Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 18, 2017

On Saturday, February 28 (assuming we are not completely snowbound) we will be holding our weekly hootenanny at TowerLight from 11 to 3. 

Unseasonably warm, and since Annie has a Springtime gig in April, we felt justified in playing a few Spring songs. Serdar (guitar) was there, along with Jack D. (trumpet), Wes (tenor), Carl (trombone), and Steve H (alto). 

Jack got us started with something even more out of season, George Gershwin's Summertime (we didn't have it in the Real Book, but we had loose copies). Annie's first tune was Everything Must Change (also not in the book; Carl supplied copies). She followed this up with The Gravy Waltz (II-152). Serdar tried to turn things around with a slightly accelerated version of Early Autumn (II-114). But Annie battled back with Joy Spring (I-229) and It Might As Well Be Spring (II-205). Yours truly broke the string by ordering up COle Porter's It's DeLovely (III-213). Annie opted for another Porter tune, I Love You (I-190). Wes saw an unfamiliar song on the following page, I Mean You (I-191), a collaboration of that popular songwriting duo, Theolonius Monk and Coleman Hawkins. 

Jack had to skip out around this point, but we pressed on despite our sadness, with Annie calling Put On A Happy Face (III-328). Serdar went to one of his favorites, Black Orpheus (I-49). Carl turned to one of his standby's, Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West (II-408). We finished up with a rough and ready off-book version of Fine and Mellow. We were interrupted by guys coming in to place equipment for the evening show at the Hook and Ladder, so that was that. 

Participant Picks

Joy Spring
Clifford Brown

Manhattan Transfer

It Might As Well Be Spring
From State Fair

Stacey Kent

Libby York

Up Jumped Spring
Freddie Hubbard

Let It Snow! (It’s a weird week.)
Karrin Allyson


Saturday, February 11, 2017

February 11, 2017

Your scribe arrived at the Hook and Ladder a couple of minutes before the downbeat, only to find himself alone. Jack D came in shortly thereafter, and finally Carl and Annie, but alas, there were no rhythm players, so we called it a day at 3:30.


February 3, 2017

Only Serdar (guitar) was available as rhythm section this week, and he was hoping to get in some solo work, so yours truly (alto) pulled out the Hook and Ladder's big electronic piano to give us some alternative chords and bass lines. Steve M (alto), Wes (tenor) and Jack D (trumpet) joined in the festivities.

We began with Charlie Parker's Billie's Bounce (II-44), Serdar's choice, and one he wanted to work on. Sensing a theme, I went with Jersey Bounce (III-223) as my call. Wes wanted to keep working on Donna Lee (I-123), so we did; we're starting to get the hang of it. Jack slowed things down with But Beautiful (II-62). Up next, At Long Last Love (III-32), Steve M's choice this week out of the Songs That Don't Get Played Enough songbook. Back to Serdar, we did a reprise of Billie's Bounce, because he really wanted to work on it. Your scribe went with the unseasonal Warm Valley (III-412). Jack had to fly at that juncture, which was too bad, because we got in the groove fairly well with Wes' next pick, Robbins Nest (II-330). I'm pretty sure Steve M had another call at this point, but I didn't write it down. Serdar called for another tune he's been working on each week, All The Things You Are (I-22). I requested All Of Me (I-20), which I counted off thinking it was going to be one thing, but turned into at least three other things as we proceeded through solos. Wes, always looking for a challenge or a tune he hasn't tried, pulled out Boplicity (I-158). Steve M's next choice of underappreciated song was Love Me Or Leave Me (III-255). Wes and I had to pack up, but I managed to squeeze in a bit of piano background for Song For My Father (II-373). We left Steve M and Serdar still jammin'.

Participant Picks

Miles Davis, Boplicity (Birth of the Cool, 1957)

Frank Sinatra, At Long Last Love (A Swingin’ Affair, 1957)