Tunes for next jam, Jan 8th

by Daniel Wallach

The two tunes for the next jam are Lullaby of Birdland by George Shearing/George Davis Weiss and Tenor madness by Sonny Rollins.

The form of Lullaby of Birdland is “AABA” 32-bar song form. When improvising on Lullaby of Birdland, one may take several approaches to playing the changes. The macro analysis of the chords suggest three bars of “F” minor followed by four bars of the relative major and a 2-5-1 back to “f” minor. The bridge is all about “Ab” major. The final “A” Is exactly like the first two. As one becomes more familiar with the individual chords, try to start incorporating the subtleties of the specific chord. Listen to the original recording from 1952 (The Definitive George Sherring):

Tenor Madness is a 12-bar blues in Bb. When beginning to improvise on the blues changes, it is fine to use the “blues scale.” This scale should be memorized and mastered. When one has progressed beyond using the “blues scale” remember the 12-bar blues does have a progression. Focus on the third to seventh chord relationship. Listen to (Tenor Madness) by Sonny Rollins:

Jam roundup

Wow, what an afternoon! We should schedule the jam during the Packer games all the time. Lilianas was packed, jammers were everywhere, and the band was smokin! Too bad we didn't have a camera or video to record this one.

And speaking of recordings, I'll try my best to get the audio up on the site before next Sunday's jam. I have an intense week so we'll see how it goes (gig with the Mighty Groove Masheen Thursday 8-11pm at the Brink Lounge, and with Blues by Five at Delaneys 6-9pm Saturday and at Liliana's 6-9pm Monday).

Next Sunday, December 18th, the jam is back at Talula. We had a great crowd last time but not many jammers. If you wanted to play on more songs today make sure you head over to Talula next Sunday. We'll be doing Perdido and Blue Monk in the first set again. UW band director Jim Doherty is the educator and the band is New Breed drummer Michael Brenneis, Michael BB on keys, and Matt Rogers on bass.

Lastly, please help us out and complete our short 6 question survey.

Jam this Sunday, December 11th

In case you've been wondering, yes, the jam is still on for this Sunday. And yes, we know the Packer game was moved and is right smack in the middle of the jam. Sometimes you have to make tough choices. We'll find out who the real jazz musicians and fans are.

What will you miss if you lay on the couch instead of meeting your friends at the jam? Good times and great music with Keith Lienert on drums, Bernie Brink on keys, and Nick Moran on bass.

See you there.

This Sunday, Dec. 11 - SUPER GUITAR TRIO

Sun. Dec. 11 /  MMC & MTL present: "Jazz on a Sunday" with:



3:30pm (2 sets) followed by IMW (Improv Music Workshop) at 6:00

IMW this week will take a little different format in that no musicians will play with the band but there will be opportunity to ask questions and have some dialog with the trio. It should be exciting to learn more about this very different format of a trio.

Concert General admission $10 dos; $8 for members of MMC and Madison Jazz Society and students with ID

IMW session 6-7pm is always free admission.

MORE about the super guitar trio:

Joined by Kirk Tatnall on guitar and drummer Dane Richeson , this free-wheeling romp through some interesting and thought-provoking material will challenge the listener from start to finish. The two guitarists will be performing on the Superax, an instrument that was invented by Grassel. It enables the players to play bass and guitar strings on the same neck. This allows a trade off between bass lines and guitar parts, eliminating the need for a separate bass instrument.

Guitar One Magazine says that Grassel exhibits: "…the same technical prowess John Coltrane demonstrated on his sax. Simply put: He sounds like no other guitarist you've ever heard before"

Guitar Player Magazine says of him: "Adventurous to a fault, Grassel explores everything - from "straight ahead" to modal to outside to avant garde - as long as it involves improvisation…(with) formidable technique, musicianship, sense of humor, imagination, and ability to do the unexpected."

In 2007 and 2009, the readers of the Milwaukee Shepherd newspaper voted Jack as Milwaukee's "Best Jazz Artist".

Winner of seven Wisconsin Area Music Industry awards as Jazz Artist and Guitarist Of The Year

Mr. Grassel has played over 12,000 performances in every conceivable musical situation. Among his favorites are: duets with Luciano Pavarotti, concerts with Melvin Rhyne, Nancy Wilson, Tal Farlow and other name artists too numerous to mention.

This concert and seminar are made possible by a grant from the John & Carolyn Peterson Charitable foundation and support from the Madison Music Collective, The Brink Lounge, Liliana's Restaurant, the UPS Store in Fitchburg, Farley's House of Pianos, The Cardinal Bar, Tornado Club Steak House, Oak Bank, The Isthmus and WORT 89.9FM


Perdido and bebop scales

Our next jam is only 1 week away. Sorry about being slow to name the 1st two tunes. For the December jams we'll go back and play Blue Monk, a Bb blues we've played before, and we'll add Perdido. The chord progression of Perdido is a variation of rhythm changes and we worked on that progression when we did Lester Leaps In.

The concept we're focusing on, especially for Perdido, is using bebop scales. Here's Jim Doherty with some thoughts on bebop scales and Perdido.


Be-bop scales. You probably already know about these. These are scales with an extra half note in them. This half note gives the player another target note choice of where to land depending on if he uses it or not. Putting that half note in also requires an extra bit of mental work, so the running of scales becomes both more interesting and more beneficial.

For starters, practice all dominant chord-scales (mixolydian), from the 1 up to the one and back, adding a chromatic passing tone between the 7 and the 1, in other words, play both 7's. Play the exact same notes, but run up and down between the 3rds, the 5ths and the b7ths. Do this to dominant chords in all keys.

Any scale with a whole note between the 7 and the one gets the bebop tone there. So, minor 7 chords (dorian(ii7) and aeolian (i7)) could be practiced the same way. Since the ii7/dorian mode is so often paired with a following V7/mixolydian mode, ii7 in its dorian form (major 6th) a good one to start making bebop scales with, after having mastered V7's.

A good place to apply bebop scales once they are learned in ii7 and V7 is, logically, ii7/V7/I progressions. These are everywhere, of course, and should eventually be recognized immediately, even when sight-reading changes.

Perdido is a great tune to learn and is built mainly on the ii/V/I. The A sections are comprised of 2 ii/V/I's going to Bb, the bridge is a rhythm changes bridge (III7/VI7/II7/V7, 2 bars of each), and the A section repeats, typical 32-bar songform structure (AABA).


For more information on Perdido, see this article at JazzStandards.Com.  And here is Ben Webster, Oscar Peterson and the gang for you to listen to.