Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November 19, 2016

Next Meeting, Saturday, Nov. 26, 11am-3pm at TowerLight.

We tried out a new venue this week: the Hook and Ladder, on Minnehaha just below Lake in Minneapolis. A sizeable crowd made an appearance: Sam (bass), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals), Steve M. (alto), Jack D (trumpet), Jim D (alto and clarinet), Wes (tenor), Dick (vocals) and Steve H (alto).

Annie kicked things off with East of the Sun, West of the Moon (III-104). Sam followed with something warm us up in a chilly house, St. Thomas (II-339). Dick to the lead next with Mean To Me (III-274).

After a bit of discussion about our preferences for TowerLight vs. Hook and Ladder, we returned to playing. Serdar wanted to try a song he hadn't played before, Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise (II-375). Annie called for I Remember Clifford (I-192), but we had a really hard time getting that one off the ground, so she switched to I'm Beginning To See The Light (I-207). Yours truly stumbled across a Charlie Parker blues, Blue Bird (III-53), which was a good tune for everyone to get involved in. Dick asked for one he's been working on recently, Doxy (II-111). Carl also stumbled across a blues no one had heard, Bags and Trane (II-29), with an interesting call and response written right into it.

Back to singers, Annie decided on I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance (I-173). Bob didn't want to spend time looking for a tune, so Wes jumped in with his current favorite, Donna Lee (I-123), but down-tempo. Dick took a vocal on In A Mellow Tone (I-200). Steve M liked the looks of Beautiful Love (I-40), and we didn't sound too bad on it either. Annie did a slow, slinky version of Honeysuckle Rose (II-167). Jim decided on his turn that he was going to sing, and gave that a go on Time After Time (III-408). Nobody dared to follow that.

Though a simple majority of those present opted to return to the Hook and Ladder, it was not available for next week, so we return to TowerLight next week. We will also be playing a Christmas selection in the lobby on December 17 from noon to 2:00 pm.

Participant's Picks

Charlie Parker

Milt Jackson and John Coltrane
Bags and Trane

Zoot Sims
Softly, As In  A Morning Sunrise

Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 5, 2016

This day turned into one more of conversation about plans than playing, but that's how it goes when you're in transition. Sam (bass, trumpet), Jack D (trumpet), Jack K (trumpet, drums), Steve H (alto) and Wes (tenor) were present in by noon.

Sam thought he'd really workshop us by bringing in several off-book (i.e., off-Real Book) songs, all in concert key so that we would have to transpose. We started with Hoagy Carmichael's New Orleans. After struggling our way through that--it really is a decent tune--Jack D requested Beautiful Love (I-40). Yours truly always wanted to play the lovely Johnny Hodges vehicle, Ellington's Warm Valley (II-412); it was worth the effort. Jack K wanted to play some trumpet after time on the skins, so he chose My Foolish Heart (I-286), and I tapped out a beat on the hi hat. Sam had another tune, another 1920's bit called Melancholy, which we gave a solid try. At this point, Sam and the Jacks had to pull up stakes. Wes and I played through Donna Lee a few times. Annie and Carl arrived just in time to find the rhythm section on the way out the door, so we did not continue.

Participant Picks

New Orleans (Hoagy Carmichael)
Two very different versions. That’s Art Pepper playing alto on the first one, but Hoagy himself on the vocal.
The second more as you expect it—and yet not—from Al Hirt.

Hornheads Five Heads Are Better Than One

Warm Valley (Johnny Hodges)



November 12, 2016

Next Workshop: Saturday, November 19, at the Hook and Ladder, Minnehaha and Lake, Minneapolis. Set-up 2:30, play 3-5:30, clear out by 6:00. 

Fewer people than last week, but a much more productive day. Sam (bass), Steve H (alto), Wes (tenor), Carl (trombone) and Annie (vocals) were the players of record.

Somehow, I got the first two calls, so we played two side-by-side, the ballad Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (II-354), and a medium swing version of Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (II-355). Sam changed the mood soon enough with Monk's In Walked Bud (II-200). Time for Wes to choose, and we played Along Came Betty (I-22). Back to me, I pulled out the languid and bluesy Creole Love Call (III-88). Sam did another side-by-side, and picked Cry Me A River (III-89). Donna Lee (I-123) was up next, one Wes really wants us to work on. Sam took the next one, and decided on Jordu (I-227). As Annie and Carl arrived and got settled, we played a Latin-y Here's That Rainy Day (I-175).

Annie got the singing portion of the day going with Time After Time (III-408), followed by You've Changed (III-463). Carl got the instrumental choice, going with Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West (II-408). We did a few more instrumentals, with Wes pulling out Ceora (I-72), then Sam's unexpected choice of That's Amore (I-404). We got back to Annie's vocals, first with There Will Never Be Another You (I-407). We tried to make a go of There'll Be Some Changes Made (I-408), but we had the hardest time getting the feel of the half-time beat without more rhythm (some things sound easier than they are on paper). We took an instrumental turn, with yours truly deciding finally on Take The A Train (I-398). Carl took another pick, this time Nostalgia In Times Square (I-306). Annie got the last two: Song For My Father (I-373 and thank goodness for my egg), and Isn't It Romantic (I-219).

Participant Picks

Creole Love Call (Duke Ellington, Adelaide Hall vocal)

Nostalgia In Times Square (Charles Mingus)

Jordu (Clifford Brown & Max Roach)