Saturday, December 9, 2017

FIRED UP! Jazz Colony 2017 - Learning to Burn

Off to a great start ... here's summary of the EWHS Jazz Colony first meeting for 2017.  Big thanks to the Hubbard Foundation, EWHS Music Boosters, and Kennelly Keys, and Pete Bennett for their generous contributions and support making this dream a reality. For more detail about this blog and Jazz Colony ... read previous years' threads. 

Next week (July 5) ... look forward to a lesson from Kennelly Keys sponsored clinician Jory Tindall (saxophone). He will play a tune with Marina Albero and Michael Glynn then teach.  Students are encouraged to take notes and get engaged with the lesson.

Trumpets during warm-up practice routine session

Paul Gabrielson and "Get Out of Town" Combo

Marina with the "Tough Tenors" Combo

Tim Volpicella with "Little Sunflower" Combo

Michael Glynn with "The Real McCoys" Combo

Miriel and Rodney with "Night and Day" (Joe Henderson) Combo

Jory Tindall and "Barbados" Combo

FIRED UP - learning to burn - overview of nightly activities

homogenous instrumental group exercise session
goal: refining students understanding and implementation of a PRACTICE ROUTINE and 

Short performance by a focus lecturer each night - Pete will try and record each session with Go-Pro for publication to the jazzcolony blog

Short practice strategy or jazz theory concept 
Kids should take notes and teachers might consider adding an assignment for each week that kids should consider turning in or checking up on during the follow week IGNITION session ... might include a handout from presenter

Groups split up and rehearse - PRO-AM style where adults, interns play with combos as well as teach, coach and consider arranging or procuring 2 tunes to focus on for the summer.

Volunteers BBQ - Learning to Burn with Tim and Michelle Nye!!

Summary of 1st night rehearsals .... 

My combo in room A111 "Perdido" worked on an arrangement of Perdido that Dan Greenblatt made. We talked about the structure of the tune and how to approach soloing on the changes. We focused a lot on the harmonic minor scale and how we can use it to make really cool solos. For example, the first chord in Perdido is a C-7 so we figured out what notes would be appropriate to use to interpret that chord. We then worked on Dan's version of blue bossa and learned a melody that he came up with. We learned his melody by ear and discussed getting away from looking at music when playing jazz. I explained to our drummer how to have more dynamic contrast between soloist to give them something to work with and to make things more interesting for the listener. Finally, we closed with a F blues and everyone took turns soloing. - King Dawidalle

Dan Greenblatt's take on the "nugget of knowledge" for the evening was based on the "Turnback to ii" process. 

Please check out Dan's excellent Jazz Instructional book Minor is Major published by Sher.

Combo: Get Out Of Town (Paul Gabrielson, Gordon Tibbits, Ken Weller)
When we got together, we decided to start with the tune, Oleo. After we had all had a chance to improvise a chorus or two, Mr. Gabrielson decided to focus on the bridge and what we could do there. He talked about how improvisation can be something as simple as a repeated lick being transposed.
The example that he had of this, was taking the 4-note chromatic melody at the beginning of Thelonius Monk’s “Blue Monk”, and beginning it on the 3rd scale degree of each chord in the Bridge (D7, G7, C7, F7, lick starting on F#, B, E and A respectively). After that, he had us play that ascending lick very slowly in time with rhythm section comping.

Inline image 1

To add a new level to it, Mr. Gabrielson had us play the second and fourth licks descending from the top note of the lick rather than ascend. 
Inline image 2

By doing this, he showed us that “simple” licks have a huge amount of potential to be used while improvising.

After the lesson on Oleo, our combo played a funk version of Blue Monk and ended with the tune, Four.
Joe Henderson combo:
We learned a "contra-fact" Mr. B wrote based on Sidewinder by Lee Morgan (in C major). We also played through Night and Day (in D). We talked about doing some of the things from the recording or thinking of a different arrangement. Lastly, we played through Professor Dissendadt by Nathan Eklund. All of this music was challenging - the key signature especially. 


We have the opportunity to play some great music, but only if you "provide the wood for the fire". Please bring in ideas or actual physical copies of tunes you want to do this summer for next time (this could include contrafacts or originals). - Max Bennett
Attachments area
Preview YouTube video Lee Morgan - The Sidewan - The Sidewinder
Sun Room Combo (Little Sunflower) worked on playing the blues in new keys, particularly A and Ab with the hopes of opening up our ears and getting comfortable with all parts of our instruments. We then agreed on a few tunes for the first stint; Groovin High, Nardis, and Blue Bossa. The goal is to create unique arrangements by the time we perform them. Natalie, Jared, and Edward are taking the first steps with arranging and will come to week 2 with some basic harmonies and concepts. 

I [Joel] handed out a worksheet with suggestions for getting comfortable with identifying and playing chords by showing everyone a chord matrix exercise, as well as a preface on how to listen and be present when playing. I accompanied this by a list of drummers and bass players for everyone to go home and check out (this is our only official homework). 


Getting comfortable with identifying chords:  
  • Major = M, Maj, Maj7, 
  • Minor = m, mi, min, -
  • Dominant = 7  
  • Augmented = +, aug
  • Sus or Sus4 = Perfect 4th replaces the third of the chord
  • o = minor third, diminished fifth, minor seventh
  • o = minor third, diminished fifth, diminished seventh 
  • ( 2 = 9, 4 = 11, 6 = 13 )
Strengthening your ear: (a daily activity)
A core component of participating as a jazz musician requires active listening of the music and tradition (duh). As a part of your daily routine, you will begin to notice idiosyncrasies and common motifs that will strengthen your musicianship, depth of knowledge, and ear. Jazz is a kind of music that lives and breaths (i.e. dancing), and as a listener and player it is indispensable to learn to be present. The greater we can manage to hear the many ‘conversations’ in any given recording, the more rewarding the music becomes. Becoming a good listener is paramount in being both a student of the music and in use on the bandstand. 
Short list of cats to dig (week 1)
Billy Higgins, Elvin Jones, Paul Motian, Jack DeJohnette, Max Roach, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, Tony Williams, Kenny Clarke, Chick Webb, Art Taylor, Joe Chambers, etc.
Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Oscar Pettiford, Ron Carter, Sam Jones, Charles Mingus, Art Davis, James (Jimmy) Garrison, Charlie Haden, Milt Hinton, Peter Ind, Cecil McBee, Jaco Pastorius, etc.
Suggested Practice Material:

1. For this week, check out the above mentioned names for drum and bass and see what you can find! Anyone willing to share an album the following week(s) can post them to the blog.
2. Try practicing your ability to identify and play chords using the chord matrix exercise. Get together with a friend; many somewhat mundane exercises can become much more tolerable (and in fact enjoyable) with a partner. 
3. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
If you need to reach me for a question, concern, or want to discuss anything musical: 

 - Joel Steinke

Jazz Colony Summary (Kyle Brooks - summary)

Marina’s Combo

Blues After Dark (Tune 1):
  • Learned melody and took turns soloing with blues scale and parameters.
Blues Scale:
1 b3 4 #4 5 b7 1
in G: G Bb C C# D F G

We practiced soloing with only 3 notes, adding a restriction made soloist listen more and play more creative rhythmic ideas.

Other possible Restrictions when practicing soloing:
  • Only play within a certain range (P5 between C and G)
  • Only play quarter notes, only play eight notes, only play triplets, etc.
  • Only play short phrases (2 or 3 beat phrases)
19 y 42 (Tune 2):
  • Learned intro and started to work on melody
Worked on 3 different types of minor scales and played them.

Natural Minor: 
 A natural minor scale: A B C D E F G A

Harmonic Minor (raised 7): 
A Harmonic minor scale: A B C D E F G# A

Melodic Minor (raised 6 and 7 up and lowered 6 and 7 down) : 
12b345678: A B C D E F# G# A = up
A B C D E F G A = down

  • Work on minor scales and learn them at a fairly quick range
  • Practice soloing with restrictions and the blues scale, examples above.
  • Learn the melody for Blues After Dark and 19 y 42

I had a blast with my women combo! Although we had no drummer we were able to work on Benny Golson's "Blues after dark" and we worked with it on several topics:

- blues scale 
- call/response among ourselves and other musicians as a way to build phrasing and direction on solos. That invited us to think about a motive or cell to explore instead of just playing notes one after the other;)
- Assignment: blues scale, listening to the original version and for those who know more about jazz improvising I told them to practice over the chord changes as well.

We also worked on my tune "19 y 42", Latino standard that I brought last year for my clinic;) we worked on:

- Minor modes; natural, harmonic and melodic.
- identifying the tension/resolution relationship in a harmonic and melodic environment (Dominant-tonic, harmony, and Major 7th to 1st, melody).
- worked on the rhythm of the melody and harmonic rhythm (the chords fall and start on the 4th beat before instead of the downbeat)
- assignment: work with G minor scales for everyone. For the bass and piano working on the harmonic rhythm and the tumbao written down on he chart.

Looking forward for the next one on Wednesday!

Marina Albero

"The Real McCoy"
First rehearsal - Tues 6/27

summary by Dylan Allrud-Faltisco 

We allowed extra time for students to start building more in their solos, flesh out motifs and explore rhythm changes more deeply. We alternated soloists on the bridge during the heads in and out of the song.

-Listen Here- 
We assembled the groove on the bass and drums. We focused on energy and timekeeping in the rhythm section to keep the groove strong. We gave each soloist the time they needed to build a dynamic and exciting solo at a comfortable pace, and branch out creatively over a simple and fun chord progression. 

-Bags Groove- 
We gave students a couple of choruses each and traded 4's with the drums. We discussed the versatility of the blues scale as well as growing your note choice by exploring the blues. At the heads, we alternated soloists to fill in the rests between each phrase of the melody. We worked on locking in the rhythm section's quarter notes on the ride and bass so we can swing tighter and stronger.

Finally .... Mr. Bergevin is performing next Thursday, July 6th in Shoreline ... students, staff and readers are welcome to attend this all-ages show. Reservations recommended ...