For those of you who either cannot sleep, play 3rd trombone in Rimsky Korsakov’s Piano Concerto in C#minor, or are remotely interested in the future of the music “business”, here is an extremely well researched article worth a read…thought provoking stuff on the changes in CD sales, streaming music services, concert revenues and the like.

. . . more info

The Laika Bar: Angie Strickland with the CCQ

Last Friday saw a polished little Ange, accompanied by Jason Chalmers playing out of his skin on saxaphone, and Doug Kuhn (bass) and meself (piano) fill in the doofy bits and twiddly bits where needed. The Diva trotted out a coupla great new  ballads.

A good turn up of people dropping in for a listen, although not as big as the first week. Well received by the Laika folks.

No Captain Chaos Quartet this week, as the Laika had a prebooked solo singer. Next week… stay tuned!… the CCQ will be back.



Something Cool

Composer Billy Barnes (1927-2012) wrote Something Cool released by June Christie in 1953.
As Alan Kurtz has said it is a remarkable four minute drama.
Listen to June Christie here on You Tube.
What  is the song about?
Kurtz takes the meaning to be along the lines of Blanche Dubois in a Streetcar Named Desire, a role recently reprised by Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen’s latest movie.

Are the words a dream or a memory. I’ll leave you to work it out.


What Are You Woodshedding#1?

The journey from ‘beginning jammer’ to ‘creative improviser’ involves many steps.

Quite apart from the necessary acquisition of enough instrumental technique to create and convey your musical thoughts to others – i.e. to ‘speak’ – there is a need also to present your ideas in an orderly fashion that communicates with your audience.

The tyro jammer will often find the best beginning steps of improvisation are found in just embellishing an existing tune – altering note placements and phrases and filling gaps in the melodic line. This method does not involve much involvement in study of harmony or reading notation, as much can be done by ear. It does however confine you to a limited area of exploration and expression in the longer term.

The be-boppers of the ‘40s faced similar challenges in adapting the ‘public domain’ tunes of the time to the tsunami of harmonic and rhythmic challenges of their new music. Rather than take those known current tunes per se as their medium, they kept the main harmonic structures as the basis for their new rhythmic and melodic ideas. Even before the bop era similar adaptations existed (‘Moten Swing’ based on ‘You’re Driving Me Crazy’ being just one example). Apart from the blues in its many forms, the harmonic structure of ‘I’ve Got Rhythm’ became the basis of more bebop tunes than any other, although ‘How High The Moon, Honeysuckle Rose’, ‘What Is This Thing Called Love’, ’Lady Be Good’ and ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ also got plenty of exercise.

Weekly Test
For the next few weeks, I will pose to you a list of 5 jazz tunes (called ‘contrafacts’ in the trade) and challenge you to identify (for your own personal gratification and repertoire expansion) what indeed was the popular/published tune from which they are derived.

Answers will be included in the next week’s “Jammers News” along with a fresh set of contrafacts. You will already know some of the popular/published tunes and perhaps may even go on and add the jazz tunes to your bag…..  here we go:

  1. Ornithology     (Benny Harris) derived from
  2. Hackensack     (Thelonious      Monk)
  3. Lullaby of Birdland  (George Shearing)
  4. The Preacher  (Horace Silver)
  5. Oleo                (Sonny Rollins)

See you next week!….

From the Captain

Checked out long time supporter of our jam sessions Buddy Love at Kojo Brown last Saturday night.  To a packed restaurant, Buddy sang great renditions of jazz and pop standards and was superbly backed up by David Taylor on Bass and Agus Batara on keys.  Kepler added great support with smooth clarinet lines.

Suggest you watch out for his next gig at this venue. Good food and wine to excellent live music. Whilst there, make sure Buddy sings “The Lamb Shank Blues”…goes well with the speciality of the house.

A Note for your Diary: Buddy’s next session at the Grand Hotel is on  9th August

What we are listening to . . . Gonzalo Rubalcaba

 “Fé . . . Faith the first release in Mr. Rubalcaba’s 5Passion label. It’s an album of exquisite touch: Mr. Rubalcaba, who lives in south Florida, is a product of Cuba’s elite musical conservatory, and his classical training has never left him. Beautifully recorded, it begins in a kind of cathedral stillness – Mr. Rubalcaba didn’t come by its title casually – and slowly warms to its own premise.

There are crisp, exploratory essays based on themes by John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis with Bill Evans. There are silvery originals inspired by Cuban batá drumming, and by each of Mr, Rubalcaba’s three children.”

This is an extract from a review was sent to me by a friend. The review is by Nate Chinen from The New York Times, of July 3, 2011.

The CD includes two versions of Blue in Green the Miles/Bill Evans composition. The CD is worth the price for these alone. Gonzalo Rubalcaba (pictured left) can be heard at Amazon where you can play all of this album or alternatively on You Tube at http://youtu.be/g60i8OYRWHU

or while playing the fabulous Bosendorfer piano

http://youtu.be/xHvQDpNfYv0 enjoy your listening. RM

Forgotten Jazz Album

Forgotten Jazz LP

From Taariq: Hi, this week’s forgotten jazz LP of the week is SOUL 69 by Aretha Franklin. The title is very misleading.

Why is that Taariq? RM

Taariq: The title says Soul 69. The record is  actually a big band  jazz vocals record. It is not the kind of soul music that made The Blues Brothers a  popular film, or like Respect, the only song the GOLD FM crowd know of Aretha Franklin’s.

The LP has no hits which have been done to death on the radio so it  is really good to listen to.