Instructor: Rob Flax
All levels, All Instruments
This is a 2-part class: Part 1 focuses on unpacking the underlying structure of the jazz standard “Ja-Da,” a simple melody from the pre-bop era, which features a ii-V-I progression that pops up in thousands of jazz tunes (and many other places). We will discuss how to play over these chords, as well as how to use the pentatonic scale over the entire form (which will carry into part 2).
Part 2 expands on the ideas from Part 1 (both harmony and use of the pentatonic scale), exploring the classic spiritual, “Down By The Riverside,” and how to make it “jazzier.”
Ja Da, by Bob Carlton (1918), as performed by the legendary jazz violinist Stuff Smith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=S9WM0W-pQSg
(This will be used for the jazz solo-ing class… It’d be even better if the participants can show up having learned the first chorus of Stuff’s solo, from 0:31-0:57, excluding “that one insane lick”)
Down By The Riverside (1800’s Negro Spiritual), as performed by the original queen of rock-and-roll, Sister Rosetta Tharpe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xzr_GBa8qk
(This is both to enshrine her place in history, and honor her contributions to American music, and also this spiritual is so lively that it could definitely work for the dance! We’d probably change the key to D major instead of D flat as in this video clip).