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Summer 2012

Hi everyone. Ready for some more Jazz notes? Here’s the programme and latest news for the summer term:

The band will be playing in the arena for the Queens summer fair at 12:00 on sat 30th June. I’m still waiting for a date for a possible assembly-concert in school.

This term will mark the end of an era as 3 of the original cats who joined the workshop from the very start will be saying goodbye soon. I’m sure they will enjoy playing some more blue notes in secondary school. Till then, we’ve got another varied set of great Jazz tunes to put together. Below is a brief description of the set with lots of YouTube links.

Harlem Nocturne – “Deep music fills the night…deep in the heart of Harlem”

These are the opening lyrics to the enigmatic melody line of the 1939 Earle Hagen classic. Some 20 years later, the song became a hit for  rock band The Viscounts and smooth Jazz crooner Mel Torme (with his own lyrics!). The tune had been initially created for a member of the Ray Noble orchestra as a tribute to  sax player Johnny Hodges. Here’s Maynard Ferguson’s big band version.

Our arrangement begins using the same bass ostinato that starts Cannonball Adderley’s version of “Autumn leaves”. We stay in Latin mode, phrasing even quavers for the A section with the reeds stating the melody and the rest providing harmonies with a hint of Tango rhythms. Flutes (and violin) take over for the bridge with reeds playing the descending 5th patterns on both occasion. We eventually resume the A section with a tag ending and a cadenza from Sax & Clarinet. Nice.

Bewitched – “bothered and bewildered”

Not to be mistaken for the TV show of the same name, the ballad “Bewitched” is a hit song from the 1040 musical “Pal Joey” by Rodgers & Hart.

Here’s Barbra Streisand’s version as well as Julie Andrews singing the whole song including the verse. We also state the verse, at a faster pace before the chorus, taken at ballad tempo. Flutes lead all the way with a brief move to the reeds for the bridge.

Mercy, mercy, mercy – Nothing to do with duffy

This 1966 soul-funk anthem was composed by austrian keyboard guru Joe Zawinul during his time with Cannonball Adderley. The song quickly became a hit and helped revive the leader’s carreer.

Here’s James Morrison’s faster and ever so groovy version – This is what all live bands should sound like.

The tune could be referred as an ABC: it is made of 3 sections of 8/8/4 bars – quite an unusual departure from the AABA form of “Bewitched” and “Harlem” (technically a AABBA).

The arrangement stays very close to the original. Some of our Jazzcats will have a go a soloing on this great chord progression using the Blues Scale whilst the rest of the band plays a backing vamp.

Looking forward to our string of concerts. Until then see you on thursdays…

James

PS: By the way, can you name all the musicians whose photographs appear at the top of the page?

One Comment
  1. jamminfrog,

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