Women’s Jazz & Blues Camp

This week I am participating at the Women’s Blues and Jazz Camp in Berkeley’s Jazz school, and boy what an experience! We have some great teachers pouring information in our brains, and I am quite happy to play in both blues and jazz ensembles during these three days I was able to participate. Session with saxophones only as well as some percussion sessions are included into my schedule, as well as theory and improvisation. Nice. I could definitely get used to spending all my days jamming with other lady musicians! 🙂

Some songs we practice with the ensembles: If I Were a Bell, On The Sunny Side of the Street, Honeysuckle Rose and Secret Love and ooooh, I played my third ever prima vista today with the latter, and with a band! Couldn’t feel much better about that! 😀

Ode to Thelonious Monk

My piano teacher made me practice this song with piano lately, and it has not only been super fun but also brought me some new understanding to chords which has been great. I have to say the more I listen to Monk the more I appreciate his approach to jazz. He swings like nobody’s business -I dare to say that while listening his recordings I finally really understand what Ariel means by saying that playing jazz is pushing and pulling- and manages to be simultaneously cool as hell and hot as Sauna! The rhythm!

More songs from Monk – both of the songs, Blue Monk and Round Midnight, are amongst my favorite tunes. Not to forget Straight No Chaser which I’ve lately been practicing with sax.

Road to hell is paved with good intentions…

Today I had a great plan for practice: to go through the whole setlist of mine with one go. Would’ve been a great plan, too, if only I hadn’t gotten this splitting headache that forced me to quit before 2 hours were full. Note to self: if you have a tiny headache before practice, take that darn ibuprofen or do something with the ache, since blowing horn might bring the little headache to near migraine.

Maybe tomorrow, then!

Straight, No Chaser

This Thelonius Monk’s song has caused me some grey hair lately. The melody itself is quite simple, but there’s a little twist in the rhythm towards the end of phrase which has caused my fingers tumbling clumsily around the so called spoons. Today I finally nailed it, with the metronome 140Bpm. Of course in this Monk’s recording the song is faster, so more practice is in order!

I also finally practiced the melody to Parker’s My Little Suede Shoes. It’s been one of the jam session songs forever and so far I’ve played part of the melody by ear, and long harmony notes to the places I didn’t quite know how the melody goes, but now finally I pulled that together, too.

Other musical adventures include piano -we went through Monk’s Dream last time and my teacher kicked my ass to practice more scales. And I have a new project, a duo using laptops and Ableton as instruments, mixing samples with acoustic stuff. So it’s almost like learning three instruments simultaneously. I definitely have my work cut for this spring!