Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 26, 2017

NEXT MEETING: September 2, 2017
Meet at TowerLight, 3691 Wooddale Ave. S. (Enter from parking lot)

Early Segment: Out of Nowhere (I-318)
Add-A-Tune: Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (II-355)

A busy Saturday afternoon at the Hook and Ladder this time around. Sam (bass), Steve H (soprano and piano), Steve M (alto), Wes (tenor), Jack D (trumpet), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals), Serdar (guitar), Dick (vocals), Jim D (alto), and Victor (vocals).

The first four of us chatted about the kind of song list we should develop for playing at gigs. Once Jack D was there, we set to practicing on Cherokee (I-77), and threw in Out of Nowhere (I-318) and Red Top (III-332). We made Annie wait until 3:00 by picking up Jack's request, Only Trust Your Heart (I-315); it's a lovely tune, but we made a hash of it, so it was time to move on to the vocal portion.

We've been trying to get back to flow of playing and vocals that is more like we used to do when we were operating out of the park system. So until 3:00, it's all instrumental, and after 3:00 vocals with fewer instrumental solos, and every three or four songs an instrumental.

Annie kicked things off with Dindi (II-105), including an a capella introduction. Next up, Dick took a turn on Stormy Weather (III-382), which seemed appropriate. Annie called the moody and difficult Detour Ahead (I-105). Dick gave us a flirty/swingy Sunday Kind Of Love (I-392). Victor was there to give away Halloween music, so he took a turn on Avalon (II- ). Instrumental time, and Steve M thought a slow-swingy version of Here's That Rainy Day (I-175) would do well, which it did. Back to vocals, Annie picked Without A Song (II-428). Dick kept the swing going with There Will Never Be Another You (I-407). Victor took another spin with All Of Me (I-20). We all grooved to Annie's next call, A Good Man Is Hard To Find (III-133). Serdar got the instrumental choice, and St. Thomas (II-339) was it. Dick did a reprise of Out Of Nowhere, so we cooked just fine. Victor pulled out a great oldy, The Birth Of The Blues (II-49). We finished the afternoon with all the vocalists sharing time on The Glory Of Love (III-131).

Participant Picks
Benny Carter, Only Trust Your Heart

Bessie Smith, A Good Man Is Hard To Find



Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23, 2017

We were off this past weekend. Just a word on what to expect this coming week at the Workshop.

Early Segment: 2 to 3.
Cherokee I-77.

Regular Segment: 3-5
The usual pattern.

See you there.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

August 5, 2017

It was a quiet week at the Workshop, especially for the first two hours. Your truly arrived just before 1:00 to open up the action. I set up the piano and warmed up my soprano. Finally, Wes (tenor) rolled in. And that was it until close to 3:00, when Dick(vocals) arrived, followed a bit after by Craig (guitar), and finally (and most importantly) Ray (bass).

Wes and I spent a while talking about the kinds of tunes he would like to prepare for any sort of gig opportunity. We went through Book I and a little in II and III, considering songs that were fun, but also trying to rule out tunes that were beyond our group ability to play well. There are plenty of songs we admire (and they are the sort that Wes likes to work on) that fit into this latter category: a lot of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, and Theolonius Monk numbers are cool, but too tricky for us, or at least for us to play well together. But we found a few--Blue Monk, for example, or Au Privave--that we could make work. Still, there are plenty of standards and jazz tunes that we could do well with, so we compiled a list. Sam's picks for the Early Segment for next week are on that list.

Wes and I noodled around on a couple of things until others showed up. We did not have a microphone set-up, so Dick had to get by with just his own lungs. Being as I was a bit busy, and things were a tad discombobulated from the get-go, I never did take notes, but we did mostly vocals until about 4:45. Victor arrived when we were packing up (sorry, man!).

FYI: I will only be able to be there this week (August 12) until 3:00, and next week (August 19) not at all. Here's hoping we have piano or guitar.

Early Segment
Nancy With The Laughing Face (III-298)

BR2 (a blues chart Sam will provide)


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July 29, 2017

Watch this week for changes in time or venue.

The Early Segment got started this week with the two Jacks (trumpet), the two Steves (one alto, one piano and soprano), Wes (tenor) and Sam (bass and trumpet). We worked on Charlie Parker's Au Privave, then moved on to other concentrated work on our list, most notably Pent Up House. They are starting to sound like something.

Next week early segment: Wave (I-31). Here's a version by Paul Desmond.

Shortly before three, we moved to the Mostly Vocal segment. Dick got that running with A Night in Tunisia, shifting back and forth between Latin and swing. We followed that with another favorite of his, Fly Me To The Moon. Annie (vocal), Carl (trombone) and Vic (vocal) had settled in by then. Somewhere in here we did Avalon with Vic. Annie wanted to work from her own music on Let The Good Times Roll. Sam then pulled out his trumpet and called an instrumental version of Stardust, (I-367) doing an unaccompanied verse before we joined on the chorus. Dick next sang one that's been getting a lot of attention by us recently, Dindi (II-105). We moved to the harmonically complex (and thus difficult to sing Detour Ahead (I-105) for Annie, which she naturally carried off with aplomb. Victor wanted to consider making Sugar Blues into a new genre, and demonstrated a capella; we promised to look in Book IV so some of us would have it the following week. Dick looked to sing the excellent My One and Only Love (I-288), and he did so excellently. Annie looked to make us cry with Old Man From The Old Country (I-308). Dick requested There Will Never Be Another You (I-407). We finished up with Annie's version of Watch What Happens (II-413), where she discovered that she likes it as a Latin tune better than a swing.

Participant Picks

Sugar Blues (Clyde McCoy)

(Old Man from) the Old Country
Shirley Horn
Nat Adderley and the Big Sax Section