Racer Sessions

Sundays, 8-10pm at Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA

Stuart Hambley - May 18, 2014


Finding a groove:

We are all products of our environment and whether we’ve been affected aurally, philosophically, physically, etc., there is a reason we play the way we play. My primary influences and favorite musicians are the likes of Oscar Peterson, Freddie Hubbard, JJ Johnson, Lee Morgan, Joe Henderson, John Coltrane,Thad Jones-Mel Lewis, Frank Sinatra, Chris Potter, Marshall Gilkes, Snarky Puppy, Janelle Monae, and the list goes on and on and on. Given what music gets me going, I really dig melody, groove, more classic harmonies (whatever that means) and try to let those aspects direct my playing and writing.

For Sunday, I plan to keep things loose and will be playing/jamming with Michael Glynn on bass. My approach is to bring my practice room-solo jams to the stage to see what the moment creates. With my practice sessions I tend to spend a good amount of time on fundamentals and also like to add a couple ‘solo jams’ on things I enjoy, or rather, something that comes naturally. Having clear rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic ideas are what I tend to focus on and that approach helps tremendously when playing with others; the more you can be your own rhythm section the more it will benefit your bandmates’ creativity and the music you’re playing.

For the jam after my presentation, please bring in an idea you’re comfortable playing a repetitive line to that clearly outlines the harmonic progression and form, so others can follow and help create something presentable (try thinking like a bass player). See if you can keep the progression to 1, 2, 3, or 4 chords considered to traditionally work well together (i.e.- ii-V-I, I-IV, etc.). Also, if possible write down an outline of your simple chord progression to share with and help communication among your jam mates. More than anything, though, plan to have fun and bring with you an energetic vibe that will feed others’ creativity.

See you at the Racer,

Stuart Hambley