Rehearsal Notes for  March 21, 2018


This week, we will go to Broadway Bar and Grill on 1896 Prince of Wales Drive • ON Tel: (613) 224-7004 after rehearsal, and we will take a show of hands at rehearsal for numbers.

Jammin’ With Charlie                                              Dean Sorenson
Stay Cool                                                                Vince Gassi
It Don’t Mean A Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)   Duke Ellington and Irving Mills,  arr. Michael Sweeney
25 or 6 to 4                                                              Robert Lamm   arr. Paul Murtha
We included Stay Cool (which almost tied) as we will be under the 15 minutes if we keep our set moving along.

*Special reminder:  Please vote on the pieces you wish to play on April 15 at 4 pm.  John is collecting your votes at

Also, let John know which venue you prefer for our social after practice next week:  A) or B)

  1. A) Hometown Sports Bar on Bank just North of Heron.


  1. B) Broadway Bar and Grill (Prince of Wales – at Fisher)


ROCK:  Jammin With Charlie (3’  @ quarter = 116)             or          SWING:     My Dinner With Ronald  (2’40” @ quarter = 120)

SWING:    It Don’t Mean a Thing (3’@ quarter = 132 – 148)    or    BLUESY SWING:    Stay Cool (2’50” @ 120)

ROCK  25 or 6 to 4  (2’35” @ 138 – 144)                                      or          ROCK        Frankenstein   (2’45” @ 160)

Week 9 Notes:

We are making great progress towards playing the pieces at tempo – an even bigger challenge since we are coming back from a week off.   The hard bits are coming along, and you can continue to practice them slowly and persistently, but you can also edit your part to make it doable at the performance tempo.  Together, we are making an awesome sound!  At tempo, there is a real sense of flow, and just a little angst… right?  In three weeks, you will enjoy playing the tunes even more, and that is what shines through in a performance.  Your best is always good enough!

We Played :

Red book:  Line 19 (twice through, second time with more intensity),and we read a few jazzed up traditional tunes in the 20s.   Review the fifth line on the back cover (Concert Bb exercises, broken chords (aka arpeggios) to develop fluency in playing thirds (for example 1-3-5-7)

Jammin’ with Charlie – remember to shape the long notes (dynamic – down at the end of phrases, accent, drop the dynamic level suddenly and then build through the long note gradually. Wait to start the build around beat three.  The short-light staccato notes (measure 18, for example), and the short accents like the end of measure 41 are sounding great!  We hit 100% with only 4 articulations in measures 11, 40, 52 because of the tied note.  WOOHOOO!

My Dinner with Ronald –   We upped the tempo on this, and  it had a new sense of intensity, dynamic and feel, measure 3 drop to mp to begin the crescendo, and change rhythm (beat three add a dot, beat four change to an eighth note).  Shape long notes (ex. Measure 5 grow, measure 12 – 13, accent, drop back to piano then grow to mf. Measure 41 is still a challenge, as there are two conversations going on… so you have to know your part well, but especially the entry (beat two or beat three).  Saxes and vibes dominate from measure 41 – 44, then the brass take over the conversation in importance.  From measure 49 – 52, we all agree! (we are together) Syncopate measure  51 as done in measure 3. Layer the dynamics, dropping every two bars, from measure 62-63 (f), to measure 64-65 (mf), measure 66-67 (mp), and we will slow down the last three bars, gradually (watch conductor).

It Don’t Mean a Thing – layer crescendo, each measure from 5 – 8 a step up from the last in dynamic level.    Really build it up to measure 32, aiming for that second beat as the climax.  We played as soli (the whole group played) at 45 (brass) and at 53 (reeds). Colour-code your road map (DS signs– yellow, Coda signs–red). Second time through, play with more intensity and JOY!  Life/ the music – don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that vital SWING! Last note, balloon the sound, and release, as a sigh.

Stay Cool –  We are not quite playing at tempo with this piece – yet!  It is a great piece, and is starting to swing!  Listen to the link Reminder – flute, piano and bells have soli from measures 1 – 7 and then pass the tune off to the brass. Flutes and bells soli at measure 34, 46-47, 65, and low brass 35, 44-47, 60, 62 are high exposure sections.  Measures 69 – 70 and 71 – 72 are different – 69-70, you land on beat three, but in m72  it is syncopated, and you land on the + of 2.  These are spots to focus on, remembering that your best is good enough!

25 or 6 to 4 –  The longer notes are all worth two eighths (keep the eighth note ticking away in your mind).  In measures 12 and 28, trombones should use the alternate positions to play the glissandos… really lay into these!  The Coda has some interesting harmonies, so try practicing this part with your tuner and check your pitches and intonation (sharp/flat/ in tune – the tuner shows green or center when you are right on). Ritardando (Rit) from measure 66 to the end, and wait and play the last note with the conductor, all together… really hit it with solid sound, then crescendo.  Colour-code the road map markings.

Frankenstein – Articulations are so important, and you are doing a great job!  continue to keep staccato notes light so that the other notes are prominent.  Don’t slow down at measures 9 through 24, or at measure 49 – practice with metronome to keep tempo.  All through the piece, when you play eighth notes with the slur, make this part flow like water, yet have each eight note exactly the same as the others in length… computer precision. (loop that measure or phrase slowly, then increase tempo). Say trip – o  – let and keep each note equal, for triplets.  Fall offs should go down in pitch and also dynamic level (get softer, not stay the same – loosen up). On the last fall off, hold the pitch with conviction until a signal from the band leader to fall off.

Next rehearsal:

Red book:    Jazz chord building

Review all tunes at tempo, and note 25 or 6 to 4, measure 13-14 eighth, two sixteenths for those who wish extra challenge.  Work on tricky sections under tempo.  Have fun soloing with conviction and attitude! You are encouraged to bring a cool hat or sunglasses, or wear a leather jacket…. Any cool accessories.  Dressing and playing the part of a jazz performer is half the fun!

Important Dates:

Social Outing  – March 28 (John will let us know later this week – survey says….. stay tuned to this note!)

Sunday, April 15 End of Session Concert  (Concert Bands at 2 pm, all musicians group photo at 3:30, Jazz Bands 4 pm)

Warm up  – to be decided (1:30  or 2:40 ?)

Community Concert  – to be decided:  evening of Wed. April 18 or Tuesday, June 12.  Some people can’t do a weekend gig, so we will aim for the rehearsal evening of June 12.  Please let Kyle and Cathy know if you have a suggestion for a venue where a short free concert would be appreciated.  Examples:  a senior residence with a large performance space, a park setting, local pub or restaurant with large space, charity fund-raiser, ?  Viva (on Strandherd) and Stillwater Creek (Bells Corner) have been suggested.

Things to consider:  lots of free parking near venue, electricity, 27 chairs without arms available, audience will appreciate rock-jazz repertoire, carpeted/curtained or “very live acoustic space”