Here’s That Rainy Day is one of my all time favourite jazz songs. Not so much for the lyrics, but for the deliciously luscious chord progressions. The sheet music version I have (in a Jazz Fake Book) is all 9ths and 7ths, majors and minors, liberally sprinkled with ♭5ths and ♭9ths, and an occasional augmented this or that. There is only one major chord in the whole song. I have been practicing it for weeks on the guitar to get it to sound lyrical instead of like an death rattle. Today was the first day I could play all the chords clearly at a tempo approaching an even, normal song tempo. So it was time for a real celebration, which for me usually means coffee and cookies. John even picked me some flowers (from our garden) to commemorate the day. (Which cup do you think is mine and which is John’s – the melmac or the Wedgewood?)
I have been working on a whole slew of jazz songs, and for me this week has brought a few modest advances. In music, some people notice improvements every day as they practice. But I have always been a fits and starts sort of learner. I do my technical practice day after day, not noticing any differences, and then suddenly one day I will find that a song that was impossible is now merely hard, and one that was hard is comfortable, and I can focus on expression, tempo, quality of sound, etc instead of merely being just able to try to make a chord sound. So this week, seemingly suddenly, several songs started to sound like they are in my repertoire, and several others like they might be sometime this year. Very exciting and worthy of celebration.