Wednesday, December 12, 2018

December 8, 2018

NEXT TIME: Saturday, Dec. 15, 11am-3pm, TowerLight, 3601 Wooddale, St. Louis Park

Bring your Christmas songs along (Real Book and Sam's collection)

TowerLight residents and personnel were kind enough to let us play for them in appreciation of their allowing us to play throughout the year in the theater space. We played Christmas tunes for an hour in the lobby. Annie and Victor did the singing. The band was composed of Sam (trombone and trumpet), Carl (trombone), Steve C (piano), Serdar (guitar), Raphael (bass), Waymond (drums), Steve M (alto), Steve W (alto), and Wes (tenor). Special mention to Jack K, who showed up, but did not play.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

December 1, 2018


We need to be ready for a downbeat at noon, so we hope you will arrive between 11:15 and 11:30 to help set up.

This week we had a suitable contingent: Sam (trombone and trumpet), Raphael (bass), Craig (guitar), Jack K (drums), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals), Wes (tenor), and Steve H (piano). 

We played most of the songs in our Christmas folder. When we left, it was snowing very hard.


Monday, November 26, 2018

November 24, 2018

Next Time: Saturday, December 1, 11am-3pm, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale Ave., St. Louis Park)

Bring Christmas Real Book if you have one; Sam is supplying another set in concert key as well.

We'll be playing Christmas songs for the listening pleasure of the TowerLight folks from noon to 1:00pm on Saturday, 12/8, in place of our regular Workshop.

Assembled for practicing Christmas songs and other Workshop delights were Craig (guitar), Sam (trumpet, trombone), Steve C (piano), Steve H (alto, drums), Raphael (bass), Jack K (drums), Serdar (guitar), Wes (tenor, drums), Carl (trombone), Ari (trumpet), and Ray (just visiting, thanks), and Victor (vocals).

Mostly Christmas songs today. We worked on Sleigh Ride, Silver Bells, Jingle Bells, Christmas Time Is Here, Let It Snow, Feliz Navidad, Santa Monk Is Coming To Town, The Christmas Song, Winter Wonderland, Happy Holidays, All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, Frosty the Snowman, and White Christmas. We also played a few non-holiday tunes: Basin Street Blues, Stardust, and a couple of others that your scribe forgot to scribe.

Next week: more of the same.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

November 17, 2018

Next Time: Saturday, Nov. 24, 11am-3pm, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale, St. Louis Park)

Coming up: December 8, noon-1:00, Christmas performance for TowerLight folks.

Add-A-Tune: Christmas Songs!

The usual gang showed up again for the Workshop this time: Sam (trombone, trumpet), Raphael (bass), Craig (guitar), Steve H (piano), Ari (trumpet), Wes (tenor), Jack K (trumpet), Bob (guitar), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals), Jim D (piano, percussion), and Victor (vocals).

Things got swinging (gently) with Sam's first pick, All The Things You Are (I-22). Jack K kept the mood with an easy-going Time After Time (III-408). Craig changed tempos by going to Pure Imagination (III-327). Your scribe, manning the piano today, called for Makin' Whoopee (III-261). Raphael changed speed with a lively version of The Lady Is A Tramp (III-227). Wes moved over to some Charlie Parker (at a reasonable tempo) by calling Donna Lee (I-123). Ari let the bass set the pace with All Blues (I-18). Back to Sam, we went to Horace Silver's Lucky Southern (I-255), which sounds like it should be a train song, but is actually a bossa. Craig went traditional with Satin Doll (I-349).

Vocal time, and Annie got in the Blue flow with two very different tunes: The Blue Room (I-53), and Little Girl Blue (III-243), which by all reports went a bit better than last week. Yours truly, just before departing for the afternoon, asked for Skylark (III-356), which turned out a bit swifter than planned, but still held its own. Jim D arrived just in time to take over piano duties as Annie sang about the Old Man From The Old Country (I-300), then lightened things up on Without A Song (II-428). Bob had missed a chance on the instrumental rounds, so he got to call Georgia On My Mind (II-145). Annie next reprised Time After Time (III-408), a little lighter than before, and followed with What a Diff'rence A Day Made (III-430). Victor got a shot and went to old reliable Avalon (II-25). Sam wrapped up the afternoon with St. Thomas (II-338).


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

November 10, 2018

Next Time: Sat., Nov. 17, 11am-3pm, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale, St. Louis Park) 

Your regular scribe was feeling irregular, and was not present for this edition of the Workshop. He is taking the report from the trusty Raphael and passing it on to you. 

Present were, of course, Raphael (bass), along with Sam (trumpet and trombone), Wes (tenor), Jack K (trumpet), Bob (guitar), Carl (trombone) and Annie (vocals). The songs played are as follows:

In A Mellow Tone (I-206), Sam
Now's The Time (II-293), Jack
Salt Peanuts (II-340), Raphael
Blue Trane (I-54), Wes
Out Of Nowhere (I-318), Sam
The Nearness Of You (II-285), Jack
It Could Happen To You (II-204), Raphael
Along Came Betty (III-22), Wes
'Deed I Do (III-92), Annie
Little Girl Blue (III-243), Annie (Really struggled to get 3/4 to 4/4/ transition.)
2 Degrees E, 3 Degrees W (II-408), Carl
You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You (II-438), Annie
The Way You Look Tonight (II-415), Annie
Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise (II-355), Bob
Old Man From The Old Country (I-308), Annie
Jersey Bounce (III-223), Raphael
On The Sunny Side Of The Street (III-312), Annie

Reference recording of Little Girl Blue (Ella Fitzgerald)


Friday, November 9, 2018

November 3, 2018

Next Time: Saturday, November 10, 11am-3pm, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale Avenue, Saint Louis Park)

On hand at one point or another were Jack K (trumpet), Sam (trumpet and trombone), Wes (tenor), Raphael (bass), Steve M (alto), Steve C (piano), Steve H (alto, piano), Victor (vocals), and Jim D (clarinet and vocals). We had to keep sending people upstairs for a while with the front desk unattended, so people were in and out.

Playing got started with Sam's handout, a harmonized version of Lullaby of Birdland. Jack took the next number, I Could Write A Book (I-186). Steve M gave the call to How High The Moon (I-180). Steve C went Latin with Blue Bossa (I-50). Yours truly switched over to piano for one tune while Raphael gave us the challenge on Waltz For Debby (I-432). We almost knew it was the call before Wes opted for Donna Lee (I-123). Your scribe dug into his bag for a four-part version of Four Brothers. Sam worked us hard on Dear Old Stockholm (I-102).

We started some vocalizing with Victor's first choice, Basin Street Blues (II-37), followed by Stardust (II-367). Steve M took another turn, this time Indiana (II-201). Victor was ready to go on Bye Bye Blackbird (II-73). Jim D thought it would be fun to do the vocalese version of Robbin's Nest (II-330), which has a different name which your scribe forgot to scribe. Victor went back to his standard, Avalon (II-25). There is apparently also a vocalese version of Red Top (III-332), with which Jim D also regaled us. Steve C changed things up a bit with Oleo (I-309). Victor got in one last vocal call, Blue Skies (II-58). Raphael decided on the old standard Out Of Nowhere (I-318). Sam took us out on My Little Suede Shoes (II-282).


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

October 27, 2018

Next Time: Saturday, November 3, 11am-3pm. We will be at TowerLight (3601 Wooddale, St. Louis Park) at least through the new year as The Hook and Ladder plays out a busy calendar, then undergoes renovations.

We began with a short list of Steve C (piano), Raphael (bass) and Steve H (alto). Newcomer Doug (alto) was there to begin, but then had to leave before we got out of the first tune; we hope he'll return. Raphael took the first call, Cedar Walton's Holy Land (II-166). Steve C opted for the very classic The Blue Room (I-53). Yours truly stayed on the blue theme with Bluesette (I-56). Raphael, just looking for something new, found Bolivia (III-56), which took us quite a while to sort out, but proved fun in the end. Steve C pulled out another oldie, Flamingo (IV-134). Right next to that was A Foggy Day (IV-135), the choice of your scribe.

By this point, our guitarists, Bob and Serdar, and Wes on tenor, had made their entrance. Bob took his chance to call You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You (II-438). Serdar followed with Tenor Madness (II-390). Wes surprised no one by making us work hard on Anthropology (I-29). Bob eased up on the madness and the studies with So Nice (I-362).

Vocal time came around; Annie (vocals) and Carl (trombone) had arrived in the midst of the instrumentals. Annie's first choice was Dearly Beloved (I-103), which we took at a lazy swing until Annie slowed down even more for something almost sultry. She followed this with the pretty 'Tis Autumn (handout). Carl was allowed the instrumental call, and we played So What (I-364). Annie went into Full Fall mode, with the melancholy Autumn In New York (I-38), followed by the bouncier Autumn Leaves (I-39). Wes chose old favorite Donna Lee (I-123) for the instrumental break. Back to vocals, we were treated to My Man (III-294), followed by Exactly Like You (III-116). Your scribe took it upon himself to put us in 3/4 time with Alice In Wonderland (I-17). Annie's final two for the day were Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye (III-113), and I'm Old Fashioned (III-66). We topped things off with  everybody getting a chorus on Wes' suggetion, Ain't Misbehavin' (III-13).