November 15, 2014: Alex Hutton

Many thanks to the excellent pianist Alex Hutton who hosted a fun session covering some great Horace Silver compositions:

Sister Sadie” by Horace Silver
Gregory is Here” by Horace Silver
Song for My Father” by Horace Silver

For each of the compositions, Alex went through some possible devices to used in the improvisations. For example “Sister Sadie” consists of long sections of dominant seven chords; convert it into a ii-V to create extra interest, or just consider it as the ii. After playing through the composition and the members soloing over the complete form as will as fours, we focussed on the trickier middle section for a while.

Other tools mentioned to investigate were the use of targetting notes with decorations and enclosures and a few bebop licks.

The composition “Gregory is Here” was written for Horace Silver’s son has an interesting first section alternating between two bars of B7+4 and two bars of Cm7 a couple of times before relaxing into familiar ii-V-i territory. I’d not heard this composition before, but it was quite challenging but enjoyable at the same time. We had a practice on the first section to get used to the unusual chords before doing a complete performance.

Finally a blast through “Song for My Father” completed the sessions.

Lots of playing and some good tips to investigate add up to a great session.

Thanks again to Alex Hutton.