On the Sunny Side of the Street

The Tune-of-the-week for our upcoming jam on January 5th is "On The Sunny Side of the Street." Trombonist/vocalist Darren Sterud will be our educator and we'll have Paul Hastil on keys, John Lombardo on drums, and Lucas Koeller on bass. It's always hard to predict but with some colleges/schools on break it may be a large turnout.

You can find a playalong, chord chart pdfs, and selected videos at Learn Jazz Standards. They also use "Sunny Side..." as an example in another article about learning melodies from the record.

"Sunny Side..." has a very common bridge. It is worth practicing the bridge in all keys because you will see this bridge and variations of it in many other tunes. For a lengthy discussion about this bridge see Chapter 5 in Jerry Coker's, "Hearing the Changes."

We now have the schedule up through April of next year so you can look ahead to see who's playing and what the tunes are.

We wish you happy holidays and a happy New Year!

Body and Soul

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend. Good people, good food, good music. Hey, that sounds like the jam we had yesterday!

Our next jam is Dec 15th and Tony Barber will be back as our saxophonist/educator. He'll be joined by Johannes Wallmann on piano, Brad Townsend on bass, and Keith Lienert on drums. That's about as good as it gets!

Tony selected "Body and Soul" as the tune-of-the-week. Ballads aren't called much at jams and may be partly why the art of ballad playing is often neglected. This session will be an opportunity to develop ballad playing skills. Learning to uniquely interpret the melody is one of these skills so it wouldn't surprise me if Tony divides the melody among the soloists. That means it will pay to really learn the melody and variations.

You can find a "Body and Soul" playalong and chord sheet here. That site also has a good sampling of artists putting their spin on this classic. Listen closely to as many as you can.