Inside a jazz workshop - week Two

A very belated and therefore brief round up on last weeks class:

'Tenor Madness' was the tune for the week, not only did I know it a bit but also liked it! Duncan and the band whistled through the tune at the top of the session. Top tips from the band included: for the piano players that adding bounce to the comping helped clarify the swing feel. There was chat between the rhythm section about the importance of listening and responding to one another to support the solo. Duncan helped out the front liners on where to place the accents in the tune to highlight the bebop style.
This week was a development from last week. The chord structure that we had looked at the week before worked under 'Tenor Madness' but this week there were more, new, chords to look at and it was an opportunity to look at 2-5-1 chord progressions in a little more detail and start to understand how this progression sets up the core changes.
I tried my best to stick only to the arpeggios, but for someone who habitually relies on their ears getting back to the theory often sounds very pared back and clunky. I stumble between the chord notes without enough understanding to join them together but hopefully as I get better at knowing the sounds of the chords I will start to better anticipate how the next change will fit in. Once we were into the final small bands section of the workshop I was less disciplined and used more ears and less chords but almost enjoyed soloing which was an unexpected turn of events.
The evening jam was as relaxed as ever with a nice mix of workshoppers and others playing together with several workshoppers proposing tunes. There was a nice buzz among those of us that had stayed on and it's nice to feel that there is a community of familiar people to try tunes out with. Hopefully it will encourage us all to be bolder in our contributions to the jam sessions.
 
Next week's 'Blues for Alice' promises to be a challenge but no reason not to come down if you haven't been before a warm welcome is guaranteed.

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Hideaway is a real gem - a proper jazz club, with the low lit black & oranges, excellent sound system & beautiful grand piano. You get a sense of occasion when you go there. The food & drinks are excellent, prices reasonable and the location tucked away enough to make you feel you've discovered something illicit, like a buzzing prohibition speakeasy!

Dave O'Higgins - multi-award winning saxophonist