I didn't see that coming. We often shrug off competition from Packer games but I didn't expect a record turnout. The room was packed for almost the entire jam and we set a record with 25 jammers! We had groups of students from West HS, Sun Prairie HS, Middleton HS, UW, a home schooled student, and lots of non-students.

The only glitch was the PA system did not work. It was hard to hear Dan and the band's comments, and made it difficult for the vocalists and flute player. Sorry about that. Hopefully it will be fixed for next time.

Our next session is Dec 1st and trumpeter Dave Cooper is our educator. He will be joined by the Rand Moore trio: Rand - drums, Paul Muench - keys, and John Schaffer - bass. The tune-of-the-week is Sandu.

Sandu is a blues in Eb written by trumpeter Clifford Brown. We played Sandu last year and you can find Dan's notes here. On this site you will find chord lead sheets, a play-along, and videos.

If you haven't started learning tunes directly from recordings Sandu is a good tune to start with. Software like Transcribe! lets you slow it down in the faster spots and makes learning a tune off a recording much easier. Listen closely to the original version by Clifford Brown. You will hear inflections, accents, etc., and remember the tune much longer. If you have the time pick out a few licks you like and practice working them into your solos.

Jam wrap up and "Night and Day"

After a jam like that I sometimes feel bad for Mary. I come home all pumped up and she has to endure my endless jabbering. I guess it's my way of reliving the fun. If you weren't there here are a few highlights:

  • For most of the jam the room was full. Better yet, there were many new young faces in the audience. Among the newcomers were 2 UW students (including a French horn!), a U of Minn student, 4 West HS students, a student from Edgewood HS, and a sixth grader from Mount Horeb. While most of the high schoolers were there just to scope it out, Marie from West HS played on quite a few tunes. After watching her have a good time the rest promised to bring their instruments next time.
  • Duane and Margie from Black River Falls made the trip again. They always sound great and their positive energy lights up the room. Vocals are a nice change of pace; vocalists you are welcome to join us!
  • Others from out-of-town were drummer Devin from Chicago and guitarist Piers from England. In the past we've had jammers from New York, New Orleans, San Antonio and other places around the country. No matter where you're from we aim to make the jam feel like home!
  • The house band sounded great as always. Highlights for me were Paul's solo on "Blame it on my Youth," and Joey's accompaniment on "Red Clay." John sounded especially melodic on his bass solos all night, and Eric was flawless as usual. He can take any tune and sound like he's been playing it his entire life.
  • It's hard to mention "Red Clay" without also mentioning Lucus' new electric bass and hand slapping skills on that same tune - jammer highlight of the night for me.


I could keep going but that's enough for now. Time to start thinking about the next jam. In 2 weeks Dan will be back as our educator/saxophonist and joined by Dave Stoler, Nick Moran, and Michael Brenneis. Another all-star lineup.

The tune-of-the-week is "Night and Day," possibly Cole Porter's most popular song. Rather than a 32 bar AABA form it is a 48 bar AAB form (some argue for ABABCB). We'll do the version found in Real Book 1 - it's in C major. A playalong, chord sheet, and youtube videos can be found on this site.

The descending chromatic chord and melody sequence is the most distinctive part of this song. Playing ideas that descend chromatically come naturally here. If you're not sure what to play listen to videos or recordings and transcribe what sounds good to you.