Wednesday, June 30, 2010

100th post- a day late and a dollar short

Wow, this is the 100th post for the Jazz Workshop and is actually six days late, since it's about the 6/24/10 workshop.

We had another good turnout for the workshop with Vicki and Dick on vocals, Ira (alto sax), Bronco and Wes (tenor saxes), Luke (soprano sax, flute and cello), Gene (drums), Max and Neil (basses), Tim and Tim and Craig (guitars). We also had a couple of folks stop in to listen but did not bring their instruments; I only remember Josh's name, unfortunately.

Songs for the evening included "Groovin' High," "There Will Never Be Anotehr You," "West Coast Blues," "All Of Me," "When Sunny Gets Blue," "I Thought About You," "I Should Care," "Maybe September," "I Could Write A Book," "Crystal Silence" and "Have You Met Miss Jones?"

The next workshop will be 7/1/10- tomorrow, in fact. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Start of the Summer Sessions

Two days before Juneteenth The Jazz Workshop met at McRae Park for the start of the run of summer sessions. These will be on Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:45 through the Labor Day weekend, then the Workshop will revert back to the Saturday schedule. I think I've probably put that in enough posts now!

Often during the summer the turnout is a bit smaller and for this session we had eight musicians: Max (bass), Gene (drums), Annie (vocals), Wes (tenor sax), Luke (flute and soprano sax) and Tim (guitar). Also joining us for the first time were Neil (bass) and Tom (drums).

Songs covered included "Look To The Sky," "Always On My Mind," "Stardust," "Perdido," "I Remember You," "Like a Lover," "Dindi," "The Nearness of You" and "Sunny." A short set list but the Thursday evening sessions are only about two hours of playing time.

I forgot my camera so these photos are from 5/22/10, courtesy of vocalist Matt Ash. At the top is Peter playing baritone sax; next is Gene playing drums- usually he's smiling when he's playing; and at the bottom is Luke on soprano sax.

Monday, June 7, 2010

You Must Remember This...

No Jazz Workshop on thursday 6/10/10. The next session will be 6/17/10.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gig at McRae Park (Sambas In The Rain)

About three times a year the Jazz Workshop plays gigs at McRae Park for their various seasonal events. We do one around the end of the year (the Santa Breakfast), in the spring (the Bunny Brunch) and at the start of summer (the Family Fun Day). The latter was today (6/5/10) and we did it again. This year we were the only entertainment for the day and, again, this year it rained. The options seem to be either rain or scorching sun for this gig. Fortunately for us, the City of Minneapolis has a portable stage that they bring to this which includes a sound system and shelter from the elements. Unfortunately, it doesn't protect the audience. An amazing number of people braved the rain for the first hour or so, but as the rain intensified the audience slowly went inside or went home. Much to our surprise, though, the folks inside the McRae Park building could hear us quite well.

Representing the Jazz Workshop today were Annie, Toria, Dick and Matt (all vocals); the horn section was Ira (alto sax), Peter (bari sax), Wes (tenor sax), Luke (soprano sax and flute) and Sam (trumpet); the rhythm section was Gene (drums), Max (bass), Paul (keyboard), Bob (guitar), Craig (guitar) and Tim (guitar). If I have counted right, that's 14 people.

I'm usually pretty critical, but I have to say that we sounded pretty good today. Being able to mike the horns and run most of the rhythm section through the PA made a big difference in balance and being able to hear. Matt walked around the grounds on the first few songs to help set levels for each of the instruments. We played for about two hours and had a whole lot of fun!

The set list included (but due to not having time to write them down, this is incomplete): the "Flintstones" theme, "Now's The Time," "Take the 'A' Train," "What Is This Thing Called Love," "Watermelon Man," "Blue Moon," "Corcovado," "Bye Bye Blackbird," "Fever," "The Girl From Ipanema" and "Sentimental Journey."

We had a great time playing and we hope that- despite the inclement weather- so did the audience!

First Thursday Evening Workshop

In the summer the Jazz Workshop schedule changes because the McRae Park building isn't open on Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This summer we have switched to Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:45. Our first Tuesday session was on 6/3/10 and was the final rehearsal for our gig on 6/5/10 (that'll be another post). We ran through the tines we intended to do (although it is a Workshop tradition to practice a bunch of songs, do some basic arrangements, and then play a bunch of other songs at the gig instead).

Turning out for the session were Max (bass), Gene (drums), Peter (baritone sax), Luke (soprano sax and flute), Sam (trumpet), guitarists Bob + Craig + Tim and vocalists Annie + Dick + Matt + Toria.

Because of the specific focus and the shorter time frame, the set list was shorter than is usually the case on Saturdays. Songs include the "Flintstone Theme," "Summertime," "What Is This Thing Called Love," "Watermelon Man," "Hello Dolly," "Corcovado," "Ornithology," "Take the 'A' Train," "I'll Remember April," "The Girl From Ipanema" (a lovely song that has been heard in far too many elevators), "Come Rain or Come Shine," and "Hit 'Lanta."

The photos are from Matt, who took them on 5/22/10 but they were so good I thought I would use them for this post. At the top we have Annie and Dick singing "Centerpiece;" next are Tim (your not-so-humble author on guitar) and Ira (alto sax); in the lower middle of the post is Peter on baritone sax; and last is a drummer's eye-view of (left to right) Annie, Toria and Paul.

That's it!