Monday, June 12, 2006

Playing Some Gutsy Jazz


After two glasses of wine at my friend Bill’s wedding party yesterday, I found myself inviting the principal flutist from a mid-western symphony orchestra to join me at my lesson with Bill today to play the Claude Bolling Suite for Piano and Flute ( which also has a double bass part). She is a friend of Bill’s wife who was in town to audition with the NSO. Was I out of my friggin’ mind? I am still learning this difficult piece and I am way out of my league playing with two professionals of this calabur. But I love the Bolling Suite and look for any opportunity to play it.

My friend Jeff introduced me to this piece back in 1976 when Claude Bolling wrote it specifically for himself and his friend Jean Pierre Rampal (with his golden flute). Jeff was one of those people who had the best in stereo equipment and loved to take pictures of young girls doing strange things with vegetables (maybe a post some other day). But he did know his jazz and this was quite a find. I bought the record (we still did vinyl back then) and played it until it nearly wore out. Then I forgot about the piece for many years.

Just last summer at Chautauqua, my friend Deborah suggested that we read through the Bolling Suite just for fun. I quickly realized that this music was far too tough to sight-read – at least for me. But I bought the CD and once again became addicted to it. Then I ordered the sheet music, with its parts for piano, flute, bass, and drums. Since last summer I have been working through just three movements of the Suite – Baroque and Blue, Sentimentale, and Irlandaise.

These three are works in progress right now. But at 4:30 today I will sit down with Bill and the cute young blond flutist I met yesterday and we will play some slow jazz that has its imperfections, at least in the piano part. But at least I will get to experience the thrill of playing this wonderful piece with people who are more credentialed than I will ever hope to be.

3 Comments:

Blogger RennyBA said...

Wish I was there to hear you playing Barbara, but it's quite a long distance from Norway you know:-)

5:30 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

How neat that you are so talented and what a thrill to be with these others who you think are even more talented!
I just love to sing and wish I had some people around who play guitar or piano as I can't play guitar that well. I've written 3 songs and have recorded 2 of them as rough demos in my brother-in-law's studio and of course, he did all the instruments! But the whole process was really exciting for me! We were looking for a piano part!

8:50 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I love to sing too, but I would be happy to play for you to sing if we just lived a little closer. My afternoon was FANTASTIC!

10:17 PM  

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