Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 24, 2015

This was one of those weeks that turned out to be a bit of struggle without bass, piano, or guitar. But those present carried on and worked on some interesting things. Gene was there on drums; Tom dropped in a bit later as well. Wes on tenor, Jack D on trumpet, and Steve H on alto were what we had to get started. We were all trying out Billy Strayhorn's The Star-Crossed Lovers, one I had been warming up on. We began in earnest, though, with St. James Infirmary (II-338). Earlier than usual, Carl showed up with his trombone and a manuscript of Charles Mingus' Jelly Roll. This gave us some solid material to work on for a while. We were still at it when Annie arrived, a little before the regular vocal time. So before she started to sing, we played Tenderly (II-389)

Annie made her first call I'm Confessin' (II-185). Someone called Cousin Mary (II-93) as an instrumental. Back to vocals, we worked on I'm Glad There Is You. We went with another instrumental, this time Lullaby of Birdland (I-256). By this time Dick had found a seat, and we settled on I Could Write A Book (I-186). Annie changed the mood with Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out (I-303). Then we went to a Latin feel with Dick's choice of Meditation (I-266). A little more upbeat, Annie called for Get Happy (III-129). Dick had another Latin number he was fond of, Black Orpheus (I-49). Back to Annie, we played Easy To Love (I-128). We tried an instrumental on Straight, No Chaser (I-386), though it kind of clunked to a stop. So we wrapped things up with Annie singing Sugar (I-387).

Participant's Picks
Jack D
Chet Baker, Almost Blue

Dinah Washington, September in the Rain
Guy Lombardo

Charles Mingus, Jelly Roll

Your Truly
Duke Ellington Orchestra, Johnny Hodges, Alto
The Star-Crossed Lovers (from the Shakespeare Suite)



Monday, October 26, 2015

October 17, 2015

I seem to be having trouble getting the blog out in a timely fashion these days.

Jack D and Jack K the trumpet players (well, the latter Jack plays drums as well, and was pressed into skins duty for the most part) came by. Steve M and Steve H on alto and Wes on tenor got things going. Ken came in later to play piano, much to our relief. The group was rounded out by Dick on vocals, Annie on vocals, and Carl on trombone.

When Jack D started warming up with You Are Too Beautiful (I-455), we decided to make that our starting point. Yours truly picked Easy To Love (I-128) at an easy loping tempo. Wes called for Song For My Father (I-373). Jack K, moving to trumpet, suggested Isn't It Romantic (I-219). Steve M was in an adventurous frame of mind, calling for the Real Book version of In The Mood (I-208), a tune we're all familiar with, but reading it in this context is not easy. Back to Jack D, we went with When I Fall In Love (I-439). Conversation brought up the St. Louis Blues (II-366), so I called it for the next song.

Once we got to the vocal portion, Jack K had to leave, but Ken and his piano were set up, and Wes and I took turns keeping time on the drums. Dick started things off with Mean To Me (III-274). I Wish You Love (III-172) was Annie's first pick. Dick went to a laid back tempo on How High The Moon (I-180). Annie responded by calling Sugar (I-387). For an instrumental break, we pressed Carl to make the choice, and he put Straight, No Chaser (I-380) on the table. Back to the vocals, Dick sang the seasonally appropriate Early Autumn (II-114). Just noodling around on the piano, Ken got us all going on a Blues in F, which Annie joined. Annie and Dick teamed up to do Lambert, Hendricks and Ross' Centerpiece. We ended the afternoon with Annie singing Exactly Like You (III-116).

Forgot to ask participants for this recording choices, so these are all mine.

Johhny Hartman, John Coltrane
You Are Too Beautiful

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross

Diane Schuur
Easy To Love



Monday, October 12, 2015

October 10, 2015

Lots of people, lots of tunes. Sam was back on the bass after a lot of absences for all kinds of reasons. Jack, whom we haven't seen all summer, was back on trumpet. Lets of regulars as well: Gene (drums), Steve M (alto), Wes (tenor), Tom (drums), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals), with Joe (trumpet) and Elmer (tenor) rounding out the group. Oh, and me (alto).

It took us until almost noon to get rolling, but Sam finally called the first tune, Bye Bye Blackbird (II-73). Steve M was next up with Look for the Silver Lining (II-249). I got the next pick, and chose It Could Happen To You (II-204). Wes was next up, and decided on Caravan (II-77), flipping back and forth between Latin and swing. Jack decided to give Birk's Works (II-48) a go; we gave it the works. Tom chose a favorite of his, a very crisp rendition of St. Thomas (II-339). Gene went with something less obscure than usual, but tricky: A Night in Tunisia (I-302). Joe wanted to stick with the back and forth between swing and exotic, but chose to do so on My Little Suede Shoes (II-282). Elmer changed things up entirely by reaching back to Earl "Fatha" Hines' Rosetta (II-332).

Now it was singing' time, and Annie got things going with the classic ballad Body and Soul (I-57), followed by a mid-tempo Dearly Beloved (I-103). Sam, seeing his opening, looked back to the page before and chose Dear Old Stockholm (I-102) as an instrumental. Two more for Annie: So In Love (III-362), and On A Clear Day (III-308). For the instrumental break, Steve M suggested How High The Moon (I-180); even Annie took a chorus. The Party's Over (III-313) and I Could Write A Book (I-186) were Annie's next choices. Carl picked the next instrumental, Blue Monk (I-52). We wrapped things up  with a vocal on I Wish You Love (III-172).

Participant Picks
Sam’s come up with a long one: Stan Getz and Chet Baker live in Stockholm in 1983. However, it contains interviews and footage as well—in Swedish. So be prepared. But dig the music.

Annie asked for Gypsy In My Soul. Here are three:
Ella Fitzgerald
Anita O’Day
Connie Evingson

Tom asked for Song For My Father by local artist Laura Caviani. Couldn’t find that one, and I put up the Horace Silver version not too long ago, so I picked these two versions:
George Benson
Dee Dee Bridgewater

Wes put in a word for Caravan, no particular version. Check out these.
Duke Ellington (Juan Tizol on valve trombone) 1952
Michel Petrucciani
Dizzy Gillespie 6 (1987)