Our next jam is September 6th, during Labor Day weekend. If you aren't squeezing in your final trip of the summer join us at the Fountain where "Summertime" is our featured tune of the week.

This is another of those must know tunes and luckily it isn't difficult to learn.  UW Music Professor John Schaffer says a blues usually has a statement repeated twice followed by a different concluding statement. Summertime has three similar statements followed by a different concluding statement. It also moves to the four chord in bar five, another common trait of many blues. Although some might not agree, I think it's safe to say "Summertime" is a blues.

We will play it in A minor. You can use the pentatonic or blues scale liberally but you'll want to mix that up with following the changes to keep it interesting. Listening to recordings should give you lots of ideas. This song has been done in just about any way you can imagine: fast, slow, bluesy, rockin, funk, etc. You want to know it well enough to be able to adapt in the moment if it should head off in one of these directions. Here are three very different versions:


You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To

For our next jam on August 16th we feature the Cole Porter standard, "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To." I love that title and I'm glad the music lives up to it. The form is A1-B-A2-C and like many Porter tunes it shifts between minor and major sounds and spends time in both the relative major and minor (Am and Cmaj). Emphasizing these shifts and working ideas over the various 2-5 progressions is a good idea.

Depending on your lead sheet you may notice diminished chords leading into a minor chord a half step above. You may find it easier to think of these as V7 chords, eg, D#dim to Em becomes B7 to Em. This makes sense because the 3-7-5-b9 of B7 forms a D#dim chord.

There are many great recordings of this tune. Art Pepper's is the one that turned me onto this song. Here it is: