26-2, After You’ve Gone, Star Eyes,

The last month has been a productive one in the combo. We have had a variety of different chairs not showing up for work reasons or personal reasons, but the good part has been that if the piano player does not show up for a session, then the remaining members get a piece of me as I play piano for the session. If the drummer is missing I am playing drums, and when a horn player does not show up I don’t play horn, but I play vibes with the guitar. Basically with the absences we have every time maintained a full rhythm section. Thank god Toru the bass player has not been absent or I would be walking bass lines on the piano for 2 hours. Or we would get Dave to sub of course.
We have pulled out some new tunes like 26-2, After You’ve Gone, Star Eyes, one of my originals, and others. Actually my original turned out to be a huge challenge for this group. It is essentially a blues with some interesting rhythm hits, and structure as well as altered dominant harmony. The toughest part for the players is the rhythmic structure, and the intro which has a vamp consisting of 7sus4 chords. Otherwise known as 11 chords. The sus concept is new and slightly more advanced than the 2-5-1 concepts, and blues. So it has created some challenges rhythmically and harmonically. We have discussed how the sus substitutes for the 2 or 5 chord in any key region, and the scales and chord outlines that can be used. The stopping and teaching of harmonic language concepts is something I do often in the sessions as I feel this obligation to teach the depth of the language rather than just sit and listen to everyone play. It is important to me that everyone grows harmonically, and rhythmically. I always sort of apologize to the drummer while spending 10 minutes discussing these things, it sort of leaves Eric our drummer out of it a bit as the drums are not involved in the harmonic scheme, but Eric always seems to suck all the information in and seems to enjoy the discussions. Of course we play a lot in a 2 hour session as well. Finding that balance is my challenge!! Below is a copy of my blues entitled “Angular Blues” It presents many possibilities.