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FLASHBACK: Swaziland Chronicles - Day 3 - Afternoon Jam/Rehearsal

After lunch, we're scheduled to work with Bholoja's band in preparation for a public concert the following evening in Swaziland's premier venue "House On Fire"... and this is when it REALLY starts to happen!!

Originally Posted by Keri Chryst on October 6, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Bholoja suggests Keri try a DIFFERENT kind of improvisation ;-) ( Left to right: Cosi, Li, Keri, Bholoja )

Afternoon Rehearsal

Jeff suggests we start with "Jaywalking", one of Bholoja's compositions that he'd played for us earlier during the show and tell. I jump on the mic with one of his two back up singers - his sister Li standing next to Cosi. Once the band (including Jeff now) has set up the two-chord groove, Bholoja starts noodling around vocally and then nods to me to do the same. We trade off scatting for a little, grinning while working out the kinks of crossing over between our two idioms, yet it's really not that difficult for either of us. He then picks up what's obviously a pre-composed lyric, and I listen and wait to see what the other girls are gonna do, and when.

Kickin' it Freestyle

Little by little Jeff and I both start to get the sense of structure for the song (as well as the lack thereof) and chime in as needed to either reinforce the harmony, or take a turn on a solo. Jeff plays a few killer solos that have the band eating out of his hand.

Personally I'm having a ball just grooving on the backing vocals with the other ladies - but then Bholoja throws me a curve and wants me to sing (with words!) about the theme of this song "Jaywalking". This is a whole new ball-game for me... I've done lots of spontaneous composition (scatting) and I've written lyrics... but this was a first for me trying the two together at once! But the vibe was so generous and open that I was utterly willing to go for it and ended up singing a little story which even turned into a new little riff for the song. Not only was it a joy, but... it sounded good too!