Saturday, July 22, 2017

July 22, 2017

After a week off, we returned to the Hook and Ladder for the usual fun and games. There for the beginning of the Early Segment were Sam (bass), Steve H (soprano and piano), Steve M (alto), and Jack D (trumpet). Victor (vocals) was present but waited until the Later Segment at 3:00 to join in. Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals) and Dick (vocals) were there in plenty of time for that as well. Jim D swung in close to 5:00, so he just listened.

The first four of us got things rolling at about 1:40 with a round of Beautiful Love. At 1:55, we set to work, checking out intros and the tricky timing of Jeannine (II-). Carl and Annie had arrived by this point, and we worked on the unusual counterpoint of Double Clutching (Carl had supplied the music). We then took time on another tricky tune, Pent Up House (II-). Finally Sam had us do some work on Sidney Bechet's tango, Petite Fleur (II-312).

Now came vocal time, and Victor kicked things off with Basin Street Blues (II-37). Annie brought in a version of the excellent blues, Let The Good Times Roll. Dick went with one of my favorites, There Will Never Be Another You (I-407). Second round, Victor went to the reliable Avalon (II-25). Annie opted to work on one suggested to her a while back, the melancholy Detour Ahead (I-105). For Dick, we played Black Orpheus (I-49). We took an instrumental break with Carl's call of Mingus' Jelly Roll. Back to vocals and Victor, we covered the OLD standard Dinah (II-104). On the next page, we found Annie's choice, Dindi (II-105). Even with only one Book IV among us, and even without drums, we managed to work out the constant switch between Latin and swing in On Green Dolphin Street for Dick. For the last round, we stumbled through Victor's choice, the deceptively simple-looking In The Still Of The Night (II-). Annie's last tune of the day was Why Do I Love You (II-245). We finished the afternoon with Dick's pick, I Could Write A Book (I-186).

Our plan coming up is to open up shop at 1:00 pm, set up (and play, if anyone's ready), then open the Early Segment at 2:00. At 3:00, we'll go to the regular program, with emphasis on vocals, until at least 5:00, or however long it takes for everyone to give up.

Early Segment work: Au Privave (I-37)

Participant Picks

Jeannine (Watch Manhatten Transfer work it out, then perform)

Sidney Bechet, Petite Fleur

Louis Jordan, Let The Good Times Roll

Billie Holiday, Detour Ahead



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 8, 2017


The Early Segment of the Workshop was dedicated again to working on some group technique, this time "turnarounds" or introductions to songs. Present were Sam (bass), Steve H. (piano, alto), Jack D (trumpet), and Vic (vocals). Jim (alto, clarinet, piano) came in in the midst of our working.  After about an hour, we settled into the usual routine, adding turnarounds to get started--very useful.

As the afternoon wore on, Dick (vocals) arrived, followed by Annie (vocals) and Carl (trombone), then Wes (tenor) and Maureen (clarinet).

I didn't write things down; since we started with the technique, I forgot to start a list. But between several of us, we think this is a more or less complete account of tunes covered: Avalon, Just In Time, Gone with the Wind, Ain't Misbehavin', Let There Be Love, Mean To Me, Dindi, The Nearness of You, Ornithology, and Fine and Mellow.

Special Thanks to Carl for the performance of music copying chores. We really appreciate it.

Early Segment Homework
In the spirit of Wes' attempt to dedicate some Workshop time to putting together a repertoire of tunes we are actually prepared to play for a gig, Sam wants dedicate a portion of the Early Segment on July 22 to working on Jeannine (II-212).

Participant Picks

Astrud Gilberto

Carmen McRae

Wayne Shorter



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 1, 2017

Sadly, Wes' morning session is no more, due to a change of policy at Lake Nokomis Community Center. We'll work out some other way to do that work.

We made a change in time for this weekend, but it was a very busy weekend for your scribe, so I was not available for some of the afternoon session. When I arrived, Sam had put the group through some exercises on counting in, tempo, playing together and following directions. (What? Workshopping at a workshop?) Besides Sam (bass), there was Wes (tenor), Jack D (trumpet), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals), Arnie (is that right?) (vocals), and the woman on clarinet I met at Nokomis but whose name I have forgotten. Betty kept the notes until I got the piano set up.

By the time I arrived, the group had already played a few tunes: Pent Up House, Double Clutching Equinox, and Avalon. We picked it up with Annie's vocal on One Note Samba. Wes took the next call with Red Top.

It was a good thing I pulled out the piano, because at this point Sam had to head out, leaving me with the entire rhythm section duties (which he had bravely been shouldering until my arrival). We picked it up now with Stanley Turrentine's Sugar, Annie's call. I got the next choice, going with a loping version of Easy Living. Arnie wasn't sure what to go with, but we all concurred that Ain't Misbehaving would fit his style perfectly. Carl decided on In A Mellow Tone. We closed out with Lullaby of Birdland. It was an early wrap, because I had to roll.

Participant's Picks

Sam gave me a few choices several weeks back, but I've been a bit remiss in keeping up with the blogging duties.  However, most of them are currently unavailable (don't know why), except this one.

Will Kjeer, Living

Here are some others:

Sonny Rollins, Pent Up House

John Coltrane and Kenny Dorham (1958)
Double Clutching