Starting around 1:30 Nate Smith really lets loose over this …read more
Halfway through our week of bootlegs, it’s time for a little …read more
Bootleg a Day #3: Aaron Goldberg, Francisco Mela, Tivon Pennicott, Jaleel Shaw, John Benitez: Lotus Flower jam @ Zinc
Back in October 2011 I spent a month living in Brooklyn trying …read more
This week I’ll be treating you to some of the incredible music …read more
It’s been a whirlwind of a summer. I almost moved to London, but then I heard the burritos over there are terrible, so last week my girlfriend and I moved into a new apartment together instead. So, the posts stopped for a while, but it’s time to get back on the horse!
I’ve been thinking a lot about harmony and come to believe that the difference between today’s best jazz musicians and the rest of us is their masterful command over the minutia of harmony.
I realized that I don’t have as a good a grasp of the plethora of dominant alterations out there as I …read more
Let’s get one thing out of the way: you need to learn to play your instrument before you can start learning to play jazz. Trying to improvise over an Eb-7 chord when you are still trying to remember whether it’s a D-flat or D-natural is challenging, but it’s impossible if you are at all unsure of the fingering for a high Eb! There are many foundational elements that every musician must master regardless of their genre …read more
When you hear John Coltrane, you immediately know it’s Trane. It’s not the notes he’s playing or his dazzling technique that makes him sound uniquely like himself. It’s his sound. Every jazz musician, at some point, ventures into the abyss in search of their own, unique sound. Your sound is what makes you, well, you. But where do you start?
Let’s begin by …read more
Jazz improvisation is inherently subjective. What makes one solo “better” than any other is often a matter of taste, a preference for a given style. But while articulation, swing feel, and phrasing vary wildly from one great player to the next, every noteworthy improviser is able to effortlessly demonstrate a …read more
Last weekend I met up with a former student, who is now a good friend and has since shifted his focus away from saxophone toward his studies in biology at the University of Chicago. But despite spending most of his time on science that I can’t even begin to comprehend, he still wants to keep improving as a musician. …read more