Thursday, December 22, 2016

December 17, 2016

Because of the holidays, we will not be meeting for the next two weeks.
Our next encounter will take place Saturday, January 7, 2017 at the Hook and Ladder, Minnehaha and Lake in Minneapolis. Set-up at 2:30, play 3 to 6 PM. 

We are extremely grateful that the management of TowerLight has been so gracious as to let us play in the basement theater for the past few months. In return, we gathered in the lobby of TowerLight to play for whoever wanted to sit and listen, or happened to be passing by, for two hours on Saturday afternoon. Turns out, you could hear us down in the kitchen as well, and the reviews weren't bad. On hand were Sam (trumpet), Serdar (guitar), Jack D (trumpet), yours truly (alto), Tim (drums), Annie (vocals), Carl (trombone). Special guest appearance by Optimum Trajectory's Chip M, a former Workshopper who took over the bass duties. And Tim's wife also filled in for part of the second half on piano. We hope she joins us in the future.

Annie and Carl had to leave after the first hour, so we got all the singing done up front. In the second half, all instrumentals. Unfortunately, I did not keep track of which songs we played, but it was quite a few off our standard Christmas repertoire. The listeners were very kind and appreciative.

Some holiday favorites:

Baby It’s Cold Outside (original from the movie Neptune’s Daughter (1949), with  side by side versions by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban, and Betty Garrett and Red Skelton.

Debbie Duncan and Dennis Spears, I Love The Winter Weather/Baby It’s Cold Outside

Oscar Peterson, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

Tony Bennett/ Count Basie Orchestra, I’ll Be Home For Christmas


December 10, 2016

Preparation time for our appearance before actual people in the lobby at TowerLight on Dec. 17. Sam (bass, trumpet), Tim (guitar, drums), Steve M. (alto), Jack D. (trumpet), Steve H. (alto), Wes (tenor, clarinet), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals), Ray (bass), Serdar (guitar) and Greg (guitar) all showed up at various times. The surfeit of guitar players eventually got Tim to take up his natural position at drums, and Ray's coming off the bench to fill in for a few tunes despite his recovering from injuries gave Sam some time on the trumpet.

Not going to get too descriptive today. We started out with a few non-Christmas tunes: Little Boat (I-245), Have You Met Miss Jones (I-172), and Beautiful Love (I-40). Then we got rolling on Christmas songs in preparation for 12/17. We covered Silver Bells, Merry Christmas Baby, The Christmas Song, Let It Snow, Feliz Navidad, Winter Wonderland, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

December 3, 2016

The Workshop will be performing for the residents of TowerLight on Saturday, December 17, from noon to 2pm.

Workshop this Saturday, Dec. 10, 11-3 in basement theater of Towerlight.

An interesting mixed bag of songs--a bit of Christmas, a bit of the old standards. Joining in the fun this week were Sam (bass), Steve M (alto), Bob (trombone) Jack D (trumpet), newcomer Tim (guitar), Serdar (guitar), Annie (vocals), Carl (trombone), and Steve H (alto). 

Sam kicked things off with Bye Bye Blackbird (II-73). Bob dipped into the Christmas song list with The Christmas Song (C-38). Steve M chose How Deep Is The Ocean (III-150). A bit of the blues from Jack D, calling Bags' Groove (II-30). Yours truly was in the spirit of the season, pulling out Let It Snow! (C-122). Tim joined in with a quiet rendition of White Christmas. 

Back around to Sam again, he surprised us as usual (and if it is usual, is it a surprise?) with Once I Loved (I-311). Serdar was looking forward since two weeks ago to take another run at Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (II-355). Bob decided to go with a shorter tune, with St. James Infirmary (II-338). 

By this time Annie and Carl had arrived, and since we had to pull out by 2:00, we had Annie call all the rest of them. She started out with an oldie, "Deed I Do (III-92). We went Christmas again, doing a reprise on The Christmas Song, only this time without a lot of instrumental solos. For something a bit more upbeat, Annie chose Don't Blame Me (I-121). It Never Entered My Mind (III-205) was the next call. We finished our time together with Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (C-174).

Friday, December 2, 2016

November 26, 2016

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

Serdar says that he has been unable to secure the Hook and Ladder before our Dec. 19 gig in the lobby area of TowerLight, so we will have our next several rehearsals there.

We had a small crew, with only Serdar (guitar) carrying the rhythm. Sam had to leave very early, so he only brought his trumpet. Jack D also brought his trumpet; he was accompanied by Wes on tenor, and yours truly on alto.

We played songs from the Christmas songbook we have compiled over a number of years, some of which are also found in the Real Book Christmas edition, though not always with the same changes, and sometimes not even the same key.

Sam left at noon. When no vocalists arrived by 1:30, the rest of us finished up with that Christmas classic, Blue Bossa.