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Bebop Spoken There

Charlie Musselwhite: "I used to see these posters in the windows of the [Chicago] blues clubs advertising Elmore James and Muddy Waters which knocked me out. I was making a note of the addresses and at night I'd go back and listen to the blues until 4-5 in the morning." - (Blues Matters! Aug/Sep 2021)

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13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Paul Edis’ Improvisation & Ear Training Workshop @ The Lit & Phil. September 24

(Review by Russell).
Stormy Weather felled Autumn Leaves. Hatches battened, this was Key Largo writ large but Gumshoe Bebop was determined to spend some shoe leather in pursuit of Improvisational Enlightenment.
In Toon, t-shirts and mini skirts defied stair rods, seeking shelter in the next nearest gin joint, then the next. Up ahead, on the corner of Collingwood and Westgate, the Lit & Phil’s lamplight looked so inviting (in the Gallery of Imaginary Bebop Art there is a little known Edward Hopper streetscape depicting the façade of this inner-city seat of learning and self-improvement. If you haven’t seen it, it’s the one with oddball characters entering and exiting the building: the steam train buff, the U3A student, the über-cool chanteuse).
Inside, a coffee pot struck up conversation with life-long friends and made new acquaintance. Pianist and educator Paul Edis chatted with the keen and the curious and the drenched ahead of his Improvisation & Ear Training workshop. Dr Edis had prepared well. Laptop, notes, hand-outs – all were at hand. A piano made for the elephant in the room. The workshop didn’t start on time. Or maybe it did. It depends who counts it in. Edis did (he is a jazz musician).
Improvisers, would-be improvisers and the curious (Gumshoe Bebop) assembled in numbers many a promoter would be delighted to see at a gig - classical musicians (there were admissions of bafflement about the Misterioso world of improvisation), folkies and rockers. The jazz scene was represented – Debra and Gabi, Mike and Ruairidh. Edis said he would like to begin by talking about intervals. Gumshoe Bebop thought to himself: We’ve only just started. Much talk of extensions and triads, flattened fifths. Edis said: Improvisation is making decisions. Gumshoe Bebop decided to listen, listen hard.
Dr Edis sat at the piano. He demonstrated the ascending melodic minor. The assembled hummed in unison. Gumshoe Bebop took notes. The Lydian scale, quarter notes, semi tones. His head began to hurt – it felt like he’d fallen over a Down Beat paving stone and had an argument with terra firma. Regaining his senses he heard a familiar sound..So What brought him round.
The interval – the kind understood by Gumshoe Bebop – offered the welcome prospect of a refill and a chat. The assembled assumed Gumshoe Bebop played an instrument. He found this amusing. Dr Edis resumed his deliberations. More talk of modes and scales. More notes. More music from Edis, Miles and Trane. In no time it was over. Time to step out into the night. Gumshoe Bebop decided to aquaplane home. Riding the rapids at Gallowgate, deep in thought, a discarded, shredded umbrella almost brought him down as he was preoccupied with the thought that perhaps he should take up the challenge and
buy a banjo.
The Paul Edis Trio can be heard on Thursday night (27 September) playing the music of Bill Evans at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham. The second installment of Dr Edis’ workshop series continues at the Lit & Phil on Monday 8 October. The confirmed starting time is 7:15 pm for 7:30 pm. It is free to attend. Seek it out and you may find Improvisational Enlightenment.
Russell (AKA Gunshoe Bebop).     

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