Every Residential we like to use part of the time here to explore an aspect of music or learning that we haven’t explored elsewhere, but that can illuminate the music we are playing now or in the future.
So, in the past we’ve had sessions on, for instance, samba, and tap dance. This year, following an outing to Taunton to hear the Pete Long Big Band play its Ellington show, we asked Pete if he’d come and direct a couple of sessions on early jazz. We’re grateful to John Packer of Taunton for sponsoring these sessions, following on from their support of Pete’s concert in Taunton.
DYJO2 worked on the early Basie tune Jumpin’ At The Woodside. Pete spent some time settling the rhythm section into a tight Basie groove and sound, then worked on getting tight, punchy riffs. And then he worked on soloing, using major pentatonic scales, after which several players put that into practice in an exciting closing performance.
After a break, Pete worked with DYJO on Sing Sing Sing. Each of the sections were put through their paces, in no uncertain fashion(!), with Pete coaxing amazing sounds out of each section.
Both sessions moved along at a relentless pace, and somehow, even after nearly three days of activity, all the players summoned the energy to respond to Pete’s impassioned leadership.
And now: just our end of course ‘giglette’, and the chance to show off some of the stuff we’ve been working on over these three days.