JD on the Box II

Saturday, September 06, 2003
Two hours inside, one outside, both on the short side. Rarer tunes included:
Klezmer: Coal and Skyliner Khosidl.
Rags: Weeping Willow, Elite Syncopations, Bohemia Rag, Swipesy Cakewalk.
Musette: Mysterieuse, Indifference, a good Waltz Chinois, others
Tin Pan Alley: Ain't Misbehaving, Teddy Bear Picnic, Ace In The Hole.
Choro: Vou Vivendo, Apanhei-Te Cavaquinho
Country: Blackberry Blossom, others
Classical: Radetzky March, Estudiantina, La Paloma
Irish: varied

Listening this week was mostly Klezmer. Practiced Chopin's Minute Waltz, Pryor's "Whistler and his Dog", Russishe Sher (the tritone one), varied Strauss waltzes and pre-1910 Tin Pan Alley.

Monday, September 01, 2003
Probably the best session yet at the Farmers Market. Started early, did two hours inside, then a breakfast break (great tortillas at Primavera!), and an hour outside. Then did a few tunes with The Tanglers (Lucas, Sarah, fiddler Jay, no bones with Jeff) before heading home.

On Sunday I got 90 minutes or so in the Arboretum, people smiling and nodding as they passed.

Lots of solo practice in addition this weekend... fun.

For tunes I didn't have much of my head Saturday and couldn't do much with rags and choros... better with musette I knew and country/jazz stuff which I could improv. Started out with "Makin' Whoopee", which I hadn't done before (I've got a ton of tunes like "My Blue Heaven", "Blues for Dixie", "Lovely Day Today" that I haven't done much with there). Tried "Radetzky March" but couldn't remember it Saturday... got it going Sunday and it was infectious, but it sure was a ride to remember the phrases. No paso dobles, but a good amount of Klezmer... "Ma Yofus", "Light and Lively", one or two others. Played that Bob Wills "Schottische" which was fun.

On Sunday I did get "Vou Vivendo" (Pixinguinha), but it took a lot of concentration... believe I'll be able to work it in the future, and I definitely want to add more Brazilian to the mix.

During practice I've been having a lot of fun with the Real Little Classical Fakebook... Strauss waltzes are wonderful... I've got to get "Entry of the Gladiators" back... Sousa needs to fit in there... "Waves of the Blue Danube"... playing a lot of waltzes this week. I've also finally been getting a handle on the French "Douce Joie", learning how I need to approach this tune (a bit more improvised than Gus Viseur, with two moving voices in the treble... very different from the way Baguette Quartette does it). I had a few sessions with Benny Thomasson's handling of "Cotton Patch Rag" and related tunes... I'm getting better articulation, and believe I need to soak in his transcriptions before forgetting them and playing my own way. Brought back "Jesse Polka" for awhile before forgetting to play it during the weekend.... ;-)

Saturday afternoon I stopped by Caffe Trieste in North Beach and did see a pickup Italian karaoke band, which plays from 2-6pm Saturdays. (Tunes like "When I Fall In Love (It Will Be Forever)".) The barrista said they often have a mandolin/accordion duo in towards 10am but didn't know who they were. I need to find a way to absorb and maybe sit in on this scene.

Something odd happened with the MIDI box... the bass suddenly came in with much more presence, more like my old headphones. Not sure what changed.

For reading, I did a bit in Gunther Schuller's "Swing" book on the Ellington band, and reading fakebooks to go to sleep. (I'm not playing much Ellington now, but am still burning it in my head so I can eventually find my own path with it.) The main listening at home with salon music (light classics), with some George Jones and northeast Brazilian. On the commute I'm still re-listening heavily to musette and norteno on the iPod, sometimes with a pure-random mix too.

This afternoon I'm going down to Glen Park for a "bluegrass oldtime cajun gu-achi jam". I'm not sure what will happen... I'm a little apprehensive that they may try to recreate something they heard rather than respond to the moment... if worse comes to worst then I can sit outside the circle and play lightly to please myself, but at minimum it will be some face time with others.