Maxwell Hall Jazz Ensemble

 

Sharing this new and exciting Musical Adventure ♫♪♫

A month ago I joined the Maxwell Hall Jazz Ensemble. What an amazing experience this is for me! At the first rehearsal they were very warm and friendly and welcomed me with a nice hello. Straight away they settled into the rehearsal, they were running through a few instrumentals so I was able to sit and enjoy and take in all the sound....such a big sound too! 

I was getting more nervous as the minutes ticked by. Then it was my turn.....I stepped up to the mic and ran through my first number. They are very professional and never gave me a glance as I tried to find my place in the song they watched their charts and played beautifully. Then they discussed the charts and went over a few bars together, then straight to next song.

wow....I was delighted it went smooth but your girl knew she had some work to do.  This is a lot different than fronting my band or combo. For me I have to get used to so many instruments each playing different notes, sounds and harmony. The horn section is wonderful....I have never been used to singing with a Trombone player on a regular basis before let alone 3 or 4 of them.  I am used to sax playing but never 6 at one time, and 5 or 6 Trumpets in my ear so it's took a bit to get used to the collective sound. 

As far as the amazing Rhythm section I am used to their sound and comfortable. They all read charts so there is nothing that ever happens on the fly!

At the first oppertunity to speak I made it quite clear that I can't read a music chart but I would always be fully prepared to sing.  I really do wish I had learned throughout my 40 plus years in this business but I didn't and if you remember or have read any of my previous blogs.

I did tell you once I was the young girl that tapped Harry Rabinowitz on the shoulder and explained the same thing to him minutes before I did a live recording for STV ( Scottish Television ) However, by listening to them discuss the arrangements I am learning something new each time and getting an understanding of the correct musical terms.

I'm just letting you know how it's going and that they are a wonderful bunch of amazing musicians that I am delighted to be on this journey with.

Your girl is always learning something new and meanwhile catching so many smiles.

♫♪♫ Music is food for the heart and soul ♫♪♫  I am loving and enjoying this new experience so much. More to come in future weeks ♫♪♫ YJ

 

 

Working with Harry Rabinowitz

 

Back in the day I was lucky enough to get chosen to feature on a Pilot Show for STV ( Scottish Television ) I was flown down to London to meet the Director Brian Izzard and Musical Director/ Harry Rabinowitz and the Cast.  There were 6 Singers that were to be featured and the dance team was Hot Gossip. At the rehearsal studio we were all handed sheet music...........I immediately went into panic mode! I couldn't site read....I knew the songs I was to be performing but I remember walking around frantic wondering what I was going to do............I even remember walking into a big pillar in the studio and saying sorry hahaha.....I approached the Musical Director who's name was Harry Rabinowitz and I explained my situation, he asked me if I knew the songs I was to sing for the recording session I said yes, he replied then we shall see how well!! 

Later that afternoon when it was my turn to step up to the mic in front of the 40 piece Orchestra and Harry Rab. I took a deep breath and began to record my vocal...........to my surprise Harry turned around after about 8 bars and gave me a wonderful thumbs up and a big smile!!!! ( which I was told later that day by some of the orchestra musicians he never usually did and that I should be honored ) it worked out wonderfully, the Pilot was a success and I was engaged to do a series of 7 shows for STV.  Years later I read an article about Harry Rab that blew me away, he has so many amazing projects in his career to his credit, Chariots of Fire, The English Patient. Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. I am so happy to have worked under his direction and I will never forget it and how happy I felt that it worked out for me. ♫♪♫

 

 

Gig Nightmare - I was left all alone on an Island

 

 Back in the day we took a three day gig up in the Orkney Islands for an American Oil Company, There were 3 bands. We took a boat part way and did a gig on the boat for passage as part of the deal. There was a pole in the middle of the stage and we thought what a strange place to put a pole.....after we got underway in the North Sea I got really sea sick...and when it was time for the show I was glad the pole was there because we were rockin all over the place. ( and no it wasn't a pole for anything other than holding on to hahhaha )

 Next day we were flown in a Cessna plane to Orkney, I got to sit next to the pilot and when we were up in the air he let me take the controls for a little bit over Loch Ness, that was fun!  We arrived at the Oil rig and set up the equipment for the gig. Since I was the only woman on the rig I was not allowed to sleep there, all the guys got to sleep on a ship that was docked. 

 After the gig ( which was awesome!! ) I was taken on a small motor boat to a little island, it was pitch dark and I assumed someone would be meeting me at the dock to take me to my lodgings.....................wrong!  We got there and the guy said just walk up the jetty and that's your cottage there with the lights on, call this number in the morning and we will come back and get you..............I asked if they were expecting me he said just go in the doors open.  So I did, I looked around and there was no one else in the cottage, I looked outside and it was pitch dark, I started to panic and called the number they gave me and no one answered....I sat up in a chair all night till the sun came up, scared stiff.  At first light I called again and told them to come get me. After telling the guys in my band my story they were concerned also and knew I was NOT going back there.

 So we came up with the master plan...after the gig I would dress up in their clothes and shuffle in between them onto the boat and stay with them the next 2 nights. 

The boat that they were on had security at the gang plank and I made it passed them and just before my foot hit the deck one of them shouted have a great night Susan ( aka Susan Childe )  Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  but they let me go anyway, I had a great night, all the guys had bought water pistols in the 3 bands and we ran around the ship like a bunch of pirates all night long.  A great memory now but a nightmare none the less at the time ♫♪♫

Yvonne J.

 

 

The GHP Virtual Awards Show Ocober 4th, 2014

 

 

 

What a wonderful night we had, the first annual GHP Virtual Awards Show. It was an amazing night with Friends, Peers, Fans, Radio Presenters and Promotors, a great time was had by all.  We enjoyed listening to some amazing music and acceptance speeches straight from the heart from all that were able to attend personally.  It is so heartwarming to see and hear music professionals support each other in this way by being there to support their fellow Artists and for music lovers and supporters to see us in this light.

GHP did an outstanding job on all the promotions for this event, Gary Fuston really worked tirelessly with his crew putting this all together. Big thanks to them all Gary Fuston, Edward McDaniel, JoAnna Johnson, Griselda Medina.

Congratulations to all the recipients of the awards ♫♪♫ I myself was presented with two for  "Best Soul Female Vocalist Song" Move You Body and "Best Collaboration CD Project" It's All About Love ~ Yvonne J.

To all the Musicians that gave their Time & Talents to my project I do thank you from the bottom of my heart:                      Rod Williams ♫ Sam Hankins ♫ Gary Fuston ♫ Homer T Williams ♫ David Clay ♫ Larry Talbot ♫ Norm Peterson for Producing this CD ♫ Reethym Productions for Mastering. I really enjoyed working with you all, you have my Love & Respect ♫♪♫

 

 

 

BURGLAR IN MY ROOM

 

Many years ago while on the road we were at The Darlington Hotel in Ayr for a Friday & Saturday night gig. It was a big venue and we loved it there except for the fact there was such a long hall to get from the back door to the stage for load in......we had a Hammond and a big Leslie cabinet so that was always a hump for the guys.  The Hotel always gave us comp rooms but they weren't always the best rooms the hotel had to offer but when your on the road FREE is always a plus. 

After the show on Friday around 3 in the morning I went to my room which was being used as a partial storage room for Vacum Cleaners and Floor Buffers in a corner of the room.  At about 5 in the morning I woke to hear someone putting a key into my room door............I froze.....( back then we had no cell phones ) and there was no telephone in my room ( I was living in the UK then with NO GUN hahaha ) anyway, I tried to lay as still and as flat as I could in my bed and thankfully he didn't put the light on. From the light in the hallway I saw a guy heading straight to the Vacum Cleaners and Buffers he took them out one by one. I waited about 30 minutes still in shock and afraid, I didn't know if he was alone or had help moving all these items. I ran out to the hallway and began banging on the guys in the bands rooms.  We went up to the reception desk and told them what had just happened..they called the Police.  That was a scarey night for me, my room didn't even have windows in it. We laughed about it the next day....but at the time it was certainly not funny for me. ♫♪♫ and now just another memory of being on the road with the Band ♫♪♫

 

I actually turned "GREEN"

 

One time while on tour in the UK I planned on wearing a green sparkly waistcoat and pants onstage, it was back in the day in the 70's when I wore my hair in an afro, there was new product on the market which you sprayed on your hair and it was green and had sparkles in it, very effective onstage.

So I got it and sprayed it on I loved it!!! The can said that you could leave it on for a few days, so after the gig I went to bed and when I woke in the morning and looked in the mirror my skin was GREEN !! my entire face and shoulders hahahhaha I had rolled all over my pillow through the night, I tried to wash it off and nothing happened................I sent the guys in the band to a pharmacy to ask what I could use to remove it, they came back with a bunch of things but nothing worked..I was frantic by this time and in tears.  We called the club and asked them to take out all the white and yellow lights off the stage and leave only Blue and Red lights..... I packed on some face makeup and did my gig, we all had a great laugh about it and the guys renamed me the jolly green midget hahahhahaha....♫♪♫ now it's a precious memory that still makes me smile to this day!

Yvonne J

The infamous Green outfit hahahhaThe infamous Green outfit hahahha