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11,772 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 912 of them this year alone and, so far, 49 this month (August 13).

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August

Saturday 15: Anth Purdy - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Purdy’s solo ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’ show. Limited capacity.

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

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, 27 Sunniside Rd., Gateshead NE16 5NA. 8:30pm.

Friday 21: Lindsay Hannon - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity.

Friday, August 09, 2019

What We Did At the Jazz Course @ The Globe: August 3 and 4


What We Did At the Jazz Course @ The Globe: August 3 and 4
(By Ann Alex)

First we drank tea as 9.30am counts as early rising for 15 jazzers. The aim of the course was to develop our playing and technique further under the wise guidance of tutors James Birkett (usually playing guitar) and Faye MacCalman (usually blowing sax). The group exercise to get us going saw us each doing one of 3 things, singing a short riff, singing a rhythm, or doing body percussion, which I found can actually hurt if you slap your leg too hard.


We were all loosened up, ready to split into 2 groups. James's group sounded a bit technical for my taste so I opted to go with Faye, along with some sax players, a keys man, guitars, a drummer and another singer, Sheila, who doubled as lunch organiser. The rest of Saturday was really good and interesting, improvising with very few notes, (even with just 1 note is possible), and using 4 different blues progressions. Not certain what the other group got up to but it involved the circle of 5ths and I caught someone talking about dreaded diminished chords over lunch. Before closing business Faye mentioned that we would be composing an original composition on Sunday. Hmm!

By Sunday the personnel of our group had changed, which is allowed, and we'd lost the keys man, a guitar and a sax to the other group. We remainers studied the first part of Mood Indigo, improvised extensively. Then we all spent 10 minutes thinking up riffs and arrangements, based on whatever we liked, but with Mood Indigo still somewhere in our consciousness. I went to the loo for quietness and cheated. I suddenly remembered the tuning of my ukulele, GCEA, and there was the riff! I quoted the phrase I'd been taught at Sage Gateshead for remembering the tuning 'Goats Can Eat Anything' and I was surprised that the group said they'd use the words as well as the riff.

Sheila brought us a pleasing riff which sounded almost tribal, the saxes came up with good stuff, the bass guitar riffs grounded us well and our skilled drummer played with delightful enthusiasm. We were in business, and arranged our piece by starting with Mood Indigo, merging into our riffs, solos etc and ending with singing 'Goats Can Eat Anything' with improvisations. The singing caused great surprise at our performance when we entertained the other group, especially when we asked them to join in.

The other group gave an equally entertaining performance of Autumn Leaves, with very skilled solos from everyone, including keys, guitars, saxes, but very cleverly they managed without a drummer and had no singers. Then we all went home.

I must end by thanking all concerned in the organisation of this great weekend, our skilled tutors, Sheila, Tom and also Dave Parker for keeping us fed and watered, and everyone for taking a full part in the workshops. Roll On Next Year!
Ann Alex 

1 comment :

Liz said...

Well done Ann, loved the story of your weekend, a very good review with your usual touches of humour! Keep it up...

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