Thursday, November 15, 2007

Maiden Voyage (Slight Return)

After faffing about and making excuses of one sort or another I finally dragged myself down to the Matt and Phreds monthly jazz jam run by sax player Ed Kainyek last Monday. My first experience of this was a good year ago now and hadn't gone too well but that's the way it goes with jams I guess.

This Monday went pretty well I'm pleased to say. First up was a slightly funky version of 'Maiden Voyage' that I think was great. I'm historically a trained funkster having been part of the London 'Acid Jazz' scene when I had the luxury of being a full time musician. Not surprisingly then, this sort of vibe sits nicely under my fingers and I can generally pull it off pretty well. After this track Gavin Barras joined us on bass. We agreed it was nice to finally get to get to play together after having met a little while ago. He seemed into the Maiden Voyage vibe which was good to hear. We then had a crack at 'My Favourite Things'. We did the straight form version without the Coltrane E-7 to F#-7 long modal vamp so it was medium concentration all the way. It's quite a long form without many harmonic signposts so fairly easy to get lost in, but it more or less hung together. By no means my most inspired improv but no disgrace either.

It was great to catch up with pianist Sam Smith of Mrs Columbo, recently returned to Manchester after a years sojourn at the Birmingham Conservatoire. He was a great player before he went and continues to get even better. We had a good chat about various inspirational books on music. It was the first time I've come across house band drummer Ben Gray who seemed a pleasant chap. On the last track of the second set (can't remember it's name) I got up with Jo McCallum and local stalwart, drummer Rob Turner. It was another groove track that I hadn't played before with a few key shifts but looked manageable. It ended up being a long version so I passed on the improv (or I had my head down at the wrong time or something).

All in all a pretty good evening and I'm looking forward to getting out again. Next stop I think will be Ed's weekly jam at The King's Arms in Salford if it's still going.

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