Tune Up next time at The Rigby

It continues to look like The Rigby is going to be a great venue for the jam. All I've heard is positive remarks about the location, room, and food. The house band is happy, jammers are happy, and even the bartender told me how glad he was to work today.

The audience was appreciative as well. We had a larger group of fans than usual, some of them popped up from the bar below and hooted and hollered with enjoyment. It was lively and the music....whew.... it was happening! At one point local pros Darren Sterud, Dan Flynn, and Ken Hoffmann made for an all-star front line. New to town, Lawrence, wailed on his soprano sax and showed he could hang with the pros, too.

The fun will continue at our next jam on March 6th and there is never any drop off in our house band, one all-star group after another. The band will be Dave Stoler - keys, John Mesoloras - bass, John Lombardo - drums, and Eric Koppa - sax. The featured tune is "Tune-Up."

"Tune-Up is credited to Miles Davis and is another song with 2-5-1 progressions descending by whole step. It is basically a 16 bar song with a 1st and 2nd ending. A chord sheet and playalong are available at Learn Jazz Standards. The 1st ending (bars 13-16) may seem unusual. There are several ways to think about these 4 bars and I suggest reading this forum thread if you want to learn more. At many jams this song is played very fast but we'll play it medium to make it less intimidating.

Here are 2 videos to listen to. First up is Miles, followed by Chris Potter playing solo.  The Chris Potter clip should keep you from becoming complacent, give you something to shoot for. :)


Next jam at The Rigby

A lot has changed in the last 24 hours. We found out yesterday Bourbon St Grille is closed, I met with the owner of The Rigby this morning, and we held our first jam there this afternoon.  It's really nice.... you are going to like it.

The Rigby is at 119 E. Main St in downtown Madison. Although it is downtown, parking is not a problem; it is away from the Overture Center and all the hubbub. Today, there were plenty of spots on the street. For long time Madison residents, this is the location of the old Casbah restaurant. You enter on the 1st floor and go up the back stairs to the 2nd floor. It seats 40 people comfortably and has more standing room if needed. There is a nice stage for the band, the room acoustics are very natural, and the food today was very good.

Rigby Stage
Our first jam at The Rigby (photo by Pete Mooney)


It was kind of amazing we were able to have the jam today. We are super thankful to the band: John Lombardo - drums, Francis Deck - bass, Mark Ramirez - keys, and Ken Hoffman - sax. These guys filled in at the last moment and the music was as good as ever.

We'll be back again on Feb 21st. The band is Paul Dietrich - trumpet, Mark Davis - keys, Rand Moore - drums, and John Schaffer - bass. The featured tune is Clifford Brown's, "Sandu," an Eb blues. It's nice to know a blues in something other than Bb or F, and this tune is commonly played at jam sessions. Here's the original:


Jam today at The Rigby

It's been a crazy 24 hours. Yesterday, we found out Bourbon St Grille was closed. This morning I met with Angie at The Rigby in downtown Madison and made arrangements for the jam to continue there. The craziest part is we're going to hold our 1st jam there today!

Unfortunately, most of the originally scheduled band had made other plans by the time I reached them with the news today. So the new lineup is  John Lombardo - drums, Mark Ramirez - keys, and Ken Hoffmann - sax.

The Rigby is at 119 E. Main St in downtown Madison. We are up on the second floor. It is a great space! They serve burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

I'll post more about it later. Please join us today! Between the Super Bowl and chaos of moving the jam it will likely be a light turnout - that means you'll get to play more.


Jam canceled - Bourbon St Grille closed

I'm sorry to report the Bourbon St Grille is closed and tomorrow's jam is cancelled. According to Liz, the manager, the owner died unexpectedly in November. Liz is trying to buy the restaurant but in the meantime the owner's widow changed the locks and closed it. We are looking for a new location and we'll post again when we have more information.