Last Tuesday (26th February) was the second of our ensembles. Kieran and I were joined by Sam on the piano and Dean on the tuba.
We decided that Sam would take over the backing track chords for Tenor Madness and Dean would play a baseline on the tuba. We listened to the backing a track a few times to get a feel for the track again, the tempo and swing. We tried the alternative ending (including Cm and F) but the chords didn't seem to go with the backing track well. So we altered these and Sam found a line that fitted.
Dean also tried the tuba line. He needed to find the music online and transpose it.
We then ran it through several times with Kieran and I on the melody as before and improvisation. We certainly aren't a normal line up for a blues band but it came together OK.
We spent some time towards the end of the session trying to get the swing feel - concentrating on beats 2 and 4. Kieran and I were trying to improve our lines. He was trying to lay out a plan about what he was playing and where he would go. I have a looser approach. I try to play more by ear and instinct and keep the number of things i have to think about down to one or two - such as where to start the riff and what rhythm I might play.
I enjoyed the session. We all got along well and agreed things between us easily. We worked quite intensively but we all felt that we coped with our parts competently. i think we did quite well, especially since given two of us just joined the session today. We achieved a plan and were able to put it into action, within the timescale we had to develop a good piece. All the parts jelled reasonably (within the limitations of the instruments and the time that we had).
We now need to try to work out an intro and an outro before we perform it next week to the class. I have listened to a few guitar intros to get a few ideas.