Congratulations to Kai Craig!

Great news from DYJO alumnus drummer Kai Craig – he’s been offered scholarships to both Guildhall and the Royal Academy of Music! Kai’s been putting in serious work since he left DYJO, and to get offers from both of these prestigious London conservatoires is a fantastic reward for that work. The Royal Academy of Music Jazz course is particularly hard to get into, as each year there is just one place awarded, so we are all incredibly proud of Kai. And of course, our very own Matt Carter is already there, studying piano!

I’m sure we all wish Kai the very best of luck for his preparations for next September, and the next exciting chapter in his drumming life!

DYJO2 goes back to 1970…

Most people who know me will also know that I have a bit of a thing about Count Basie’s music – not least because there is no-one who has ever had a band who swung like Basie’s. And for me, swing’s the thing.

Well, one member of Basie’s band in the 1950s was the great trumpeter Thad Jones, who also turned his hand to arranging for the band. Later on he formed his own band, with the drummer Mel Lewis, and like Basie, groove was at the heart of his style. But he also employed a very rich harmonic style, and put in angular melodic lines that would not have been Basie’s bag.

The Thad Jones Mel Lewis Big Band really flourished in the late 60s and early 70s, and turned out classic albums such as Consummation, from 1970. One of the charts from that album is ‘Ahunk Ahunk’, and today DYJO2 started to get to grips with this classic in 5/4 (the same time signature as the more famous ‘Take Five’).

We’re not quite ready to record it just yet, but in the meantime, do have a listen to the original: