corea: Got a Match?
Hiromi: My Favorite Things
Jaco Pastorius: Havona (one of my main practice charts, great for soloing and dexterity), Used to Be a Cha Cha, Barbary Coast,

You can either transcribe the head for bass, or you can follow the changes. All of these are great for soloing and such.

Cheers friend!
#8
Straight no chaser would be brillant. In my Db lesson were going over, and coming up with new stuff. Alot of room to mess with and spruss up
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#9
We're playing Straight No Chaser in one of my ensembles' repertoire - jazz blues, great tune to practice walking over. On Green Dolphin Street is another standard we're doing that I really enjoy playing.

A great soul jazz tune is Lee Morgan's Sidewinder.

And don't underestimate a tune like So What - iconic melody line played on the bass, and some nice D dorian / Eb dorian walking for you.