Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 21, 2018

Next Week (April 28): Should be back at the Hook and Ladder, 1-5pm.

Last week's 18" of snow are mostly gone, and the Workshop reassembled at TowerLight: Sam (trumpet and trombone), Steve C (piano), Terry (guitar), Jack D (trumpet), Raphael (bass and drums), Jack K (trumpet and drums), Craig (guitar), Waymond (bass and drums), Serdar (guitar), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals), and Victor (vocals).

We worked for an hour on tunes for gigs, coming up with openings and closings. We began with BR-2 (Reflection In Blue), then turned to Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (II-355), Honeysuckle Rose (II-167), Bluesette (I-52) and St. Thomas (II-339).

Turning to the regular business of the Workshop, Jack D got the first call, All of You (I-21). Jack K was up next, opting for easy swing/ballad My Romance (I-289). Terry decided on the straight-up ballad Misty (I-277). Steve C thought it might be good to up the tempo with Indiana (II-201). Serdar was feeling bluesy, taking us to St. James Infirmary (II-338).

Annie got the vocals going with a vocal version of Blue Monk (II-52), and followed it up with the bouncy Let There Be Love (III-236). For an instrumental,  Raphael chose On Green Dolphin Street (IV-321). Realizing enough people had Volume IV to make it worth looking for some vocals, Annie tried out several that did not work before settling on Save Your Love For Me (IV-376). Victor began his afternoon as usual with Avalon (I-25). Annie pulled up Broadway (I-61) so that everyone would have some fun. Victor sang the verse a cappella before the rhythm section dropped in behind him on Stardust (II-367). Waymond got the next instrumental call, opting for Alfie's Theme (II-14). Annie was joined by everyone on Bye Bye Blackbird (II-73). Victor went with another familiar tune, All of Me (I-20). To wrap up, Sam requested a reprise of St. Thomas.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

April 7, 2018

NO WORKSHOP TODAY, APRIL 14, due to onslaught of Spring.

Next Session: April 21 11am-3pm at TowerLight 3601 Wooddale Ave. S.

We started with some tunes that are under consideration should we ever be asked to put together a group for a gig: BR-2, and a few others. Wes (tenor), Sam (trumpet and trombone), Steve C (piano), Jack K (trumpet and drums), Raphael (bass), Waymond (bass and drums), and Steve H (alto and piano) were on hand to get things started, followed eventually by Craig (guitar), Victor (vocals), and Steve M (alto).

Regular fun began with Sam's Add-A-Tune, Killer Joe (II-229). Jack K called My Ideal (III-292) next. Steve C pulled up I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart (I-188). Waymond challenged us with Airegin (I-13). Wes calmed things down with Robbin's Nest (II-330). Raphael challenged us again with the alternating rhythms of A Night In Tunisia (I-302). Yours truly went for the easy-going 3/4 of Alice In Wonderland (I-17).

We came back around to Sam, who chose Jordu (I-227). Steve C had to head out, so your scribe took over on piano for Victor's choice, Avalon (II-25). Steve M finally got a chance, and chose Imagination (II-195). I stopped taking notes for the remainder, so I don't have page numbers, but from then on we played Craig's choice, Rainbow Connection; Victor asked to sing Stardust; Waymond suggested Always, and Sam surprised us with the last call of the day, The Girl From Ipanema.

Watch the weather!


Sunday, March 25, 2018

March 23, 2018

NO WORKSHOP MARCH 31. Next meeting April 7, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale Ave, St. Louis Park) 11am-3pm.

Sam's Add-a-Tune: Killer Joe (II-229)

We started with a solid core, and more trickled in during the afternoon. We kicked off festivities with Craig (guitar), Terry (guitar), Steve C (piano), Raphael (bass (and drums)), Waymond (bass and drums), Jack K (trumpet) and Steve H (alto), soon to be joined by Sam (trumpet and trombone), Matt (vocals), Victor (vocals), Annie (vocals), Carl (trombone), and Steve M (alto). Even Jim D stopped by for a visit.

Yours truly called the first tune, It Could Happen To You (II-204). Craig chose the next one, Satin Doll (I-349). Terry changed his original idea to another Ellington favorite, In A Mellow Tone (I-206). Steve C went seasonal with a bouncy Easter Parade (I-126). We changed directions with Raphael's choice of bossa Desafinado (I-108). We had a very soulful ten minutes on Waymond's call, Angel Eyes (I-28). Sam got a chance to get us working on another Latin number, his Add A Tune, The Gift! (II-150), which took us about twenty minutes to actually get to the end of with everyone soloing.

Vocal time started at last with Matt's opener, Fly Me To The Moon (II-135). Victor started his day with the familiar Avalon (II-25). Annie wanted to work some more on Let There Be Love (III-236). Matt had brought in his own music for What'll I Do. Victor was willing to try your scribe's suggestion, Nevertheless (III-300), which suited him well. Annie went to the tearjerker Good Morning Heartache (III-134). An instrumental break, chosen by Steve M, saw us go East Of The Sun (III-104). Matt stuck with the theme by opting for I'm Beginning To See The Light (I-200). Victor closed out the light show with Stardust (II-367). Annie reprised It Could Happen To You (II-204), which actually went better than the earlier version. Last time around, Matt picked It's Only A Paper Moon (II-209). Annie went to God Bless The Child (I-160), and after a few false starts, we got Victor going on After You've Gone (II-12). We finished the afternoon with Matt and Annie combining on vocals and everyone taking a solo on Cheek To Cheek (III-76).

Participant Picks

It Could Happen To You
Julie London
Ryo Fukui
Miles Davis
Eydie Gorme
Frank Wess
Pepper Adams
Diana Krall

The Gift (Recado Bossa Nova)
Eydie Gorme
Lionel Hampton et al

Here Comes Peter Cottontail
Gene Autry
Joan Crowe (jazzy)

Easter Parade
Dave Batholomew and the Maryland Jazz Band
Oscar Peterson
Sant Andreu Jazz Band (these are kids!)
Roy Eldridge

Happy Easter! Enjoy!


Sunday, March 18, 2018

March 17, 2018

Next Time: Saturday, March 23, Hook and Ladder, Lake and Minnehaha, 1-5 pm

Add a Tune: The Gift (II-150)

Sure and begorrah and other bits of Irish-sounding stuff. Despite the last minute change, a good crowd showed up on St. Patrick's Day to pack ourselves into the basement theater at TowerLight. On hand were Steve C (piano), Ray (bass and violin), Steve H (alto), Raphael (bass), Jack D (trumpet), Waymond (bass and drums), Terry (guitar), Sam (trumpet and trombone), Steve M (alto), Wes (tenor), Carl (trombone), and Annie (vocals).

We began with Sam's Add-A-Tune for the week, So Nice (Summer Samba) (I-362). Steve M up next chose Lullaby of Birdland (I-256). Terry opted for Black Orpheus (I-49). Next up, Steve C went to one of our standbys, Robbin's Nest (II-330). Jack D got on the board with Autumn In New York (I-38). Over to Waymond, we ran with (but not too fast) Anthropology (I-29). Raphael took us in a simpler direction with his call of Let's Get Lost (II-238). Charlie Parker's My Little Suede Shoes (II-282) somehow kept drifting between Latin and swing, yet somehow we reached the conclusion intact. Yours truly decided to honor the day with How Are Things In Glocca Morra (II-147). Wes wrapped up the instrumental segment with Donna Lee (I-123).

We were a bit behind schedule when we began the vocal segment, but Annie also decided homage was due to the Irish (or at least to Finian's Rainbow) by starting with Look To The Rainbow (III-249). She followed with Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (I-335). Carl directed our instrumental interlude to Blue Monk (I-52). Annie stayed on her Latin theme with Besame Mucho (III-42), though we seem to have gotten a bit lost in there. Things went better with her next call, Why Do I Love You (II-425). Steve M got the choice on the instrumental, I Remember You (II-179). Annie took us down an interesting avenue with a sultry version of Honeysuckle Rose (II-167). She brought us back with a swinging Just In Time (II-222). We polished of the afternoon with Waymond's call, Wes Montomgery's D Natural Blues (I95).

Participant Picks

How Are Things In Glocca Morra
Kitty Kallen
The Hi-Lo’s
Sonny Rollins

Look To The Rainbow
Petula Clark/Fred Astaire
Dinah Washington
Astrud Gilberto

D Natural Blues
Wes Montgomery



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March 10, 2018

Emergency Change of Plans: March 17 TowerLight, 3601 Wooddale, 11am-3pm

Next Time: Hook and Ladder, Lake St. and Minnehaha Ave., Mpls., 1-5pm.

Add-A-Tune: So Nice (Summer Samba) (I-362)

Another very busy afternoon; the Jazz Workshop in the Park (still our official title) has become the place to be on a Saturday afternoon! Making time to play were Sam (trumpet/trombone), Jack D (trumpet), Jack K (trumpet), Terry (guitar), Steve C (piano), Waymond (bass and drums), Steve H (alto), Ray (violin and bass), Serdar (guitar), Craig (guitar), Wes (tenor), Steve M (alto), Dick (vocals), Kelly (harmonica), and Victor (vocals).

Sam kicked things off with his Add-A-Tune, It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing (I-224). We quickly discovered some electrical/technical problems which slowed things down for a bit, but managed to get in Waymond's choice Bags' Groove (II-30). Once things were more or less settled, we took up Terry's option, Four (I-149). Serdar was partial to something Latin, Blue Bossa (I-50). Jack K suggested we dig into the lesser explored volumes with Smile (IV-  ). Jack D had one he liked, a ballady, lightly swinging version of I Wish You Love (III-172). Wes called Doxy (II-111), which started out a bit quick and took off from there; next time out we'll need to rein that one in. To conclude the instrumental segment, yours truly brought an original, the slow and easy, very-late-at-night Smokey Blues.

Dick got the vocals started with On Green Dolphin Street (IV-321), and followed with a swinging Don't Blame Me (I-121). Craig got to call an intermediate instrumental, and went with It's Too Late (III-218). Dick took two more vocals: There Will Never Be Another You (I-407), and Mean To Me (III-274). Victor was in the house and ready to sing by this time, and went with old standbys All Of Me (I-20) and Avalon (II-22). The instrumental call went to Steve M, a cooking How High The Moon (I-180). Back to Dick, we worked on Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (I-335). Victor took a turn on Stardust (II-367). Out of Nowhere (I-318) was Dick's swan song for the day. We ended the afternoon with and instrumental version of Sam's choice, Jeannine (II-212).


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March 3, 2018

Next Time: Hook and Ladder, Minnehaha and Lake, 1-5pm.

Your scribe (alto, piano) arrived to be available to open the Workshop, only to find three others already inside: Jack D (trumpet), Terry (guitar), and newcomer Ross (tenor, piano), who is clearly no newcomer to his music. Ross had arrived at noon because of some misinformation in a Craigslist ad, so I hope we can get that fixed soon as well.

Also, we were informed that a few weeks back, we had used some of the Hook's electronic equipment improperly, and not returned it to its original status, and so were forbidden to use any of their amps or speakers. We want to apologize to the Hook and Ladder for any mistaken assumptions we made, and hope to be back in their good graces in the near future.

In short order, Raphael (bass) and Waymond (drums, bass, alto) arrived, and while Waymond and this writer got the drums up from the basement, the group began with Jack's pick, But Beautiful (I-62). Yours truly opted for Line for Lyons (III-240), which we did sans piano but a bit swingy. I moved from alto to piano while Terry decided to tackle the straightforward blues tune Freddie Freeloader (I-151). Back to alto for me when Raphael called Mas Que Nada (III-268). Ross managed both piano and tenor, with Waymond moving to bass for his choice, Confirmation (I-87), though we had to ask him to bring it down to mid-speed; he went back to drums for the remainder.  Ross continued on dual duty with his own pick, All The Things You Are (I-22).

Victor (vocals), Craig (guitar), Annie (vocals), and Carl S (trombone) had arrived variously during the instrumental period, and Carl called the last one, Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West (II-408). We lost Ross before the vocals began, which is too bad, because a lot of other good players had yet to arrive: old friends Lachel (trumpet), son Leithieo (trombone), their friend from Texas, Rene (soprano), Carl A (soprano), and finally Sam (trombone, trumpet) and Jim D (clarinet). With the influx of horns, this guy moved permanently to piano.

Annie, as usual, got things rolling vocally, starting with Let There Be Love (III-236). Victor took another swing at Avalon (II-25). Annie pulled out old Ellington standby Take The A Train (I-398). Victor opted for Bye Bye Blackbird (II-73). We took an instrumental break with Jack's choice, a gentle version of It Never Entered My Mind (III-205). Returning to vocals, Annie took on When I Fall In Love (I-439). We turned to All Of Me (I-20) on Victor's next song. Annie went to I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (I-195). Rene suggested an instrumental version of There Will Never Be Another You (I-406), which played well. A few more vocals were on tap: Annie chose Thou Swell (I-411). Victor and the rhythm section had some trouble finding the groove on In The Still Of The Night (II-198)--sorry, man. Annie finished up singing with Never Let Me Go (III-299). We went out with everyone having a say on Craig's call, Fly Me To The Moon (II-135).

Participant Picks

Line for Lyons
Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker
Billy Taylor and Jimmy Owens

Mas Que Nada
Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66
Al Jarreau

In The Still Of The Night (Cole Porter)
Frank Sinatra
Steve Lawrence

Sunday, February 25, 2018

February 24, 2018

NEXT TIME (Sat., 03/03/18) Hook and Ladder, Minnehaha just below Lake St., Minneapolis, 1-5pm.

Don't know if we could have squeezed any more people into the little theater at TowerLight. By the time we got everything down from other floors--chairs, drums, piano--and all the electronics set up around 11:30 or so, we had Raphael (bass), Steve C (piano), Terry (guitar), Serdar (guitar), Sam (trumpet and trombone), Jack K (drums and trumpet), Jack D (trumpet) and Steve H (alto and hitting the cymbals to keep time). Wes (tenor) and Craig (guitar) soon followed, Victor (vocals) was there well before vocals time, and finally Annie (vocals) and Carl (trombone) rounded things out, but only after someone left and made room.

We got things off to a slinky start with Sam's Add-A-Tune, The Girl From Ipanema (I-158). Sam begged for another, and got us on to the first of our Charlie Parker tunes for the day, Au Privave (I-37). Yours truly had been thinking of Till There Was You (II-400) since last week; we started as a ballad, then dropped into a light swing which became more insistent as the solos progressed. Jack K called for I Remember You (II-179), another easy-going tune. Raphael changed things up with Sonny Rollins' Oleo (I-309), and Serdar followed suit with Billie's Bounce (II-44). Terry picked a somewhat quick tempo for a swingy version of Misty (I-277); it took us a few tries to find the beat, but once we did, it was very satisfying.

Victor started the vocal portion with old favorite Avalon (II-29). Carl and Annie had arrived, but were not quite ready, so we took another instrumental, this time Wes' pick (another old favorite), Donna Lee (I-123). Annie took two: Let There Be Love (III-236), and the beautiful My Funny Valentine (I-287).  Victor by now had decided on another, Stardust (II-367), including an a capella opening verse. Someone whose name I did not catch, who had come in with her Mom to listen for a couple of minutes, asked to sing one, and performed Autumn Leaves (I-39). Craig picked our follow-up instrumental, at random opening up the book to the old Carol King number, It's Too Late (III-218). Annie gave Dinah Washington a shout-out with What A Diff'rence A Day Made (III-430). She followed that with I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free. Carl called for After You've Gone (II-xxx), which Victor wanted to sing. It took quite a while for us to find the right double-time feel for this one. A few remained to join Sam in a few choruses of St. Thomas (II-339)

Participant Picks
Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Theolonious Monk, et al.
Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, Bobby McFerrin, et al.

The Girl From Ipanema
Zoot Sims

Art Pepper
Willie Nelson
Frank Sinatra/ Tommy Dorsey
Nat King Cole
Louis Armstrong