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Bebop Spoken There

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Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

HOW IT WAS FOR ME? – FURTHER FORAYS OF A TRAINEE JAZZ SINGER

On Monday and Wednesday of this week, the Jazz Singing class from The Sage gave performances at the Jazz Cafe, for family and friends.
Great fun, and good companionship from my fellow singers – we were all in this together, worrying about forgetting words or singing in the wrong key at the wrong speed. However, it all turned out well and leader, Lindsay Hannon, praised our efforts.
About 12 of us sang on Monday and 7 on Wednesday, covering our repertoire of I’ve Got Rhythm; Song for my Father; I’m Beginning to see the Light; Sweet Georgia Brown; and Like Someone in Love, plus songs from previous terms for those of us who’d been around longer.
I can write only of my own experience, but I must say that more than half the pleasure of gigs like this is hearing the way that other singers interpret the songs we’ve all learned. I opted to sing I’ve Got Rhythm; Imagination; and Them There Eyes. I was brave enough to have no words with me, so Lindsay’s training must have increased my confidence. I did have a sheet showing the key, speed and arrangement for each song, which was a great help. Then of course Lance tells me that jazz singers need only a nod of the head and the band will somehow know the arrangement. Thank you Lance, perhaps in the future...
I tried some simple scat for the second chorus of I’ve Got Rhythm, and also a jokey line of words, which no-one reacted to, so I’ll not try the joke again. You learn on the job. Imagination went well and the band praised it, which chuffed me no end. I stumbled over a line in Them There Eyes, which no one appeared to notice at all, as the rest of the song seemed fine.
I write this not to praise myself, but to show that jazz singing classes work to increase both enjoyment and confidence. Before the classes, this time last year, I wouldn’t have had the faintest idea of how to work with a jazz band. And praise must go to the our band, The Blue Jazz Quintet, who have patiently worked with us for some of the sessions as well as accompanying us and doing stonkingly (good jazz word, that is) good instrumentals. So thanks to all who have contributed to what has been a great experience. But I still can’t put up a mike stand, is there an engineer in the house?
Ann Alex.

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