MJJ's new home

MJJ is back! We’re joining forces with Our Middleton Jazz Jam to hold a new jam session! From here on out, we’ll meet at Common Ground (2644 Branch Street, Middleton) on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. If you haven’t been to Common Ground yet, come out to check out our new location and play some music!

If you liked the old MJJ, you’ll like this one better. Common Ground is a great location, with a nice room, a stage, and PA. And unlike our previous location, it has FOOD!

The merger of our two organizations is a no-brainer. Both of our groups are dedicated to helping community members learn to play jazz in an inviting, supportive setting. We both seek to showcase and support the talented local musicians who make up our house bands. And both of us hope to further enrich the great music scene in the Madison area.

In the coming months we'll be tinkering with things a bit: we're looking at ways to enhance our educational offerings; we might change the name and website; we might change the start or end times of the event. But otherwise, this is the jam session you know and love, back superb new surroundings!

It's been a couple months since we've seen you. Come play with us at Common Ground!


CORRECTION: MJJ and Isthmus Jazz Festival, June 16, 2019

Madison's own Lynette Margulies will appear in lieu of Adekola Adedapo at the June 16 meeting of the Madison Jazz Jam. As part of the 2019 Isthmus Jazz Festival, Madison Jazz Jam is proud to feature a special performance by vocalist Lynette Margulies, backed by local luminaries Ken Hoffman (ts), Johannes Wallmann (pno), John Schaffer (bs), and Joey B. Banks (dr). We’ll follow Lynette's performance with two sets of our regular jam session. The jam takes place at North Street Cabaret, 610 North Street, Madison, from 4:00 to 7:00pm. As always, there is no cover.

The Madison Jazz Jam is open to musicians of all ages who would like to learn from the best players in the area. We are an educational jam session – low key and supportive – founded to promote improvised music while supporting the many talented players who enrich our lives in Madison. Whether you are an experienced player or a beginner, you will find a welcoming community and wonderful opportunities to celebrate improvised music at MJJ.

We extend a special invitation to vocalists to come out for Lynette's set and to stick around to sing with the band afterward. If you are vocalist, or if you know any vocalists who’d like make some music with us, please spread the word and join us on June 16!

For regular updates on MJJ events and featured tunes, make sure to like us on Facebook!


Isthmus Jazz Festival/MJJ June 16, 2019

The Madison Jazz Jam is proud to participate in the 2019 Isthmus Jazz Festival with a special performance by veteran Milwaukee vocalist, Adekola Adedapo, on June 16. Adekola will open this week's jam session with a full set of classic American songs, backed by local luminaries Ken Hoffman (ts), Johannes Wallmann (pno), John Schaffer (bs), and Joey B. Banks (dr). We'll follow Adekola's performance with two sets of our regular jam session. The jam takes place at North Street Cabaret, 610 North Street, Madison, from 4:00 to 7:00pm. As always, there is no cover.

The Madison Jazz Jam is open to musicians of all ages who would like to learn from the best players in the area. We are an educational jam session - low key and supportive - founded to promote improvised music while supporting the many talented players who enrich our lives in Madison. Whether you are an experienced player or a beginner, you will find a welcoming community and wonderful opportunities to celebrate improvised music at MJJ.

We extend a special invitation to vocalists to come out for Adekola's set and to stick around to sing with the band afterward. If you are vocalist, or if you know any vocalists who'd like make some music with us, please spread the word and join us on June 16!

For regular updates on MJJ events and featured tunes, make sure to like us on Facebook!


MJJ seeks a new venue

MJJ will no longer take place at North Street Cabaret. Our last jam at North Street takes place on June 16, 2019 as part of the Isthmus Jazz Festival. (Details on the Isthmus Fest show are forthcoming.) We have canceled our sessions scheduled for June 2 and July 7 as we look for a new venue. We have some leads on new homes, but if you have suggestions we'd love to hear them. Just leave a comment here.

We'll you posted on our search. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Mike


May 5, 2019

On deck for our May 5 meeting are a great house band: Paul Dietrich (tpt), Johannes Wallmann (pno), Laurie Lang (bs), and Rodrigo Villanueva (dr). Featured tunes will be "Joy Spring" and "On Green Dolphin Street."

We look forward to seeing you at North Street Cabaret on the 5th!


4/21/19 jam canceled

We scheduled a session on Easter by accident. We'll return as usual on May 5.


April 7, 2019

This will be a quick one. At the next MJJ we'll luxuriate in the sounds of Paul Dietrich (tpt), Doug White (pno), Lucas Koehler (bs), and Rodrigo Villanueva (dr). The featured tunes are "April in Paris" and "My Romance." Things will be swinging.

If you're looking for something to do on Thursday, March 28, you should come out to North Street Cabaret to see the great Dave Cooper with his quartet of Jonathan Greenstein (ts), John Christensen (bs), and Devin Drobka (dr). You will learn by listening to these gentlemen. And if you miss them on the 28th, you'll have a chance to catch them at Arts+Literature Lab the following night, Friday, March 29.


March 17, 2019

This week we begin a new cycle of the Madison Jazz Jam. That means we have a new set of featured tunes and new configurations of all-star house bands. See the Schedule page for house bands and featured tunes through July

When picking featured tunes, I've chose three themes for this cycle: songs about spring and summer; Sonny Rollins tunes; and songs associated with Bill Evans. Remember that playing the featured tunes is not in any way required of people who attend MJJ. We pick featured tunes for each session solely to provide ideas for you to practice if you don't have anything else that you'd like to play. You can call these tunes at the jam, or you can play something else entirely if you choose.

Our house band for the March 17 session is: Mike Hackett (tpt); Doug White (pno); Francis Deck (bs); John Lombardo (dr). We're happy to welcome Mike Hackett, making his first appearance as a house band member at MJJ. Featured tunes are the venerable ballad, "Stormy Weather" and Sonny Rollins's classic rhythm changes tune, "Oleo."

We look forward to seeing and hearing you at North Street Cabaret in Madison on 3/17/19!


February 3, 2019

We meet again on February 3 to play with Ken Hoffman (ts), Dave Stoler (pno), John Mesoloras (bs) and Rodrigo Villanueva (dr). The featured tunes are Miles's "Freddie Freeloader" and Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye." The former is a straight-up, I-IV-V, mid-tempo blues in Bb that appeared on Kind of Blue. The only wrinkle is that each chorus resolves to Ab7 rather than Bb7. The latter is an old tune that I first encountered on Coltrane's My Favorite Things album. The tricky thing about this one in my opinion is that the melody in the first half of each section is a single pitch. It's not easy to play several bars of the same note while sustaining interest and not sounding lame. The lead sheet for this tune is in Real Book III.

We'll see you at North Street Cabaret on February 3! FYI the February 17 jam is canceled due to a prior booking at North Street.

 

Mike


January 20, 2019

Join Paul Dietrich (tpt), Paul Muench (pno), Ben Ferris (bs), and Matt Endres (dr) for our next session. The featured tunes are Miles's "All Blues" and Billy Eckstine's "I Want to Talk about You."

Most everybody knows "All Blues," a 6/8 blues in G that appeared on Kind of Blue. It differs from other blues numbers in part in that you play both the V7 and bVI7 in bars 9 and 10. In other words, Miles has us play a bar of D7, then three beats of Eb7 and three of D7 before returning to the I. The last time we played this as a featured tune, trumpeter Dave Cooper suggested combining D7 and Eb7 arpeggios into a single scale to play over both chords (I guess that would be a half-whole diminished scale?).

I know "I Want to Talk about You" from Coltrane's Soultrane album. A lead sheet for this pretty tune is available here. There's also a backing track on iRealPro. The tune looks pretty basic, but it might take some work to memorize the progression.

We had a great jam at North Street Cabaret this past Sunday on the 6th, and we look forward to seeing you again next week!