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Jam with Baggy

October 18, 2010 Blog Leave a comment

Is it ok if I jam with you..?magnus-brandell-berklee

As musicians we all have many stories to tell from gigs, recordings, touring etc. One story which is close to my heart is when I jammed with Baggy.

This happened when I was a student at Berklee and one of the teachers asked me if I could be a part of the rhythm section with him at an open-jam-jazz-gig. Of course I said yes and was told to bring my drums and The Real book. When I got there, many guys had brought their instruments and they were all eager to jam and play. There was no audience except for a dozen maybe, and I started to wonder what this was..? Well, we the Rhythm section started to play and turn pages in the Realbook…

Now people started to show up (obviously they had heard the music..). And as I was playing I noticed this old man, 80+ something, walking slowly towards me. He had a cowbell, a guiro and some kind of shaker in his hands. He sat down beside me, looked at me and smiled. When we finished the song he asked me in a low, shaky and slow, but very friendly voice: Is it ok if I jam with you?

Well, he and I played and grooved like crazy for many songs and after a while we took a break and we all started to talk to each other. The other guys told me that the old guy was called Baggy and that he was kind of a legend around here. They kept telling me that when he was a youngster he played with many of the legendary jazz musicians, and the namedropping never seemed to stop! Dizzie, Bird, Dexter and a bunch of names I can’t remember, sorry.. At that time famous jazz players sometimes came to different places and played with local musicians and Baggy was often asked to sit behind the drums.

So the next set started and we played for a while and then I asked if he wanted to play the drums? I don’t know if I will ever see a happier face than his?! I took the percussion instruments and he sat down behind the drums. You could hear that it was a long time since he played but it didn’t matter because he was playing with his heart and soul and had so much fun. We took turns playing the drums and percussion for the rest of the gig and had a lot of fun. Afterwards he was kind enough to sign my Realbook, and wrote ’Lot’s of luck’, Baggy!

This is a really nice memory for me and thanks Baggy for showing up and jam with us!

Well, I could probably also tell the story about when I had a weekly jazz gig at a restaurant which suddenly burned down, or when I did a short tour with a rock guy and after a gig our sound engineer got smashed down by an angry girl with an empty bottle, or when.. Nah, I better keep them to myself, for now.

This is a kind of an intro for our next pack which will include rhythms in the name of jam, jazz and swing. It’s packed with [intlink id="893" type="page"]jazz drum loops[/intlink]!

Cheers!

Magnus

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