Another Life – An Evening of Jazz Compositions

Band members playing in the concert
Rehearsal photo – Some of the musicians playing instruments and singing in the concert.

It’s been a busy week rehearsing for a concert  on the 12th of February with talented graduate – jazz composer, arranger, guitarist and vocalist Tom Truman.  I have the privilege of playing Saxophone in a number of Tom’s compositions – all varying complexity and styles, such as jazz, folk, blues, classical, flamenco, metal and soul. The instrumentalists playing in the concert are 3 vocalists, 2 guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and a violinist; as well as me on alto and a friend on baritone saxophone. The concert is raising money for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust who do a lot of good for the community by providing ‘Care at Home’ for local children who have a life-threatening illness.

My brain is currently flooded with chords, melodies and ideas – while practicing I stumbled on the idea of triadic pairs, for example I noticed that F# minor and E major work very well together, upon analysis the reason it worked was quite simple –  E major would be the upper extensions of the F#m chord… F# A C# E G# B, so the 7th 9th and 11th respectively.

This break away from scales would definitely make my life of practicing and playing changes a lot more interesting and hopefully easier as there’s a million scales to play over a chord at any moment but a set of two chords which always work may just make improvising over complex chord changes a little more bearable.

Doing a search online unlocked a wealth of resources and information about triadic pairs and or more advanced chord theory and information about triad pairs check out this video (Walt Weiskopf Presents a Triad Pairs Exercise) lots of ideas and information to practice.

I can only hope that they execute themselves in some form on the day.

Date:12/02/2015 Time: 6.30pm Location: Chapel of Ascension, University of Chichester, College Lane, PO19 6PE

African Night Fever takes over Westbourne

Down a dimly lit off road in Westbourne I find myself sitting pre-show taking in what is happening in a fairly affluent part of West Sussex. Dobet Gnahore and her entourage are all speaking French with a heavy African accent; the dancers come suited and booted for the cold weather in hoodies and beanies. Dobet Gnahore, her band, comprised of  great musicians Colin Laroche de Feline (guitar) , Clive Govinden(bass) & Boris Tchango (drums) are sitting around the table having a drink, with an hour till doors open and the sound check hasn’t even begun but the cheerful atmosphere makes it seem like everything is under control, they are well rehearsed and ready.

As the bar filled I don’t think anyone was ready for the night they had in store for them. Here are some pictures from the evening.

Wemsfest 2014 Westbourne club Dobet Gnahore, Na Dre Dance

From the Ivory Coast Grammy Award winner and BBC R3 music Nominee Dobet Gnahoré.