March 8, 2014: Colin Holdom

Many thanks to Colin Holdom for stepping in and providing an educating session in which we covered:

“Joy Spring” by Clifford Brown
“And What If I Don’t” by Herbie Hancock

With a view to handling ii-V-I’s, a key skill in tackling the great majority of jazz standards, Colin introduced the Dorian minor mode – the mode based on the second degree of the major scale. We played through a few exercises based on the Dorian to see how it could be applied to a ii-V-I. Heady with new found knowledge we played the fantastic if tricky “Joy Spring” composition that contains many ii-V-I’s and which also modulates in various ways: down a tone, up a semi-tone, down a semi-tone, etc. We all had the chance to improvise over several choruses at various tempi during the course of the pre-lunch session. To make us a bit more familiar with the tune, Colin made us play only the roots so that we could feel the underlying structure a process that should be applied to all tunes that we intend to learn.

After the break, “And What If I Don’t” a great bluesy feeling composition by Herbie Hancock with a rhythm changes bridge was also tackled.

Many thanks to Colin for stepping in at short notice to cover for a tutor that could not be present.