Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December 16, 2017

Due to too many members--especially rhythm section--being understandably busy over the next couple of weekends, we will not hold any Workshops for the remainder of 2017. We plan to resume on Saturday, January 6, 2018. Location to be determined.

We had a lot of fun playing a great deal out of Vol. IV this week. Sam (bass), Jack K (trumpet), Wes (tenor), Serdar (guitar), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals); your scribe put in most of his time on piano, with a little alto thrown in on choice ballads. As a result, though, he forgot to keep track of the tunes played. Stuff we don't usually get to, though: A Foggy Day, If You Could See Me Now, some Ray Charles tunes, something by the Beatles. Some other non-Vol. 4 songs as well: My Little Suede Shoes, All of Me, Pent Up House, Angel Eyes, Ornithology. There were others.

See you in January!


Thursday, December 14, 2017

December 9, 2017

This Saturday (and for the remainder of December): Meet at TowerLight, 3601 Wooddale Ave., St. Louis Park, 11am-3pm.

Our attendance this week was good. Sam (bass), Steve C. (piano), Jack K. (trumpet), Steve H (alto), Ray (violin), Wes (tenor), Serdar (guitar), Annie (vocals), Carl (trombone) and Matt (vocals).

We got things rolling with the first four playing (appropriately) Four (I-149) at Sam's request. Yours truly took the next call, I've Got The World On A String (III-189), with Ray joining in. Jack K. opted for Isn't It Romantic (I-219), which started slower than it finished. Up next, Ray went to Let's Fall In Love (II-237). Apparently on a theme roll, Steve C. chose The Nearness Of You (II-285), which didn't so much get faster as more swingy. Serdar and Wes had joined us by this time, and were in place to join in Sam's pick, So What (I-364). Ray had changed spots to get closer to the rhythm section, and ended up in position to get another call, My Buddy (I-284), which happened to be next to the one Serdar had wanted to work on, My Favorite Things (I-285).

By now, Annie and Carl were set, and we got to the vocal portion. Annie's first tune was Merry Christmas Baby (C-132), followed by When I Fall In Love (I-439). I had brought along an arrangement from last year, Santa Monk Is Coming To Town, which seemed to amuse everyone. Back to Annie, we got into a favorite, Let There Be Love (III-236). She changed the mood with another of her favorites, Never Let Me Go (III-299). Wes got a pick, and pulled out one that he loves to work on, Donna Lee (I-123). Back to Annie, who had a hankering for Thou Swell (I-411). Matt came in around then, and got the next number, The Christmas Song (C-38). He took an encore with All Of Me (I-20). Annie chose the classic For All We Know (I-145). We finished off with both singers taken a turn on Matt's choice, L-O-V-E (II-252).

Participant Picks
My Buddy
Harry James/Frank Sinatra

Henry Burr

My Favorite Things
Tony Benett

I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Tony Bennett



Friday, December 8, 2017

December 2, 2017

We played for an hour in the Lobby of TowerLight. The crowd from the Dining Room appreciated it--at least that's what one person said.

This week, December 9: Back at TowerLight, 11-3. (Another time conflict at the Hook.)


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

November 25, 2017

NEXT UP: December 3, 2017 at TowerLight.

Meet at 11:00-11:30; play set in lobby Noon-1:00.

Sorry I don't have time for a well worked out version of the posting this week. I can say that we had a good crew on hand: Ray (bass), Sam (trumpet and valve trombone)), Steve H (alto), Jack K (trumpet), Serdar (guitar), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals), Jim (clarinet) and newcomer Steve C (piano), for whom yours truly is especially grateful.

About half the time we played Christmas tunes, because this coming weekend we will be playing a one hour set for the residents of TowerLight, in thanks for their generosity in letting us use their space.

So, just to be clear, our next workshop is not a workshop, but a gig.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

November 18, 2017

Next Meeting Saturday, Nov. 25, 11-3, TowerLight.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

November 11, 2017

This Saturday, 11/18 and next week, 11/25:
11am to 3pm at TowerLight, 3601 Wooddale Avenue S., St. Louis Park.

Early Segment: Usual Work-on Tunes
Add-A Tune: Bluesette (I-56)

I'm afraid I don't have as much time as usual to put this week's edition together--and besides, I had to leave early, and I only have Serdar's report about the happenings--so let me just give a list of the personnel and tunes (kind of like liner notes).

Sam (bass and trumpet), Steve H (piano and alto), Steve M (alto), Jack K (trumpet), Wes (tenor), Ray (bass). Serdar (guitar), Dick (vocals).

Steve H: Lullaby of Birdland (I-256); Sam: Swing 42 (IV-442) and Swiggles (copies); Wes: Donna Lee (I-123). Jack: There Will Never Be Another You (I-407); Steve M: I Could Write A Book (I-186); Steve H: Alice in Wonderland (I-17); Sam: Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (II-355); Serdar: St. James Infirmary (II-338); Ray: This Masquerade (II-396); Dick: Dindi (II-105) and Nature Boy (II-284); Steve H: Mr. P.C. (I-276).

A Night In Tunisia (I-302); I Could Write A Book (I-186) reprise; Robbins Nest (II-330); I'm Confessin' (II-185); Avalon (II); Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (I-335); All Of Me (I-20); St. Thomas (II-339); The Nearness of You (II-285).

Participant Picks
Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli
Swing 42

John Coltrane
Mr. P.C.



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

November 3, 2017

Next session: Hook and Ladder, 3010 Minnehaha Ave. S., MPLS, Saturday, November 11, 1-6pm.
Early session work-ons: Groovin' High (I-166), Red Top (III-332), Robbins Nest (II-330)
Add-A-Tune: Swing 42 (IV-442) (Sam will have copies in concert key.)

Sorry about missing last week's post. Your scribe forgot to scribe; not a single note about what we played. 

This week, however, all is as usual. For a while it was just yours truly on piano, with Steve M on alto. We started working through the A's in Vol. I: Afternoon in Paris, Alice in Wonderland, All the Things You Are, Angel Eyes. Soon Jim D (alto, clarinet, piano) dropped in, followed by Craig (guitar). I got out the alto for Beautiful Love, and turned the keyboard over to Jim for a couple of tunes. Craig asked us to give the Beatles' Michelle a whirl, but after several attempts it slipped our grasp. It's not a hard tune, but being creatures of ancient habits, we struggle with songs that are not in an old pop standard form (AABA, ABAC).

By now, Annie (vocals) and Carl (trombone) had arrived. While they got comfy, I returned to the ivories, and we took Jim's request of Cheesecake (II-82). Dick (vocals) also arrived, followed by Vicki (vocals), and finally Sam (bass). The vocals got rolling with Annie's choice, Autumn in New York (I-38). Dick took a turn with Where Or When (III-438). He returned the mic to Annie, who gave us a fun rendering of You Made Me Love You (III-459). Vicki took a swing at Fly Me To The Moon (which is in vol. II, but we played in a key with music supplied by Miss V). Dick sang about The Nearness of You (II-  ); Annie offered a rebuttal to his position with It Never Entered My Mind (II-205). This caused Vicki to sing Cry Me A River (another version supplied by the singer). I'm Confessin' (II-185) was Dick's next call. 

Jim decided he wanted to get in a vocal for the day, and he performed a vocalese version of Red Top (III-332). Sam had been waiting for an instrumental, and requested Grover Washington's funk tune, Mr. Magic (II-268). (I have frequently said that people of a certain age got no business playing funk, but this turned out not so bad.) Back to the singers, Annie declared Let There Be Love (II-236). Vicki handed out another tune, this time You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You. Dick's last call was I Could Write A Book (I-186). As some packed up, Vicki and the Remainders gave us Bye Bye Blackbird.

Participants' Picks

Afternoon in Paris
John Lewis

Alice in Wonderland
Bill Evans

All the Things You Are
Laura Osnes and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Charlie Parker

Angel Eyes
Gene Ammons
Julie London
DeeDee Bridgewater



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 21, 2017

Attendees:  Wes (Tenor Sax),  Jack D. (Trumpet), Jim D, (Piano/Vocal), Sam  (Bass), Victor (Vocal)
                    Ken (Piano), Andy (Guitar), Dick (vocal), Craig (Guitar).

Songs Played:  Fly Me To The Moon
                         I Could Write A Book
                         Pure Imagination
                         Foggy Day
                         Red Top
                         All Of Me
                         Basin Street Blues
                         Robbins Nest
                         I Thought About You
                         Dear Old Stockholm

Monday, October 2, 2017

September 30, 2017

NEXT WEEK (October 7), and probably the following week (October 14) at TowerLight, 3601 Wooddale Avenue S., St. Louis Park, 11am-3pm.

Early Segment: Groovin' High (I-166), Red Top (III-332), Robbins Nest (II-330)
Add-a-Tune: Take Five (I-397)

Another busy day at the Workshop. Things got started with Wes (tenor sax), newcomer Bob (baritone sax), Jack D. (trumpet), Craig (guitar), Sam (bass), and Steve H. (piano and alto). We worked first on our Add-a-Tune, Nica's Dream (I-299), a shifting, drifting dreamy Latin thing that we started to get hold of after several run-throughs. Then we worked on three Early Segment numbers: Groovin' High (I-166), Red Top (III-332), and Robbins Nest (II-330). This is all we did from 1:30 until close to 3:00, when the singers and others began arriving.

By 3:00, we had assembled the above, along with Victor (vocals), Annie (vocals), Carl (trombone), Serdar (guitar), and Dick (vocals), with Steve M (alto) arriving shortly thereafter. Victor, being the first to arrive, chose Avalon (II-25). Annie took the next two, first doing the less familiar Sammy Cahn tune, Day By Day (II-100), followed by the more familiar Dearly Beloved (I-103). Dick took a swingin' swing at A Sunday Kind Of Love (I-392). We took an instrumental break with Lullaby of Birdland (I-256), which I think Sam ordered up. Back to the vocals, Dick took another turn, this time on I Thought About You (II-180). Victor passed to Annie, who requested Without A Song (II-428), though none of us could imagine her without one. Victor in the meantime had come up with one that we had in the books, I Can't Give You Anything But Love (I-185). Imagination (II-195) was on Dick's mind next, so we obliged. Annie opted for a nice ballad, The Folks Who Live On The Hill (II-137). Dick was feeling all Latin, and called Black Orpheus (I-99). Serdar followed suit with the instrumental Speak Low (II-364) in alternating Latin and swing. As time wore late, Annie decided to cut loose A Good Man Is Hard To Find (III-133). Dick kept things going with I'm Confessin' (II-185). We finished up a smidge late because of the need to play St. Thomas (II-339).

Participant Picks

Nica’s Dream

Art Blakey/Jazz Messengers

Horace Silver

Wes Montgomery

Dee Dee Bridgewater

Day By Day

Frank Sinatra

Sarah Vaughn

Doris Day

Jimmy Scott



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September 23, 2017

A lot of bodies in the house--13--this session at the Hook. We got rolling with Jim D (clarinet and alto), Craig (guitar), Jack D (trumpet), Jeffrey (piano), and Steve H (alto). We got started on My Funny Valentine (I-287) because Jack was playing it as a warm-up. Craig suggested Limehouse Blues (I-244), which we took a bit down tempo. Wes (tenor) arrived, and we got on to the Early Segment tunes, working on both Robbins Nest (II-330), and Red Top. We took a regular call from Jim for There Will Never Be Another You (I-  ) before another Early Segment tune,  Groovin' High. By this time, Ken (piano) and Kelly (harmonica) had arrived and joined in the festivities. Ken and Jeffrey alternated a few tunes before Jeffrey, Craig and Jack had to pull out before the main vocal segment. We got in a few tunes which Dick (vocals) and Serdar (guitar) joined on. We cruised through another Early Segment song, Out Of Nowhere (I-318), with Dick throwing in a vocal, before struggling with Cole Porter's tricky Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye (III-173). We rebounded with Dick's choice of Don't Blame Me (I-121).

By this time, Victor (vocals), Annie (vocals), Carl (trombone), and Steve M (alto) were on hand to replace the people who left, and we got full bore into the vocals, starting with Annie's choice of Let There Be Love (III-236), followed by I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance. For the instrumental break, Carl put in the call for Blue Monk (I-52). Dick went to a favorite, Mean To Me (III-274). Next up was Annie, who sang It Could Happen To You (II-204). Victor took a turn on Avalon (III-25). Dick and Annie did a duet on Centerpiece, with Carl providing music. Ken got a swing at a pick, and went with a very quick version of One Note Samba (I-314), which most everyone had a hard time keeping up with, though it was entertaining for all. Serdar and Dick both wanted to work on Black Orpheus (I-49). We wrapped up with an Annie vocal, I Wish You Love (III-172).

Participant Picks

Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye
Ella Fitzgerald
Nat King Cole
Chet Baker
John Coltrane (soprano sax)

Limehouse Blues
Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grapelli
The Mills Brothers
Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane