Monday, March 27, 2017

March 24, 2017

Sorry, my note taking this week was not so good. I was playing piano, and occasionally trying to transpose music, so I was not paying as much attention to writing down the doings as usual.

All that having been said, we had a nice group. Sam (trumpet and bass), Jack D (trumpet), Jack K (trumpet), Steve H (alto and piano), Ray (bass and violin), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals), and Wes (tenor).

Sam kicked us off with Oliver Nelson's The Drive. Annie called for It Might As Well Be Spring. Carl pulled out a non-Real Book piece by Al Cohn, The Natural Thing To Do. Another vocal for Annie, this time Joy Spring. Wes went with the classic Red Top. We worked on Annie's off-book vocal, Everything Must Change. Jack D request I Remember You. Annie chose the Porter favorite I Love You. Jack K. opted for My Little Suede Shoes; I refused to give them to him. Back to Annie, we tried our hand at The Gravy Waltz. Ray called one that doesn't get out too often in our group, Lullaby of the Leaves. As things were breaking up, Sam went with Straight, No Chaser. We concluded with my choice, Makin' Whoopee.

Sam said of my final choice, "That reminds me of Spike Jones." Hence the following Participant Picks.

Cocktails for Two

That Old Black Magic

I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter

You Always Hurt The One You Love

Der Fuerher’s Face

Enjoy. Seriously.


Friday, March 24, 2017

March 18, 2017

You might think that a guy on Spring Break would be able to get this post done in a timely fashion. You would be wrong. Sorry.

The group this week were Steve M (alto), Steve H (alto and piano), Serdar (guitar), Jack D and Jack K (trumpets), Wes (tenor), Ray (bass and violin), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals) and newcomer Jackie (vocals).

We insisted that Carl, who is almost never there at the very beginning, but was here this time, take the first pick, and so we began with Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West (II-408). Jackie was our first vocalist present, and since it was her first day, she got first vocal option, going to Fly Me To The Moon (II-135). Annie needed to work more on the upcoming gig, and we ran Joy Spring (I-229). Jack D was next up, choosing When I Fall In Love (I-439). Annie took the lead on the next vocal turn, with Everything Must Change. Jackie followed with a nice swingy version of You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To (II-436). Dream A Little Dream Of Me (I-124) was Steve M's instrumental call, although at least one vocalist felt the need to get involved. Back to vocals, Jackie requested What's New (II-420). Annie went with Easter Parade (I-126), also part of her upcoming program. Jack K was happy to get in a chance before the afternoon was out, going to a light swinging My Romance (I-289).  Ray wanted some time on the fiddle before heading out, and we did some hard swinging on I Can't Give You Anything But Love (I-185). Jackie got one last call, going with The Very Thought Of You (III-421). Serdar pulled out one of his favorites, Song For My Father (I-373). Your scribe got a shot, and went with a Latin version of Here's That Rainy Day (I-175). Annie finished the session with Gravy Waltz.

See you March 25 at the Hook and Ladder at 3:00.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 11, 2017

Back at the Hook and Ladder after a short break. We started with Jack (trumpet), Serdar (guitar) and Steve H (alto and piano). Annie (vocals) and Carl (trombone) soon arrived, followed by Jim (alto and piano) and finally Sam, who had been out buying a new bass and was eager to try it out.

Jack got us going with Comin' Home, Baby (II-89). Blue Bossa (I-50) was Serdar's choice. Yours truly called Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me (II-107), and Annie and Carl were able to get in on the tail end of that one. Annie was up next, and made us work on Joy Spring (I-229), but it does seem to be making progress. Carl went with the much easier to play Blue Monk (I-52). Annie took another turn with Gravy Waltz (II-152). Jim thought he'd go vocal as well, and went with How High The Moon (I-180). Annie took the next two, Lullaby of Birdland (I-256) and Blame It On My Youth (II-51). Jack wanted the next one, and requested Bye Bye Blackbird (II-73). Annie took two more: and easy lope through The Very Thought of You (III-###) and a straight ballad, Never Let Me Go (III-299). Unfortunately, we were running out of time, and some of us had to leave, so we shut it down.


Monday, March 13, 2017

March 4, 2017

Quite a little gathering at TowerLight this cold morning and early afternoon. Matt (vocals) had not been around for five or six years; he stopped by for an encore. We were pleased to have his rich baritone on hand, and hopes he can make it a regular thing. A number of the regulars as well: Steve M (alto), Serdar (guitar), Jim (alto and Casio that he picked up at Goodwill for $12), Wes (tenor), Annie (vocals), Carl (trombone), and Steve H (alto).

Matt got us going with All Of Me (I-20). Yours truly made the next pick, Honeysuckle Rose (II-167). Serdar opted for All Blues (I-15). Jim decided to take a whack at Black Orpheus (I-##). Wes, often looking for something with some tricks so we can really "workshop," chose Joy Spring (I-229), with all those nasty but beautiful triplet flips. Steve M went with the more user-friendly I Could Write A Book (I-186). Back around to Matt, we took up a nice mid-speed version of It's Only A Paper Moon (II-209).

Annie and Carl had settled in by now, and Annie got the official vocal portion of the day with It Might As Well Be Spring (III-###). Matt did a nice job on Angel Eyes (I-##). Jim called something which I can't read, but I'm sure we enjoyed it. Back to Matt for another vocal, we covered Don't Get Around Much Anymore (I-###). Annie, working on her Easter program, called one she brought in, Everything Must Change. Matt requested East Of The Sun (III-###), which we happily obliged. Wes called another favorite "workshopper," Donna Lee (I-##) which, despite our having played this many times, crashed and burned. Jim needed to sing, so he chose Time After Time. We reprised Joy Spring for Annie. Matt pulled out Fly Me To The Moon (II-###). Annie continued to work on her program with Easter Parade. One my way out the door, Matt was calling It Had To Be You. After that, Matt wrote down the tunes: Let's Get Lost, I Love You, Polka Dots And Moonbeams and some others.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Next Gathering

We'll be meeting this Saturday, March 11, 2017, at the Hook and Ladder, at Lake St. and Minnehaha. Set-up at 2:30, downbeat at 3:00, and we're finished by 6:00. 

I'll get the March 4 posting up soon.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February 25, 2017

We'll be getting together again this coming weekend, March 4, at TowerLight, 36th and Wooddale in St. Louis Park.

An odd Workshop this past week, one without vocalists. Sam (bass), Serdar (guitar), Steve M and Steve H (altos), Jack D and Jack K (trumpets) were in attendance. 

We kicked things off with my own choice, Oscar Pettiford's Blues in the Closet (II-61). Sam looked back a page and decided to make us work ("It's a Workshop!") on Blues for Wood (II-60). Steve M pulled out the classic I'm Confessin' (II-185). Serdar was set up by the time we got to our next tune, Comin' Home Baby (II-89), Jack D's pick. Jack K went with one of his favorites, Time After Time (III-408). Back to me again, we played East of the Sun (III-104). Serdar got us all in a mellow and grateful mood with What A Wonderful World (III-431). Sam looked back a page again, and we took up What A Diff'rence A Day Made (III-430). Steve M. thought we might have some fun with the deceptively tricky Let's Face The Music And Dance (III-238). Jack D called I Remember You (II-179). We followed that with the warm My Ideal (III-292), Jack K's choice. 

Around to yours truly again, we changed tempo with Bernie's Tune (III-39). Serdar, liking to get in at good bossa every now and then, requested Quizas, Quizas, Quizas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps) (III-329). Sam turned us in another direction with Miles Davis' All Blues (I-18). Steve M asked whether any of us knew You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me (I-458), which none of us thought we knew until we heard the tune. Jack D made his final call Birth Of The Blues (II-49).

The Jacks (D and K) both had to pull up stakes at this point, so we had some rhythm and a couple of altos for the rest of the time. My turn, so I called an immortal that I had yet to hear us do at the Workshop, Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust ((II-367). Serdar opted for Look For The Silver Lining (II-249). You never know what Sam will come up with; this time it was Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum (I-139). Steve M, with an encyclopedia of great standards in his head, called for S'Posin' (II-376). This time it was my turn to look back a page, only it was a page in front of Sam's pick: Falling In Love With Love (I-138), with it's nice 3/4 time. We were running up against 3:00 by now, but took on one last tune, St. Thomas (II-339).

Participant Picks

Johnny Smith, Kaleidoscope (Album, 1967)

Woody Shaw, Blues For Wood (1981)

Oscar Pettiford, Blues In The Closet (1953)

Fats Waller

Doris Day

Miles Davis