Drop everything and jam

Another unexpected text? Another unexpected opportunity? This time of the musical variety. Sounds good!

Ten days ago (I’ve been meaning to write this up for a while, but an unexpected trip to Rome and a visit from a college roommate have kept me busy) I was with my writing group at my place for our weekly writing meet up. We’d already done three of our 45-minute timed writing sessions and downed plenty of coffee when a friend who was having her CD release show that night texted me, asking, “How comfortable are you with jazz piano?”

Truth is, long long long ago, I played some jazz in high school and college, but jazz bass, not piano; my piano studies were always classical. And since those days, I’ve played mostly pop music, which is much simpler: simpler harmonically… simpler rhythmically… simpler in every way, really. But hey, I’m not going to say no, right? So I told her, sure, I can fake it–what do you have in mind?

Turns out her pianist was sick and she needed someone to fill in at the show that night. Okay. Sure. No problem. A flurry of texts and emails followed, chord charts got printed, and I managed a quick listen to a few–but not all–of the songs we’d be doing.


Jenn Whiteman, singing and playing guitar at her Latimer Road EP Release show.

The girls and I headed over to the venue–a gallery space that a friend of mine runs. (That’s right; I know one person in Paris who runs an art gallery and one person having a CD release. So of course they would be working together.) We spent the next hour or so getting everything set up, leaving just enough time to run a couple of the songs. Turns out I was jumping in on a pretty tight group; Jenn had real pros backing her up, so it was pretty easy to ride the wave of the great grooves the bassist and drummer were laying down.


Gerson on bass and Christophe on drums made adding in some keyboard parts a fun time… and easier than you might think.


The venue is an art gallery; a cool space, but with this lovely pillar right in the middle of everything!


Me, Sam, Gerson, Jenn, Christophe, Méderic, and Leslie at the end of the show.


DJ Trever (in the tie) kept the mood going after the show while Ben showed off his moves. And my daughter Carolyn was into it as well.

Wanna check out the video of the show? Try this:


There’s about thirty minutes of DJ warm up before the band gets on, some welcomes and such, and then the music gets rolling at about forty minutes in.

Like what you hear? Go to www.jennwhiteman.com

Finally, thanks to Anjo Beckers for the pictures. Check out her fine blog here.


5 thoughts on “Drop everything and jam

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