Sunday, January 29, 2017

January 28, 2017

HEADS UP:  February 25 session will be at TowerLight 3601 Wooddale St Louis Park

Little smaller turn out, little smaller tune list, a good time was had by all.

Checked out the piano available to us.  Works fine, sounds good, we need to bring amp to use with it.

Tunes played:

All Blues, Don't Blame Me, Stella By Starlight, How High The Moon, Stardust, Straight No Chaser.


Jack (trumpet), Wes (tenor), Jim (piano),Sam (bass).

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

January 21, 2017

The core was there for this week’s version of the workshop: Serdar (guitar), Ray (bass), Steve M (alto), Steve H (alto), Jack D (trumpet), Annie (vocals), Carl (trombone) and Jim D (alto and clarinet).

Ray got us rolling with I Remember You (II-179). Steve M. called for the little-heard Irving Berlin tune, This Year’s Kisses (II-399), with its 6/6/8/8-bar construction. Annie caled a couple of oldies but goodies, Get Out Of Town (II-148), and Georgia On My Mind (II-145). Jim D. shook out his book and came up with Doxy (II-111). Annie took another vocal, this time to work on the tricky but lovely I Get Along Without You Very Well (II-174).  Jack D. stuck with the standards and Autumn In New York (I-38). Time to change the tempo, so Annie called Put On A Happy Face (III-328). Carl didn’t feel like playing In A MellowTone, so he chose Rose Room (III-340) instead. Another vocal moment had Annie bringing it back to the ballad with Never Let Me Go (III-299). Jack and Jim had to pull up stakes at this point. Yours truly was feeling a bit Nat King Cole-ish with L-O-V-E (III-252). Annie, feeling a bit contrary, said This Can’t Be Love (III-402). Still, she continued in a very bluesy tone, They Say It’s Wonderful (III-400). Unfortunately, Ray had to stop at this point. Serdar nonetheless opted for a favorite, All The Things You Are (I-22). Annie took another swing with All of You as your scribe packed up to head out, and they were playing Steve M’s call, Body and Soul as I danced out.

Participant Picks

Billie Holiday, This Year’s Kisses

Ballad of the Sad Young Men
Roberta Flack
Keith Jarrett

January 14, 2017

After finally negotiating a parking spot, your scribe and his alto rolled in shortly before the workshop participants were ready to play. Present were Sam (bass), Serdar (guitar), Jack D (trumpet), Carl (trombone) and Annie (vocals). Steve M (alto) joined the festivities a bit later.

Somehow, I got the first call, and opted for Broadway (I-61). Jack D, next around the circle, pulled out Long Ago and Far Away (I-251). I don’t believe we had ever played Carl’s choice, Bessie’s Blues (I-42). Annie took the next one, Easy Living (I-127). She and Carl then presented us with a fresh chart of Firm Brown Frame. Serdar is working on All The Things You Are (I-22), and invited us to work on it with him. Annie took another vocal, and worked on Hoagy Carmichael’s lovely but surprisingly confusing I Get Along Without You Very Well (II-174). Sam changed the tempo with Wes Montgomery’s West Coast Blues (I-436). Steve M pulled out an old standard, I Left My Heart In San Francisco (III-168). Annie had a good time with My Heart Belongs To Daddy (III-290).

Back around the circle, yours truly chose Pennies From Heaven (II-309).  Annie’s next vocal selection was When I Fall In Love (I-439). Jack D is always a fan of Bags’ Groove (II-30) by, of course, Bags. Sam interjected himself in the course of things by calling Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (II-395).  Back to Annie, we got caught up in Watch What Happens (II-413). Carl pulled out a favorite, Robbin’s Nest (II-330). Purely coincidentally, he swears, when I announced that I had to pack up, Steve M called Get Out Of Town (II-148). By the time I was ready to go, the crew was on to Annie singing I’ve Got The World On A String (III-189).

Participant Picks

Lou Rawls and Dianne Reeves, Fine Brown Frame

I Get Along Without You Very Well
Nina Simone
Diana Krall
Billie Holiday

Wes Montgomery, West Coast Blues

My Heart Belongs To Daddy
Eartha Kitt
Peggy Lee (Double-Time feel)
Julie London (in ¾)

John Coltrane, Bessie’s Blues
It sounds so different when he plays it…

Saturday, January 7, 2017

January 7, 2017

Happy New Year!

The Workshop began the new year at the Hook and Ladder with a good turnout. Yours truly was the last to turn up, just before the official 3:00 start time. Sam (bass), Annie (vocals), Carl (trombone), Serdar (guitar) Steve M. (alto), Jack D. (trumpet), Jim D. (clarinet and alto), and Wes (tenor) were already there.

Carl got the first call with Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West (Real Book II-408). Going clockwise around the circle, Annie went next with Blame It On My Youth (II-51). Serdar got the next call, going with All Of Me (I-20). Sam pulled something out of his bag and passed it around, a blues called BR2. Back to the vocals, Annie reached into Carousel for the beautiful ballad, If I Loved You; somehow, though, it turned into a mid-tempo swing that worked surprisingly well. Donna Lee (I-123) was next, chosen, of course, by Wes. Another vocal for Annie, this time I Get Along Without You Very Well (II-174)--again, a bit swingier than usual, because Annie is afraid we'd all fall asleep during the solos. I got the next call, pulling out a tune I hadn't heard in years, but spotted in the book this morning: Aquellos Ojos Verdes, better known to America as the Jimmy Dorsey/Helen O'Connell/Bob Eberly hit Green Eyes (III-25). Jim D. flipped around for a few pages until he settled on Black Orpheus (I-49). Annie wanted to do Lover (II-256) as a standard swing tune, but it was in the book in 3/4, so we stayed with that, once we found a satisfactory tempo. Jack picked the Miles Davis classic Solar (I-363). Steve M changed the mood entirely with the old Mama Cass Elliot favorite, Dream A Little Dream Of Me (I-124). Annie wanted things to get a little smoky with The Glory Of Love (III-131); we tried, but I don't know how successful we were. Finally back around to Carl's pick, we played the Charlie Parker tune, Little Suede Shoes (II-282). Our last full song, which we had to do without benefit of a bass, was Serdar's choice, Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise (II-355). In the last five minutes, we started to play some Basin Street Blues as Sam packed up, but others started to leave as well, so we closed up the workshop for another week.

Participant Picks
Interlochen Arts Academy 2015
At Sea

Steve H
Green Eyes
Xavier Cugat
Jimmy Dorsey, Helen O’Connell, Bob Eberly

Zoot Sims/ Bucky Pizzarelli
Softly As In A Morning Sunrise