Licks, Tricks and Heavy Grooves
A marvelous week
The jazz workshop 2018 at the amazing hotel Schloss Korb was a terrific week.
That is the first sentence that comes to my mind when I think back to those days there. A wonderful group had gathered which turned out to come together perfectly. The instructors were on a ball, the students were thirsty for knowledge and relaxed, the hotel staff did a first rate job. So, what more do you wish for? Just another one of that amazing workshop, at the same place, with the same team. But unfortunately that takes another year. By then we have to live on the marvelous experiences and impressions of the workshop week 2018, which were numerous.
The instructors of the two guitar groups offered very interesting topics. Helmut Nieberle served them among others with hearing chord changes, which counts for every musical situation you can imagine. Or another crucial one is: walking bass basics.
Here is to our participant Thomas Harrer, who immediately transcribed and printed those lessons with his fantastic computer program. By the way, has anybody ever bought him a drink for that job?
The lessons of Paulo Morello contained simplifying improvising on blues on the basis of „Tenor Madness“ by Sonny Rollins. For that tune he also wrote a five part arrangement, which was rehearsed and performed on the closing concert at the end of the workshop week.
And of course he covered his specialty Bossa Nova comping.
Helmut Nieberle is also well known as a master of writing arrangements. He provided the class one of them, written for „Cute“ by Neil Hefti. This tune is a prime example for big band-like sounding parts. We played all parts with guitars of course.
But those were not the only issues dealt with. The purposeful questions of the participants fortunately directed to many other side topics, which brought the group several Eureka moments.
The vocal instructor Jeanne Gies coached her students individually. The singers performed tunes of their repertoire, which then were commented on or corrected. Any way what level the participants were at, Jeanne Gies has the gift to treat everybody according to his individual ability.
All students could polish up and improve their singing skills towards the end of the course.
At this point many thanks to the guitarists Armin Bonner and Dani Solimine, two professional players who served as accompanists for the vocal group. At the end of the week, the singers were ungrudging for their competent and sensitive accompaniment.
Jam 'til you drop
Outside the lessons a lot of jamming was going on all week long. I deliberately limit the length of the classes to three hours a day. Firstly because the participants get so much input within these hours on which they can gnaw on for several month. Secondly there should be enough spare time to jam with each other. Music is the most beautiful when people get together and spontaneously create a nice mood.
It was great to see that the students freely took that chance. First of all I was happy to see participant in the middle of the sessions who were too shy for jamming on previous workshops. So obviously, the workshops eventually pay off, quod erat demonstrandum!
The last evening we usually perform a closing concert for hotel guests and friends. Our hosts, the hotel owners Ruth and Fritz Dellago, provide us their patio, which is a wonderful little ballroom with great acoustics and a stunning view of the Bolzano valley.
Most of the participants of both vocal and guitar group took part, so we could put up a nice set list for the concert. The above mentioned guitar arrangements started off the evening followed by a gay potpourri of jazz, pop, singer-songriter-like and even country tunes. Even if the workshop is titled „Jazz“ , we do not ignore other musical stiles. First and foremost music should be fun, regardless of stile, which worked like a charm at that place during that week!
It only remains to say that we felt very comfortable again at Hotel Korb. Ruth and Fritz Dellago, their hotel staff and the kitchen staff managed to make us feel at home at their place again and again. Their gorgeous hotel offers so many chances to indulge in pleasant things, so that hardly nobody set foot outside the hotel lot for the whole workshop week. Except maybe to stroll up the hill to the remains of Schloss Boymont, where the hotel runs a little diner where you can easily idle away a whole afternoon.
Back again in 2019
Therefore the next jazz workshop is already scheduled. We will be back at Hotel Schloss Korb on April 23rd-27th, 2019, when we will be playing guitar, singing and hanging again. I am already looking forward to a terrific week with great people and lots of music at a fantastic place.