Jazz Standards Wkshp

We spent a portion of the class working on phrasing – trying to leave space at the end of our ideas, listening to what we just played, and whats happening around us in the rhythm section, and then start a new idea/phrase.  Playing without breathing or leaving space diminishes the value and effect of your ideas and also makes it difficult for the band members to interact and ‘comment’ musically on your solo.  Along the sames lines, we also spent some time picking a short rhythmic motive (2 – 4 notes/hits, tops) and using that to plug in our melodic material, trying to work with short, concise, rhythmically confident ideas with space in between.

As we didn’t have a drummer this past session, we also worked on comping – thinking more like a drummer – punctuating the spaces in the solo, reacting rhythmically and having a conversation with the soloist.  Again, trying to play with rhythmic precision and confidence, so the band members always know (and feel!) where your comping hit is … strong, not tentative.  
Attached is a link to a recording of one of the tunes we have been playing in the ensemble:
This I Dig of You – Hank Mobley
We looked at Mr. Kenyatta briefly by Lee Morgan, will play it more next session – here is a recording:  

The class also played through Impressions (working on counting bars, keeping the form, deceptively hard because of all the bars with the same chord(s); and Body and Soul.)
Kenny Wessel