Wednesday, December 4, 2019

November 30, 2019

Next Time: Sat., 12/7, 11am-3pm, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale, St. Louis Park)

Sam's Add-A-Tune: Baia (III-47)

Bad road conditions kept us from getting started on time, but by noon, Sam (trumpet, trombone), Steve H (piano, alto), and Raphael (bass) were on hand. Carl (trombone) arrived a bit later, and long-absent Matt arrived to do vocals at 1:00.

We worked long and hard trying to make Air Mail Special (II-13), Sam's Add-A-Tune, viable. Hard to say why we struggled with it so much. The solos weren't the problem, just the song itself. We don't give those long-ago jazz musicians enough credit for virtuosity. Your scribe took the next one, calling Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (II-354), which he had long thought of airing out at the Workshop. Raphael turned to the Cedar Walton classic, Holy Land (II-166). Carl went with the next page, Honeysuckle Rose (II-167).

Vocal time, and Matt kicked us off with Fly Me To The Moon (II-135), and followed up with Angel Eyes (I-28). Sam called the instrumental interlude, All The Things You Are (I-22) with a Latin rhythm. XXXX went next to the ballad, What'll I Do (II-419) and finished the afternoon with

The Minnesota-Wisconsin border battle for the Axe being close to underway, and the residents wishing to watch on the big screen, we abandoned the theater at 2:10.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

November 23, 2019

Next Time: Sat, 11/30, 11am-3pm, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale, St. Louis Park)

Sam's Add-A-Tune: Air Mail Special (II-13)

On hand for a shortened version of the Workshop were, variously, Sam (trombone), Jack D (trumpet), Jack K (trumpet), Raphael (bass), Steve H ("piano," soprano), and Ari (trumpet).

The festivities began with Sam's Add-A-Tune, Black Nile (I-xx). Jack K got the follow-up call, Out Of Nowhere (I-318). Your scribe heard Gypsy In My Soul (I-169) in the car on the way to the Workshop, and thought it would be worth a try. Raphael found a fun 3/4-time tune, Masquerade (III-269). Jack D requested one of his favorites, My Funny Valentine (I-287). Ari, freshly arrived as Sam was leaving, was unfamiliar with the moving Ellington piece, Come Sunday (I-82); now he knows.

Back to Jack K, who opted for a lightly swinging My Foolish Heart (I-286). Your truly pulled out another bit of Ellingtonia, I'm Beginning To See The Light (I-200). Raphael challenged us with the tricky Charlie Parker piece, Segment (III-xxx). Ari went to the much smoother All Blues (I-18). Your scribe found more Ellington, the Johnny Hodges vehicle Warm Valley (II-412). We finished the afternoon with a Latin version of More (III-284).


Sunday, November 17, 2019

November 16, 2019

Next Time: Sat., 11/23, 11am-3pm, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale, St. Louis Park)

Sam's Add-A-Tune: Black Nile (I-48)

A small group again, but Jack D (trumpet) made an appearance after a long absence to join Raphael (bass), and Steve H (piano, soprano). Annie (vocals) and Carl (trombone) joined us for the last hour.

Jack took the first call, How Deep Is The Ocean (III-xxx). Your scribe opted for All Blues (I-18). Raphael found the harmonically predictable but melodically interesting Lover Come Back To Me (III-255). Jack chose old favorite My Funny Valentine (I-287). Back to yours truly, we went to the even older standard All Of Me (I-20). Raphael dug out the unfamiliar My Silent Love (III-296), which worked out great. Jack's last choice for the afternoon was Angel Eyes (I-28). Your scribe turned to a fun medium-up version of Easy To Love (I-128). Joyce's Samba (III-216) was another fun find by Raphael.

Vocal time began with Annie choosing Poor Butterfly (III-324), which by all reports went much better than last week. Carl took an instrumental call, Bye Bye Blackbird (II-73). Annie got the call for the last four. The Birth Of The Blues (II-49), Close Your Eyes (II-86), Come Rain Or Come Shine (III-xxx), and did a duet with the bass on It Could Happen To You.


November 9, 2019

Next Time: Sat., 11/16, 11am-3pm, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale, St. Louis Park)

Report by Raphael

Sam (trumpet, trombone), Raphael (bass), Ari (trumpet), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals)

Tunes played:
Byrd Like (I-xx) Sam's Add-A-Tune
Time Was (III-409) Raphael
St. James Infirmary (II-xxx) Ari
Time After Time (III-408) Sam
Say It With Music (III-347) Raphael
Red Clay (I-338) Ari
So Nice (I-362) Ari
Poor Butterfly (III-324) Annie
Autumn Leaves (I-39) Annie
Blue Monk (I-52) Carl
How Little We Know (Handout) Annie
'Tis Autumn (Handout) Annie
The Nearness Of You (II-285) Annie
Telephone Song (III-390) Raphael
Ten Cents A Dance (III-391) Ari
Nica's Dream (I-xxx) Annie
Give Me The Simple Life (Handout) Annie


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

November 2, 2019

Next Time: Sat., 11/9, 11am-3pm, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale, St. Louis Park)

Sam's Add-A-Tune: Byrd Like (I-64)

The gathering took place as usual, with five regulars: Sam (trumpet, trombone), Steve C. (piano), Raphael (bass), Steve H (alto, rhythm), and Wes (tenor). The smaller group gave time for extra solos.

Sam kicked of the festivities with his Add-A-Tune, Broadway (I-61). Steve C. got the next call, But Beautiful (I-40). Raphael got everyone working on Daahoud (I-96). Your scribe dug out an Ellington standard that doesn't get out enough, I'm Beginning To See The Light (I-200). Sam pulled out a favorite of one of the Workshop founders, Afro Blue (I-11). Steve C found some fun John Lewis, calling Django (I-114). Raphael opted for a little straight-up (but not too fast) Parker, Scrapple From The Apple (I-351). Wes decided to cool things down a bit with Ceora (I-72). Yours truly was feeling the need for a bit of Gershwin, and found Somebody Loves Me (I-369). We hadn't done anything in 3/4 yet, so Sam surprised us with his call, The Saga Of Harrison Crabfeathers (I-348). Steve C. found the sweet spot of modern and classic with Lady Bird (I-235). Raphael found he had a desperate need to get out of Book I, calling for Victor Herbert's Indian Summer (III-201). Back to Vol. I, Wes returned to old friend Donna Lee (I-123). Your scribe was feeling like a bit of straight ahead soloing, and chose a mid-tempo Cherokee. Sam got the last turn, How Insensitive (I-181). Some of the group played a bit of St. Thomas to carry them home.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

October 26, 2019

Next Time: Sat., 11/2, 11am-3pm, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale, St. Louis Park)

Sam's Add-A-Tune: Broadway, I-61

A smaller but healthy group this week: Sam (trumpet, trombone, bass), Raphael (bass), Steve H (piano, alto), Steve M (alto), Serdar (guitar), and Carl (trombone).

We began with Lennie Tristano's very difficult riff on All The Things You Are, entitled Ablution (II-10), Sam's Add-A-Tune for this week. Hey, it's a Workshop. Steve M returned us to earth with Indiana (II-201). Your scribe stuck to jazz roots by calling Honeysuckle Rose (II-167). Raphael the Adventurous--again, it's a Workshop--got us working on Speak Like A Child (II-363). Serdar was set up by this point, and opted for Blue Monk (I-52).

Back around to Sam, we ran with an easy-going version of Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise  (II-355). Sam wanted to get in one more before Raphael had to go, so we gave him an extra turn with Minor Swing (IV-284). Raphael got another before he departed, By Myself (III-67). We returned to the usual pattern of going around the circle, Steve M calling Like Someone In Love (I-243). While Sam went out to get his bass, yours truly decided on a ballad he could handle the bass line on, Polka Dots and Moonbeams (II-318). Carl was given the next one, and we dug into Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West (II-408). Serdar took on one last tune before departing, old favorite Billie's Bounce (II-44).

Sam thought we needed a bit of Latin, and chose Triste (I-417). Carl pulled out a bit of Ellington with Mood Indigo (I-279). Steve C made his last call of the afternoon Cheesecake (II-82). Your scribe pulled out Creepin' for one last pre-Halloween turn. Sam wrapped up the day with St. Thomas (II-339).


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

October 19, 2019

Next Time: Sat., 10/26, 11am-3pm, TowerLight (3601 Wooddale, St. Louis Park)

Sam's Add-A-Tune: Ablution (II-1)

After weeks of small group work, a merry band of regulars dropped by for a festive gathering. Sam (trumpet, trombone), Steve H (piano, alto), Jack K (trumpet), Raphael (bass), Steve M (alto), Wes (tenor), Ari (trumpet), Annie (vocals) and Carl (trombone).

Sam, Jack, Raphael, and yours truly got things slowly rolling with Sam's Add-A-Tune, Harlem Nocturne (III-140). Jack got the next call, with There Will Never Be Another You (I-406). Your scribe went a bit more up-tempo on Perdido (II-311). Raphael introduced us to one we were all unfamiliar with, Time Was (III-409). Sam started the next go-round with Move (II-280). Jack took his second shot on Time After Time (II-408). Steve M. opted for a a crisp, alternating Latin/swing version of I'll Remember April. Yours truly finished out the instrumental segment with an original Halloweeny called Creepin'.

We haven't had a vocal segment for weeks, but Annie was back and in voice. She had a theme for the first two: Early Autumn (II-114) and Autumn Leaves (I-39). Wes surprised this writer, at least, by choosing Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (II-212). Another pair of songs from Annie: Good Morning Heartache (III-134), and Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (I-335). Ari took the instrumental call with Lullaby of Birdland (II-256). Annie took us right to 3:00 with It Never Entered My Mind (II-204) and Without A Song (II-428).