I picked two tunes for this week without realizing that both are associated with Coltrane. “Afro Blue,” composed by Mongo Santamaria, may be better known as a number on Coltrane’s Birdland live set. It’s an ABA form in F minor, and it’s in three. While Trane played it as a modal tune, other artists play the head as written and then blow over minor blues changes. More recently artists like Robert Glasper, Erykah Badu, and Esperanza Spalding are doing it in four over hip-hop rhythms.
We’ll also play “In a Sentimental Mood.” The recording Coltrane did with Ellington (Duke Ellington & John Coltrane) in the early sixties is one of my favorites; in addition to Coltrane’s reading of the melody, Ellington opens the recording with a simple, pretty-much-iconic piano figure that you’d recognize anywhere. This one is done lots of ways – as a ballad, medium-up, or whatever you like.
The house band of Ken Hoffman (ts), Dave Stoler (pno), Matt Rodgers (bs), and John Lombardo (dr, and the guy who books our house bands!) can play these tunes and all of the other tunes out there, so we’ll be in good hands during the jam.
We look forward to seeing you on the 21st at the Rigby. Meanwhile you should follow us on Facebook, where I’ll post performances of our jam tunes and items of interest every couple of days. See you soon!