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Although this site will remain as a source of the current and future programmes etc, other more current information such as which tunes will we be performing in the upcoming session as well as comments on the sessions just passed will be available here on Facebook. This blog will no longer be updated.

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Nov 14, 2015: Martin Hathaway

In this session we covered:

“Woody’n You” by Dizzy Gillespie

Martin was encouraged by the co-op to give us something with some harmonic challenge, to which he came up with “Woody’n You” which he states doesn’t come up much because “it’s too hard”.

The tune was learnt by ear until we could perform the head comfortably.

We discussed strategies to improvisation over this composition, the first of which was to use the melody. A few brave members volunteered to show this in action.

Martin had given us some worksheets earlier in the week and we discussed some aspects on that, in particular some guide tone lines that could be used in the A section. Again some volunteers were found to try this out.

We also tried playing all the guide tone lines simultaneously creating something akin to a big-band backing.

Many thanks to Martin for an enjoyable session.

Oct 31, 2015: Paul Jayasinha

[Full report unavailable]

In this session we covered

[Something I’ve forgotten the name of] by Hariprasad Chaurasia
“Turkish Bath” by Don Ellis

Both these tunes are in 7/4 with the first being based on the Mixolydian b9 scale. Paul got us to learn the scale and attempt some improvisation over a bass line invented by the rhythm section.

The Turkish Bath is an exciting piece that required some good reading skills from the co-op’s front line. Thankfully no-one had to de-tune their saxes by a quarter tone in order to fully recreate the original sound.

Many thanks to Paul.

Oct 24, 2015: Andrea Vicari

Many thanks to Andrea for an excellent session in which we covered:

“Fables of Faubus” by Charles Mingus
“Boogie Stop Shuffle” by Charles Mingus

In a popular session, Andrea arranged the members of the co-op as if they were an orchestra with the rhythm section at the back and the front-line at the front, thus breaking a decade or so of tradition.

Both pieces have their issues with quite a complex structure for Fables and just sheer speed for Boogie Stop, but under Andrea’s exacting leadership and armed with parts for all the instruments the co-op had fun creating respectable performances of both of the tricky pieces as well as having plenty of improv chances too.

Many thanks to Andrea for an exciting session.