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SOTM May 2017: The Everywhere Calypso

rhysonsax

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Farnham, Surrey
#1
Chris has kindly asked me to host SOTM this month and I have chosen a simple, happy tune composed by Sonny Rollins, my saxophone hero. It is "The Everywhere Calypso" and should be fun for everyone to play.

Chris and I have put together some lead sheets for concert, Bb and Eb instruments and each one includes some tips on how to solo over the very straightforward harmony for the eight bar form. There are also some different backing tracks to choose from, including one recorded for me by US pianist Skip Peck, a slightly slower and shorter version of that and another slower one with 4 bar drum intro produced by Chris using BiaB and his great midi skills.

Here are the lead sheets and backing tracks: .Everywhere Calypso - Box

The original version recorded by Sonny Rollins is great and should give you lots of ideas:

It has got a strong 2 feel and as a jazz Calypso play it with straight quavers (not swung). Probably best to start simple, build it up and remember to play around with syncopation without losing that pulse.

I'm looking forward to hearing what Café members can do with this.

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Farnham, Surrey
#3
Good pick. Here is my effort. I clocked the "slow" backing provided at about 175 bpm. Way too fast for me. I had to bump it way down to 135 to remotely keep up.

Islander's running for their lives: https://soundcloud.com/jimmylh%2Feverywhere-calypso View: https://soundcloud.com/jimmylh/everywhere-calypso
Lovely sound there @jimmylh and you make it work at that tempo. I thought that it took a few bars to settle down to the same tempo as the backing track, but sounded great once you did.

As well as the intro, I recognised quite a lot of Rollins in your solo. And like the Rollins recording it was happy but a bit wistful at the same time.

Great start to the thread.

Rhys
 

jimmylh

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Warner Robins, Georgia USA
#4
Lovely sound there @jimmylh and you make it work at that tempo. I thought that it took a few bars to settle down to the same tempo as the backing track, but sounded great once you did.

As well as the intro, I recognised quite a lot of Rollins in your solo. And like the Rollins recording it was happy but a bit wistful at the same time.

Great start to the thread.

Rhys
Yeah, I noticed I was ahead of the timing on the first chorus. Argggg, and ahead of the timing always sounds worse than being behind the timing. Too late by then to back up. lol.
 

rhysonsax

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Farnham, Surrey
#5
Yeah, I noticed I was ahead of the timing on the first chorus. Argggg, and ahead of the timing always sounds worse than being behind the timing. Too late by then to back up. lol.
But you can always record it again later in the month. I don't know how good your editing skills are, but you could maybe splice together the intro with the theme and lose the click on the backing track.

I enjoyed it a lot.

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Farnham, Surrey
#6
Very quiet round here. And I have just spotted one thing that could cause problems. One of the backing tracks provided is in the wrong key and is a whole tone higher than everything else (the Rollins recording, all the lead sheets, the other three backing tracks).

So please DO NOT USE the backing track named Final Calypso(1a).mp3

Please use any of the other backing tracks and we will try to sort it out.

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Farnham, Surrey
#7
I have deleted the backing track which was in the wrong key and uploaded a replacement that Chris has made. The new one is called Everywhere Calypso (backing in concert C) V3.mp3

I'm looking forward to some more recordings.

Rhys
 

Tiberius

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Messages
1,028
#8
So, in the Ballad of the Month we have a tune so slow you could play it in your sleep, and here, wow, we're close to Death Metal speeds. I had to speed up the Ballad, this one at least is close to the BPM of music I usually listen too...not saying I can play it though, will have a go later. For now, I started doing some 'minor' repairs on the roof of one of my stables and now it's looking like I may be gone for some time :)

roof.jpg
 

Nick Wyver

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Minster On Sea
#9
There's a couple of mistakes in the lead sheets. The last chord in the solo section is written as D in all 3 where it should be C in the flute one and A in the Eb one.
I've just had a quick look at this and noted that the "long" version is over 7 minutes! I'm crap at calypsos at the best of times but keeping it going for that long might stretch me somewhat.
 

Tiberius

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1,028
#11
Ok, well. No way. Been trying this for the past hour or so. I can sorta play the melody, but no idea what speed. So, I started recording it, pretty sure it doesn't no way fit in with the backing track, so I carried on, just playing random stuff, trying to get with the beat, timing, see if I could fit in. Mostly random stuff, some might be ok, some is pretty bad. Maybe later in the month, teacher will sow me the speed, I'll play along with him and maybe get somewhere closer, but, it was fun neway. But, like at that speed, there's not much other stuff, like tone and stuff, that just, no way.

Eveerywhere Calypso170503.mp3 - Box
 

rhysonsax

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2,991
Location
Farnham, Surrey
#13
Ok, well. No way. Been trying this for the past hour or so. I can sorta play the melody, but no idea what speed. So, I started recording it, pretty sure it doesn't no way fit in with the backing track, so I carried on, just playing random stuff, trying to get with the beat, timing, see if I could fit in. Mostly random stuff, some might be ok, some is pretty bad. Maybe later in the month, teacher will sow me the speed, I'll play along with him and maybe get somewhere closer, but, it was fun neway. But, like at that speed, there's not much other stuff, like tone and stuff, that just, no way.

Eveerywhere Calypso170503.mp3 - Box
Good effort. I think after about 1:10 you started simplifying your ideas more and locking in with the backing track. Although the speed might seem scary at first, you were coping fine by the end.

It has a really strong beat 1 and 3 and players should try to hit them with notes that fit the chords. One thing to try is just playing minims on 1 and 3 that use the chord tones and the key bar to hit is bar 5 (as the notes on the lead sheet suggest). Once you really know you way around the 8 bar form then you can start playing around more.

Looking forward to hearing what your teacher suggests.

Rhys
 

Tiberius

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1,028
#14
...I think after about 1:10 you started simplifying your ideas more and locking in with the backing track. Although the speed might seem scary at first, you were coping fine by the end.
Thanks, that was about what I thought...that I kinda 'discovered' the beat in the second half, which was my intention when I carried on as I plainly didn't get it in the melody bit at the start.

For this fast stuff, mostly my teacher has told me it's about being relaxed. You have to be relaxed when you play it; that's what I was trying. I didn't deliberately simplify things, but tbh I wasn't really trying anything other than to find the beat. Unfortunate that my teacher isn't here this weekend, so I'll just have to play some more myself until next.
 
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rhysonsax

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Farnham, Surrey
#16
As host elsewhere on another thread I thought I'd take a peak in here and maybe get @rhysonsax to post on mine, soo-

Nice one Al. You kept to the form well and coped well with the tempo.

It's hard to keep it interesting for chorus after chorus, but you had a good bit of variety in there. What I struggle with is connecting the choruses together and keeping it interesting but I must keep trying.

Well done.

Rhys

PS I suppose I must return the compliment and try to record Rainy Day for your ballad thread - that's a lovely tune.
 
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U CAN CALL ME AL

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Undy Monmouthshire U.K.
#17
@rhysonsax thanks for posting this very different thread. I have always liked calypso style music ever since as a small boy listening to Cy Grant on the Tonight programme, really giving my age away there. It took me a few practices to get the melody about right the 2nd 16 bars I found a little more tricky.
The tempo was a little quick and always I felt caught out at the start. The improv was, although not spectacular, a hoot to play and brought back happy memories of a Silver Wedding cruise to the Carry Bean.
Kind regards Al
 

sax panther

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193
#18
Here's my first attempt at one of these songs of the month...

Everywhere Calypso - SOTM.wav - Box

It's pretty rough for a couple of reasons.

Musically - this is a one take wonder, sight reading from the lead sheet (this song is a new one on me) and stumbling through some improv. I'm not particularly happy with it, and could have tried some better versions, but I figured I don't get multiple takes in a gig so should upload this one! Would welcome some critique (what am I letting myself in for!?)

and technologically - this is the first time I've tried recording at home, using a really old mic plugged into a mac via a dodgy USB adaptor, into audacity. There was some strange delay on the recording, I've tried to correct it as best I can. Hoping to splash out on a decent USB condenser mic soon.

By the way - I only came across this SOTM after seeing people mention SOTM and BOTM in the other forums. I was curious and ended up here - what a great idea. Hoping to take part in a few more of these now, especially once I get a bit better with recording stuff.
 

jimmylh

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1,019
Location
Warner Robins, Georgia USA
#19
Here's my first attempt at one of these songs of the month...

Everywhere Calypso - SOTM.wav - Box

It's pretty rough for a couple of reasons.

Musically - this is a one take wonder, sight reading from the lead sheet (this song is a new one on me) and stumbling through some improv. I'm not particularly happy with it, and could have tried some better versions, but I figured I don't get multiple takes in a gig so should upload this one! Would welcome some critique (what am I letting myself in for!?)

and technologically - this is the first time I've tried recording at home, using a really old mic plugged into a mac via a dodgy USB adaptor, into audacity. There was some strange delay on the recording, I've tried to correct it as best I can. Hoping to splash out on a decent USB condenser mic soon.

By the way - I only came across this SOTM after seeing people mention SOTM and BOTM in the other forums. I was curious and ended up here - what a great idea. Hoping to take part in a few more of these now, especially once I get a bit better with recording stuff.
Nice! Did I hear a St. Thomas quote near the beginning? :yess: