On March 4th and 5th, I had the opportunity to work with a middle school jazz band made up of students from all over western Colorado. The students were selected from among many musicians, and were generally the best players at each of their schools. They were also psyched about playing jazz. Crunked, even. We rehearsed for about 6 hours on Friday and Saturday, and performed for the public on Saturday evening. Friday evening saw a clinician concert and jam session at Dos Gringos, in Carbondale. Clinicians, students, band directors, and adult Jazz Workshop members all sat in. The place was packed, and the music was exceptional.
Our last two sessions (Combo 1, on March 10, and Combo 2, on March 17th) were spent playing exercises and tunes in minor. The modes of the melodic minor scale are beginning to come into focus while playing ii7b5 - V7+9 - i(maj7)s. We had relatively small groups, and could do a lot with playing fours, duets, trading choruses. We used extensively the metronome on two and four. Some of the tunes we played were: 1. Blue Bossa, 2. Softly as in a Morning Sunrise, 3. What is This Thing Called Love, 4.Woody 'n You, 5. Blues, 6. Tune Up.