Saw this gut a couple of weeks ago at Googlies Jazz Supper Club. He is a great player and is very entertaining.
He makea wonderful sound on this baritone.
Friday, 1 October 2010
Friday, 3 September 2010
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Pete Long is a fast and furious sax and clarinet player and Lewis wright a young but experienced vibes player. They got together last Thursday to play a selection of Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton's original arrangements.
It was a wonderful evening with both players linking musically.
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Once in a while I see a jazz player who is new to me and who I make a mental note to see again. john Etheridge is one of those players. We went to se him last Thursday at Googlies Jazz Supper Club and were immediately a fan. This man can play guitar and with speed and dexterity that is mesmerising.
If you get the chance go see him.
Friday, 4 December 2009
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
I think I did fairly well. Satin Doll I have played a couple of times now and slowly getting the feel of how to change the rhythms so that they are interesting. I had never played Straight No Chaser before so just fell back on playing the blues scale. I would prefer to play something different but until I know the songs better it will do for now.
Song For My Father is a song I played for hours with my jazz teacher so am confident with it but still have lots of work to do.
Side winder was a new one too and just struggled through.
All in all I had a great night and felt very high afterwards. this is the music I want to play. The Harlow Concert Band is alright but it does not compare with improvising and jazzing like this. It may only be at an amateur level but it will do for me.
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
This workshop has solved that. Don't get me wrong I am still struggling with the chords and sales but each week getting more and more confident to be experimental.
Last night we played, Summertime, Now's the Time, St. Thomas and Sister Sadie. Summertime I tried to play just the b minor pentatonic scale (I play alto sax) and it sort of worked but I did not quite like what I was playing. But it felt like good experience not just messing the melody.
Now's the Time was for my instrument a d blues which I am familiar with and had a good time with he d blues scale. But now I understand what others have said about too much use of the blues scale can get boring. I will find other scales that I can use to make it more interesting. Both St Thomas and Sister Sadie were a bit of a disaster for me as I had no idea what to play over the chord progression. But that is the value of a workshop like this. It shows your weaknesses and gives you something to work towards.
I drove home with a real buzz and sang along to the Miles Davis CD ' Kind of Blue'.
I love jazz.
Friday, 3 July 2009
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
I have to say from the outset that i had a fantastic night. The people were very friendly and of about the same ability as me. There was a nice range of instruments being played with tenor and alto saxophones, clarinets guitars and a trumpet. The rhythm section was good with a very enthusiastic drummer.
We played a good range of standards and I think I improvised well on most. The songs I did struggle with were 'The A train' and 'Blue bossa'. But that is the point of a workshop, learning. There was no pressure to play a solo, it was left up to you and everyone was supportive.
This will be a regular thing for me and I hope that my jazz education will now flourish.
Monday, 16 March 2009
Eventually I recognised the need to stop and ask someone the way. After a lot of searching I found a great teacher in Hannah Horton who has helped me enormously. She has given me better directions and taught me exactly which roads to take during my improvisation. I still have a great deal to learn but last night I was able to exorcise a ghost of the past (See Half Moon link) and now feel that I am on the right road to continue my mission.
The White Hart PH is in the wilds of the Essex countryside. It took us ages to find it. We seemed to be going round in circles in the dark looking for a sign. Backwards and forwards we travelled until eventually we gave up looking and asked someone the way. We discovered we were just yards away. This is just like my music; I was close but not close enough. But now I feel I am in top gear and on my way.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
The above is British Jazz trumpeter Steve Waterman.
I recently saw him perform at Googlies Jazz Super Club near Enfield. He played with his usual blend of ballads and upbeat standards. He is one of my favopurite players and I was pleased to get a good picture of him.
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Monday, 13 October 2008
I was positioned, with my tenor saxophone, directly in front of the drummer. We were so close there was not even room for a piece of sheet music between the back of my chair and his drum kit. I did not think anything of this until the first time he put the pedal down on the bass drum. The vibrations were so intense they caused the portion of succulent roast beef I had eaten only an hour before to dance in my stomach. When he violently beat four beats to the bar on the tenor drum the bread and butter pudding that had earlier followed the beef, followed it again only this time jumping up and down in the double helping of custard. Another reminder of how that deadly sin ‘greed’ should be avoided at all cost.
During our rendition of that upbeat tune ‘All that jazz’ from the show Chicago, The air around my ears swirled like a tornado each time he hit the symbol immediately behind my head. But whilst blowing a high note, I happened to lean too far back in my chair and my head inadvertently went under the shivering circle of brass. Just at that precise moment, the now uncontrollable percussionist hit the bloody thing. As a result, instead of a beautiful piercing sound which fully enhanced the effect of the music, it sounded like someone hitting a dustbin lid with a piece of raw haddock.
So by the end of the evening I was exhausted. I had bruises on top of my head, I was in the early stages of chronic indigestion and my ears were developing a severe case of tinnitus.
I look forward to Christmas and some nice quiet carols.
Friday, 10 October 2008
The venue was a very pretty 14th century church at Watton-on-Stone, Hertfordshire dedicated to St. Andrew and St. Mary. However, this is a place of worship and not designed to house 30 or so instrumentalists who require various amounts of space for their large lumps of brass and elbows. There was no stage. Why should there be? We just squeezed where we could into the area around the choir stalls. The brass section managed to find space towards the Alter, the saxophones sat under the pulpit and those that were left such as clarinets, oboes and flutes sat where they could fit in. Of course the conductor was alright. He had plenty of space around him to swing a cat, let alone a baton. I suppose that’s the privilege of being in charge.
Any way the music went down well and the audience was very appreciative. The highlight? It has to be our rendition of ‘Papaya’ and Paul Cutler who played the trombone solo so exquisitely. Because of where he stood I had the full benefit of his sound inches from my right ear. But it was by no means unpleasant. He produced a wonderful warm tone which seemed to fit the beguine/Cuban style of the composition. Close your eye and you could just imagine yourself sitting by the warm sea drinking a rum and coke.
And as a final thought. The church apparently was used by the Cromwell’s army to house Royalist prisoners during the Civil war. As I sat there squashed up against the choir stalls on one side and a fellow saxophone player the other, I wondered who else sat in that space over 400 years earlier. He probably have more room to move than I did.
Thursday, 1 May 2008
Last night the Harlow Concert Band played at the Royal British Legion club, Harlow. Despite the fact that this was the same night that Chelsea was playing Liverpool in the semi-final of the Champions league there was a good crowd. There was a big screen showing the football in an adjoining room so those that were interested in the score could keep one eye on the match.
Mike Pearce, our conductor, chose film and show music as our theme and our repertoire included tunes from The Sound of Music, Paint your Wagon and the Big Country. Also included were Amparito Roca, The Radetzky March and Rod Stewart’s, Sailing (what does that Morse code rhythm mean?). I may be biased but I thought that we sounded very good. Everyone played very well and it was a great night. My highlight was when we played ‘Moonlight Serenade’. This tune just makes me tingle and to be able to play it whilst sitting in the middle of a concert band is just a fantastic feeling. I wish we could play more Glenn Miller music.
Chelsea eventually beat their opponents and all the blue shirted supporters went home happy. Judging by the demand for an encore and the standing ovation we got, our crowd went home just as happy. The Blues are off to Moscow now to play the Reds. We, on the other hand, will remain in Harlow and rehearse for our next concert. They play for Champions League gold, we play for ABBA Gold.