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Jumpin' Jam - Work in Progress


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Warts and all time I guess…

I thought I’d post my early attempt at Pete’s Jumpin’ Jam, you can find the music in the subscribers section along with the backing tracks at various tempos (if you are a subscriber). My version is at 140 but the aim is to be able to play it at 240, but before that I need to be able to play it accurately at a slower speed. I’m working on lots of things with my teacher at the moment so this is probably going to be ongoing over several weeks.

Please bear in mind this is work in progress rather than a finished piece and I’ll do several recordings and post them so that you can track my progress with it. Please feel free to post comments and criticisms, all will be helpful as I try and master this piece of music.

If you have the music you can follow along and see where my timing and intonation go awry and if you are feeling really unkind you could always play my track and Pete’s demo back to back!

Thanks Pete for letting me post my recording.

Chris98 – Jumpin’ Jam 140 on Tenor Sax mp3

All the best,

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'Twas like skipping through a meadow in the spring time! :welldone

Ok seriously, a thoroughly enjoyable version. Sweet tone and great timing. You danced through that piece like you've been playing for years.
Cracking job Chris. (Nicely recorded and mixed IMHO)
I took one look at the notes, decided to leave it till next year - or the year after.... Maybe not even then.

Well done, take my hat off to you. Lovely tone. Wish I could play half as well. Looking forward to the next version.
Thank you so much for your kind comments, I was initially a bit hesitant to put up my recording because, as I’m sure you’ll understand, all I can hear are the imperfections. Anyway Pete kindly allowed me to post it, bearing in mind it’s his copyright, so I didn’t have any excuses and having posted a fair bit about recording I thought I should at least put something up. I’m really enjoying working on this tune and know it’s going to become a real challenge as the tempo increases.

Kev, don’t be put off by the notes, I listened to Pete’s demo a few times whilst following the score and thought ‘Yeah, okay then!’ without too much hope of being able to do the first bar, let alone the rest. Initially I was thinking of slowing it down even more in Transcribe, which is always an option to help you get your fingers around it.

As you are too kind to post criticism I thought I’d post my notes on what I’ve noticed from the recording and intend to work on:

Pete scoops (is that the correct term) or bends up to certain notes that gives a nice bluesy feel to the piece, a skill I have not even tackled except on the odd occasion, but to be able to put them in would be great.

The really frustrating thing that I need to clean up is the first two notes of the first bar and subsequent repeats of that phrase, if you listen to Pete’s demo these two notes are crisp and clear. Mine often have the addition of a passing note that takes away from the clarity of these two notes. It’s just a bit of inaccuracy coming off the palm keys that causes that extra note but it’s taking a bit of work to correct it.

Bar 29 is where it got a bit wobbly, I have another take in which that bar was okay but decided against doing a ‘comp’ of different takes preferring to do it in one take, warts and all.

I’m obviously a bit hesitant on the descending run about two thirds in, the volume drops a bit, I was not aware of this whilst playing but it’s quite noticeable in the recording.

Generally I need to have a bit more clarity on the beginning and ends of the notes. There are probably many more things that could be improved but I’m focusing on them to start with.

Anyone else working on this at the moment?

All the best,

As you are too kind to post criticism I thought I’d post my notes on what I’ve noticed from the recording and intend to work on:


Chris, I don't have Pete's version and therefore I can't compare the two, or even criticise you on how it should be played. What I heard was a very sweet piece of music. I'm unable to follow a scripted piece as you have done, but I do feel able to know when I have listened to a piece that was played with both enthusiasm and soul! I didn't find anything to criticise therefore I'm not being kind. Just honest. Well done my friend, a piece well played. :welldone
Hi Taz,

Thank you, I am having a lot of fun with this tune and it's really good to know that's coming through when you hear the recording. I really appreciate your comments.

Don't tell my Javas but I'm flirting again with the Jazz Selects! This new reed is noticeably more vibrant than the old one and it'll be interesting to see how it records.

All the best,

Nice work Chris. I downloaded the sheets a while ago but hadn't really looked at them until, prompted by this post, I thought I ought to get on and give it a blow.

I had a play yesterday, not with Pete's backing, just a generic 12bar backing track which worked well, and really enjoyed it. you can have some real bluesy-fun if you play it right down at 65bpm; lots of time to play around on the melody.

Anyway, I'll download the backing and Pete's version and stick them on a CD today (not usually near a computer when I practice) and work my way around the 140bpm one. Will post an alto version once I've run it through.

I've been following your beginner's diary, I think since you started it? and have been eager to hear you play. You didn't disappoint!

I really like your tone, found your pitching stable and consistent (you've definitely been doing those long tones!) and you played with a great 'frolicking' feel, if I may say so. It made me smile :)
Hi Phil,

I’m concentrating on the tenor at the moment and would love to hear you play this tune on the alto, so I do hope you do a recording. It would be fascinating to hear how different people approach it.

Hi Linky,

Thank you, I particularly like "great 'frolicking' feel" that's got to be the best compliment for a piece like this!
Yep I do me long tones and overtones each day, but probably need to put more work in my scales.

All the best,

Now at 180


I’ve just got a box of Rico Jazz Selects 2M, I’ve never really had much success with Jazz Selects in the past but recently I’ve made a move to softer reeds and so decided to give them another go. Last night I felt I was getting a much better response out of this new reed, and so decided to do a test recording today to see how it recorded. This version of ‘Jumpin’ Jam’ is at 180 and this evening was the first time I attempted it at this tempo, the increase in tempo meant it fell apart a fair few times!

As well as the new reed and faster tempo I was putting more air though the sax to try and give a little edge to the tone, but with this came a few ‘chirps’. I think they could be as much to do with the tension of standing in front of a microphone as anything but I do wish I knew what caused them.

Notice the extra note thrown in, ouch! Never mind, as before this is all work in progress and hopefully by the end of the week I’ll have ironed out a few more of the iffy bits.

I hope you like it.

Chris98 – Jumpin’ Jam 180 on Tenor Sax mp3

All the best,

What's all the fuss about, don't be too harsh on yourself, you sound great. Nice tone, even through the tricky bits. Don't forget none of us are sitting here with the score in front of us, also it is your interpretation. Well done. Phil

Great job. You've a lovely tone and play at a great even tempo and I would guess that your sight reading is way better than mine is too. This piece doesn't seem that easy but you did very well indeed!

I really must get to recording myself again. I listened to a couple of early recordings this week and I have moved on a mile from there. It's good to see how one has improved by looking back in this way.
Hi Phil & Ian,

Thank you for listening and letting me know what you think, I really do appreciate it.

Hi Phil, it’s funny that you should say about it being my interpretation, I’ve purposely stopped listening to Pete’s demo after my first recording and comparing my playing style and tone to his, better to find my own voice rather than try hopelessly to imitate.

Hi Ian, I don’t know about my sight-reading being any better, it’s still a real weak point for me. But with each run though I’m depending on the score less, I have a poor memory so I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do without it though.

I find that trying to get a good recorded tone is a mystery, sometimes it seems to sound close to the sound that I hear when I’m playing but more often than not it’s quite different. I think this second recording is the closest I’ve come when recording to capturing the sound I think I was making.

It’s still early days, the aim is to play it at 240 which is highly likely beyond my skill level at the moment. I did try it at 200 today and although I did manage it, it felt too fast for my brain and fingers to work together. Anyway I want to be able to play it better at 180 before moving on.

All the best,

Jumpin' Jam 200


I’ve been gently working away at ‘Jumpin’ Jam’ trying to get it right at 200bpm and I have to admit I thought I was there, and so this evening I put up the mic and did a quick recording. I did several takes before tea but I kept fluffing notes or the timing went awry or something else inexplicable happened to prevent a good take. After tea I quickly warmed up the sax and did two more takes, the last one being the one posted here. As with the other recordings it’s a whole take, not parts stitched together.

Listening to it back I’ve realised I’ve not yet cracked this tune at this tempo! And what I was unaware of until listening back was how I’ve slowly adapted the timing and feel, probably to accommodate my lack of finger speed, but it’s drifting away slightly from what’s on the page. I’m in two minds as to what to think of it, if playing in a section it would weaken the whole group but as an individual does it matter too much? Is it me putting my stamp on the music? I don’t know, I’d probably feel easier about it if I were able to play it accurately as written.

Chris98 - Jumpin' Jam 200.mp3

Best wishes,


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