We have a jam tomorrow, yes we do! The rhythm section for our band has played together for many years and always sounds tight. They are Paul Muench, keyboard; John Schaffer, bass; and Rand Moore on percussion. Paul Dietrich on trumpet completes the quartet and I’ll be the emcee.
The featured songs are Gravy Waltz, composed by Ray Brown with lyrics by Steve Allen, and What’s New composed by Bob Haggart in 1938 with lyrics added by Johnny Burke in 1939. What’s New is a beautiful standard usually played as a ballad. A playalong and various versions by well known jazz artists are available on Learn Jazz Standards. My favorite is by Dexter Gordon.
I’ll be honest and admit I never heard of Gravy Waltz until it was recommended for this jam. Wikipedia reports it won a Grammy award in 1961. Written music can be found from any of the sources listed in the Fake Book Index. The original version from YouTube is below. Usually we feature songs that are commonly played at jam sessions, or are especially good vehicles for learning a concept. Sometimes we just want to introduce a great song that has passed under the radar. We’ll talk with the band tomorrow and learn more.
One more thing: the schedule for the next 3 months is almost done and will be posted on the schedule page shortly.