The very first jazz organ concert I ever attended was in my late teens in my hometown of Borlänge, and one of the songs played that night was Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man”. It was was my soon to be mentor Pierre Swärd and his trio that played and it launched my passion for the Hammond sound. Since Herbie Hancock had his 81st birthday this week I thought it would be a nice way to start the with “Watermelon man”. Then a song for Bessie Smith – “Nobody knows you when you’re down and out”.
Next week, in my “Jazz at the HQ” series I will do a concert with the duo “Apan & Grisen”, featuring also drummer Daniel Olsson. We’ll be playing mostly my own music, so to give a taste of that I put “Danslåten” (the dancing song) in the set.
Another birthday this week was British guitarist and singer Dave Edmunds. My dad had a few records of his that were played a lot when I grew up. There was one record “Riff raff” that we had on cassette and a vinyl single “Singing the blues”. So I played first “How could I be so wrong” from iff raff and then Singing the blues. It used to be my dad’s favorite tune so this one was especially for him.
On the last stream when talking about Henri Mancini I was asked if if knew the Pink Panther theme. I know the melody very well of course but haven’t played it much so I looked it a little more and had fun playing it here.
Then another blues for Bessie Smith. And many others of course. I’d say you don’t need any special reason to play St Louis blues. It’s such a nice tune.
Earlier in the week there was the anniversary (62nd I think) of Jurij Gagarin’s trip to space. I came to think of the Swedish trio EST, with Swedish piano player Esbjörn Svensson who sadly passed away far too early some years back. They did a song called “From Gagarin’s point of view”. I think that’s a great title for a song and it really fits the composition. Makes you think – what did he see and think up there where noone had gone before. A bit of a challenge to play the song on the organ but it worked out well.
Then to another one of my favorite organ players – Latrry Goldings. Here is one of his earlier compositions – Slo-Boat. A song I have always liked very much.
Then for the finish – another tribut to Herbie Hancock with Chameleon. A fun song to play because yuu get to use the whole pedal board the the whole organ.
The set started out honoring Stanley Turrentine by playing his tune “Sugar”. A nice minor bluesy tune to get things going. Then a song for Reuben Wilson, “Hot rod”. Just a 2 bar funky groove that serves as the basis for improvisation. And those 2 bars can be repeated a lot of times before you get tired of them!
If Billie Holiday were alive she would have been 106 this tuesday. On the Wednesday concert, me and Claes Janson played a song to her and I thought I pick some other tunes from her catalog. The first of them – “Lover man”, here in quite a bluesy version.
Then a song for Joey D. There’s a lot to choose from but I thought of a blues from his album “Relentless” with Danny Gatton. It’s called “Blues on the half shell”, We used to play it in a quartet long ago and I always liked that tune.
At this point I felt like calming things down a little so I took out an arrangement of “What a wonderful world” that I did a couple of years ago that I’ve been playing mostly with Kiralina Trio.
During the week I’ve also been listneing to Carmen McRae and I realized I haven’t heard that much from her catalog. One song that she does that I really like is “Just a little lovin'” so I decided to play that.
A Duke Ellington song that I have always liked but never played is “Solitude”. Well suited tfor these times as many have experienced more solitude than usual.
Then for the second Defrancesco tune. An alternate theme to Cherokee the he wrote quite long ago. It’s called “Reboppin'” and I’ve played it a lot over the years. But if you haven’t platyed in a while – it’s kind of tricky to get it back in your fingers!Bye bye blackbird 1:04:22
Then there were some requests that I thought was fun. My cohost Tobi suggested “Bye bye blackbird”.which I like very much. Then someone suggested a Lonnie Smith song of my own choice. So I ended the whole session by playing his “Big fat Mama”
I always liked Easter holiday. Such a welciome break from daily life in the middle of spring. A few days where everything slows down and gives you time to reflect and meet family and friends. This Easter was a little different of course but still nice in many ways. Since the day of the stream coincided with the birthday of Jimmy McGriff, finding a themee wasn’t that hard.
I thought I’d start with an uptempo blues of his, “Hello Betty”. It has the feeling of a theme song, thus a natural way to kick things off. After that one of his funkier tunes, “The bird”. I remember this song particularly from when I was doing military service. They had that vinyl in the library and I used to listen to it when I had the time.
An Easter tradition in Sweden is that children go around dressed as witches, hand out drawings of bunnies. chicken and witches and get candy in return. So I thought I’d have my own little candy handout in for of songs that has been requested. First up- Doxy. A nice tune that I used to play long ago.
Also, this week saw the birthday of Eric Clapton so I thought I’d play one of his songs. To slow things down a little, “Tears in heaven” was a nice choice.
And then for something completely different – another birthday this week was Herb Alpert. So, next on the set list, in his honor was Tijuana taxi. A fun song for sure, as someone wrote in the comments.
Earlier in the week I had my first online rehearsal. It was with the band Boheme, that will do a concert in the Jazz at the HQ series in he beginning of May. It was tso nice to revive songs repertoire of that trio so Idecided to put one of those songs in here. “Watching the river flow”, a Bob Dylan song, but played more in the style that Steve Gadd does on a record with Joey DeFrancesco, among others.
Next candy handout – “The vibrator” by Jack McDuff that had been requested a few weeks earlier. A song I hadn’t heard before. nice blues tune on a beat.
And then it was time to calm things down again. When playing with Kiralina Trio, she often sings “Nature boy”, and I always like the mood of that song.
And for the finish – a few more Jimmy McGriff tunes. One of my favorite records of his is “A bag full of soul”, and one of the songs on that album is “D.B. blues part I”. A gosply blues with some great block chords in the B section. Love that tune. And as an encore, maybe one of his most famous sngs – All about my girl.