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The Gypsy Jazz Jam Guide

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  • Posts: 4,777
    Great points Stuart. But let me say this again, I've seen Alfonso in jams with complete beginners doing all the wrong things and he was always very patient and forgiving.

    But seriously 17 minutes jams are a great practice to build the left hand stamina, especially on pumpers like Sweet Georgia Brown. You know how they say, if you can't stand the heat then get the hell out of the kitchen.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Posts: 4,777
    I know what you mean, I witnessed one of those situations at DIJ '13 where Adrien M, Dario N, and a few others got together for a nightly jam and this guy joined them. I've seen him around the camp and he's pretty good, fast but mostly basing his playing on arpeggios, nowhere in the league of top guys though. There were definitely looks being directed but this dude didn't get the message. I think in his own mind he thought he belonged there. It was still all good, the guys were still pretty accommodating, and the jam was epic even with the extras.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,857
    At DiJ jam sessions, there's a one top player who really takes that "look in his eye" thing to the next level... I'd even go so far as to say the he gives rival guitarists "the evil eye"... truly demonic!

    I'm not going to mention his name, but it's pretty amusing to watch...
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • bopsterbopster St. Louis, MOProdigy Wide Sky PL-1, 1940? French mystery guitar, ‘37 L-4
    Posts: 513
    Guys and gals at our local jam are respectful of these rules that were developed out of necessity:

    1. One chorus of the tune per soloist, unless there are fewer jammers, or it's a short form tune like Minor Swing or Dark Eyes.
    2. Half choruses on ballads
    3. Trading 4s or 8s on tunes when experienced players are there.

    People can still have fun even with rules instituted by a benevolent dictator (tongue placed in cheek).
    Bucowim
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M & JWC D hole
    Posts: 922
    We had a guy at one of our jams who looked so demonic it was like having Rasputin sit in.
    Buco
    always learning
  • opus20000opus20000
    Posts: 85
    Based on the story below l sense a high level of @$$ holeism at these jams. Hmmm Robin Nolan is not much of a chops player, does that mean he does not belong? I witnessed nearly the same thing at a local jam, the group that runs it think they're gods gift to the local gypsy jazz scene, and a really good player showed up, playing more arpeggio style, and the guy co-running started making ahole comments, "oh it's turning into an arpeggio exercise"... other guy arpegios and all was more tasteful....

    Buco wrote: »
    I know what you mean, I witnessed one of those situations at DIJ '13 where Adrien M, Dario N, and a few others got together for a nightly jam and this guy joined them. I've seen him around the camp and he's pretty good, fast but mostly basing his playing on arpeggios, nowhere in the league of top guys though. There were definitely looks being directed but this dude didn't get the message. I think in his own mind he thought he belonged there. It was still all good, the guys were still pretty accommodating, and the jam was epic even with the extras.
  • Posts: 4,777
    That was really the exception, majority of jams I saw were put together by people of similar levels. It happens organically, you either talk so somebody and kinda figure out where everyone is at or you join an ongoing jam that fits you, it works out.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252

    Beautifully funny and brutally honest. Nice one, Mitch!

    And you're right - you have to deal with rude / clueless people politely but bluntly. If you let one in, more will quickly follow.

    In theory, it's so simple: Listen, make music, leave your ego at the door, and if a jam is already big (big = 5 or 6), don't join it and make it huge. That's why God made beer - so you could go get one and wait for your opportunity to play. And if a jam is big and you've played for a while and other people with instruments are standing around - be willing to get up and let one of them take your place. If your beer is empty and your hand is tired, it's time to give up your chair.

    If these simple rules aren't followed, the good players stop coming and the jam dies. If enough jams die, the music dies out
    Jim Kaznosky
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • This guy wins^
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    edited March 2015 Posts: 2,161
    depending on what one means by good players, a jam session can be enjoyable as long as people are attentive and respectful. And really, practically all level of players can achieve this.

    Attentive meaning keeping the rhythm simple and volume low enough so that the soloist can be heard, and keeping decent time and form.

    Respectful meaning taking a reasonable number of choruses.. i remember DiJ one year, there were a number of soloists, everyone was respectful, one or two choruses each, but then one guy decided it was OK for him to take endless numbers of choruses. That freakin sucks...

    I generally take one or two chorus max.. and if i take more i generally apologize in advance and tell the others that i'm feeling really inspired (even if my solo still sucks)
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