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  1. #1
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    Default Microsoft Jazz Band

    Here's some footage of the MJB, now in it's fifth year. This year we are scheduled to do three gigs. Each gig has two practices. For that you get a performance like this. Pardon the lousy videography. I need to spend more time with my grandson teaching him the some of the things to look out for.
    Fun stuff that.

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    Default

    I passed those links on to my oldest daughter, who plays lead alto in the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) Jazz Band.

    When will we hear about the Battle of the Bands?!?! DAVE

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    Luv that idea. Locally we would face up against the Boeing Big Band. Now that'd be fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandalfe View Post
    Luv that idea. Locally we would face up against the Boeing Big Band. Now that'd be fun.
    Why "against"?

    Last year we did a spontaneous one with an other band - we found some common pieces in our folders and played them together. Now that was fun...
    Ben

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    Hope they were in the same key!!! DAVE

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    I have one trombone player (an older gent) has a bad habit of pulling out the wrong version of a tune (we have multiple versions, in different keys to suit different vocalists). We have gone to extreme measures to try to keep this from happening, but as long as he has the music box under his stand as well as the pulled tunes (we pull all of his music for him), he will occasionally (and without thinking) pull another version of the same chart from the box.

    I've got another trombone player detailed to keep him from doing this, but once in a while one slips through the net. Usually it's apparent pretty quickly, so it gets caught early on.

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    We have a trumpet player like that in another of my bands. 80-cough years young and he can't hear anymore. Too bad, was a killer trumpet player in New York back in the day. But we just have him play quietly and have someone babysit him. I think this is his last year as he comes to fewer and fewer rehearsals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Dolson View Post
    Hope they were in the same key!!! DAVE
    That's the Intel band: remember the original Pentium? 2+2=5 for very large values of 2 ....

    Yes, I'm the Artist Formerly Known as Saxpics.

    Check out my photoblog! Updated on September 7, 2014: Yanagisawa (a work in progress).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandalfe View Post
    Here's some footage of the MJB, now in it's fifth year.
    Let me guess ... if you fluff any part of the rehearsal, everyone must stop, disassemble their horns, reassemble them, and start over?

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    Quote Originally Posted by retread View Post
    Let me guess ... if you fluff any part of the rehearsal, everyone must stop, disassemble their horns, reassemble them, and start over?
    <Roman Guard Chuckle>
    Last edited by tictactux; 03-30-2009 at 03:42 PM.
    Ben

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    I'm setting up the next gig for the MJB at Crossroads of Bellevue 7PM, Friday 31 July. It's mostly Basie stuff. I'm paying Neil Proff, a professional director the lead tenor for this gig. I'm also paying for a videographer to do stills and a video for future publicity use. Here's the set list:

    First set:

    The Red Door
    Jump, Jive, and Wail
    Do Nothing till you hear from me – vocal
    Blue Skies – vocal
    It Could Happen to You
    String of Pearls
    88 Basie Street
    Honk
    Little Brown Jug
    Samba Del Gringo
    In the Mood
    Switch in Time
    Cry me a River – vocal
    Makin’ Whoopee – vocal
    Route 66
    Groovin’ Hard (long version)
    720 in the Books

    Second set:

    Kansas City
    Brown Baggin’ It
    Queen Bee
    The Nearness of You -vocal
    Girl from Ipanema – vocal
    Boogie, Woogie Bugle Boy
    Quintessence
    Satin Doll
    Coconut Champagne
    Basie Straight Ahead
    That Warm Feeling
    Zoot Suit Riot
    All of me – vocal
    Lady is a Tramp – vocal
    Tuxedo Junction
    Cute
    Two O’clock Jump
    Jersey Bounce
    Jumpin' at the Woodside
    Last edited by Gandalfe; 07-19-2009 at 05:11 PM.

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    Looks like a nice set. Too bad it's a long flight out.
    1972 and 1969 Vito/Yani Bari - Berg Larsen 115/1 SMS - Rico Royals
    Selmer Mark VI 170k Tenor - Custom Modern Otto Link Tone Edge 7* - Vandoren ZZ's
    Selmer Mark VI 87k Alto - Chicago Mouthpieces R Series C** - Hemke Reeds
    Rampone & Cazzani R1 Jazz Soprano - Selmer S80 D - Fibracell Reeds
    1950's Noblet - vintage Woodwind Company G8 - Mitchell Lurie Premium Reeds

  13. #13
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    Default

    Great selection of music. But I get tired just thinking of playing those long sets. Any chance of posting a link to the video on this forum?

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    Exclamation

    We program eighteen tunes per set, knowing in advance that we are likely to roll two or three of them depending on circumstances. This makes for a fifty minute set, standard practice in union situations.

    By that standard, the lists above are maybe one or two tunes too long. Nothing wrong with that.

    Some of the tunes listed are "jazzers", with extended solo passages that my group would not normally play. However, you know your audience best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SOTSDO View Post
    We program eighteen tunes per set, knowing in advance that we are likely to roll two or three of them depending on circumstances. This makes for a fifty minute set, standard practice in union situations.

    By that standard, the lists above are maybe one or two tunes too long. Nothing wrong with that.

    Some of the tunes listed are "jazzers", with extended solo passages that my group would not normally play. However, you know your audience best.
    I use the formula 3 minutes times each chart and cut as necessary. I tend to be more interested in the players than the audience but that will probably eventually change.
    Quote Originally Posted by retread View Post
    Great selection of music. But I get tired just thinking of playing those long sets. Any chance of posting a link to the video on this forum?
    I usually post the videos after the gig at http://www.youtube.com/Gandalfe.

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    More MJB footage:

    The Microsoft Jazz Band tries to fill Big Daddy's with Quincy Jones, "How Sweet it Is" off the "Basie and Beyond" CD. Guest superstars Darren Motamedy on tenor sax and Dennis Haldane on trumpet sit in for this set. I have a little alto sax solo in the middle following Carlotte Carruthers mucho goodness on the keys. Scott Small sits in on drums with a really solid feel. Summer 2010 and the concert was held on the hottest day of the year.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q3dTS5_upU

    One of these days I should police up the various MJB threads and merge them into this one.

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    I just got the rest of the videos from the Summer concert and blogged about 'Makin' Whoopee' here. The video is there too. I luv this Big Band and the people in it. It is so much fun, especially as I get to pick the music we play too.

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    Hmm... haven't updated this thread in a while. Here are some new vids for this year so far:
    Got some interesting stuff comin' off the back burner soon. Maybe some Frank Foster stuff too. :O)
    The biggest challenge is keeping the seats warm. There are two thangs here usually. One, the player realizes she/he's good and move on to a paying gig. The player realizes that the band takes too much time now with work, family, and such. Running a hobbyist band is very challenging.

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    This year we:


    • Renamed the band to "Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra"
    • Played our first gig that paid over $2000 (used the proceeds for traveling reimbursement)
    • Now have 6 ringers in the band, two of whom really helped the trombones
    • Added two world class singers, so we now have two women and for the first time a male vocalist
    • Cut the book down to ~300 from over 500 charts.


    Here's our first video of the new year: Mood Indigo

  20. #20
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    Default I'm due for a bit of book pruning myself...

    Our current total chart count is up in the 1,100 range, and to date I have only pruned some 100 of those (mostly old, tired stocks from the early 1930s plus some moldy items from the 1940s).

    With multiple acquisitions coming in the very near future, it's time to drop the duplicates (same tune, only by different arrangers), the majority of the non-vocals (my lead alto and I went to a Brian Setzer concert last night - over 3/4 of the numbers they did were non-vocal (or only girl backup vocal, clearly used as a fleshy ornament rather than for any musical value), and they were just not "interesting" either to watch or to hear), and the multiple key arrangements (most of the time, my singers gravitate to our "standard" version, rather than to an alternate key version). It's just so much dead weight in the box, never getting pulled or played.

    My numbering scheme is the one I learned in my teenaged years. The matrix is set up by taking your starting book tunes, arranged in alphabetic order (with articles and such suppressed; "A Kiss In The Dark" becomes "(A) Kiss In The Dark", and is in the Ks) and numbering them with odd numbers, starting with "3". So, the first series of charts would include the tunes 3, 5, 7, 9, 11...all the way up to 327.

    Then, any new charts are slotted in between these milestones, usually with a letter added to better space them out. A tune falling between the 3 and 5 charts would be assigned either a number like "3G", "2" or "2Z", depending on where the name falls in the alphabetic series already established.

    Doing it this way allows for several things. including a more or less infinitely expandable number system (particularly crowded in our system is the "228" series of charts - we have a 228YA, 228Y"Oh", and a 228ZA to deal with). It also allows for a rough dating of the age of the chart - odd numbered charts date way back, even numbered ones in the middle distance, and the ones like "228ZA" relatively modern.

    In the series of charts that we pulled this Saturday for an upcoming job, I noted only three tunes (out of a total of some fifty four to sixty charts, including some allowed for requests and the like) with odd numbers without a letter after them. Of those, two of them were part of our first job (when the book numbered less than a hundred charts).

    (I forgot to add that we use "Oh" for the letter O and "Eye" for the letter I - no chance of confusing them with 1 and zero.)

    I used to have people pull their own music, but we have learned that when we did that, someone invariably pulled the wrong chart (our Misty charts are all clustered around 230-something). Some of my sidemen are older, hearing (and seeing) impaired, so mistakes can be made.

    So, we now bring all of the boxes (twenty two or so of them, vocals included), pull the charts (and resort the rest of their books in the process), replace any lost charts (vocal charts are particularly susceptible to this, as the thrushes have a tendency to "borrow" and not replace charts that need work), and sort them all into set order into our plastic, color coded set folders.

    It's a lot more physical labor that way, but an approach that's free of any of the complications involved when entrusting something relatively complex to twenty-odd people. (It also enables a sub to come in the door and play the charts, without the complications of finding them in an unfamiliar book.)

    But, Lordy, do I hate to break the trailer out and move all of those black boxes...

    (Oh, and we get a lot more than $2,000 an appearance. Other than for a connected charity job (through one of our members - regularly charity jobs get billed at the rate card rates), I don't drop down anywhere near that figure. Still, you go with what your market will bear.)

  21. #21
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    Fascinating and even daunting considering how much work goes into a concert. That's the difference between a pro band and our hobbyist band. Terry, do you know our trumpet lead Bill Sheehan, formerly of the Artie Shaw and Basie bands?

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    Default Nope, but bear in mind...

    ...that I am not local to the Houston area. The only acquaintances we have developed here are those who play in our group, plus a limited number of people (diminishing every day) that we met through work. (We're both retired.)

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