Jazz

Ken Franckling's 2010 top 10 list

Ken writes and/or photographs for Jazz Times, Jazziz, HotHouse, allaboutjazz.com and other publications, as well as his own blog.

The 10 best new jazz releases of 2010, listed alphabetically:

  • Dave Bass Quartet, Gone (Dave Bass Music)
  • Lisa Engelken, Caravan, (Little Angel)
  • Tamir Hendelman, Destinations (Resonance)
  • Dave Holland Octet, Pathways (Dare2)
  • Christine Jensen, treelines (Justin Time)
  • Pat Metheny, Orchestrion (Nonesuch)
  • Jean-Michel Pilc, True Story (Dreyfus)
  • Ellen Rowe Quartet, Wishing Well (PKO Records)
  • Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband, Ceremony (Otá)
  • Jacky Terrasson, Push (Concord Jazz)

CHS Jazz Band Gets a Latin Workshop from Pete Siers

Link to the original CHS article is here

Pete Siers counts off the beat for the drummers in jazz band.

Pete Siers counts off the beat for the drummers in jazz band.

“Can you guys play this Vamp-a-rooney up top?” said Pete Siers to CHS Jazz Band II. They were working on “My Little Suede Shoes” by Charlie Parker and Siers was there to introduce a Latin influence.

Pete Siers is a local artist who has played with some of the biggest name in jazz including David “Fathead” Newman, Rodney Whitacker, and Lee Konitz among many others. He started playing piano at age six but then decided to make the switch to drums. Since then he has become an expert in Latin American rhythms and percussion.

The song Jazz band II practiced on November 22, “My Little Suede Shoes”, is a simple chord vamp with a simple melody. However, when accompanied with intense and authentic Latin rhythms, the tune really grooves.

“All you cats gotta learn this, it’s the trickiest thing, ready 1-2-a-3-4,” Siers said. He had lots of very specific tips for the jazz students, turning them into expert percussionists. The students fumbled but he was very understanding. “Can you play real slow what we just talked about…you have to screw up a little bit but just get in there,” Siers said.

For nearly 45 minutes the band didn’t even play the melody, but they didn’t need to. Instead they were learning their individual parts. The room was a South Brazilian party. Every student was getting into the music and learning the whole time.

Pete Siers demonstrates the Latin jam on bongos for junior Will Arts while jazz teacher Jack Wagner looks on.

Pete Siers demonstrates the Latin jam on bongos for junior Will Arts while jazz teacher Jack Wagner looks on.

Jack Wagner, Community High jazz director, walked in with more instruments halfway into the class. “I’ve got some more toys here,” Wagner said. There were more instruments than students. “We need more kids, Jack,” said Siers. With that, Wagner brought in more students from the other jazz bands. Siers and Wagner had as much fun teaching as all of the students had learning.

To hear Jazz Band II play “My Little Suede Shoes”, come to the CHS jazz concert on Tuesday December 14, 2010 in Craft Theater.