Yesterday, I had the pleasure of viewing Ronnie’s (2020), documentary by Oliver Murray. The projection closed the 6th Music Film Festival – Parallel Vision in Belgrade, Serbia.

The movie tells a story about Ronnie Scott, his work, music & the famous London jazz club he founded and named after himself.

It features club performances from musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, Buddy Rich, Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Hendrix*, and many more. Seeing new live performance videos of jazz legends is always a little eye candy for every jazz lover.

Beautiful shots of the club’s early beginnings and London in the late 60’s, voiceover by the family members and musicians, telling an intimate story about the music, passion, vision, business decisions, and struggles made to make Ronnie Scotts what it is today. I could only silently lament that no similar project was created and sustained for a more extended period of time in my hometown, and I miss that feeling of belonging to a strong, healthy jazz community.

Well put together with archive footage, posters, concert tickets, photographs, and a swingin’ soundtrack, Ronnie’s is a deeply inspirational story about what it means to be a jazz musician, to play, sacrifice, and what is this music all about.

*Jimi Hendrix had his last public, impromptu performance with the newly founded group War in Ronnie Scotts on September 17th, 1970. He died the following morning in Samarkand Hotel in London.

(post written on April 1st, 2020)

Recently I’ve discovered a YouTube video of a great Isaac Raz where he talks about and demonstrates a couple of improvisation ideas around the rhythm changes. The lesson inspired me so much that I’ve decided to put on paper some of the key elements.

In video, everything is explained clearly and in detail, so I won’t repeat it here.

Instead, I will only make a short summary:

  1. Basics and the outline of the chord progression
  2. Barry’s line over the rhythm changes.
  3. ”Monk” line (from 3rd and 7th)
  4. ”Don Byas” line (2 versions and a breakdown)
  5. ”Bud” line (with a scale/chords breakdown)

You can download the free PDF transcription here.

And here is a video!

Thank you Isaac!