May 14th, 2011

It Don’t Mean a Thing (Mills Brothers)

By Bart

Some times we have to stop practice to listen to these fine fellows. You might enjoy them too.

November 3rd, 2010

Authenticity, Blues and Jazz: A close look at “St Louis Blues”

By Bart

September 1914. Memphis. William Christopher Handy – better known as W. C. Handy – sat down behind a piano, determined to write a new song, but he found himself distracted by what he called “a seed of bitterness” weighing heavily on his mind.

His 1912 composition “The Memphis Blues” was his first runaway hit. By September 1914, it was being performed by bands up and down the Mississippi and even on the radio. The Castles – a pair of famous dance instructors – had used the song to introduce the world to the foxtrot – itself another runaway hit. Yet for all the song’s success, Handy had received no more than $50 in compensation. Such a story was not uncommon at the time, but Handy took the lesson personally. It left him shrewd, and eager to self-publish another hit to reap the profits he felt he deserved.

So on that September day, Handy went down to Beale Street, rented a room with a piano, closed the door on the outside world, and began to write. When he left the room, he had composed “Saint Louis Blues.”

(more…)

October 23rd, 2009

Expanding our Playlist

By Bart

Hey folks! We like to keep it fresh for you each night, and so make an effort to constantly add songs to our repertoire. Playing this style of music, there’s an inexhaustible number of classic songs we could be doing. Here some selections from our list of songs to try out and maybe learn.

After You’ve Gone
Ain’t Misbehavin’
Avalon
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Button Up Your Overcoat
Cheek to Cheek
Clean It Out
‘Eleven-thirty Saturday Night
Everybody Eats When They Come to My House
FDR Jones
I’ll See You in My Dreams
I’ll Shoot the Moon
Indiana, (Back Home Again…)
I’ve Found a New Baby
Je ne veux pas traveiller
Lady Sings the Blues
Limehouse Blues
Lullaby in Ragtime
Mack the Knife
Nice Work if You Can Get It
St Louis Blues
Some of These Days
Stormy Weather
Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do
That’s What I Call Sweet Music
These Foolish Things
La Vie en Rose
You Rascal, You

Putting it here is no guarantee that we’ll decide it’s suitable for our sound! So please, no requests for the above just yet. However, if you have any favorite standards from the Great American Songbook (or recently composed numbers that would fit), comment to let us know and we’ll give it a shot!