Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Portland Jazz Jams - Day After

A fun way to spend a Tuesday night - jamming at the Mississippi Pizza Parlor in Portland, Oregon with some terrific players! Pictured are Dan Presley (Bass & terrifically tall on talent!), Rob Birdwell (Trumpet/Flugelhorn), and Duncan Branom (Drums - also teaches privately); Darren Littlejohn (host and founder of Portland Jazz Jams) played guitar, along with Vince Frates on keys (who made that old spinet sing!) - they were all generous enough to read some of my originals: El Camino, TV Buddha, and Buddy Collette. My parents (Bob and Christine) came down from Vancouver (very special!) - Jeff and Mary from Portland too -- cool! ("The Thing II" - a future song title?) It was great to play - and perhaps even better: to listen to many of the outstanding players who showed their stuff - big time! There were many players of note on this particular night, but, because I'm a Trumpet player I simply must announce a radar alert for Trumpet/Flugelhorn player Russell Scott who demonstrates exceptional talent and fluidity on both horns - he's a treat to hear! (DL mentioned that Russell also plays Sax very well too....Mercy!) And the various "Sax men" (no sax women on this night... Naturally I forgot all their names - except for "Shoehorn" who has a memorable handle and nice style of playing - so I'll refer to these folks with random-associative-trait-handles) - especially liked the a liked the arc of "musical engraver dude's" Alto solos - great energy, as well as the cool Tenor lines of "tenor guy who also played a bit of piano after the jam". All in all, such a variety of styles, voices - everyone has a story...and some nice ones were told. I'm definitely inspired. Thanks again to Darren Littlejohn for hosting the Portland Jazz Jams series of events.

Hungry? Want to hear some great Jazz and support upcoming and established Jazz artists? Check out the Tuesday feature at Mississippi Pizza Parlor or any of the many other jams sponsored by Portland Jazz Jams.

Now...enough shameless blogging. Time to get back to the "shed"!


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Portland Jazz Jams - Featured Artist

I'll be the "Featured Artist" at the Portland Jazz Jams at Mississippi Pizza on Tuesday, April 18, starting at 8 PM. With Dan Presley (Bass), Duncan Branom (Drums) and who knows on Piano and/or Guitar, it will be an honor to play and I look forward to making some great music!

Portland Jazz Jams brings together many players who love making music - many thanks to Darren Littlejohn (director/founder/host of the program) for all he does.

Along with some yet-to-be-decided Jazz standards, maybe (if the players are willing) we'll sprinkle in some of my tunes:

Buddy Collette - Concert Lead (PDF)
Blackberry Blues - Concert Lead (PDF)
El Camino - Concert Lead (PDF)
TV Buddha - Concert Lead (PDF)

If I'm really lucky, Fred Berman (who works in Portland on Tuesdays) will drop on by and join me and grace everyone with his fine clarinet and/or Sax.

See you at the Jam!

Rob Birdwell

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Thataway for Early Bird Jazz Band

Here's a demo of a chart composed especially for the Early Bird Jazz Band (Linus Pauling Middle School in Corvallis, OR). We don't have any trombones this year in the band (what's up with that?!), so I tried to make the most of the terrific rhythm, trumpet, and sax sections we do have!

Thataway - Score Demo (MP3)

There's ample room to open up for solos - my own Saturday morning offering on this demo is a bit restrained, but hopefully conveys a sense that a little might actually go a long way. (I'll make a CD mix without the solo for practicing too!)

For you Early Bird Jazz members: listen to the audio demo, then cue it up again and play along!

Have fun!