Hello Whitehorse Middle School musicians!

This is a beginning, I'd like to introduce myself, I'm Laurie Lang bassist and composer and a musician coming to do a jazz residency with you and your orchestra. I'd like to invite all Whitehorse String kids to dialog with me as i work on jazz charts for the tunes we'll play together and some with just a professional group.

You are welcome to ask questions here or give me ideas to make the arrangements better.

Our Tunes will be:

C Jam blues (in the key of D)

My Favorites Things - in E minor (modal)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

and a free improv tune that we'll play together.

Here is a photo of my family. We have a band, my 2 girls both started on violin but now 1 plays mandolin, ukulele, guitar, saxophone and trumpet and the other ukulele, piano and some drums. My husband plays sax and harmonicas and we all sing pretty well.


But Not For Me

Our next jam is September 18th and the band is Ken Hoffman - sax, Doug Brown - guitar, Matt Rodgers - bass, and John Lombardo - drums. If you are a guitarist, take advantage of this opportunity to play without bringing your own amp. You can use Doug's.

Our featured tune is Gershwin's, "But Not For Me." Let's say you've listened to a number of recordings, memorized the head and changes, and can play a decent solo. What else is there to work on? Try to work out an ending. Some common endings are tags, vamps, and the A Train ending. One type of vamp involves looping a 2-5-3-6 progression. That ending works well on this song. Play the usual 2-5 cadence but land on 3 instead of  1. Then move to 6 and back to the 2-5. Loop as many times as desired and end with a clear ending idea. Confused? Listen to this version below by Stitt and Ammons and you'll hear what I mean. These endings generate excitement in the listener and are fun for the musicians.



December 15 - Whitehorse Middle School String Jazz

Jon Vriesaker, Chris Wagoner, Mary Gaines, John Becker and Laurie Lang will join with the students of Jessica Wahl at Whitehorse Middle school for a great couple days of fun and improvisation traveling from Duke Ellington Blues to John Coltrane Modal and free jazz.

Watch for more about this!

jon-vsnroadduocropLaurie-promo July 2011

John Becker
John Becker