Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September 23, 2017

A lot of bodies in the house--13--this session at the Hook. We got rolling with Jim D (clarinet and alto), Craig (guitar), Jack D (trumpet), Jeffrey (piano), and Steve H (alto). We got started on My Funny Valentine (I-287) because Jack was playing it as a warm-up. Craig suggested Limehouse Blues (I-244), which we took a bit down tempo. Wes (tenor) arrived, and we got on to the Early Segment tunes, working on both Robbins Nest (II-330), and Red Top. We took a regular call from Jim for There Will Never Be Another You (I-  ) before another Early Segment tune,  Groovin' High. By this time, Ken (piano) and Kelly (harmonica) had arrived and joined in the festivities. Ken and Jeffrey alternated a few tunes before Jeffrey, Craig and Jack had to pull out before the main vocal segment. We got in a few tunes which Dick (vocals) and Serdar (guitar) joined on. We cruised through another Early Segment song, Out Of Nowhere (I-318), with Dick throwing in a vocal, before struggling with Cole Porter's tricky Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye (III-173). We rebounded with Dick's choice of Don't Blame Me (I-121).

By this time, Victor (vocals), Annie (vocals), Carl (trombone), and Steve M (alto) were on hand to replace the people who left, and we got full bore into the vocals, starting with Annie's choice of Let There Be Love (III-236), followed by I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance. For the instrumental break, Carl put in the call for Blue Monk (I-52). Dick went to a favorite, Mean To Me (III-274). Next up was Annie, who sang It Could Happen To You (II-204). Victor took a turn on Avalon (III-25). Dick and Annie did a duet on Centerpiece, with Carl providing music. Ken got a swing at a pick, and went with a very quick version of One Note Samba (I-314), which most everyone had a hard time keeping up with, though it was entertaining for all. Serdar and Dick both wanted to work on Black Orpheus (I-49). We wrapped up with an Annie vocal, I Wish You Love (III-172).

Participant Picks

Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye
Ella Fitzgerald
Nat King Cole
Chet Baker
John Coltrane (soprano sax)

Limehouse Blues
Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grapelli
The Mills Brothers
Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September 16, 2017

Next Time: Saturday, Sep. 23 at the Hook and Ladder (Minnehaha Ave. just below Lake St.), 1:00-5:00 pm.

We met at TowerLight again, and quite a crew it eventually was: Sam (bass, trumpet, valve trombone), Wes (tenor), Ray (bass, violin), Carl (trombone), Annie (vocals), Serdar (guitar), yours truly (alto), and a couple of newcomers to the workshop, Jeffrey (keyboard), and Josh (tenor). Good to have a bit of young blood in here.

Sam, Wes, Jeffrey and I got the Early Segment going with Sam's Add-A-Tune, Cantelope Island (II-76), once again proving the wisdom of the ancient Greek proverb, "Never mix old men and jazz funk." Still, we gave it a gallant effort, then moved on to the possible gig tune, Robbin's Nest (II-330). Wes called the next one, and while we forbade him from choosing anything ending in "-ology," we left ourselves open to picking Groovin' High (I-166), which went better than expected. Meanwhile, Ray got set up. Your scribe got to call Up Jumped Spring (I-425). Jeffrey's first choice was another possible gig tune, Out of Nowhere (I-318).

Serdar, Annie and Carl had arrived, and Josh showed up at some point soon thereafter, so we got cooking on vocalist time with Annie asking for Dearly Beloved (I-103), followed by Bye Bye Blackbird (II-73). Carl had the option on the first instrumental, and went with old favorite Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West (II-408). Annie next pulled out the sultry Angel Eyes (I-28), and then the bouncy Let There Be Love (III-236). Josh got his first shot at a call, and went with All The Things You Are (I-22). Autumn Leaves (I-39) and Fine And Mellow (III-122) were Annie's next two vocals. Sam decided on Dear Old Stockholm (I-102). Annie tackled One Note Samba (I-314), and finished things off with a lively version of On The Sunny Side Of The Street (II-298).

Participant Picks
Herbie Hancock, Cantelope Island

Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Groovin’ High

Freddie Hubbard, Up Jumped Spring

Dear Old Stockholm
John Coltrane
Stan Getz



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September 9, 2017

Next Session: TowerLight, 3601 Wooddale Ave.  11:00am to 3:00pm

Early Segment: Robbins Nest (II-330)
Work-In Tune: Cantaloupe Island (II-76)

Back to the Hook and Ladder, we had a merry gathering for Annie's birthday. Serdar (guitar) got the place opened up, followed by Wes (tenor), Jack D (trumpet) and your scribe (alto and piano). Along about 2:30 Annie (vocals) and Carl (trombone) swung by, followed shortly thereafter by Dick (vocals) and finally Steve M (alto).

The first four of us got started just playing, even before the Early Segment. Serdar got it going with All Of Me (I-20), followed by my request for Autumn in New York (I-38). We moved next door to Autumn Leaves (I-39), and sung back for Jack and Angel Eyes (I-28). Then we took on the Early Segment tune of the day, Red Top (III-332), which we worked on a few times.

After the Early Segment tune, we continued with a medium speed version of Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise (II-   ). Annie, having gotten settle in, wished for a reprise of Autumn Leaves, which we were now all warmed up to cover. Carl suppled his sheet music for Walkin', which we have promised to keep working on. Annie's next call was the 3/4 time Lover. Wes took a turn choosing an instrumental, and we took on Sweet and Lovely (III-383).

Dick was ready by now to sing one, and we did Out Of Nowhere (I-318). Always looking for stuff we've never done, Annie asked for Never Will I Marry (I-298), which was oddly arranged in the book, but we worked it out. Dick had some sheet music for By The Time I Get To Phoenix, but it was only in concert, so we did not do a lot of soloing. Song For My Father (I-373) was Annie's next song, followed by Dick and Serdar's combined choice of Corcovado (Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars)(I-335). We rocked through A Good Man Is Hard To Find (I-133) for Annie, and Dindi (II-105) for Dick. Steve M wanted Skylark (II-351), which was a nice instrumental moment near the end. We finished up with a swingy The Nearness of You (II-285), with Dick on vocals.

Participant Picks

Never Will I Marry
Anthony Perkins!

Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderly

Buddy Rich Swingin’ New Big Band

A Good Man Is Hard To Find
Bessie Smith

Brenda Lee

Fats Waller

Miles Davis All Stars

John Coltrane



Monday, September 4, 2017

September 2, 2017

NEXT TIME: September 9, at the Hook and Ladder.
Early Segment: Robbin's Nest (II-330)
Add A Tune: On the Trail (IV-318)

We were out at TowerLight this session. It was Sam (bass and trumpet), Serdar (guitar) and I (alto) to get things started. Annie (vocals) and Carl (trombone) joined us a little before 1:00.

Without the usual people to do the Early Segment work, the three of us got things rolling by running through our chart of Double Clutching. Then, at Serdar's request, we had some fun with Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise (II-355). Yours truly also had a request, On The Street Where You Live (III-310). Sam decided to work on a chart we hadn't looked at for a while, Irv Williams' Swiggles.

Serdar realized that we could do some work out of Volume IV of The Real Book which, since the Workshop is dedicated to working out of the first three volumes, is typically out of bounds. We spent the remainder of the session in IV. We started with a slow version of Summertime (IV-435). I have a favorite from that book, Days Of Wine And Roses (IV-99), which the others accommodated. Sam found Adios (IV-11), which we tried out. Serdar thought Sunny (IV-436) would be fun, and so it was. We then went to Doctor Jazz (IV-112).

Carl, with his penchant for strange little blues tunes, supplied the chart for Walkin'. Annie asked for Save Your Love For Me (IV-376), a lovely tune with a complicated set of chord changes, which we did not butcher as badly as we could have. Sam suggested Minor Swing (IV-284), which swung fine. Annie's next call was The Best Is Yet To Come (IV-41). Serdar suggested Kansas City (IV-238), which hit a pretty good groove. The arrangement of Mr. Wonderful (IV-293) too us a few minutes to work out, but once done, it worked fairly well until the ending. Somebody called for Night And Day (IV-304), which was straightforward enough for us to get through successfully. We finished with Annie's idea, I Got You (IV-183), but it turns out that one of the things that disappears with age if not practiced regularly is the ability to get down with James Brown. Sad!