A & E / RSGC Life

Thursdays with Dr. Death


By Simon Peterson 

Dr. Death is a jazz band run by Mr. Martin or “Jazz Lord,” or even “God,” as some of the grade twelves call him. Every Thursday after Evensong, we play our songs and have fun doing it. Every year, we go to a few festivals which we do quite well in, I am one of the lucky band members. I usually play the tenor saxophone. Want to get a sense of what we do? Here’s a recap of one, standard rehearsal, with some links to the pieces we play.

Piece #1: “Work Song” – Cannonball Adderley Quintet

Link to song

The first song we played after Evensong on Thursday. Even though it was sight-read, we played it almost perfectly. Mr. Martin still helped us fix a few things, but it was entertaining and exciting to play. My solo made it that much better for me.

Piece #2: “Green Onions” – Booker T & the M G ‘s

Link to song

A chart we play very often, one that exemplifies the blues music we play in Dr. Death. The gritty organ setting on the electric piano lets Daniel Crosner shine during this song, and playing it is a source of joy for me.

Piece #3: “Jeannine” – Cannonball Adderley

Link to song

The group is planning to play this piece of music at the “Next Generation” festival at Humber College. The music rewards you with an amazing melody and chord progressions for solos. It’s overall a great sounding chart but it requires work everybody’s part.

Piece #4: “Swing Machine” – Larry Neeck

Link to song

I love playing this because I play the bassline. My part makes me integral to the band and helps me practice rhythm, as it matters a lot with a bassline. I also get to crank out really low and loud notes out of my tenor sax which is very fun.

Song #5: “Scrapple from The Apple” – Charlie Parker Quintet

Link to song

This is slightly hard, but a normal arrangement we play in Dr. Death. It’s a fun song for everyone that isn’t too slow or too energetic. It is just right, something we can grasp onto and really manipulate.

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