Blue Bossa

Well, it was a lighter turnout today, but we still had a lot of fun. Actually, when it's lighter we all get to play more so it works out for those of that that are regulars.

Our next jam is June 7th and the band is Dan Wallach - sax, Rand Moore - drums, John Schaffer - bass, and Paul Muench - piano. The tune is Blue Bossa. This is traditionally one of the 1st songs a jazz improvisor learns and we're doing it because we still have a number of regulars that don't know it. Ideally, we won't have sheet music on stage when we play it - it is that easy.

It is a 16 bar form and at it's most basic can be approached as C minor for 12 of the bars and Db minor for 4 bars. The next level is mastering ideas over 2-5-1 progressions in C minor and Db minor. Then you'll want to work on different rhythms to use and ways to spice up your solo to make it exciting. Listen to the pros and try to learn a few of their phrases. Here's the classic version with Joe Henderson's unique approach:

June 19-20th the Madison Music Collective Presents 6 EXCELLENT Jazz Education programs FREE for the Community

Isthmus Jazz Festival Program

for the

Fredric March Play Circle Theater

Presented by the: 



7-9pm “George Russell's Four Dimensions of Melodic Construction”

Advanced Jazz Improvisation Lecture, Performance and Workshop

George Russell was a jazz musician and music theorist whose book, " The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization for Improvisation" was revolutionary in the art of jazz improvisation. His four directions or dimensions explain all melodies that have ever been written or ever could be written. This workshop will examine each of these dimensions, using examples drawn from the distinctive styles of Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. All instruments and vocalists are welcome and encouraged to participate in this session. A full-blown jam session caps this workshop and ends the evening festivities.

Jim Erickson and Company


Film Showing: in Conjunction with the Madison Jazz Society


9-11pm “The Girls In The Band” This movie features a documentary style history of Women in Jazz. Will be followed by a discussion and/or Q & A June Dalton of Ladies Must Swing (LMS) Band and Linda Marty Schmitz, President of the Madison Jazz Society (MJS)


“Kids Program” for kids of all ages, performed by a youth ensemble

on the Memorial Union Terrace

11am - 12:30pm Black Star Drum Line "Teach Me How To Drum Line"

Joey B. Banks

Black Star Drum Line, famous for their “street beats. “Teach Me How To Drum Line” is a look into what it takes to be in a drum line and will give our audience a chance to interact and participate with the kids and performers on stage, and even play some drums.


12:30 -2pm From Pop to Jazz

Did you know that many songs considered jazz were originally pop music songs?  This session will feature pop songs from different times transformed into jazz performances. Participants will discuss how the jazz interpretations are similar to and different from the original pop versions of the songs. Whether you are new to jazz or a longtime fan this session will be easy to listen to and understand.


2:30 -4pm “The Masters of Jazz Violin”

The violin does not get much attention in the forefront of jazz and yet at it’s roots and all the way through, strings have been a vital part of jazz history.

“Lecture, performance and Q&A/workshop for those interested in learning more.”

Chris Wagoner and The Stellanovas”


4:30-5:30 Freddie Cole Stories  – Q & A

Play Circle
Friday, June 19 Activity Name
7:00-9:00pm George Russel Class
9:00-11:00 Girls in the Band: Film Showing
Saturday, June 20 Group/Activity Name
11:00am-12:00pm Joey Banks Drumline - only program on the Memorial Union Terrace
12:30-2:00 Pop to Jazz Class
2:30-4:00 Masters of the Jazz Violin
4:30-5:30 Freddy Cole - Q & A

It's Only a Paper Moon

Our next jam is Sunday, May 17th. The band is Eric Koppa - sax, Johannes Wallmann - piano, John Mesoloras - bass, and Michael Brenneis - drums. Eric chose "It's Only a Paper Moon" as our featured tune.

According to Jazz Standards the original key is G major. I have recorded versions in about 7 different keys and G major and C major seem most common.  I'm not sure which key is played most often at jams. A quick google image search reveals fake book versions for both keys. Because of this we'll probably play it twice, once in each key.

Here are two nice renditions: