Jazz Smugglers Master Workshop

Jazz Smugglers Master Workshop
Click on photo for Jazz Smugglers website

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

BUSKING. LESSONS FOR JAZZ MARKETING.

If you want to earn some money playing jazz then pay serious attention to this piece. There are vital general marketing lessons to be learned.

NO ONE IS STOPPING. NO ONE IS PAYING ANYTHING. EVERYONE IS HURRYING PAST. WHY IS THIS? COULD IT BE THE LACK OF A RECOGNISABLE SONG PERHAPS?


If you busk for fun, then you are into Home Truths. The lessons are learned fast, instantly. With an odd few exceptions people are walking by and only hang around a busker for a few minutes. In that time, if they like what you are playing then they give you money. If they don't think much of it they'll move on. You know within minutes if you've got 'em.

What you get paid depends upon the tunes you play and how you play them. Here is how not to draw a crowd and how to get zero money. Just play long jazz solos. Zilch return.

(My hypothesis is that you may get a donation from the odd person in the 7% of people whose ears are attuned enough to appreciate jazz because they've followed the music from their youth. These will be a few older people, not kids. More on this in a later blog piece)

You'll earn some money if you play standards, stick fairly closely to the tune and make them short. Embellishment is fine, acceptable to people, even liked, but people want to hear the tunes. If you have a singer with you then you'll do well with this. They like vocalists. But he/she will be the main centre of attention.

You'll earn most money if you play popular songs. You may get bored silly doing this, but life was ever thus for the musician. He/she has to play boring stuff to make a living. You'll do well if you can interact with the audience a bit, talk to them, show them you are human. Thank them for the money. Look as if you are enjoying it. Sell CDs obviously. Have business cards available. You'll pick up a wedding or two.

Where to choose your spot. The actual spot does not matter too much so long as many people are passing on foot slowly. You want to avoid other buskers as far as possible, but be within the "busking area" where playing is expected.

If you play in a rich neighbourhood, then you will get fewer people making donations, but each donation will be higher. If you play in a downmarket area you will get many more donations but they'll be small. I suspect this reflects society at large. In downmarket areas, people are used to giving support to others.

If you look as if you need the money badly people will tend to avoid you. Dress up a bit, make a simple show of it and you'll do well. Leave the Mercedes parked somewhere else.

WHAT BUSKING CAN TEACH US ABOUT MARKETING JAZZ IN GENERAL

If your audience is the general public, not jazz followers, then the right song list is critical. Yes, you can mix it up a bit with a few songs and styles which are out of the mainstream. People want to hear the songs they know.

If you are playing in a jazz club to an audience of jazz followers then play the jazz standards, for the most part but mix it up a bit. It doesn't differ from the advice about playing to attract the geneal public. It is just the song list which changes. If you make the song list all your own virgin compositions they'll get irritated however much they follow jazz.

This is not the complete story. Playing something different which looks appealing but they don't know much about it can work, too. The two most successful concerts out of ten in the recent Jazz month in Chichester, were the Gypsy jazz pair from Normandy, who played quite a few standards in a French kind of way and Terry Seabrook's Quinto who also included some Latin standards in his programme.

John

The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers Masters workshop, Bosham, Sussex
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND
FACEBOOK JAZZ MASTERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM
If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band pages on Facebook please 

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.

Friday, 1 August 2014

WHAT IS IT WITH JAZZ DRUMMERS?


Conte Candoli (trumpet) Richie Kamuca (tenor sax) Russ Freeman (piano), Monte Budwig (bass), and the brilliant Shelly Manne(drums)


I watch and listen closely to jazz drummers.

Some of them are great, interesting, involved with the music, relating to what the others are doing, and then there are the others. Of the local drummers I place Dave Trigwell and Alex Eberhardt amongst the best. Some of the others are famous, regarded as geniuses for their cleverness. But not by me.

Lets make the assumption that the perfect drummer is brilliant, clever, involved and very very fast with perfect and consistent timing. The triplets are lovely, the accents on the 2's and 4's separate them from the rock drummer thugs. I nearly threw a shoe at one of these drummers in a top jazz trio the other night. 

Here is where they go wrong in my inexpert view. 1) They play in a trio as if they are Ronnie Verrell driving the Ted Heath band. Loud, and unrelenting. Its a little trio lads, for Heaven's sake, give 'em a break. One really good drummer, always a delight with his solos, with a renowned name in Latin Jazz is guilty of this when he plays in a trio. 

2) They are too fussy and too intrusive, they get in the way of the music. Yes I want to hear interesting and varied lines,but they need to supplement the music, they are not the music itself. Another very famous local drummer does this all the time. He takes over the direction of the music. I know I must be wrong in this assessment because he is well respected by local musicians. Less is more, boys.

3) The guy I could have throttled the other night had neither of these problems. He was good, tight, and interesting. But he paid no attention to the other musicians and what they were doing. He missed half a dozen drum break chances which the pianist got but he didn't bother so the effect was lost. He played at full volume, and fussily over some lovely solos by the double bass. That is a crime because the bass solos were good, very good. I blame the other two for not telling him. Charlie Mingus would have speared him in the groin with the enpin. 

I'm getting grumpy in my old age.
John

Friday, 25 July 2014

THE MOST PERECT SMALL JAZZ GROUP TRACK



JAZZ MASTERS WORKSHOP
From September onwards we shall run the Workshop for the Jazz Smugglers band and their friends, every two weeks. Sundays at 7.00 Creek end, Smugglers Lane, Bosham po188qp.
It will be quite demanding and will bring in specialist tutors from time to time.


THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL JAZZ TRACKS EVER BY A SMALL GROUP.
In my view anyway, ok?

This group played together for 16 years.

This tune  is played by Desmond on alto with Brubeck on piano echoing. Brubeck's chords on his solo are downbeat as befits the tune with tension built into the bridge. This song was the anthem of the Depression. Notice how often he replays a phrase and displaces it. Desmonds solo follows the shape of the tune, Brubeck is playing fills in the background not comping. Desmond goes into characteristic repeats of his phrases and uses parts of the tune. Both play the final section, echoing each other, Desmond responding to Brubeck then switching around. Counter point, all the time. Both of them are still downbeat. Finally they play out the last 16 of the tune.

The tension in the group owes much to the airy, light, melodic alto sax and the heavier chord play of Brubeck with tension built into his voicings. It was very painful for him to play fast notes in his right hand after a bad accident damaged his nervous system.

How worthwhile that a group plays hundreds of time together.

Boys would you care to copy this in our workshop one night? Get it spot on and then transfer the technique to some new somgs?

John


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

HILLIER JAZZ MONTH. DETAIL OF FESTIVAL RESULTS

There are four people to thank for these results. Phil Hewitt, Arts Editor Chichester Observer, Barry Smith organiser of the Festival, Nigel Budgen manager of Hillier without whose support it would not have been possible, and maybe I had something to do with it. JW
Scroll down to the bottom for an activity list.

HILLIER JAZZ MONTH CONCLUSIONS
For JW reference
Audience sizes. Smallest paid audience was 8, largest was 91. 580 attended 10 gigs.

The PRODUCT is the single most important factor.
All the audiences were members of the general public with a very strong emphasis upon the over 55's. There were very few specialist jazz followers. They came to listen and watch, unlike most jazz events which are used for background music.



The three sell-outs were Quinto, Les Voyageurs, and Maria with Jazz Smugglers. The first two looked like a different kind of jazz act, the other one was backed by a good title and Jazz Smugglers' local reputation.
The failures were the first two gigs; "Watch the Jazz Greats on video". Only 8 bookings for this, dreadful title. The Country gig was also weak with 29 and these two gigs probably suffered also from the fact that this was the first weekend of the Festival and it was not widely known about.
Audiences built up as the month progressed. Many people repeated and came to 2 or more events.

Points for another time.
Take care with scheduling gigs at the beginning and at the end of the period.
Jazz Smugglers as a name was probably over-exposed. It might be noted that 2 Smugglers big concerts needed special measures by way of promotion The third was a sell out. Better to save the Smugglers name for one or two gigs, and just supply unnamed jazz backing for other events such as talks.
The Jazz Smugglers name should generally be under the title. The title is more important.
The advertising road signs leading to Hillier went up late but were very effective.
When jazz is associated with something else, such as a lecture on country life or gardening, the whole thing sells well if the personality is known.
In another Festival event they combined poetry and jazz and it was a success. Neither would have sold on its own.
Promote the notion that people can bring drinks and a picnic with them in each gig.
Think about a true prestige event, high cost, dinner provided and sell tables of 4 for charity.

PROMOTION
A small poll was carried out amongst some people who had brought small groups with them asking how they knew of the Hillier Jazz Month initially, how they knew of this particular gig, and whether they had attended another jazz month event beforehand.
The Festival Brochure or Website was the principle means of knowing of the Jazz month mentioned by over half.
Equal second were the Road Signs and the Chichester Observer articles.

Not mentioned by anyone was Facebook, other Event websites, emails, or Village notice Boards. This does not mean they were useless just that they did not feature prominently.
Our Facebook audience is strongly biased towards other jazz musicians, not the general public nor jazz enthusiasts. Jazz Smugglers band page has only 79 Likes and we need 1,000 to make it work. We did boost the important first Facebook post and received no results. We have done this 5 times in the past with no results even when a free ticket was offered.
We added about 23 new email addresses to our audience lists, from the special offers.

SPECIAL OFFERS
We reserved special offers for the gigs which were going to be difficult to sell, when judged by the early booking results. Generally successful results amongst people who know us.

We offered via email 2 4 the price of 1 for the Jazz Greats Smugglers gig to our general mailing list of 300 or so with 18 responses mostly from  people we know.  6% response rate
This gig had a dreaful title and only 8 tickets were sold. But with the emailed complimentary free tickets about 24 people came plus 31 friends of the band, making 63 in all.
Overwhelmingly, the best results are obtained from people who know of us already, and this has always been true. Keep existing customers sold is the main aim.


We offered 2 4 1 to specialised jazz audiences for the Latin Jazz Gig, Quinto. These were supposedly emailed to members of the Portsmouth Jazz Club and the Chichester Jazz club and advertised at Chi college. We had 12 (6 requests) more people from 2 4 1
In the end the event was well sold out (73) at the last minute from the general audience. Sales were shared equally between the Ticket office and Hillier.
Also 6 or so local gardening societies were emailed with 2 4 1 offers for Nigel's Gardening talk without response

To people attending the other concerts (500+) we handed out about 200 tickets offering 2 4 1 for our final Jazz Smugglers concert. This was always going to be difficult to sell because most had already seen the band.
This was very successful with 7 bookings, 14 people. We also emailed this offer to local residents and the band and we had 6 bookings, 12 people resulting. So 26 people (maybe a few more) out of the final audience of 60 used this promotion. Only 9 tickets for this were sold by the ticket office, so concentrating upon our existing loyal audiences worked.

Mailings with free tickets or 2 4 1 to our cold mailings lists did not attract responses.
In the final gig, 7 of the decision makers had been to previous concerts and 5 had not. (The decison makers brought others with them)

Altogether out of 581 people attending events, 93 came through special offers, nearly all for the first Smugglers gig and the last.
Special offers are expensive. 55 people did not pay anything, and the 38 accepting 2 4 1 offers received a total discount of £228. We have no way of guessing how many would have come anyway.
Conclusion. All media need to be used, People need to see it repeatedly and in different places. This is why Road signs work. People constantly are reminded, and the passing audience is huge - probably 100,000 cars pass in a month on the A259 each way. We could think about offering a season ticket to all the gigs.
Promotions work when you need to get out of trouble, but mainly to the people who know you already.

WHEN THE TICKETS WERE SOLD AND WHERE.
A few tickets, 30, were sold in the first weekend of the Festival opening. They did give a fair indication of the final popularity differences between the bands. Mostly the numbers came in within the final three days before the event. But we had enough indication before then to know which event was going to need special promotion.
In the beginning the ticket office sold most tickets but by the end Hillier was outselling them easily.
When supplying the actual results, and the final accounting the Ticket office was excellent. They did put up a large A1 poster showing all the Jazz months events, but despite efforts to show individual A4 posters there was no response.
There was also a mixed result when asking them for updated audience figures which we needed so as to know which concerts to boost. Generally ok, but a bit sloppy at the edges.
I could probably get up a new poster each week if I took it in to them, but it gets tiresome this way. I'd like to know the breakdown between online bookings and face to face bookings.

PRICING
There was little apparent difference in audience sizes between all the lowest priced gigs (£8) and the highest (£15). But there was a huge difference in rewards for the players. Les Voyageurs had 90 people at £8, total was £600
Quinto had fewer in the audience, 73, but their revenue total was £1000. Furthermore, Voyageurs quartet earned £144 each while the Quinto trio earned £270 each.
Price does not make a huge difference to sales but it does make a big difference to the rewards. I speculate that it is a very bad error to assume that because you are the cheapest you will sell more as bands are inclined to do. This is a rich area.
I also speculate that Les Voyageurs could have priced themselves at £15 and found an audience of 75, as big as Quinto.
It is the Product which counts, and its relative apparent merits against the others.
Discounts. My personal view is that it is pointless offering discounts for senior citizens. It does not pull any more sales, it just reduces revenue by a lot. In this area they are rich. They are not shy of asking for a discount at the door, and you can give it to them then, say £2.

PRESENTATION


We abandoned the usual yellow background to save printing ink in favour of Red White and Black.
The road signs need maximum type size and minimal detail. The first ones were too small,
They need positioning where the cars slow down at roundabouts and T junctions on the roadside leading towards the venue.
I suggest for the future, adding two sheets of freestanding A2 ply, positioned either side of roadside posts and clipped together, designed to take 4 x A4 upright posters to be done on a domestic printer. Not ideal, but cheap...
Posters. A3 posters were printed by Hillier in-store. Another time a simple template design would be useful, with the text able to be copied direct from the first paragraph of the press release.

PRESS RELATIONS

This started months ago with a luncheon with Phil Hewitt the Editor of the Chi Observer , Andrew and myself where we discuss the following year.
Before the Festival I asked Phil about story length, pic resolution size etc. Then we produced 10 press stories, one per event, each to 200 words long with a high res picture. All sent off together. Another time, make the 1st paragraph copy more exciting, (savage percussion, heartrending vocals, lightning riffs, etc etc) to be used also in the posters.
We did ask for big coverage of our final event and the Editor did us proud with a full page and two pics.

THE BANDS
Nothing but praise for the bands, all played to a high standard, all easy to work with. No quibbles about money, they agreed on 2 4 1 offers, they all filled in contracts on time.They gave me some copy but it needed expanding from their websites. Pics came mostly from websites.
Performances were first class, and universally enjoyed. I heard no complaint from anyone and a huge amount of genuine praise and warmth.

WHATG HAD TO BE DONE. Activity list.
9/5 Listings sent
5/5 Website done
6/5 Main press briefing done phil and barry
7/5 Rehearsal done
7/5 downland mag done for july
7/5 a4 leaflet done
8/5 postcard size leaflets done
9/5 road signs done
10/5 press story hillier month done
11/5 may 30th promotion concert press story done
12/5 press stories country, videos done
13/5 press story ramblers, williamson done
13/5 listing for bosham fete done
14/5 press stories 2 cubana bop, maria sings
15/5 press stories 3 nigel budgen, french gypsy band workshop
16/5 press story chicago 9
17/5 press story Interplay
17/5 set up ticket sales reports
17/5 meeting hillier
17/5 press story for broadbent and sidewinder
18/5 meeting nigel geoff video
19/5 photos update and finalised for Phil
19/5 blog site created.
19/5 collecting photos and sending to phil
19/5 nigel giving 3xa4s 2 x a3's and leaflets to ticket offiuce
20/5 pursuing photos for Phil
20/5 finalised photos Phil
21/5 Blog site published to Facebook and website, reques to workshop people to share it and link to it.
20/5 Links to new blog site from smugglers blog, and from enthusiasts website.
22/5 prepared and mailed request to bands to Facebook us
22/5 prepared draft tickets
23/5 prepare press release for blog asked kevin barber to share Facebook
24/5 posters with ticket office
24/5 tickets in hand for printing
25/5 prepare Jazz video press release for blog/ band to share it Fbook.
26/5 planning website listings, contact Barry.
27/5 listed on wherecanwego /applied visitchichester
27/5 tested mailchimp. no.
28/5 posted details festival and our gigs on West sussex info site
29/5 updated full mailing list and de duped
30/5 chichester concert
31/5 pick up tickets
31/5 prepare mailing for free tickets sent to band.
31/5 mail to smugglers lane residents. (28) and friends list(30)
31/5 meeting abigail charity
1/6 check tesco/js/village for poster sites
1/6 meet nigel tie up details.
2/6 cards for tesco.
2/6 ticket offers to Chi Obs staff.
3/6 preparing promotion, asking band
4/6 First mailings
5/6 Final mailings, correcting addresses
5/6 Facebook ad created.
5/6 cards for village boards
5/6 design and print small cards for village notice boards
5/6 design and print A4 this coming weekend posters for Hillier
6/6 posters delivered to Hillier. A4 poster for Nigel's talk designed and submitted for appro
7/6 picking up road signs, briefing Bob
7/6 posting on to village boards Bosham, Southbourne, Mundham, cards Westbourne, Emsworth
7/6 new page Facebook, and boosted £5. One day.
8/6 day off!
9/6 tidying up posters/tesco/hillier displays
9/6 briefing Bob Downe positioning new road posters 2
9/6 band joining instructions Sunday.
10/6 light day. song lists etc.
13/6 design 241 and bus cards
14/6 241 and bus cards printed, check road signs
14/6 Facebook ad £6
16/6 promotion, blogs, facebook for next weekends gigs 241 card
17/6 mailing portsmouth, chi coll/chichester jazz clubs for terry
19/6 prepare promotion blogs/poster for quinto/maria
21/6 new poster for maria hillier. promote quinto mailing. terry to promote.
24/6 emailed gardening club secretaries
24/6 Facebook most friends for terry's gig, and asked them to promote
25/6 prepared 2 4 1 tickets for remaining gigs
25/6 Advised other bands on their promotion
25/6 advised bands on set up and payments.
26/6 prepared double band poster for jul 4 5
26/5 maria on facebook Festival page
26/6 prepare music/history of songs
30/6 promotion of nigel's night sent out 2 4 1
30/6 facebook nigel's event
30/6 business cards for desert island discs
1/7 correct blues band material for hillier
1/7 bosham and bognor fetes, organise
4/7 prepare july 12 poster
5/7 new posters, road signs, facebook, blog, new page and event. post new signs
7/7 emailed most list 2 4 1 interplay
14/7 analysis of results
15/7 draft report on results


John. 14 July 2014

Thursday, 19 June 2014

QUINTO. EUROPE'S TOP LATIN JAZZ COMBO at the Festival of Chichester

This is going to be a humdinger of a night. This is the Hillier Jazz Month headline band,
June 28 Sat  £15 Quinto. Europe’s top Latin Jazz combo 

Terry Seabrook, Raul D’Oliveira and Tristan Banks make up Europe's top Latin Jazz combo. Quinto play
music from Brazil and Cuba. International star musicians, all of them. Their Afro-Cuban jazz has
hard edged, foot tapping complex rhythm patterns from Cuban dance music while their Afro-Brazilian
jazz is more laid back including languid bossa novas and sambas. Brilliant, they are, not to be missed


Their Afro-Cuban jazz has hard edged, foot tapping complex rhythm patterns from Cuban dance music while their Afro-Brazilian jazz is more laid back including languid bossa novas and jazz sambas. 

This top combo is a highlight for the Hillier Jazz month. As well as vocals and a brilliant trumpet, Raul D'Oliveira uses hand percussion instruments to supplement the complex hard driven rhythms created by Tristan Banks on drums. Terry Seabrook on keys adds fascinating latin montunos, all improvised.  

Tristan Banks, has played regularly with Batu, Cubana Bop and Robin Jones King Salsa, in Britain, on the continent, in Japan and in Brazil.

Portuguese-born Raul D'Oliveira, has supported George Michael, Elton John, Cliff Richard, Sting, Gloria Gaynor all around the world.

Composer, arranger, top soloist Terry Seabrook has done everything in jazz. He qualified in jazz at the Eastman School of music in New York and created the top British Latin Jazz band, Cubana Bop. 

TICKET DETAILS VENUE, TIMES £15 under 12's £7.50   7.30 start each concert  from Hillier Counter or the Festival of Chichester Box Office Cloisters Shop, Cathedral Cloisters, Chichester, PO19 1PX. open Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm, www.chichestertickets.co.uk, 01243 813595 

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band pages on Facebook please 

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

FESTIVAL JAZZ MONTH BLOG CREATED BY SMUGGLERS

To the Jazz Smugglers followers, would you please help us out. 
I've created this new blog site to publicise the events in the Hillier Jazz Month - not just the Smugglers gigs.

THE PROBLEM IS Google takes a few weeks to list new sites properly, and I need to give them a boost.

IF YOU OWN A WEBSITE would you please put in a quick link to the new Blog site url. That will give Google a push. If you can share it on your Facebook page that would be kind, thank you. I'll ask you to do that again when the press releasses get added.

The url is

http://jazzsmugglers.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/the-hillier-jazz-month-programme.html

(There I've just done it for this blog site, the one you are reading. We need about 6)

I'm going to publish on it the press release for each gig, one by one. 

John



This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.


Monday, 19 May 2014

ANDREW WE'VE FOUND SOMETHING DIFFERENT




THIS IS PAUL DESMOND PLAYING A LOVELY VERSION OF GREENSLEEVES WITH THE MJQ. Really typical of Paul Desmond, Milt Jackson and John Lewis. Remarkable sound and beautiful, and so original. I love creative people, don't you?


Andrew, you really ought to try this out with us some time when we have it perfected. At first it did not really work.

We tried proper Question and Answer, where one states a theme and the next develops it further. Not our usual Call and Response. Over 8 bars it did not work - you could not see any effect. 4 bars was better but we all got into our usual habit of playing without referencing anyone else.

Then Geoff had a breakthrough, he started with long notes and they were picked up immediately by Mike. This sounded good. Separately we played a Bossa in strict time with no swing at all, Latin style. This also worked very well as a different sound.

What we need to do is to try out some radically different sounds each time - these two ideas could be part of it, playing very fast could be another. We need sounds that are really different each time from what we normally play so that the audience will easily realise what is going on.
Got any other ideas anyone - 3/4 time perhaps? We'll do it next Sunday.

Here is the song list for Sunday workshop, last before the Chi Inn gig the following Friday. You coming in Nettie to try out some percussion thingys?
All Instrumentals unless Nettie want to sing some of them

Greensleeves
How Insensitive/End of a love affair.
It could Happen
Chameleon
Dindi
Shadow of your smile
Mash
Side by Side
Spooky
Wave
I can't get started
So What
Ain't no Sunshine

John


The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex

The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please,

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.


BURPHAM FETE SATURDAY 2.30

These are the folks.

Dave on gtr, the other Dave on bass, Bob on drums, Geoff on tmp, Mike on tenor and alto and little me, keys.

Here are the instructions for reaching it. 30 minutes from Chichester centre.

BURPHAM VILLAGE GREEN. SAT MAY 24. 2.00 to 4.30 Beside the Church BN18 9RR. Heather Birch, favourite client of ours. Use Arundel by-pass to far roundabout, then it will be the 1st turn left, through small hamlets, Warnincamp and Wepham. Tricky road. £250 or £300 if they make a profit.

Song list as we did last night

Perdido.  Intro Guitar sets up Ska rhythm, 4 bars. Tmp melody. Coda last 2 x 3 stop beat 1. Bb
Alfie's Theme  Straight in  Rythmn section Break bars 31/32.  Solos in 16's Call and response guitar tmp. Finish dead.                   Cm
Autumn Leaves  Piano intro.  Solos  Repeat last 4 bars to end.     Cm
Blue Bossa Intro perc 4 bars each. Solos inc  Congas solo.      Cm
Blue Moon Keyboard to take 1st 16 melody tmp tune last 16 Solos in 16's Last 2 bars x 3 to end.      F
Afternoon in Paris Straight in. Guitar tune Guitar/tmp solo.   C
Journey Home    Tmp tune, solos F
Caravan  First 16 bars Tmp tune with LATIN perc backing altern. bars Bridge with SWING rhythm Tmp tune as before. Solos. Tune repeat Fm
My funny Valentine  Latin Bossa.  Percusion intro congas. Piano/Guitar/tmp solos with backing in bridge. 8's 4's 2's??.  Cm
Lullaby of Birdland. Gtr tune and solo with tmp, exchange 4's kit and tmp. gtr tune Bb
interval
Blues / Watermelon Man -Usual arrngmnt  F
Greensleeves  tGtr free form, Tmp joins, Tmp sets up swing, Kit sets up funkl solos in Dm, Gtr to finish 
So What Gtr Use me riff. Solos all Dm
Mash  Intro last four bars? Tmp. Solos  Am
Little Sunflower Piano 1st 16, tmp Bridge, piano last 8. Solos. Repeat tune Dm
Cantaloupe Island Gtr then piano set up intro. Tmp tune, solos. Tmp finish
How High the Moon/Ornithology  Ballad start speed to 180. Tmp tune  Gtr Ornithology.  Solos in 8's Tune Bars 29/30 x 3 to end. G
Moonlight in Vermont Tmp plays coda unaccomp as intro. Tmp tune  Solos Tmp tune coda to end. Eb
Summertime 100bpm Keys intro Tmp solo then tune.  Solos 2 verses. Keys intro double time.  Solos 2 verses  Coda last 4 bars x 3  Am
EXTRAS
Song for My Father Intro congas 8 bars, keyboard strings 8 bars Fm Eb7.  Alto melody. 8  bar solos.  Coda bars 29/30 x 3 Fm

John

The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

FESTIVAL OF CHICHESTER HILLIER JAZZ MONTH







This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.


In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.



Monday, 28 April 2014

HOW DO YOU KNOW HOW WELL YOU PLAY JAZZ?

You don't, unless someone tells you.

Praise could be from a member of the audience, that is always so appreciated, could be from a tutor. It could be from another band member, and you really appreciate that. As a performing artist, when you get praise, wow, does that make you feel good! When you get occasional criticism that burns you up for days.

I've just sent an email to Terry Seabrook, thanking him for the jazz funk workshop he did with us, and also for writing a brilliant arrangement of The Sidewinder for us. That man is absolutely brilliant at what he does. He has made our jazz what it is.

We had a jazz concert last Friday and it was outstanding, the way the band played. The two girl singers were wonderful together, we all interacted with everyone else in the band. First time we had ever played most of the songs in public. Absolutely fabulous night - and yes some of the audience came up and said so. Yes, I emailed everyone and told them, individually as well.

I'm naturally inclined to say nice things if I honestly can do so. But I never say anything if I don't mean it. If you say things are good and you don't mean it then it is just crummy - and people know. If I feel critical then I say nothing. (You have to read between the lines). I might say something, but it would be face-to-face and there would be a purpose in doing so.

I have just sent an email from all of us to Terry thanking him for the work he has done with us. I know he will appreciate it, anyone would. If I am at the Snowdrop pub to-night when Terry's session ends I will say something to each musician if I think they are good. They will be. They always are.

QUESTION FOR EACH OF YOU PLAYERS.
When was the last time another player said how well you played? And when was the last time you told someone else how well they played as opposed to just thanking them for playing?

People have different levels of performance, the key is whether they play at the top, or beyond, their usual level of performance. It is not about whether they are the best in the world.

COULD YOU PLAY BETTER?
Yes, if you practise. What will make you practise harder? Praise.

John
ps. Some individuals in our lovely band have often thanked me for putting in all the effort to get them gigs and organise things - Vic did the other day. They are really really nice. Thanks for that boys and girls.

But I have no idea of whether I'm playing ok, or whether I'm just tolerated. Ok, so a bit of moaning can't do much harm......but maybe they are trying to tell me something if I read between the lines.


Our guitar man Dave told me about this CD. Jim Hall's trio. The guitar and piano are exchanging fours at the end and copying/feeding each other. Really nice sound. You, know this other business of playing and repeating patterns - which is what this is - must have been post bebop. It is in the mid 50's jazz onwards.

Has anyone got any other CDs where they do this? Tell me?
Ps. Dave is as good as Jim Hall was. I mean it.

The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please, 
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 
and LIKE our workshop page as well.
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM

In this blog we will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.





Saturday, 26 April 2014

WE ARE GOING TO PLAY WITHOUT MUSIC THIS SUNDAY




That's right. You have no idea of what we will be playing on Sunday, and we will not hand out any charts. We need to play by ear. You won't know the key either. How will be achieve that?

By magic. Just wait and see.

Scat singing, little riffs. What do you think girls, Andrew? Any use to us?


The concert last night was great. I may put up a post about it.

Keep the music by for these, we will do them some day.
CANTALOUPE
FOUR
STARDUST
DARN THAT DREAM
WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE? Just the instrumental version
LADYBIRD
BLUE IN GREEN
BLUESETTE

John

The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

We still have places for front line in the workshop.

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please,
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM



In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.


Monday, 21 April 2014

FISHBOURNE CENTRE. FRIDAY 7.30. SHOULD BE GREAT FUN. TICKETS AT DOOR

We have a complete new programme of songs to do on Friday. Really pleased with this show. Hope you can come and brings friends. Tickets at door, £12. Organised by the Fishbourne Lions in aid of the Snowdrop Trust.
John



Friday, 18 April 2014

HOW WELL DO YOU SOLO, SINGING JAZZ IN THE CAR?



This video is what I'm talking about.

Isn't it amazing how good your solos sound when you are listening to jazz cds in the car? Just doing dade dum dum, dade dum, dade dum ....dum etc. Have you noticed that you repeat little motifs, usually concentrating on the rhythm. Sounds good, yes? So why don't we do that more in our solos, build up little tunes within a tune?

Every person in the world can improvise. Whenever we speak we improvise. Sometimes we have a story to tell, sometimes not. Some people's conversations are just a mass of words, a stream of consciousness and this turns people off after a while. I've got two people in mind right now.

Some people show-off in their conversations, full of themselves they dominate, insensitive to other people. I have another person in mind.

Some people are just boorrrring. Yup another person always banging on about his mobile phone. You know something - these people do not attract great crowds of admirers.

But other people's conversations are good to listen to, interesting. They have a theme to them, they are articulate they are well modulated. Most of the time they are not telling a specific story they are joining in with patterns, adding textures to a group conversation.

You can guess where I'm going with this. I'm afraid to say that for my ears many jazz solos are just overplayed, a stream of notes, others are boring, some soloists just show off. But many others are beautiful, lovely to listen to they capture your imagination, you don't want them to stop.

I was listening to just such a solo by Geoff Simkins last Monday, with Terry Seabrook, piano and Nigel Thomas on bass. Autumn in New York, by John Lewis. Geoff chose to use a number of repeated motifs and it sounded really nice. Once Terry played a little piano phrase as a fill, Geoff picked it up immediately, played with it, teased it into other keys for the next 12 bars or so. It was so good on the ear. I've heard Geoff pick up themes from other people while they play -from an Imogen Ryall vocal scat the last time I heard.

I've just listened to a Jazz Messengers track on Youtube. They did it there, way back in the late 40's!

Some soloists never play repeated motifs at all and I think that is a pity. Unless they are careful their work can easily turn shapeless, like one of those pointless monologues. Others I know play them occasionally and it holds the ear when they do. I'm very lucky to work with a bunch of players who will do this, and who will play off each other. Andrew, Geoff, Dave with Vic, Bob and I also being sensitive to it. Wish I could do it like Paul Desmond did it - but it will never be, I'm afraid.

We can all play repeated motifs, they are not hard. We do it every time we da diddy dum to a jazz tune in the car.

For me personally, I don't hear jazz solos telling a story, whatever the profs say. I think they create patterns and textures and they have interesting but one sided conversations with you. I respond to the conversation by feeling. Or not, as the case may be.

I CAN PROVE IT TO YOU. IN 4 POINTS

1) How many times have you heard ordinary people say they don't like jazz because they can't hear a tune?

2) Think about the way an audience always wants bands to play their favourite songs. They like songs they don't know but for sure they want to hear their old favourites.

3) What is a tune if it is not a series of small repeated motifs? Typically a pattern is set up in the 1st 8, repeated, a variation on it is played in the bridge usually in a different key, then back to the original motif. They all use repeated motifs, all of them. That is what our ear enjoys.

4) Think Mozart, and variations. Are we talking Ostinatos here, and ostinato development? We have a very sound basis for this theory.

John
LAST MINUTE EDIT.
Just found this Video of Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers playing their hit Moanin' Listen to all the lovely solos with repeated little riffs, all of them. Timmons on piano, Golson on saxophone, and Lee Morgan on trumpet. He wrote The Sidewinder




The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please, 
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 
and LIKE our workshop page as well.
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

THE GIRLS ARE GOING TO BE STUNNING

We always have a lovely time in the group when the girls, Maria and Nettie, turn up for rehearsals. I am amazed at what they can do together. Neither of them, by even a tiny slither, ever gets a note wrong. Pitch perfect they are. It is a lovely sound.

Not only that, they know what they are doing musically with the rest of the band. They do what jazz singers should do, and often don't, they will tell the band what they want in the backing.

They also tried out something else for the first time on Sunday. If you have ever seen Bobby McFerrin on Youtube he sometimes gets a member of the audience to scat with him. The girls tried this out for the first time. Now I tell you, this is brave - they've never done it before and they had all the band listening. They did it over a blues format, one sang a rhythmic pulse and the other hummed an improvised line. As Bobby Mc Ferrin says this is spontaneous, inventive, instinctive, creative.



I've got a question for you ladies. Look at this Bobby McFerrin audience participation stunt the one in the latter half of the film. Yes, yes, he's brilliant and he has been doing it for years.

Suppose we give it a go sometime? I'd prefer if you two do it on your own, but to ease it in how about this? Maria will know what I'm talking about. A couple of times, I've challenged the audience to understand jazz, playing it straight then swing, then a triplet, then finishing with the Devils interval (Google it Nettie). The audience joins in a bit but it lasts for only 3 minutes.

You two could add to that. One of you improvs the rhythm, the other makes up a tune. You could divide the audience in half, and lead one half each.
We'd need to rehearse it, the three of us. Not for the concert next week, obviously, and we'd need to try it out a few times. But it could be brilliant.

Whaddyafinkthen?

John
Ps rehearsal nextr week 6.00. Mike we'd be really pleased if you could join in as you did last Sunday. any time from 6.00 onwards.

The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please, 
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 
and LIKE our workshop page as well.
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.

Monday, 7 April 2014

YUP. SIDEWINDER IS GOING TO BE BRILLIANT

This is the song we rehearsed last night. It was a special arrangement written for us by Terry Seabrook. Lots of echos, key changes, solos, and harmonies - wonderful.

This is the song played by the composer Lee Morgan's band. It was originally planned as a filler song on an album, but became a popular commercial hit to the bands surprise. Lee Morgan died at the tender age of 33, having been shot by his wife on stage at a jazz club. Duff note probably, or missed a key change. 





At 6.00 next Sunday we have the two girls coming in to rehearse their songs for our upcoming gigs first one on Apl 25th. I thought the workshop people would enjoy joining in with the band for the rest of their songs from 7.00 onwards. Should be a fun evening.

John

The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

We can do with a couple more front line players in the workshop

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please, 
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 

FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.


Monday, 31 March 2014

Bob was at his best.

THE ULTIMATE IN DEUTTING. HAVE A LOOK AT THIS. THE GENIUS WHO IS BOBBY MCFERRIN WITH THE CHICK COREA BAND IN GERMANY.

The way these two interact has to be heard to be believed. Corea changes the key and McFerrin the genius follows. Not only that, I've never heard a double bass solo like the one here. That is a terrible instrument to play fast but this guy does it.




Last night's workshop. Yes, have to say - Bob laid down some very interesting patterns last night on the kit. Good exchanges, good solos. Great, Bob.

Mike Pappenheim came back for an evening and it was a joy to welcome him. I hope we did not do any damage - the problem has now spread to his wrist. He had a tough challenge, because we picked some songs which are hard - Stella by Starlight, Scrabble from the Apple (who gave it that stupid name?) and Have you Met Miss Jones?. He swept through all the changes.

So did Geoff. Geoff has developed a new twist to his playing I think. I might be wrong, but it sounds to me as if he is picking some very nice, melodic lines, and repeating them by displacing them. I like it very much when I hear it, not all that many people do it particularly not semi-pros. It is personal taste, really, but it certainly suits my taste. (Who am I to judge? I don't like Bepbop or Art Tatum. Or trad jazz for longer than ten minutes)

NEXT SUNDAY Dave will be back.
Can we build in some quotes to our solos? There's a challenge. Geoff was doing a bit of this last night as well.

Let's keep trying out difficult songs. Maybe we can start with repeating Stella by Starlight and Scrabble from the Apple.
We will not do all of these so some we will carry over to the following week.
CANTALOUPE
FOUR
STARDUST
DARN THAT DREAM
WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE? Just the instrumental version
LADYBIRD
BLUE IN GREEN
BLUESETTE


BAND REHEARSAL
At 6.00 until 7.00 we have the band coming in to do Sidewinder.
Incidentally, band, if we are to do all the Interplay songs on April 25th at Fishbourne, then we only have he following dates available for rehearsal 6th, 13th 20th. We need one of those nights for the vocalists. Shall we come in for each of these 3 weeks at 6.00 then we will get through the programme. What do you think Andrew and everyone? Maybe the 20th will need 2 hours.

John

The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

We are still looking for front line players.

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please, 
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 
and LIKE our workshop page as well.
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.





Thursday, 27 March 2014

LET'S PLAY DIFFICULT JAZZ SONGS THIS SUNDAY



Have a look at Kenny Barron playing Have you met Miss Jones. I think the tricky bit is the middle section. As I listen to jazz pianists I am struck by the way they change the background sounds with different chord voicings, particularly in the upper structures for the right hand. Barron does it a lot.

We will try out some of the more difficult jazz songs next Sunday. Geoff is going to produce charts for these and a few others, Stella by Starlight and Have you met Miss Jones. I haven't played either. Maybe a couple of Charlie Parker songs.

Don't know what we'd do if we didn't have Geoff to help.
John

The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please, 
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 

and LIKE our workshop page as well.
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

BREAKING THE GLASS BARRIER IN JAZZ WITHOUT HURTING




Great, modest jazz pianist, Don Friedman talks about practising.... 

A PERSONAL CONFESSION
I've given up practising jazz piano, and I feel bad about it. A bit ashamed really.

Don't know why. Just don't feel like doing it.

Two years ago I spent 9 months practising quite hard in different ways, and it worked. It worked well. There used to be a time in the workshops where I didn't want to solo on the more difficult songs, but that is not a problem now. And, sometimes, I sound ok, even I can tell that.

I play in the workshop each week, and use weasel thoughts to imagine this is practise. But it does not have the intensity or application of proper practise. I've hit the glass ceiling and will not get any better unless I try.

So I had a look at sports psychology on the internet and thought a summary would be useful.

GLASS CEILING BARRIERS

Motivation is the key and the biggest problem is what the psychologists call "amotivation" This is where there is no drive to do it. An amotivated athlete might be heard saying, ‘I can’t see the point in training any more – it just tires me out’ or ‘I just don’t get any buzz out of competition whatsoever’. That's me. This often needs an outsider to help such as other players, or a good coach. I need Geoff or Andrew to tell me off. For others, playing in a new band or with different people might be a help. Or finding a coach.

PRACTISE IN A DIFFERENT WAY
Repeating mundane drills would be a killer for me, but for others it might be a useful re-starter process. Maybe I could be helped by trying something very hard indeed. For example, I could try to play a difficult piece very fast perhaps.

FLOW
They say the ultimate in motivation is to achieve "flow".  That is complete immersion in an activity. You can't hear, see, or experience anything else. The aim and the task must be realistic. I know about the groove, often called the zone. Once you are in the groove nothing else matters. Yup, important for jazz. You can tell when a soloist is in the groove. Even the whole band. We've hit it a couple of times recently in the workshops.

SET SOME GOALS.
Pointless expecting to get better if I just keep playing what I can play already. I'll need to pick a few short term goals, say "within the next week I'm going to work on...." Even a daily goal, "By to-night I'm going to have completed....." Set it up on a spread sheet perhaps.

This is the spreadsheet I was using when I was practising. The x's do not represent success, they just tell me whether I tried what I intended to do. I tried them over different songs.


SHORT INTENSIVE PERIODS OF PRACTISE.
I've always believed in the studies from education which show that students remember the beginning of the lesson and the end of the lesson. The middle bits are forgettable. Maybe I'll break up the practise into short sessions. Nothing wrong with doing 15 minutes early morning, 15 minutes at tea time, and 15 minutes before bed.

BE PLEASED WITH MYSELF
I ought to set up a routine whereby I can copy what I'm practising on to the laptop then replay it. I might be proud of myself. Sometimes. Or not.

TALK MYSELF INTO IT.
A bit far fetched for me but I remember when Mohammed Ali said ‘I am the greatest’ so many times that even his opponents believed it. ‘I figured that, if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.’

John

The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

We need a couple more players in the front line. Know anyone?

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please, 
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 

and LIKE our workshop page as well.
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM

In this blog we will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.




Thursday, 20 March 2014

THE GLASS CEILING IN JAZZ. HAVE YOU HIT IT YET?



This is one of the world's leading jazz educators, Jerry Bergonzi, talking about teaching advanced pupils.

You hit the glass ceiling when you know you are not going to get any better.
All professionals in any sport or artistic endeavour know of it.

We know how you've got where you are. Thousands of hours of work were needed to get where you are. (Yes, count them up. 1 hour a day is 1,000 in only three years) Through drive and initiative you've worked so hard for it. You've done everything to hit this peak.

Why can't you go higher? Put these reasons in order:

You don't really want to, you'd rather rest on your laurels and have fun.
You've hit a physical barrier, which stops you.
You've found another interest to absorb you.
You can't see the point of trying to be better.
You may be struggling just to keep where you are.
Time, not enough of it.

There is nothing wrong with any of these, nothing at all. You deserve a break. It is true that few people will notice a small improvement in your playing - only you.

WHEN DO YOU KNOW YOU'VE HIT THE CEILING.

Simple.When you find your playing is repetitious, doing the same old same old, using familiar licks, not enough mistakes. Yes, not enough mistakes.

I'm in Scotland at the moment. 15 years ago when we came here I brought a small keyboard to practise on every night. Haven't done that in years. Enthusiasm dimmed. I'm guilty too.

What do you think? Worth a review of where you are, perhaps?

John

The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

We need a coupler more players. Front line.

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please, 
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 
and LIKE our workshop page as well.
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.

Monday, 10 March 2014

WYNTON MARSALIS TALKING TRUMPET. NICE IDEAS.


Geoff I put this up for you. You'll love it. Andrew, when we come to rehearse again, can we put different moods on the exchanges?


He is from the most amazing jazz family. Within the siblings there is a top trombonist, top drummer, top saxophone player, top trumpeter all world class. I visited New Orleans once and was disappointed to find little other than trad jazz. However I did find this one modern jazz club, and who should be playing but a quartet led by his father Ellis Marsalis who is a music professor at the Uni, and Jason, the youngster as he then was. on the kit.

Brilliant, as you can imagine.

LAST NIGHTS WORKSHOP
Sunny This was very good
In my playing notes I've added this line. Harmony: Echo melody stabs tenor, gtr, kit, twice in A section and follow the descending line in the bridge.
Lets do it again, melody in Bm this time, solos in Am. Try playing at 220 just for fun.

Journey Home. Let us emphasise the variations on the chords.

Chameleon. Greensleeves. Do again with 1 swing solo and 1 funky solo.

FOR MAR 16 SINGERS REHEARSAL
Bring these songs for the workshop too.

Side By Side in Bb,
How Insensitive/End of a Love affair,
I Can’t get Started,
Dindi,
It Could Happen to You
Nettie will do Spooky
I will do Ain’t No Sunshine
What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life.
I'm old fashioned

John


The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please,
and LIKE our jazz workshop page as well.

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.


Saturday, 8 March 2014

THANK YOU ALAN BROADBENT FOR JOURNEY HOME.


I heard this lovely song on a CD called Round Midnight by the New Zealand jazz pianist, Alan Broadbent. It is called Journey Home. He is famous where jazz people gather, and a Double Grammy Award Winner to boot. Played with many of the greats, arranged music for them, and led their bands. That takes some doing starting from a little country like New Zealand. It is wonderful there, relaxed, easy life style, people are great. People there live for the weekends. My 2nd favourite country after Scotland.

Couldn't get the song out of my head. It was beautifully played by his trio, and the harmonies were gorgeous. You can hear the song on Spotify. Enter <Alan Broadbent Journey Home>

I asked his website where I could buy a chart for the Workshop. This lovely chap replied himself and gave me a .pdf we could use free. Geoff did copies in Bb and Eb for us. We'll do it to-morrow.

I can personally identify with this song. I bet I know how he came to write it.

THE FOLLOWING IS A GUESS. THE BEST SONGS ARE BASED ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

Like him, I used to do six week tours of the USA or Australia and New Zealand leading seminars. It was terrific fun, but at the end, when the job was done, the people had laughed in the right places, you were glad to get home. All that last day you looked forward to the evening flight. "To-morrow I'll be there," you said. "Thank Heaven."

This song is absolutely perfect to describe that feeling. I bet he wrote it on an Air New Zealand flight, non-stop from either Houston or LA. That is about 13 hours.

I'm going to ask him. Is that anywhere near right Alan? And thank you again.

John
ps. Alan, could the band play it in the Festival of Chichester in June please? With due credits to you and the CD of course.

The Jazz Smugglers bands in Sussex
The Jazz Smugglers workshop, Bosham, Sussex



We can do with another front line player. The guys are pretty good, though. There are about 10 of us each week.

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please, 
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 

and LIKE our workshop page as well.
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.


Monday, 3 March 2014

IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO PLAY WITH THESE TRULY NICE PEOPLE

I don't care if it sounds odd coming from a man, but I tell you. These folks we have in the workshop played a blinder last night. Absolutely brilliant. Tremendous fun. And each one of them is so modest, so retiring about their ability. Others would shout it from the rooftops. I'm very pleased to be able to call them friends.

We really did do well last night. Performance standard. Read about what we did and what we learnt below. Just about everything we tried worked - bar one.

TWO VERSIONS OF SUNNY. SEE WHAT YOU THINK.
This music is really emotional. Beautiful song, beautifully played. Listen to the guitar player on the track of Sunny. Sparing, open. Quiet gentle song, you can imagine a sunny day, lazing by the river. Then Herbie Mann picks it up, at the last coda he goes into staccato and the piano copies.
The piano plays chords in the fills mostly



And then we go to this, the best known version of the song. totally different. The girls are fantastic. How I
love this music. All of it



Lets do Sunny next week.

WE DID THIS LAST NIGHT
Feed and response 2 bars, worked very well indeed. Try longer bars.
Dave on Guitar played echos of the solos. Sounded nice.
He also used some displaced patterns in a solo.
We all played solos using triplets, with Bob on drums echoing. Yes, got a winner here. Must do more of.
Vic on bass played on the 1 then broke time, mixing with a walking line. This added interest.
This one did not work, but we can try it again. We played a tune out of time, rhythm section sparing, kit using brushes on symbols. Just to create an atmosphere.
Geoff played a coda on the song key.
We also tried solos without backing. Try dropping out backing for the start of the solo, come in bar 5
Chris kept up with everything - at a huge disadvantage because we all knew the songs. Heroic.

VIC DAVE AND MYSELF
I think that we ought to do something in practise, and in the workshop that we don't do very well, if at all. IN our solos we don't play the tune, or extract from it. Dave could you shadow the tunes as the front line play them, whether from ear or by reading? Vic could you try using a bit of the tune in your solos? It means we have to concentrate on the dots.

GEOFF, CHRIS AND ANDREW, DARE I ASK?
Displace patterns. Playing an improvised motif, figure, whatever you call it, then repeat and displace it. I'm not talking about playing a standard riff over a 11 V 1 and doing it in every key. I'm talking about using an improvised phrase over and over. It is not difficult to do. Could I ask you three guys just to try it out please?

PLEASE DON'T THINK I'M TRYING TO TELL ANYONE HOW TO PLAY. THAT IS NOT MY JOB. But it could be my job to make sure that everyone tries things out and is as well rounded as possible. Do you think so?

DO NEXT SUNDAY
The girls, Maria and Nettie are coming in at 6.00 for a rehearsal. We might change this song list if the girls stay on. We'll play their songs. Andrew, do you fancy coming?

Bluesette
Sunny Am and Bm
Bernies Tune Dm
Greensleeves. F
Chameleon

John

Smugglers jazz bands in Sussex
Smugglers jazz workshop, Bosham, Sussex

We could do with another front line player, if you know of them.
There are about 7 of us each week.

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please,
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 

and LIKE our workshop page as well.
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.








Wednesday, 26 February 2014

A WONDROUS DUET. ON HARMONICAS!




Toots Thielemans and Steve Wonder. Bluesette,

2 geniuses. How much they enjoy what they do. Its like a drug playing this stuff,.listen to the Isn't she lovely quote at 1.45 then watch as he is joined unexpectedly by Stevie Wonder on stage. They are so enjoying what they do. Toots keeps coming in and out of the tune.

Toots, Belgian, has played with all the greats. Miles Davis, Charlie Parker. Every time you hear a harmonica in a film track it will be Toots playing.

Our new workshop tenor player told us about this video. Thanks Chris. Great idea. We'll do this song again on Sunday.

SONGS FOR THIS COMING SUNDAY
Bluesette
All the things you are  Ab
Sunny Am and Bm
April in Paris
Bernies Tune Dm
Lullaby in Birdland Ab
Greensleeves. F

John

Jazz Smugglers bands Sussex

Jazz Smugglers workshop, Sussex


We need some more players again. Anyone know anyone near Chichester?

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please,
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS SUSSEX BAND 

and LIKE our workshop page as well.
FACEBOOK JAZZ SMUGGLERS WORKSHOP BOSHAM

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.