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I had an interesting experience last night. We invited a soprano sax player to sit in on our gig. This fellow plays quite a bit outside the harmony. I wasn't sure how to comp for that. My ear isn't good enough to pick up what he was doing on the fly and match it. Sometimes I droped out entirely becuase I thought he was better off with just a bass and drums.
In more modern pieces, it was easier. When we played Footprints, for example, quartel comping sounded just right. When we played Time Remembered, I just played a chord at the beginning of most measures and that seemed to work. But when he played odd stuff in a tune like In A Mellow Tone, where I like to have use the comping to bolster the swing feel of the piece, I just wasn't sure where to go.
It was a real challenge and a lot of fun, but I'd need to play with him a couple more times to begin to figure out how to comp more appropriately.
I'm curious too how you would comp for that. Maybe if I had presence of mind, I'd simplify the voicings to quartals. That's how I usually voice my LH when my RH goes out. But I don't know if I'd know how to react if put in your position. So comments from other more skilled would be interesting.
Lately, my challenge has been when the other players get into an unusual groove and I don't know how to phrase my lines to follow. Some tunes are turned to Jazz funk. Or some unusual latin rhythm with a lot of syncopation. The usual swing eighth note feel doesn't work. I'm still feeling my way around how to handle it. I'm beyond my comfort zome of regular swing and bossa.
I think if the horn player is going out the thing to do is to follow. There doesn't seem much point in trying to state a chord sequence if the soloist has left it behind. I like to try to match the tonal ambiguity of the soloist with my comping. Moving quartal chords around is a great way of doing that . It does take a bit of practice to be able to play chords that have nothing much to do with the written tonality and retain the original sound and sequence in mind all the time though. It is a great work out for the ears and the brain.
hey beeboss, got any more idea for triplets? I'm practicing accenting every 4th now, wasnt nearly as good at it as I thought I was..
hi kk Just try all the possible permutations. For example, grouping triplets in 3's you can try accenting 1, 2, 3, 1+2, 1+3, 2+3 then try only playing 2 of the triplets and leaving the 3rd silent, same permutations. Then grouped in 4's, try accenting just 1, 2, 3, 4, then 1+2, 1+3, 2+4 etc etc Then group in 4 but leave out one note Then group in 5's. Accent 1,2,3, etc or 1+3, etc group in 6's, then 7's ad nauseam ...
We had an awesome gig tonight and for a change the recordings were reasonable (new Zoom H4N). This is just an excerpt and only sax solo. But it gives an idea of what our band generally sounds like nowadays. We had to do 2 encores and the last one was Mustang Sally! (first ever for a jazz band?)
Tonight, we played as a quartet (with Guitar) at a new venue. This is really mostly trio since I'm playing most of the heads. It was a place that never had music before, a trendy little cafe/restaurant. We posted some posters and the restaurant put our poster on Facebook. Brought in some friends and at least 20 showed up of my friends in addition to the regular venue crowd.
The place was packed. People were already waiting for the show when I set up at 5pm (we were starting at 7pm). And the crowd was really into it. We didn't disappoint. The reception was so good. The restaurant did very well. Lots of people till their closing time. Live music isn't dead. It just needs the proper environment.
With this kind of performance, I expect they will call us back every month. And now we have a new group of fans. Some Hollywood person gave us some card about some TV show (I wonder why...).
Also we were really swinging very well. And we always do assorted rhythms including funk and latin. So every tune was done differently. The groove was a big part of it so sometimes I didn't need to solo with tons of notes. Just grooved with block chords and it worked.
I really found a group that gels. Gigs keep piling in! I'm the one pulling back since I'm getting too busy.
Anyway, I'm just posting this because maybe some of you can copy this. Seems to be a working model. Paid gig and we could have done better if I remembered to put a tip jar up there. Next time.
It's a lot of work to bring 20 friends (fans) to a venue. They have to really enjoy the music. Just because they are friends won't ensure a crowd. It's gotten to a point now that at our other regular venues, there's a regular crowd that shows up and we don't have to do anything other than post a schedule. Otherwise, the promotional work detracts from the enjoyment of playing.
On the other hand, once you build a name where you can draw a crowd (which is true now), venues want to book you left and right!
I did a lot of preparation. I made band (reusable) posters that I left at the restaurant for a month. There were 'likes' on the venue Facebook page pertaining to the gig announcement.
And all this tied to a single band name. I also gig primarily in a limited area of town so we get some localized name recognition. Marketing 101 I suppose. But I was new to this. Being the leader, it's my job to get the gigs.
Knots, yup, a couple of thousand fans, a couple of thousand plays. We actually look legitimate LOL. And new venue from last night called us back. Already talking about next month.
What's funny about all this is, I still suck...LOL.
Remember that 'Real' Jazz Club that we played at (tips only)? I don't even have time to gig there since all my other gigs pay. Granted I don't get much but the pay is just for respect of what we provde.
BTW once you get at a certain level on RN, people go to you and fan you just because of the ranking. Not that RN does anything for you. It doesn't. But it just gives the image of legitimacy.
You can see the recordings I post. They actually sound good, if you can believe that so it's not like I have to fake our performances. The comments are legitimate. If you don't believe me, listen to the other posters on RN. Most of the stuff there suck big time so in comparison to what's out there, we are considered 'serious musicians'.
Hey everyone, I've been out of the loop lately. Haven't been on the best terms with my jazz these days. But I've been checking in on the conversation. Anyway, since you all have been a great support network I wanted to share my latest project. I decided to drop the jazz thing and just try doing some free improvisation. I've always had an interest in this but just never really went after it. So just last week I recorded some stuff and it turned out better than expected. So I decided to package it up as a "record" and give it away. That said, you can find out more and download the music here...
Hey Scott Tonight I had time to listen to just your first one. You're very talented to produce that by just noodling around ! I hope it inspires you to get back into your jazz. After listening to your Comrade Conrad, it's in my list of goals for 30 years' time.