Satin Doll and Blues by Five

Our next session is April 10th. Suggested tunes are Satin Doll, and Blues by Five.

Satin Doll is one of those tunes where it is easy to overplay. Simple solos based off the melody can work well. Here's Joe Pass playing Satin Doll:


Blues by Five is next on the list of tunes recommended by Steve Sveum of Sun Prairie High School. Here's some of his notes followed by the original version of Blues by Five:

  • Bb blues – 12 bar
  • Melody transposed to match chord changes (can reinforce learning by “numbers”)
  • Again using 3-b7 and b7-3 resolutions and Major and Minor blues scales is good
  • Pentatonic riffing is good
  • Since melody follows changes, can develop a solo same way and in effect “sequence” an idea
  • Transcribe part of Miles solo is highly recommended – Miles = magic!


Goodies from our last session

Photos, videos, and audio from our last session in March on now up on the media page.

March 6th jam recap

Another great jam! We had a mix of ages, talents, special guests, and as someone said, "this session was the most musical."

First off, we want to thank Paul Hastil for being our special guest. Not only is Paul a great musician but his empathic personality comes across in his playing - he brings out the best in everyone he plays with. It was also nice of Paul to hang out for quite some time afterwards to talk and answer questions. Thanks, Paul.

We were also honored to have the Sun Prairie high school rhythm section join us. We've had some of the area's best high school students but this is the first time Sun Prairie, the most decorated Madison area high school jazz ensemble was represented (they are making their 6th trip to New York for the Essentially Ellington finals - hear them in a benefit concert Friday night). As a trio they played a very polished rendition of Branford Marsalis' "Mo Better Blues," then everyone joined them for a rousing version of "Watermelon Man."

Of course we had our core group of adults and students, which continues to grow and improve. The students from Middleton HS are especially impressive. Several people commented they couldn't believe these were high school students, Rand remarked on the maturity in Chris' drumming, and I thought Ben was a college student the first time I heard him play trumpet.

We played a variety of tunes: Autumn Leaves, Bernie's Tune, Have You Met Miss Jones, Red Clay, Body & Soul, Ladybird, There Will Never Be Another You, Georgia, Now's The Time, Watermelon Man, and others.

If you want to start preparing for next time, we'll be doing Blues by Five, and Satin Doll for sure. I'll get more supporting material on the site soon. The next jam is April 10th.