Week 1 Rehearsal Note and Welcome!

Hello JJB Musicians,

Welcome to the Fall session of Jumpin’ Jazz Band!  It was great to meet you last Monday, and I look forward to us all making music together!

We have 40 members, of which two thirds are returning members from past sessions, and we have many new members who are ready to play some jazz!

Please mark Friday, Dec. 13 on your calendar – we will be performing on stage for friends and family at Brookfield HS that evening. We need everyone, as this is very much a team effort!  Let me know asap if you cannot be there. Details to follow!

Week 1

We introduced people – 

Band Rep: Art Stewart (cc’d)    Please reach out to Art or to me if you have any questions.  Communication is the key, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Our focus this session is the blues, however our pieces reflect many different styles,  time signatures, etc..

Music Librarian: Sue Christian   (Sue helps with getting the music out to you)

Jazz Volunteer:  Dave Jones (Dave is a retired teacher who plays in other ONHB bands, and comes out to help us beginners in jazz)

Social Committee:  ___________________, _________________, _______________

Refreshments:   Rita Riopel

We take a refreshment/social break from 7:30 – 7:45 in the staff room. Thanks to Rita for taking this on!  Suggested contribution $2 – $5 (which should cover the whole session).  There will be a donation basket  over the next couple of weeks.

We went over routines –

-please sign in with your initials on the attendance each week, and mark in planned absences (mark an A) well in advance, to help me to plan clinics and sectionals

– leave footwear at the door on wet days, and bringing slippers/shoes to wear in the music room

-leave the room and the school tidier than we found it. Following rehearsal, please check that you have everything, and that the room is set up for Isabelle St. Amour, the new Brookfield music teacher (chairs back, and stands at the edge of the ledge,  Front row 9, Middle row 11, Back row 13, no chairs to conductor’s left – for double bass players, who stand).

What we played week 1:

In general, we do “read-throughs” of pieces, and we expect that it will be a rough and jazzy approximation.  We also break it down, to work on playing rhythm patterns and “chunks” of the piece with increasing accuracy. By week 7, we start working on the pieces as a whole, polishing, refining, and going over the challenging bits.

Pink Flamingo – we sight read the exercises on page 14, 15, listened to the recording, and played through the piece (Thanks for the inspiring three-note solo, Dave!)

Autumn Leaves – we played the unison (everyone plays the same thing) exercise at the top of the page. We also practiced counting to four, then “Jumpin’ in” on the off beat (the and of 1)

Ain’t No Sunshine  – We noted that the rhythm is not exactly as you might expect, if you know the song.  Listen to the link, and memorize the first 16 measures by adding the words (example, with some phonetic spelling) flutes/saxes measure 6 and trumpets/clarinets measure 14 “Any time she goes a- waa –ay”   flutes/saxes m 8/9  and trumpets/clarinets m16/17 “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gah – ahn”

(HOME PRACTICE – listen, listen, listen – sing, sing, sing – then play to measure 19.

Afro Blue – We explored the challenge of the cymbal pattern, 1,  2,  3 and and and and

We played measures 1-8.

Listen to the links as part of your daily practice, and follow along in your music, counting out your bars of rest and listening particularly to your part as you watch your music.  We will be practicing small sections of pieces at a time.

We will focus mostly on the first five pieces, and see where we go from there!

Fall Session:

Autumn Leaves/Les Feuilles Mortes    (1947 J.Prevert/Johnny Mercer Music Joseph Kozma /arr Berry)  Straight-ahead swing tune (138 – 144) D minor

Ain’t No Sunshine   (1970 Bill Withers/ arr R. Stitzel)  medium blues rock (84) F minor

Blue Bossa  (1965 Kenny Dorham/ arr M. Sweeney) moderate Latin (148)  G minor

Pink Flamingo Night (Sorenson) pro band – excerpt  Basic blues progression

Pink Flamingo Night (Sorenson) – high school band   from book “First Place in              Jazz”

Afro Blue    (1959   Mongo Santamaria/ arr M. Sweeney)  ¾ time slow (80) then Afro Latin (160)


And possibly………

(The) Birth of the Blues  ( 1926 Ray Henderson / arr Mike Lewis  Belwin Jazz Book)

All Blues (Miles Davis – Michael Sweeney arr – from book “Best of Easy Jazz”   (level 2 challenge piece to carry through winter)

Plus one “bring back” from our past sessions –   https://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/media-player.jsp?&type=audio&productID=10093335  “Stay Cool”  (bluesy swing)

 Review of information from the first email sent out:

We practice at Brookfield HS, in the music room (#154. Rehearsal begins at 6:30, but you may arrive between 6 – 6:15 pm to set up and warm up.

Bring your instrument, printed copies (all parts for your instrument) of the pieces, the method book “First Place in Jazz” (plus “Best of Easy Jazz” if you have it – not essential), a pencil, and indoor footwear on wet days.  Music stands are available in the music room, and on stage when we have clinics.

Music for the session is available on Drop Box.  Print copies (all parts for your instrument) of the pieces by clicking this link:


Sign up for the IPS (Interactive Practice Studio)  on page 1, an online copy of our method book “First Place for Jazz“. The IPS is free with the purchase of the method book. The exercises are great for developing familiarity and skill with reading and playing jazz rhythms, however we discovered that there are a few quirks – exercises that are not played as they are written in the book.  We covered pages 1-12 in past sessions, and plan to continue from here with the Blues. Pink Flamingo is a piece based on the basic blues progression, and is perfect for improvisation practice at home or in rehearsal.