Sunday, January 25, 2009

Satin Doll

"Satin Doll" written by Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and Johnny Mercer
Yoshiko Oda (Vocal)
Matt Toshima (Guitar)
Noriyuki "Ken" Okada (Bass)
Recorded on January 13, 2009 at Sumika, Los Altos, CA

It's so easy to play with Yoshiko and Matt. They have been playing as duo for a long time, so all I need to do is to provide some swingy groove on the bottom and that's it! It becomes one nice package of quality jazz, as you can see here in the video. There is no wonder that their tour to Japan last year with Hristo Vitchev (g), Andrew Currier (b) and Joe De Rose (d) was a big success.

The two are also great contributors to the growth of local jazz community. Studio Pink House, their studio in beautiful downtown Saratoga, hosts monthly concerts and jazz clinics with top-class guest artists. Also they sponsor the Sunday jazz jam at Blue Rock Shoot Cafe in Saratoga. It's because of their network that I can play with so many talented musicians in the area recently. Thank you Yocco-san and Toshima-san!

This song Satin Doll is a very popular Duke Ellington tune. I used to play it very often when I was in college in Tokyo, and it's a frequently-called tune at jam sessions. We played this tune in a classical yet easy fashion: 2 beat groove in the 'A' section and 4 beat swing in the 'B' section of its AABA form. Head melody followed by vocal scat, guitar solo, then bass solo, and finally the head out. On the bass solo, I tried to use triplet-like bouncy feel to express some happy feeling. Overall, it's nothing tricky, but sometimes that is the best!

Yoshiko Oda Website:
Studio Pink House Website:


Anonymous said...

Nice bass playing! Loving your solo :-)


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