October 25, 2014: Carl Orr

Many thanks to amazing guitarist Carl Orr for a lively session in which we covered:

“Yardbird Suite” by Charlie Parker
“Beauty and the Beast” by Wayne Shorter

After a quick analysis of the tune, and realising that perhaps it isn’t as straight forward as first thought, Carl lead the group through the chords, first by arpeggiating triads from the root and then up to the seventh. The chords were take sequentially without regard to bar lines so that all chords were treated similarly. A good way of getting the sequence under the fingers.

We then had a couple of plays through the tune at increasing tempos. Carl talked about the use of quotes to increase audience interest in a tune after spotting a quote from one of our members (Martin). ┬áHe then suggested we go through the tune an put some quotes in. Carl was particularly tickled when a member quoted the theme tune from “Steptoe and Son.”

After the break we revisited “Beauty and the Beast” which consists of a melodic section (beauty) and a funk section (the beast) based on a dominant chord. The solos take place over the funk section.

I particularly like Carl’s sessions because he keeps the rhythm section under control with only have a single guitar or piano playing at once.

Thanks again to Carl for a great session.


February 16, 2013: Derek Nash

Many thanks to Derek Nash for coming to the Jazz Co-op despite his car suffering a flat tyre on the way. Whilst Derek was sorting that out, we got ourselves warmed up with:

“Yardbird Suite” by Charlie Parker
“Triste” by Antonio Carlos Jobim

As we were getting to the end of “Triste”, Derek arrived and took the last chorus with a barn storming solo. We then covered the following tunes:

“This Here”, sometimes known as “Dis Here” by Bobby Timmons
“Draggin’ on the Ground” by Derek Nash

The first tune is a 3/4 Blues-ish composition with a tricky-ish dominant 7 descending chromatic section in it. Derek pointed out that we should be able to play anything in any key, especially if you intend to accompany singers and gave us an example of his warm up routine where he takes a phrase and plays it in every key, dropping a semi-tone every time.

The importance of stagecraft was raised and we were reminded that in the end, our aim should be to engage and entertain an audience. This this end, we replayed “This Here” with only the rhythm section providing a grove, gradually getting louder, building excitement and then stopping abruptly to allow the opening phrase to be played by the horn section before rejoining for the rest of the tune.

“Draggin’ on the Ground” is a funky, Derek Nash original for which we were supplied with parts for each instrument – even the trombone. Impressive. Everyone had a great time playing over this and it made a nice change to have a bit of funk going on.