Jam session

This week was a week of jam sessions at home, of all places. There’s usually not all that much going on in Keene, musically speaking. But I managed to get in on quite a bit the last few days.

I read in the Monadnock Shopper News about two different jam sessions, at restaurants across the street from each other on Thursday night. The first, at Fritz, was a sort of acoustic open mic night. They have fabulous food, including real Belgian style fries with a variety of dipping sauces. The jam session host had invited a friend of his who was quite good to open with a 30 minute set of originals. The whole fam was there for that one and we really enjoyed it. He was followed by a guy who was clearly less seasoned at performing. Due to the time, we wound up leaving during his set so we could get the kids off to bed.

After they were tucked in, I went back out to a blues jam session across the street from Fritz at the E.F. Lane hotel’s lounge. It turns out the house drummer for that gig, Erik, was the same guy that I ran into just over 3 years ago at the now defunct Rynborn (RIP, we miss you). Wound up sitting in for several tunes there and enjoyed catching up with him.

Then, this morning we (Steve and I, not Edi) had our rehearsal for tomorrow morning’s church services, which was less jam session and more rehearsal. Steve plays bass, guitar, mandolin, (and, don’t tell anyone, clarinet), and now wants to learn to play drums. After the rehearsal, we ran some errands and then went by Cheshire Music so that I could check out a set of electronic drums he was interested in getting. He wound up buying it.

Of course, we brought the new drums up to the studio and set them up. Over the course of the day, all of us took turns playing various instruments. Me bass, him drums, me drums, him bass, Edi clarinet, him clarinet, me piano, Edi piano, Edi drums (I kid you not) and probably some other combinations I’m not thinking of at the moment. What got our evening jam session really going was Edi having previously purchased a book of jazz standards for clarinet. I checked out several of the tunes and discovered they’re in the same keys as my piano real books, so we played a bunch of them together (Edi on clarinet, me on piano and Steve and the kids noodling on the drums). Probably the most fun were the last two tunes: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and Chameleon. I got Edi playing piano on both. On Mercy, Steve played clarinet and I played bass, (and later him on bass and me drums), and then on Chameleon Steve played bass and I played drums. It actually grooved like they’d played jazz before 😉

Now I got them all excited about learning to play more jazz stuff…. 🙂


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2 Responses to Jam session

  1. tlekas says:

    I am just curious about the “(and, don’t tell anyone, clarinet)” comment.
    Alicia used to play and teach clarinet although these days she is mostly playing the Irish whistle. She is down at the New England Folk Festival this weekend play with the Strathspey and Reel Society of NH.
    My father-in-law plays Dixie Land Jazz. His main instrument is the slide tromobone but he also plays clarinet.
    I don’t play but I do like it as an instrument. Everything from Rhapsody in Blue to Klezmer music which usually includes a clarinet.

    • varrin says:

      Re: Clarinet?
      It was something of a reference to Steve’s personality. He’s sometimes kinda quiet about stuff he can do. Every few months, it somehow comes out that he plays (or at least used to play) yet another instrument. Last time it was mandolin. More recently, clarinet. Edi (who grew up playing clarinet) recently did some clarinet trio stuff with a couple of other gals from the church and I think Steve was kinda reluctant to get roped into that 😉 All in good fun of course!

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