In a Jam with BB9

Music is a great way to bring people together in new and unexpected ways.

My life partner, Yolanda, studied classical music and plays the flute. I’m a jazz trumpet player, and have played and taught classical for many years. The two of us now play together in an amateur Chamber Orchestra. It’s a good way to share in something bigger than ourselves.

Our good buddies Matt and Jeff play a variety of rock and pop on keyboard, guitar and bass. They jam together weekly in their man-cave band, BB9 (more later). Jeff and Matt play by ear, so if they hear it and have a few chords to go by, they can work it out. Yo and I were taught to read, so if you put a score in front of us, we can read it. So how do we work it out together?

On a boat (obvious, you say)!

Boating with Captain Matt

Boating with Captain Matt and First Mate Jeff

Late that evening after a wonderful meal at anchor, we pulled out our instruments and gave it a whirl. It’s a good thing there was only one boat anchored nearby, but they didn’t complain. With fake book in hand, it was rough, but passable. Yolanda was not satisfied, so she had to do something about it.

Based on a tip from her musical daughter, Ava, she figured out how to use a software program called Noteflight to arrange a tune so the readers could read and the play by ear guys could find their chords and play along. She chose “Come Down in Time,” a soulful tune by Elton John and arranged the keyboard, harp, horn, oboe and guitar piece for BB9.

Of course music is best after a fine meal, this one expertly prepared by Captain Matt on dry land, composed of lobster, corn, sausages and stuffed clams – New England style. It was the grand finale of my birthday events. Afterwards, we retreated to the cave and tried out our new tune, among others. Miss Marianne cheered us on and made us feel like we were getting somewhere. More than passable…and more fun to come!

Jamming with BB9.

Jamming with BB9.

About BB9. It stands for “Bed Before 9:00.” We may have stretched it a bit that night.

About randyjmueller

Sr. Instrument Repair technician
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