First up was an interesting ad hoc dissection of Grant's instrumental improv in class. After he played there were questions about how that's done on the fly and we played back his recording to talk it over. It was educational for those starting to think about improvisation and Joe reminded everyone that the best reading on the subject is David Barrett's book, Improvising Blues Harmonica.
Next was a quick review from Joe on the wonderful night we had in B1 last week with Johnny Sansone! All agreed he was witty, humble and reverent of his fellow musicians. Clearly he's all about the music and not about ego - evidenced by how comfortable he was calling up Jim Liban and insisting he stay up!
Responding to our New Orleans visitor and the fact that he gave such a terrific nod to Slim Harpo when we referred to Rainin' In My Heart as the anthem of Louisiana, Joe shared his transcription of the tune. It is a melodic song with both a vocal and a harp melody, played over a shuffle. Note too that in addition to being eight bar, it has the unusual characteristic of starting on the IV chord. Kinda puts a little pressure on your first position playing, even though it's a second position tune.
Jimi Lee Groovetrax!!!
There was talk last night too of the second line groove. The sample Joe played was a play-along track from Jimi Lee and you can buy and download his full Groovetrax recording here. It has 31 grooves represented on it, so get a copy and practice!
- Joe announced the prizes for his end of year contest. Get your CD in by end of December that shows what you are capable of and you could win! Third Prize, one high performance Marine Band Deluxe; Second Prize, two high performance Crossover harps; First Prize, three high performance Crossover harps!
- Reminder that Joe will be away touring with Eric for a few weeks this fall. Private classes with him are cancelled but group classes will continue as usual. Level Three classes will be taught by Zoe and Grant; Level IV classes will be covered by Shoji and RickEy. Joe's gone October 21-November 11, but you shouldn't be! Get a fresh perspective on your playing from these other great teachers.Register Now!
- The next session starts October 28.
Here's a cool video of our new friend Johnny Sansone singing his award-winning tune, The Lord Is Waiting and the Devil Is Too.
And speaking of Louisiana, here's Wynton Marsalis blowing that horn over the second line groove: Second Line.
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew