Oct 31, 2015: Paul Jayasinha

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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.

February 14, 2015: Paul Jayasinha

Many thanks to excellent trumpeter Paul Jayasinha for a fun session in which we covered:

Memories of Tomorrow” by Keith Jarrett
“Aldeia de Ogum” by Joyce

Starting with “Memories of Tomorrow” a.k.a. The Koln Concert, part IIc, the group had a play through after which Paul went through the tune determining approaches aid improvisation. One thing noted was that the tune was fundamentally diatonic to C/Am so any improvisation based on those scales would just about work. We also played through arpeggiating each chord to get the harmony a bit more under our fingers. A few tricky sections were looped and each member had a go at tackling them, before the whole tune was played through again.

After the break we had a bit of rhythm training involving sitting, creating a pulse by alternately tapping our feet on the ground and then tapping our knees with our hands twice as often as the background stomping. With that in place, Paul got us to generate interesting rhythms by slapping our knees slightly harder on the given beats of the bar. Harder than it seems.

Finally “Aldeia de Ogum” which sets up an interesting groove over which to have a bit of a blow. Paul brought lots of parts to set up an authentic sounding arrangment of the tune. Great fun.

Thanks again to Paul for an interesting and fun session.

February 23, 2013: Paul Jayasinha

Many thanks to Paul Jayasinha for a challenging session in which he covered the following compositions:

“Vivo Sonhando (Dreamer)” by Antonio Carlos Jobim
“Tasty Pudding” by Al Cohn

Paul started by teaching the co-op a song (which turned out to be ” Vivo Sonhando”) by ear, starting with the melody taken phrase by phrase, finishing with the chords. This was an interesting exercise which everyone present managed to achieve, and we gave a nice relaxed performance of the song. Paul mentioned that rather than learn tunes as a sequence of chords, he learns them relative to the starting chord so that they are then easy to transpose. To prove the point, we tried relearning the tune in Bb, which again most of the members managed to achieve.

In the second part of the session, Paul took pity on us and gave us an actual lead sheet for “Tasty Pudding”.  This was a fun swing tune with a middle section reminiscent of Rhythm changes. For this, the middle section was always taken as swing, bracketed with either Bossa or Cha-cha-cha rhythm.

As usual, Paul brought some authentic percussion along to accompany us when he isn’t playing some fantastic trumpet; this time it was some sort of idiophone made out of a very large dried fruit/gourd.

Thanks again to Paul for an interesting session.